Naptastic No More

From four hour naps, to two kiddos on different nap schedules, to napping off-and-on, to not napping, to occasionally napping, to today. Quiet Time: Day One (sounds more official capitalized). One hour of the kiddos in their room. One hour of alone time for me.

Blaise came a sleeper, and was a consistent four-hour napper once he switched from two naps a day to one. I could count on getting anything done from laundry to screwing around on the internet to napping myself. It was awesome. And once Laine was here, his long naps gave us time alone away from Blaise. Laine was never the best napper; an hour here, an hour there, total cat napper. Blaise was on a set nap schedule, it seemed to work for his sleeping needs. Laine never adjusted to one so I didn’t fight it. She napped when she napped; in our bed, on the couch, in the car, wherever.

As Blaise approached 2.5-years, I’d put him down for his nap as usual. Instead of passing out right away, he’d screw around for an hour and then would sleep 3-4 hours. Great, he napped but then he was taking forever to fall asleep at night. Bedtime is 7pm and he would still be up between 9-10pm. So we dropped his nap and it fixed everything. He started going down right away at 7pm—sometimes even at 6pm—and still sleeping until 7am or later the next morning. And with him no longer napping, it opened up their room so Laine could nap in her bed. (We tried dual naps in there a few times before with no luck.) Laine successfully started napping in her bed and would nap 1-2 hours which was super long for her. I’d put Blaise in our room for quiet time but that didn’t last long. I tried books and toys, and even resorted to putting on a movie or a kid-approved show but he’d get bored (not a big TV guy) and walk downstairs. No luck on quiet time for Blaisey Daisey. I felt that he wasn’t getting enough one-on-one mom time so I easily gave up on his quiet time. Afternoons were great; Laine would nap while Blaise and I bonded.

Sometime this summer, Laine decided she wasn’t cool with napping in her bed anymore. She’d fight and fight and end up crying the entire time instead of napping (and by crying the entire time I mean a few minutes before we’d rescue her… we’re not cool with cry-it-out for our kiddos). So she stopped officially napping. She wasn’t “put down” for naps but would still nap somewhere (couch or car) most days.

It’s been a few months of being with the kiddos all.day.long. As it stands now, they go to sleep in their own beds at 7pm but sometime during the night—either before Brian and I go to bed or sometime during the wee hours of the morning—we usually end up with a kiddo (or two) in our bed a few times each week. Which is fine by us. We are avid co-sleeping fans and if they’re waking in the night crying and won’t calm down, they’re clearly scared so comforting them by having them sleep with us feels right around here. It seems to ebb and flow; we can go a while with Blaise sleeping all night in his bed to him waking every night for a week scared, then back to sleeping on his own. Laine seems to have entered the nightmare phase as she’s waking up crying almost nightly these days. With light sleeper Laine in our bed most mornings, the moment I put my feet on the floor to [try and] sneak out to have some alone time downstairs, she’s up. So from 6am until 7pm I’m with the kiddos non-stop. And from 7pm until bedtime I’m with Brian (and/or a kiddo if one is in our bed already) or I’m out and about with friends or running errands. I love Brian and the kiddos dearly and enjoy all of our time together, I just need some alone time.

Today I decided it was time to establish alone time (aka quiet time). We had a fun morning of bowling—though the kiddos weren’t their normal good listeners that I typically get compliments about (they were the opposite, arg)—and came home to them playing by being highly rambunctious (more than usual which is hard to top). Then we made forts and as soon as I’d put up the blanket, Blaise would tear it down then repeatedly say, “Help me, mama.” After fixing the fort a few times and telling him I would no longer fix it if he kept tearing it down, he tore it down. Clearly he was moody today, too… probably feeding off of my moodiness. It was then I decided quiet time was a GREAT idea. Up to their room we went. I put the gate up (that they both can climb over but thankfully didn’t), set the owl timer for an hour, put out some books and toys, then told them to stay put until the owl turned green. Easy going Blaise took the bait and was great the whole time. He played quietly and got excited when the owl turned green. Laine wasn’t having it at first. She stood at the gate and yelled for me to come back. I heard Blaise redirect her to play with him and she eventually calmed down. I even heard her laughing. She called for me a few times so I popped my head in and asked if the owl was green. When she’d say no, I told her I’d be back when it turned green. They made it the entire hour. Success!

Day two of quiet time will begin at 3pm tomorrow following a morning of park play with some friends. I’m hoping for a repeat of today, minus Laine’s initial protest. It’s transitions like these that make me realize how quickly they are growing up… we’ve officially entered the no nap phase of raising kiddos. And for the most part, I love not having restrictions on our day. Well, until today when I decided to claim 3-4pm as alone, I mean quiet time.

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