From infancy until about 5 years old, Princess Nagger had a regular daily nap.  Not only was it a necessity to ensure she would get the appropriate amount of sleep for her age, but it also benefited me in that block of afternoon quiet time.  You know, for sanity’s sake. 

Rarely did I have any issues getting her to go down for a nap – it was a regular daily scheduled event, and she seemed (mostly) happy to comply.  She’s a good sleeper, and can fall asleep anytime, anywhere, as obvious by the picture above and this one:

Though some days her feelings about naps where subliminally obvious like here:

When she got closer to school age, I let her sleep in later, and did away with the afternoon nap altogether.  She’s not a morning person, so I could generally count on her sleeping in until about 9am or even 10am some days.  Which made it quite convenient when she started Kindergarten, since she was assigned to the afternoon class – letting her sleep late in the morning guaranteed a bright, perky and non-cranky child for the Kindergarten teacher in the afternoon. 

The Little Dude is a different story.  Partly because before he came out here to live, he hadn’t been required to take naps.  But oh boy, does this boy need them.  Forget about the fact that when he doesn’t have a nap, you can see the fatigue written all over his face – from the dark circles under his eyes, to the cranky expression that seems frozen in time.  Then there’s the temper tantrums – oh the temper tantrums. 

For the first week of him being here, I was lax with his schedule, aside from regular mealtimes and a specific bedtime.  But naps weren’t in the picture, mostly because I wanted to allow him sufficient time to acclimate to us, as well as the time difference between the West and East Coast.  Once school started for Princess Nagger, I decided that was the perfect time to re-implement nap-time for the Little Dude, since there would be no distractions, and Princess Nagger wouldn’t be making her plethora of loud noises to keep him awake.

Let the battle begin.

From the start, Little Dude has been very resistant to naps – dragging his feet all the way up the stairs and starting in with the usual barrage of stall tactics.  Hungry, thirsty, need to go potty, don’t like naps, don’t need naps, want to stay up, don’t want to sleep, not tired, the sun is still up, the sun needs to go down, the sun needs a nap, etc.  However, I think he’s starting to understand the phrase, “Resistance is futile”. 

Every-other-day it’s not as much of a battle as it is on alternating days, but those alternating days are exhaustion inducing – making me want to take a nap.  Especially when he doesn’t actually fall asleep on those days, which only causes more exhaustion (for me) later.  Though he does fall asleep much faster at bedtime, since he’s pretty much fizzled out by then.  On the days he actually does sleep during his nap, he takes much longer to fall asleep at bedtime.

Which brings me to this week’s question(s):

What magical method did you use to get your kids to nap?  At what age did you stop giving them naps? 

Have a great weekend!

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  1. Each child is different, but when it was naptime in my home it was either rocking or laying down with them. My oldest son you had to lay down with him and rub his back. My daughters were both rockers. My youngest son was either or. As far as stopping them again each was different. Some days if they were cranky – bed! If not no bed, but bed early. I agree with you Lil Dude has to find out who the boss is, and bedtime is definitely a good rule to start with, but it can also be a bonding time if ya know what I mean. Singing was good with all my babies/little ones. They crashed a lot sooner.

  2. Some kids are nappers and some not…you have one that is a NOT!!
    Sorry! But I did insist on quiet time for a couple of hours so that I could have a cup of coffee and relax. You might want to try that.
    Good luck

  3. I say nap, but if he won’t, he should at least have some quiet time in his room where he’s not allowed to come out. He doesn’t HAVE to sleep, but must do quiet activities (look at a book, etc).
    Indy napped until age 5. Until age 2 he took 2 naps a day! I miss those days.

    BTW, those photos of PN are precious. The 3rd one cracks me up. Is she trying to tell you something???

  4. For the baby it is nursing her till she naps..for the older boys .. tiring them out by bringing them to the park, swimming, cycling etc.. if that doesn’t work..then we just skip nap and forget about it. too much of a hassle to make them nap.

