We knew something needed to change when my son, 3.5 years old, was fighting with us daily to go down for a nap. Even the days that he didn’t go down for a nap, he wouldn’t really start to melt until almost bedtime. The days that he would take a nap we were fighting him to go down at night, usually resulting in him not going to bed till several hours after he was suppose to. At the time we knew he still needed downtime, and time that he is not really running around. And let’s be truthful, Mom and Dad also still needed that time without kids.
Talking with my mother, she reminded me of what we used to do as children. Quiet time! I remember having certain toys that we could play with only during this time. So we started to implement that with my son and will do it with my daughter when the time comes.
He doesn’t take a nap everyday and we don’t force him to sleep. Instead he has quiet time. Quiet time is a time where my son plays quietly in his room with his door closed. He is able to read or color or play with his legos, but he is not able to come out of his room until my daughter wakes up, unless he has to go to bathroom. Now we are also not talking about if there is an emergency, just more with the constant interruptions.
He actually enjoys this time by himself to play with his own toys. On days that he is really tired, he either asks to take a nap or he will put himself in his bed and fall asleep. This method is a great way for them to have their independence and feel in control. We rarely require him to go down and usually the days we do, we know it is going to be a late night.
What do you do when your child is growing out of a nap?