Life with a Toddler with No Naps

June 1, 2018

This post was sponsored by Snowe.

I’m here to give you the rundown on what life is like with a toddler who no longer naps my friends. I’ll start out by saying that it’s not all bad, it’s just, well, different. I’m sure with each sleep transition your little ones have moved through, you have been forced to switch up your routine as a household. This one just feels a little more extreme.

As someone who works from home without childcare I have relied on naps heavily for a long long time to tackle items on my to do list, shower, breath and in the early days I even used that time to catch up on sleep when nights were a little rough. I have to admit that I dreaded this phase, but just like each phase before we are finding our way through it.

What No Naps Mean for Sleep

Since we are still co-sleeping (Zack’s sister moves out of Owen’s room into her place this week), Owen has stayed fairly consistent with sleeping 11-12 hours a night. Usually from 8pm to 7 or 8am, but for well over six months naps haven’t really been part of the equation. I want to note that all kids are so different. You might be reading this saying my kid needs far more sleep than twelve hours, or maybe they simply would not make it through the day happy without a nap and you are absolutely right. There’s not just one way to handle these things and you know your little one best.  

If it were up to me, I’d love to have that nap part of our schedule still. Breaking up the day that way was always nice for us both for a number of reasons, but what I will say is that since naps have left our lives bedtime has become far easier. I’ve walked through our bedtime routine before, but for those of you who are new around here it’s pretty simple. At 7pm we start our bath-time routine (bath, brush teeth, comb hair, say affirmations), then we move into our room and let Owen watch one episode of Sesame Street in our cozy bed (decked out in the Snowe sleep collection that’s without question the best bedding we’ve ever owned) before playing his playlist and laying with him until he’s officially asleep.

*Side note about our cozy bed: when we picked up The Complete Home Bundle from Snowe the only line I was familiar with was their sleep collection (I’ve also highlighted their bath and eat / drink collections since). This is the same Sateen bedding we rested our heads on through the newborn haze in our first Brooklyn apartment. It’s the same buttery-soft but not shiny, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight and airy bedding we dreamed about while we were traveling. And, of course, it’s the bedding we knew we had to replace once we were settled in NYC since we had sold all of our belongings to travel the world. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed?

What No Naps Mean for Work

The hard work behind Household has always happened while Owen was either sleeping or with someone else. Naps, bedtime, time with Zack, friends, family, babysitters – it’s all been a necessary part of the process to get almost anything done, especially since we moved into the toddler age. Of course there are the rare instances where he will play independently for a small chunk of time, but aside from those magical moments, I rely on his sleeping time to work.

At first this was a very difficult adjustment. I was resistant to give up those couple of hours every day where I knew I could count on getting some work done. I fought naps with him for a long time and even, and I’m not proud of this, would try to work regardless. But all of that just wasn’t working. Something had to give.

The truth is that things finally felt okay once I truly let go of the naps. I decided that if I was with Owen I would be with Owen. Not on my computer, not on my phone, but right there with him. Is this challenging? Of course. Am I perfect at it? Of course not. But I learned that it is possible to lean on the folks around me (especially Zack, now that he works from home) for help when I need it and that I am fully capable of maximizing my nights after Owen goes to bed. It’s never going to be the perfect balance, but I’m aiming for it.

What No Naps Mean When He Does Nap

So of course there are exceptions right? Every now and then if we’re out and about in the stroller, flying on an airplane, taking a ride in a car or on a long train ride Owen will crash out. Sometimes Zack and I look at each other and are like, “sweeeeeeet, spontaneous happy hour date!”, but most of the time we lock eyes with dread and think about what it might mean for bedtime.

Since Owen has dropped naps, when he does nap it means bedtime will be that much later. This is frustrating, but also reassuring that he is in fact getting enough sleep and ready to not have naps in his schedule. Plus, you know he must not be tired if he can resist falling asleep in our super-soft Snowe sheets! Twelve hours of sleep is about all this kiddo needs regardless of how it’s broken up and Zack and I have been forced to make the most of our time. It’s never a perfect science, but we are somehow still doing it without childcare.

When did your kiddos stop napping? Are they still napping? How old are your little ones?

Photography by Amy Frances.

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