  5. I didn’t force naps but I did force quiet time in their room. Sometimes when I went to check on them they would be asleep and sometimes they would be up playing with their cars, books or legos. He’s at an age where need for naps sort of wanes. Maybe no nap or just quiet time and an earlier bedtime then PN. That way she gets a little one on one time with mom & dad. She’s use to that time and I doubt she gets as much of it as before the lil guy showed up.

  6. When my kids were little, I could usually just lay down with them to get them to take a nap. I never forced my kids to take naps and we didn’t have a strict schedule.

  7. If I remember correctly, it’s been many years for me in this category, my boys were on such schedules that I don’t remember having trouble with nap times, but each child is different. When they entered preschool, nap times were only when they were truly exhausted and they wanted one.

  8. We nap here until we’re five. Not negotiable. I need the break. When they stop napping they still have to sit quietly for at least an hour. Is he mature enough to understand that? Try a book on his bed in his room until you come get him. Just a rest time. He’ll probably fall asleep. Bribe him with a treat if he cooperates. I’m all about the bribes.

  9. My oldest son took naps until he was in PreK each day. He craved them and it helped him so much. My youngest (just 4) has always been hard to get to nap. Once he was two it was not worth the effort. If I forced the issue because I knew he needed the nap, he would be up all night. If he’s exhuasted he still falls asleep in the car at the worst times of course.
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  10. My daughter who is now 5 doesn’t really need to nap. She is up a gazillion times to pee and just generally barely even rests. However, when she was in pre-K and still in physical therapy, she definitely needed that nap. I think we’ll be heading into some hard times when she starts full-day kindergarten next week and needs to be up at 6:30. This should be interesting.

    Meanwhile my 3 year old was a champion napper. He gave up his morning nap before 1 but boy howdy if he doesn’t/didn’t get that afternoon nap, there was tantrum time come 6 pm. He rests much better than his sister but I predict that when he starts his 3 morning a week preschool that he will need naps those days.

    And of course I need naptime too. I need my sanity break! And my time to gorge on chocolate so my hubby and kids don’t see my stash.

  11. I have always very strictly enforced nap times around here and any plans for the day are made around being home in the afternoon (just like you said, it’s a combination of wanting to avoid the tired tantrums and for my complete and utter sanity). So when people are surprised that my nearly 5-year-old still naps (and doesn’t complain about it one bit), I just shrug and say that it works for us, so why would I change it?!

  12. OMG, how adorable are all of those pictures! I’m coming over from Hop Along Friday and am your newest follower. I have an {almost} three year old and a 15 month old. I am struggling with my oldest for naps too.

  13. You know, I really don’t remember – it’s been so long. However, I think I just corralled them in their rooms (especially the boys) – if they slept, they slept. If they didn’t, well, they were in their rooms playing for an hour or so, which at least gave me a little time to recover from the morning.

  14. Turbo slept like PN. Any where, any time. Until he was five. Napped like a dream and went to bed like a champ. Then we had Bruiser, who thought sleep was for chumps. He has a very regimented sleep schedule. It helps that his room is dark, even during the day. I’m hoping the nap will last for another couple of years at least.
    Maybe try dark curtains, and keep the schedule. Hopefully Little Dude will get used to it and some of the fight will go out of the whole process.

  15. You make me laugh with that sublimal message pic. lol.

    Every child is different. My V is four and still gets a nap in the afternoons and she’ll still be getting them in Kindergarten while in class.

    D is 6 and when he comes home from school I let him take a nap because he is up 5am to 3pm all day! and he comes home cranky, hungry, and whiny.

    So even though sometimes I’d put them down and they didn’t nap, they’d still have to lay down in the bed and relax, not play etc.
    Sometimes I’d rock them, or lay down with them (when you lay down with them, they want to talk and talk and talk and talk, so just grunt hm hm)
    Make sure before nap you do all the stalls. pee, drink water, etc.

    But just put a time for nap and that’s it. They have to be in bed.

