Dropping the nap, two ways

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Categories Napping, Preschoolers, SleepTags

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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6 thoughts on “Dropping the nap, two ways”

  1. When two of my girls were ready to drop the nap, I had to do it with all four. It was too hard to have two who didn’t nap and were ready for bed early and two who did nap and could stay up later. The good news is that two years later (yes, I had to drop the nap pretty early) we may actually be re-visiting nap time. Preschool has really been wearing them out! Yipee!!
    Quadmama recently posted Dressing for the WeatherMy Profile

  2. My ped. told me at the 3 year old checkup, that if my boys sleep 12 hours a night they don’t need the nap anymore. Well I NEED it! Anyway, its hit or miss with naptime. They both need it but one can power through the day without it, better than the other.

    These days, I’ll lay them down at 1230 and after some antics, they’ll settle by 1:00. But then I WAKE them at 2:00 – (sounds crazy, I know) bit I must wake them to ensure they will go to bed on time at 7:30 PM sharp so I can help older son with his homework!
    The 7:30 bedtime is not optional, the nap probably is. The nap thing is such a tricky transition. And biggest difference between my boys- for haircuts, one sits nicely and loves it, the other cries and clings to me the whole time. Go figure.

  3. OMGoodness! I thought it was just my kids that were going through this! Thank you for easing my mind! My twins have NOTHING to play with in their room. They do share a room ~ so they have each other, but…the first born twin, although he doesn’t announce that he’s tired, will go in and fall asleep. Yes, there is the story and a song, but…he falls asleep.
    Baby B…is a different story. (He’s 2 1/2 not really a baby anymore.) He talks, sings, rolls around, kicks his brother, gets into the closet, tries on all his shoes and clothes, sneaks out…I’m sure you know the drill. I’ve been told never to get them on different schedules, but lately (this week) I’ve been letting the ornery one stay awake. He sits quietly in my office playing with sand, or he sits quietly on the couch reading a book while I iron. He seems to function just fine without the nap…but I think the quiet, single play is calming enough for him. I’m so glad there are others out there with similar dilemnas. Thank you all for sharing…
    quadmamma…I don’t blame you ~ I would do an all or nothing if I had 4 as well! Bless you!
    robyn recently posted Never Enough TimeMy Profile

  4. My daughter, M, is much like a tank. She will take the most direct route to something or someone, and if there’s something or someone in the way, she’ll just crawl right over it/them. Daughter, E, is more deliberate. She’s more verbal and less physical and takes more care in how she moves. My son, J, is kind of in the middle. He scrambles everywhere and has great coordination.
    As for naps, E seems to require less sleep than the other two, and definitely lets me know when she does not think she should be napping. M also is very vocal about it. J on the other hand will pretty much always fall asleep whenever I put him in his crib and just hang out there quietly until I come back to get him, even if he’s been awake for a while. Right before we dropped the third nap, the girls would scream and scream for a half hour before passing out (for only a half hour), but my son would just lay down, snuggle with his lovey, and go to sleep. When we dropped the third nap because of the girls’ resistance it didn’t phase him either.

  5. Ah, yes, the naptime wars. I managed to fight to get my guys to nap all the way through kindergarten. One would not sleep AT ALL and just try to entertain himself for the hour and a half, but it was painful. The other boy snoozed with no problem but then he’d be wide awake at bedtime finding a million excuses to get out of bed. It was a no-win situation.
    Christina Tinglof recently posted Sex and a Twin PregnancyMy Profile

  6. I love this website. ..I have battled with my twins since day 1 regarding sleep. Daughter G. sleeps like an angel for nap and says “I am tired”. Son G…not so much. He jumps off of his bed, climbs, pulls things out of the closet, rolls, thrashes. Then finally he collapses from exhaustion. Night time is basically the same. I too have no toys for them to play with but as stated by another, they have each other. Please…tell me it wont always be this way….

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