Eliminating a Toddler Nap

I fought it as hard as I could. I was convinced I could “train” my toddler to nap forever! If only… HA! Cora is just over 3 and I was convinced she would nap till at least 5 years old, but it was a necessary evil to start eliminating her nap. Instead of a nap, she is practicing her letters with Kidloland during quiet time. I am so pleased with this tablet/phone app I am confident you will be too. Although the wonderful people at Kidloland gifted us with the app to try, all opinions are my own. (Cora and Bexley helped too)

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I started noticing that at nap time it was taking much longer for her to fall asleep. She’s never been one to get out of bed, but she loves to call me back into the room for any and every reason… water, hugs and kisses, one more potty, a different dolly. I was losing my mind. By the time I got her to sleep for her nap the baby was waking up from hers. That defeated the purpose of her still napping all together! I wanted them BOTH napping, and at the same time so I could get some housework done.

Bed time was worse. It would take her so long to fall asleep at night because she just got up from her nap at 5 pm. I would never let her sleep longer than that in attempt to make sure she’d go to bed, but most nights it was stories, and songs, and snuggles. 9:30 pm would roll around and she would still be up. Playing with her stuffies, singing, and some nights calling me endlessly to stall. I was really losing my patience and I don’t have much to begin with. All my me time and work time was lost. I’d spend all my time during the afternoon getting her to nap, then again dealing with her tactics at bed time. It would be 10 pm before I could get a moment to do anything kid-free.

Not having kid-free time was my biggest motivation for keeping the nap. I started realizing that on days she didn’t fall sleep during nap time at daycare, she just rested while others napped, she would fall asleep right away at 7:30pm – bed time. So as nervous as I was to have one non-napping child in the house, we started removing the nap. At first she would lay on the couch and watch a movie, she would still be tired, just not need sleep. Slowly she adjusted and now she still has her quiet time. If we’ve been out and about all morning it’s still sometimes a movie, but she’d rather play her iPad for screen time. I prefer her to play on any tablet device when the baby isn’t around so they aren’t fighting over the screen. I’d rather they play together instead.

I’m not a house that opposes screen time of any kind. Tablets and technology are our future. While I believe there are appropriate ways to leverage the use of tablets and TV, I believe everything in life needs balance. I’m also a big believer in leading by example. As a mom that also blogs and works on social media, I always have my phone on me. My husband also works in the e-commerce industry and works on the computer and his phone often. Due to us being on our screens, I don’t feel comfortable telling them they can’t use them. My husband and I have agreed on tablet rules from the beginning and they work in our house. Making something special makes it coveted and gives it power. Removing the power, in our experience has removed the allure.

We are careful about what they do when they use them. My girls have learned SO much from their tablet apps and TV shows. One of our favorite apps is Kidloland. Kidloland has plenty of nursery songs for baby Bexley, and I’m working on letters with Cora who’s 3 now. She knows her ABC’s, but with Kidloland she is practicing her sight recognition, sounds and tracing each letter. This app keeps them both engaged and they are learning while they play. I can sit with Cora and we can talk about what she is learning, and I can trust whatever she is up to is educational and fun when I’m getting my housework done. Kidloland is available on iOSGoogle Play and Amazon so everyone can enjoy the educational benefits of their app.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. kayla8642

    I am not ready to think about my child not napping..he is only 18 months so I hope the nap continues for a while! Thanks for sharing your strategies on fading the nap out!

  2. Christian L. Sardis

    GREAT POST!! Seriously. I have a 3 y.o. girlie and I am awaiting our baby boy in about 7 weeks. Kaidi got a kindle fire for christmas and we have downloaded her favorite apps to it. The napping thing is already a struggle with us too. I hate that the only time she really naps is if we are driving to pick up her dad in the late afternoon, when that happens, she sleeps until about 6:30. Then she’s not down until almost 10:30. UGH!! I know your struggle mama. I’m gonna check out Kidoland and see if she likes it! 🙂

  3. Caitlin @RogersPartyof5

    My son turned 3 in January, and still DEFINITELY needs a nap… thank goodness, since I also have twin girls who are 1. I think I’d collapse without that break in the middle of the day! I will bookmark this post and come back to it when he’s ready to eliminate a nap… hopefully, two years from now, haha!

    1. Chelsea

      Wow! I will keep my fingers crossed he naps forever, ha ha. Can’t imagine having two of my baby and the toddler not napping… you deserve an award!

  4. Erin

    Fantastic write up. I sometimes wonder if we should eliminate nap since it is such a struggle to get her down for one and she also stays up later. I like the idea of quiet time and an earlier bedtime!

    1. Chelsea

      Early bedtime works well for us. I feel I can focus better with a larger chunk of time in the evening too. She still naps here and there, but those nights bedtime drags on. I’m all for no naps now!

  5. Apryl @ Heart, Hope, & Hustle

    I cannot even fathom my son not napping haha not ready for that at all! That’s when I blog and get stuff done! But this sounds like a great idea for quiet time!

    1. Chelsea

      Me too! I used to get a lot done at nap time. She kind of understands that it’s still Mommy’s time to do some work. It’s just never guaranteed!

  6. OurIrishFamily

    I love nap time, although my child is only a year old, even cutting down to one nap has me nervous. However, I’m glad it worked for you guys and your daughter has responded well. As you say its a necessary evil. I will have to keep that app in mind for when my daughter is older 🙂

    1. Chelsea

      Transition to one nap from two is tough too. The app is great! Even my one year old loves it. I use it to keep her awake when we are driving home. If she falls asleep in the car- game over!

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