When One Twin Doesn’t Want to Nap

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Categories Difference, Discipline, Napping, Preschoolers, Routines, SleepTags , , , , 10 Comments

Since my twin daughters’ birth, one has been a better sleeper than the other, even though they were put on the same schedule from the beginning.  While they were both good to me at a young age and slept through the night, if someone were to get up at night, it was Lisa, and still is Lisa.  If someone were to take a long time to fall asleep, it was her as well.  But, my other daughter, Alison, almost never gets up at night.  Alison can sleep through her sister’s night wakings and subsequent crying and bedroom door opening and closings.  She really only gets up if she is sick or something.  It is wonderful.

At nap time, Alison is generally much quicker to fall asleep.  She just needs her special blanket.  And she can then sleep for at least two hours but has been known to sleep for up to three, or, on a rare day, even longer.  Her sister Lisa on the other hand, fights taking a nap with tears, requests for books, drinks of water, and protest of, “I don’t want to take a nap!”

So, my husband and I have tried numerous thing to coax Lisa to nap every day – rewards for taking a nap; punishments for not taking a nap; loving words; threats; sitting in the room until she falls asleep; ignoring her; giving her books or a toy; moving nap time back; and so on.  But, that girl can happily roll around her bed for an hour, and still not fall asleep, frustrating her parents to no end at the same time.

Lately, Lisa is hit or miss with napping.  It seems more often than not, she does not take a nap.

So, my question is, to all the seasoned MOMs out there – what do you do when one of your twins seems to be done with naps?  I am stubborn and still try putting her down for a nap every single day, at the same time that her sister Alison goes down.  I know my girls are now three, and that maybe I should just be grateful that they’ve napped as long as they have, but naps are precious to me, especially as I have a newborn and desperately want to take a nap each day too!  Plus, she gets destructive and defiant when she doesn’t nap, and is then ready for bed much earlier at night than her sister.  I really don’t like them on different schedules.

So, when did your twins stop napping?  How did you encourage a stubborn napper to sleep? Or what did you do with them once they stopped napping?  Quiet time?  And what did that quiet time look like?

 

ldskatelyn is a wife and mother of three kids, including a set of three year old fraternal twin daughters and brand new newborn son.  She works hard to mantain balance in all things as she stays at home with her kids and runs the household, supporting her grad student husband.  She blogs about her life and other things over at whatsupfagans.blogspot.com

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Dropping the nap, two ways

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Categories Napping, Preschoolers, SleepTags 6 Comments

Way back at the beginning of the summer, I wrote about my son’s very active desire to drop his nap.   He and I had a rough summer.  We went through a really defiant stage, and one of the ways it manifested itself was a knock-down, drag-out fight EVERY SINGLE DAY at naptime.  Even getting him to stay in his room, asleep or not, was a battle.  The kicker was how desperately he still needed the sleep.  The days he skipped it, he was a wreck.  Lack of sleep plus a super-defiant age?  Not a good combination.

At any rate, here we are in September.  The overall level of defiance has, thankfully, decreased. He doesn’t have a tantrum every day at 1pm when I suggest it’s time to go upstairs. Even still, though, he is only napping maybe 50% of the time, at best.  He’s simply too “busy.”  He has to investigate everything (despite there being very few things in his room), he has to take eight trips to the bathroom, etc.  And yes, he’s still exhausted by late afternoon.  Alas, I think this is just going to be the way it goes until, eventually, the nap is completely gone.

In the meantime, his sister has been quite the opposite – we’re halfway through lunch when she announces that she’s “bewy tired” and ready to go upstairs.  She practically tucks herself in and waits for me to come sing a song.  “How delightful!” I think to myself.  “She’s going to nap forever!”

Or will she?

Daniel’s chosen method for dropping the nap is so noticeable, he’s going about it with such brute force, that it simply commands my attention.  While I’m battling with Daniel to stay in his room, mentally pleading with him that this be the day he finally sleeps, Rebecca has been quietly finding another way.  What used to be a solid two-plus-hour nap is now consistently down to an hour and a half, at the most.  She’s still happy to go to bed, but has been sleeping for shorter and shorter periods.

I won’t lie, I like Rebecca’s method better.  It still gives me a guaranteed period of quiet time each day, and doesn’t require any convincing or cajoling.  But, of course, each method is very true to its owner.  When Daniel sees an obstacle, he wants to barrel straight through it.  Direct force.  No question what he’s trying to do.  Rebecca, on the other hand, will quietly find away around, find a chink in the armor to exploit, or try to simply convince it to step aside.  True to form.

What about you, readers? Have you noticed your pair approaching similar transitions or challenges in characteristically different ways?  Or do they seem to take a similar path to one another?

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A slow farewell

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Categories Napping, Preschoolers, Sleep, ToddlersTags , , , 12 Comments

Oh, my friends, it is truly a sad day in my house.  I have come to acknowledge a painful fact.

The nap is on its way out.

*sob*

OK, it’s not gone yet.  And, to be more specific, it’s my son who seems to be getting ready to drop it.  Over the last few weeks, I’d say were at a 50-60% success rate on his nap.  If we do something especially exhausting in the morning, or weather conditions are favorable (I’m not kidding), we get a nap.  If we don’t do much, or if some number of planets are out of alignment, not so much.

It has become quite a balancing act.  You see, even on a good day, he will mess around in his room and sing to himself for a while before going to sleep.  The challenging part is how long to let him continue.  Do I go in after a while and remind him to go to sleep? Sometimes seems to work, sometimes not.  Plus, to make things even more interesting, I find he’s a lot worse-tempered if he ends up falling asleep too late (and I usually end up having to wake him up lest it get too close to dinner and bedtime).  While he’s happiest on the days that he gets a “normal” nap, he’s actually not all that bad when he skips it outright.

I’d love to blame this on our recent transition to separate bedrooms and toddler beds, because who doesn’t like a scapegoat? But the truth is that his naps were going downhill in this very manner for several weeks before we made the switch.  And, at least now he isn’t keeping his sister up.  I also have to count my blessings in that he does stay in his room without a fight, even if he spends much of the time singing at the top of his lungs.

Surprise Chicago Trip

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  I will continue to hold onto our sporadic nap, or quiet time, or break in your room, or whatever you want to call it, for as long as I can.  At a bare minimum, we need the break from each other until September, when they start preschool in the mornings.

Surprise Chicago Trip

I can only hope all that learning exhausts them.

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