I haven't figured this out yet . . .

The Importance Of Naps

One of the things I dread about going out with the kids is its interference with naps. Naps to a parent are like food to a starving person, water to a thirsty person, and . . . well, you get the idea. Naps are the stay at home parent’s equivalent to a lunch break. Adults need naps too.

I hear these horror stories from other parents about how their little one hasn’t taken a nap since they were two. My nephew is like that and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I’m determined to get my kids to take naps until they’re five or six.

Since we went out a lot during G’s spring vacation, he missed several naps this past week. The worst was a couple of times where he fell asleep in the car about five minutes away from the house and still refused to go in his bed for a nap when we got home.

So today when we took a trip to the local botanical gardens, I feared naps would be foregone yet again. But I’m happy to report that the only snag in nap time was a brief bit of fussing out of G in the transfer from car to bed.

Yesterday, on our trip to the children’s museum, I figured two hours of running around a museum would be enough to tucker my little tikes out. It was, because they passed out pretty hard in the car, but once we got home they refused to be put down.

Today the kids slept through more of the car ride home than yesterday and they still slept for two more hours once we got home.

The real secret, it turned out, is to exhaust my children to the point where they can’t help but fall asleep in their beds. My problem was that I wasn’t wearing them out enough while we were out. The little cat naps they were taking in the car were enough to recharge them so they didn’t feel like napping my required minimum of an hour and a half.

In the future, I will have to include some sort of the following into our day trips:

Manual labor.

Pumping water is hard work . . .

. . . especially when you spend half an hour doing it.

Any kind of water play. Something about the excitement of water takes a lot of energy out of kids.

Water. Glorious water.

Surprisingly, some good snuggle time works too. See, toddlers can’t sit still, so even when they snuggle, it’s like they’re wrestling with some imaginary object. Or, if there are two of them, it’s like they’re wrestling each other.



11 comments on “The Importance Of Naps

    April 14, 2012

    Kids also have a superhuman ability to pull energy right out of the air if they’re dozing off and don’t want to nap. It’s like hitting the ‘reset’ button and they’re wide awake once again! Cute pics 🙂

  2. Kate
    April 15, 2012

    Great post, made me laugh… and I love your pics! 🙂

  3. CJ
    April 15, 2012

    You could not be more right about the importance of naps. Mine are ten and while they no longer do naps (I managed to keep nap in their schedule until school), we do have quiet time. I typically enforce this only when they are particualrly grumpy. They are always amazed how quickly they pass out during quiet time. 🙂 I admit, I often do too.

    • mrmomman
      April 18, 2012

      Ooh, I’m going to have to keep that in mind. I never thought to enforce quiet time when they’re that old.

  4. Irene Stetson
    April 16, 2012

    Good luck with getting the children to take naps until they are 5 or 6. Paul stopped taking naps about the age of ONE! But it made it easy to go various places with him because of that.

  5. Chris Hall
    April 16, 2012

    Your lead photo is great. We actually have photos and a video of our son falling asleep in a bounce seat. It’s funny to see him close his eyes and slowly bounce, then finally come to a stop.

    • mrmomman
      April 18, 2012

      That’s funny, I think a lot of kids with bouncy chairs fall asleep in them. When they’re that small, if you leave them in it long enough, it’s bound to happen.

  6. feistyredhair
    April 16, 2012

    Great post! I’m with 100%. I actually wrote a post on this very topic:
    I agree that naps must be enforced and that schedule has to be stuck to, or else the parents will go completely insane! My oldest will soon be 3 and still naps for at least 1.5 hours. Like you, I expect to insist on naps, or at least quiet time in bed, until he’s 5 years old.

    • mrmomman
      April 16, 2012

      We’re in the same boat then. I’m afraid that more often I will have to enforce quiet time because he won’t want to take a nap.

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This entry was posted on April 14, 2012 by in Family, Parenting, Photography and tagged , , , , , , .
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