Five tips for the end of naps
In case you’ve wondered where I’ve been lately, it’s the land of no naps, never to return! Well, never say never, as we are getting one nap a week on average. And usually that’s on the weekend when everyone is home and busily roaming the place (and calling my name quite frequently, I might add.) How in the world to give up naptimes? While I am certainly no expert, here are five tips I have used/am using to wean us off naps, while keeping quiet time intact:
1. Getting there
Offer a choice of one story or straight to bed- mine will always pick reading a book together rather than going straight to bed. After the one story (stick to your word), if you know the child is sleepy today, fully close room-darkening curtains. If he’s “not sleepy!”, offer a book or small toy to keep in the bed. Sometimes I offer an audiobook, which I make a point to collect, as they are a really wonderful tool. Try storynory.com.
2. Keeping ‘em there
The book or small toy can only be kept in the bed if he will remain quiet. If he keeps yelling his head off, in I go to remove said item. Knowing the “no-yelling” deal, most days he is fairly quiet, and he’ll call my name every fifteen minutes or so to replace the book or toy, which I will endure.
3. End it
If no sleep commences, I often end the time in the bed at approximately 45 minutes with this statement, “Mommy has some work to do. You may play quietly in your room.” This stretches quiet-time another 20 minutes as he plays with his train set or looks through more books.
4. Early to bed
Plan to put the no-napper to bed a half-hour early. You may want to move dinner prep earlier, too, as early evening plans are likely to be thwarted by a meltdown. Mommy may need an early bedtime, too!
5. Coping with the loss of worktime
I busy myself with couponing, ebay, blogging, my husband’s and my ministry work. Not to mention cooking, picking up a constantly messy house and “mommy” type chores (supervising homework, piano, and chores, and untangling strings, glueing broken stuff, finding super-important lost stuff, signing papers, scraping gook off floors, and the list goes on….) Without naps, I can easily lose focus in the time warp of my days. To compensate, I am staying home more, working faster, and reading less on facebook, twitter, blogs, and magazines. I’m getting less done, but with a daily routine and time to readjust, everything will fall into a new normal. There may be less income as less work gets done, but at least we’re home more- not shopping!
Lost alone time is actually time gained with that sweet little one- to snuggle more, to read with more, sit in the porch swing together more, and just love on more before he gets any bigger!
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