Nap Time, Schmap Time

Lauren is two-and-a-half years old now, which is hard to believe. Time is flying by!

Recently, a difficult trend has developed at our house. Lauren does not want to sleep, particularly at nap time. She's been a tremendous sleeper from early on, but our blessing in that category seems to have run out.

I realize my toddler will stop taking naps at some point, but I'm not ready to wave the white flag yet. Especially since naps are personally important to me. I don't get anywhere close to a reasonable amount of sleep at night on the morning show shift, so naps are essential!

Additionally, she's so tired by the late afternoon that she becomes pretty crabby. If we go anywhere in the car, she falls asleep in minutes. The child is tired and needs a nap.

We've tried offering Lauren incentives to sleep during nap time, from lemonade, to watching Dora, and finally to allowing her to wear her prized Cinderella dress, crown and slippers. I was fairly confident the Cinderella bribe would work this past weekend.

It didn't.

Talk about feeling defeated! So I turned, once again, to my favorite sources of parenting advice: my mom and sisters. My mom and one of my sisters offered the same advice on the same day. Stop calling it "nap time" and take the pressure off Lauren to actually sleep.

So yesterday, I gave it a try. After lunch, I took Lauren to her room and explained she was about to have "quiet time." She could read or play quietly, or even, if she wanted, to take a nap. She did have to stay in her room until I said "quiet time" was over. I read her favorite book, gave her a hug and a kiss, and left. My whole demeanor was different, because I honestly didn't care if she slept or not. So she probably didn't pick up any "stressed out mommy" vibes. I went to my room and fell asleep.

She played for a while....even raided her laundry hamper to put on an extra dress and leg warmers (we locked her closet so she can't stay up all night and play dress she did for hours on Friday night). However, after about 30 or 40 minutes, the child fell asleep...on the floor....for two hours.

We had a happy late afternoon, with my sweet girl in her Cinderella dress, crown and slippers.

Who knows how long this "quiet time" strategy will last and whether she'll nap that well every day. Like so many other things in parenting, it's done day at a time.

About the Author...
Heather King
Heather is the anchor and executive producer of WITN News at Sunrise and also reports.

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