  16. Each boy was different here.
    TJ napped until 3yrsold woke at 8am, down at 11until 2, then down for the night at 8pm.
    AJ… gave up at less than 2yrs old. Some days though I’d find him asleep in the hall on the carpet.
    MJ, did naps until he was 3.5 and that was the summer the boys were home from school and he wanted to be in on all the fun.

  17. Oh to add, all my boys go to bed early. 8pm was the latest for TJ until we moved to Canada. when he started school he couldn’t make it throuhg a day without going to bed at 7pm for K.
    AJ couldnt’ go to bed before 730pm.
    MJ? can’t make it later than 630pm some nights but he’s up at 630am for school prep.

  18. Sprite has already outgrown weekend naps. Hasn’t taken them for about a year. Only when we completely exhaust her does she fall asleep before her bedtime. At first, it would show in her temper so we kept enforcing them, but soon, it would be 4 pm and she would be fine, so we tried it out. Now, it’s not an issue anymore. (Her daycare wishes we would still implement them since she’s the hardest kid to put down at naptime.)

  19. Little Dude is approximately LG’s age. LG and I have made a “naptime” compromise. He does not have to sleep. He can sit quietly in his bed and look at books, or play with his stuffies. He can’t get off his bed until I come get him, he can’t make noises loud enough to be heard outside his room. He just has to have quiet time to relax. And most times, I come to get him and he’s asleep. Some days he is awake though, and it ends up ok that at least he had some down time.

  20. When everyone gives you tips, please send them my way, because my son’s two favorite stall tactics are crying, exclaiming that it’s “summertime”, and sighing deeply. I need help in this department, too! LOL!

  21. For a moment, I thought you had another baby. I really have to keep up around these parts. Thanks for not asking what I’m doing this weekend. Smile pretty 🙂

  22. My tot (3yo) naps every day if he’s waking up before 7:30am. If he’s sleeping in he doesn’t nap, is getting cranky around 6pm and falls asleep where ever he happens to be around 8pm. So I need to work with these times to make sure he’s eating dinner and getting ready for bed and after that it doesn’t matter anymore where he snoozes off.
    With other words, either I have some quiet time in the afternoon or a longer quiet time in the evening. I’m sure the little Dude has ‘his’ times as well, you just need to find out what they are and fit them into the family life. Good luck.
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  23. You know we’re getting flipped off in that third picture, right? Ha! I’m big on napping and they seem to ween themselves off it around 3. My 3 year old doesn’t at home anymore but he does have quiet time at daycare and sometimes falls asleep. The kids wake up at 7AM and go to sleep at 730PM. I’m super strict and they don’t have a problem with it.

  24. I use to lay down with them at naptime, but that didn’t work, I was asleep before they were. We had a set time for naptime, if I remember correctly it was one o’clock, soon after lunch when the digestive system has kicked in. After a meal seems the best time to relax and fall asleep.

  25. I love pictures of sleeping babies. So sweet! My babies are grown (our youngest is in college). So glad you stopped by Friendly Friday! 🙂

  26. These pictures are adorable. I was lucky because my kids napped a bit in the morning and a bit in the afternoon. I always ran a fan in their room to block out noise. My babies, aged 30 and 26, surprised me with a visit this weekend! They both live in different states and I was shocked when they walked in the door.

  27. I agree with SueAnn that each child is different. My middle one had a more regular and unassisted routine (because he had an older brother and I could give him the extensive time that I did with the first child). So my middle son was the easiest and loved his naps. My youngest didn’t need naps after age 3, but went to bed very well at around 8pm each night. I guess as long as they aren’t having melt downs (my niece who just turned 4 still does when she needs a nap or get woke up too early).

    I commend you so much for your wonderful effort and positive intentions with the little dude!! You are such a Great mom!!

  28. Precious pictures, it’s worth to remember those days of napping. I love watching sleeping babies, they are so sweet. Those are the times that we also touch them and look at their face. There’s an excitement that we feel when we see our babies sleeping.
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