At the risk of receiving floods of hate mail, I am going to share a little fact about Skye – she still has a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon. It’s wonderful, and I’m sorry. Aside from some issues in the early months, Skye has always been a pretty good sleeper which I had always put down to my exceptional parenting skills. Actually that’s rubbish, yes my unwavering loyalty to our routine may have helped, as did the use of comfort aids such as a dummy and blankie, but the fact is that Skye wants to sleep, I know this because on the occasions when she does not want to go to sleep, I’ve got nothin’. Short of doping her out on Phenergan, I simply cannot convince her to nap if she does not feel so inclined.
Recently Skye has been taking great delight in highlighting this flaw in my skill-set by being less than co-operative about nap time.
At first I put it down to teething as she is yet to cut her two-year-old molars, then I blamed the fact that Mr Bond was on holidays, then I thought that it was because I was failing to give her clear, consistent sleep cues in the lead up to her usual nap time, then it was the weather, or the fact that her favourite show had just come on, and on and on it went until I realised it has been almost a month since she has had her nap without some kind of resistance.
It has become a battle against Skye and the clock, if I put her down too early she will fight it to the point of being unable to settle, if I leave it too late, she will wake too close to dinner time, if I let her play quietly in her cot until she falls asleep I will then have to wake her up all to avoid disrupting the night time routine. It never used to be this hard!
I can hear you shouting at the screen right now telling me that she is just getting older and may not need to have a day sleep anymore, and there is a chance that you are right. Problem is, I still need her to have a nap. I need to know that I have 2 hours each day to take care of all the other things that I have to get done, like admin/accounting type things for Mr Bond, phone calls, general housework boringness, drinking a cup of coffee while it is still hot and the really important stuff, like writing posts and checking Twitter. I have become so reliant on my daily down-time that it makes me incredibly anxious when I don’t get it.
Not to mention the unpleasantness of dealing with witching hour on steroids.
The witching hour issue is what has me still convinced that Skye needs to have a sleep during the day. It is unbearable. Bringing the dinner, bath, bed schedule forward does nothing to reduce the horror. If anything she goes to bed later because each step is such a struggle and everything thing takes twice as long to complete. By the time she is ready to get into bed, she is too overtired to settle.
Right now I am not sure which way to go with this. Jokes aside, I believe that Skye still benefits from having a nap during the day and that it is necessary for her development. The fact that she still sleeps for at least an hour and a half when she does eventually nod off is a clear indicator that her body requires this rest time, even if her brain tells her otherwise. But I do want to prepare myself for the time when Skye’s day sleep is not part of our daily routine, because it’s going to be tough on both of us.
When did your children stop have a nap during the day? How did you make the transition a smooth one for everyone involved?