The No-Nap Debate

Like it or not, we seem to be entering a time of change here in this new year.  My girls are growing up, a fact that is more and more evident every day.

The most dramatic change, according to Jeremy and me, is that A & M seem to be ready to begin dropping their nap most days.  (Cue the moans of horror...)  I don't really want to do this, and J is adamant that we can't give up our weekend naps, but as the weeks go by I am more convinced that's where we are heading. 

On school days, the girls still have nap time and will continue to do so next year, I believe.  But they're so much more active on school days, I think they need it more.  Plus, it's a limited time-frame (I'd say an hour and a half at the most) and it's earlier in the day.  Still, there have been a few days lately where their teachers reported one or both didn't sleep at all or for very long. 

Why am I thinking it's time to mostly drop the nap on weekends and the days they are at home all day?  Well, here's the thing:  When A & M don't have a nap (or they have a school day nap), they are easily in bed and asleep between 8:00 and 8:30, which I consider an ideal bedtime.  They still sleep until 7:00-7:30 (occasionally even later) the next morning, and all is well.  On the days when the girls have quality afternoon naps at home (Fridays and weekends, for the most part), it doesn't matter what time I put them in bed, they don't seem to fall asleep until late.  They aren't acting up, just sitting in bed reading, talking, singing, and playing pretend games between themselves.  While this generally isn't too big a deal, and at least A & M are being good while not sleeping, it does bother me that they can't seem to fall asleep until as late as 10:00 or after sometimes.  They will often sleep later the next morning--Addison has been known to sleep until 9:00 or later on occasion--but still, I'm thinking the steadier, consistent bed- and wake-times are probably better overall.

Also?  I like MY time at night, and if it begins at 8:30, I'm a happy mama.  (I know I'm not alone in this!)

I'm not declaring war on naps and I'm not ending them altogether.  Will there still be days when a nap is totally necessary?  Absolutely...whether it be necessary for A & M or for Jeremy and me.  We LOVE Sunday naps in particular, and those will be hard to part with, so we may just try shortening them a bit.  I'm also a fan of "rest time", during which I might let the girls watch a movie on the couch while I catch a few minutes of precious recovery time myself. 

I never, EVER, thought I'd see this day, where I am debating the merits of voluntarily reducing the quantity and length of the girls' naps. Sigh....

What is the status of naps in your house?  Do you notice a difference at bedtime if you have dropped them?   Were you sad to see them go?

(If I was a stay-at-home mom talking about ending naps, I would cry.  For real.)


  1. We are in the same boat. Girls nap at school, but really fight napping at home. My issue is I have one twin that still really needs the nap.. as in will still sleep 3 hours in the afternoon and go to bed by 830. My other twin could skip the nap, but it's hard not to have them both doing the same thing. And .. like your girls... my non-napper is up til the wee hours if she does nap. So hard to know what to do. They are at school 3 days and home 4 days, including weekends. So, that's tough. And I'm home too so it's quite the scene come 4pm with no naps. I wish I had some advice. Just a rock and a hard place.

  2. D also "insists" that they nap - I keep reminding him that at some point kids stop napping.....

    But like you, I will fight it to the death. I LOVE the breathing space to read/ catch up on my own stuff on the weekends.

  3. we're younger than you, but we're not dropping naps anytime soon. our kids go down around 1pm. if they're not awake by 3, we wake them up. (even if it means that they only got 30 min, b/c we want them to be able to fall asleep at bedtime).

    our kids go to bed around 7:00 though :) but they get up at 7am!

  4. Ava still takes naps at school and some weekends she still does at home. I am finding they are less and less though. I am with you on this one.....I think she still needs a nap :)

    My thing is working on getting her in bed earlier than I have. She goes down about 8:30-9 most nights.


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