Topic: A question for those with older kids

Is life better after the kids no longer need a nap?  I'm secretly looking forward to the day when our schedule is no longer controlled by who needs a nap and when.  For example, today I hauled a crying preschooler into the car because Juliet needed to get home for a nap, causing Justin to have to cut short his fun.  Meanwhile my dad was with us and really wanted to stop at two lawn sales on the way home, but knew he'd have to drive back on his own later.  Family gatherings always throw the kids off schedule (I have the only kids under 14 in our family), and invitations to group outings always have me looking at the clock and contemplating if it will work out. 

Not to mention that right now I have laundry to fold and hang up, counters to clean, dishes to put away a floor that needs a good vacuum and mop, bills to pay, and dinner prepped but I'm held hostage in the bedroom by a one-year old who missed her morning nap and wakes every time I leave the room.

Does it get better after the kids no longer nap, or am I thinking it's all going to be rosy when it isn't?

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Re: A question for those with older kids

We were always so crazy busy my kids learned to nap wherever we were BUT there were many times we left activities early when it just wasn't fun anymore with cranky kids. It will get better as Juliet gets older...then you will find yourself running in two directions keeping up with both kid's activities...

Re: A question for those with older kids

I am starting over now with the girls (10 mo and 22mo), but life was easier when I didn't have to worry about naps and diaper bags.  You will miss having little ones too though!

Re: A question for those with older kids

Yes! Much better! And as they get older and more independent, it just gets better and better.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

Am I the only one who REALLY misses naps?  I think since she is an only child and we try to do very little on our weekends/downtime it was never a big deal for us. At work with three it is a much different story. Not quite to hortons level but 3 different schedules is more than enough for me! 

The worst though was that in between time when they start to give up naps but aren't really ready.  Ugh. Kate kept naps for a very long time. so by the time she gave them up she was already able to play and entertain herself for me to have down time or even nap (if only I could!)

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Re: A question for those with older kids

We have friends who have a 6 & 4 year old and they nap from 1:30-4 every weekend...I think they will hold onto naps for as long as they can.

We are tied to Emerson's nap schedule, and really we don't like to miss it. We ALL need the downtime on the wknd. However, I do look forward to being able to, for example, got to the zoo in the morning and stay until 3...
Sometimes we push the nap back or forego it altogether, but we usually regret it. Car naps never go over an hour.

I look forward to no naps, but I see no sense in rushing it, since no naps with a 2 year old are not the same as no naps with a 4 or 5 year old...

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Re: A question for those with older kids

The scheduling gets much better after naps are no longer needed.  I personally missed nap time when my biggies got bigger, because I liked laying down with them during the day smile  But yes, as I sit here blearlily sipping coffee because tiny napped late last night, thus as up late last night, and now already today our whole routine has been thrown off, I can totally get where you are coming from.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

I'm looking to no more nap time, although it will be a couple years away for me.  Only reason being is that because of the timing and spacing of our kiddos I never really get to enjoy and take advantage of nap time and only have the inconvenience part of working around them.  With the exception of a short time when we only had the girls, there is always someone awake and at home while other(s) nap.  Right now both girls are in school but H is only there until noon so M falls asleep for his nap on the way there to pick her up and most of the time I does too.  But then we get home and H is home so I can't sneak a nap myself or get much needed things done without interruption.  Next year, when both girls are in full day of school, I am not sure M will still be napping.  Hopefully he will be because that would be awesome, but my girls gave up napping at 3 so we'll see!

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Re: A question for those with older kids

One of my pet peeves is that most places we visit (amusement parks, zoos, & museums) open at 10 and we drive an hour to get there.  Then you pay $10-30 per person to get in only to stay 90 minutes, grab lunch on the way out, and hope for a half-nap on the way home.  Yesterday it was a simple town fair with bounce houses that didn't open until 11.  None of the coordinators of these events seem to understand little kids' schedules, even the two children's museums.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

Kari, I get that!  Every play group, childrens story time, anything like that in this town seems to be from 11-2... my kids sleep 11:30-1:30!  So we either miss out, or have late naps then late nights.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

jdiana - I don't work around M's nap, and never have.  My take on it is she will sleep when she needs to she learned to sleep in the car, ergo, stroller.  But, I only have one.  I see my friends with 2 or more who struggle with this too.  It has to get better once naps are done.

M doesn't nap now unless she accidentally falls asleep in the car.  She dropped naps early - which is fine with me, she gets plenty of sleep at night.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

When Juliet was younger she'd sleep anywhere, anytime.  Now she's quite particular about where she sleeps.  I wonder sometimes if it's because she's a stomach sleeper vs. back sleeper.  Justin was a back sleeper and still sleeps in the car seat on occasion, but Juliet prefers the knees tucked under her and butt in the air position, which is impossible to achieve in the car seat or stroller.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

My life absolutely revolves around naps. Both at home and at work. To me, there is nothing more important than their sleep and nutrition.

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Re: A question for those with older kids

I also have to work around nap or pay the price. She's a much happier kid when she gets the rest she needs. If we skip nap she's like some feral animal. If its an activity that I want to do ill time it so she falls asleep in the car but she's still a little grumpy. I tried to make her be flexible but she just wasn't. She was never one to nap in the stroller or while being worn- she hated being worn actually. Then I was left with a screaming overtired kid. I've always been jealous of people who's kids will nap anywhere.

15 (edited by Zen 2013-09-16 06:36:39)

Re: A question for those with older kids

Shanny -- you're not the only one who misses naps.  And jdiana -- you're not the only one who lets naps fall in with plans instead of the reverse. 

A humorous take on this from someone who newly has older kids.  My 12 year old does not nap.  However ... the downside is that he is on the go during ALL waking hours.  This past Sunday we went to church (we have a Catholic exchange student this year), then lunch, then the mall.  We returned home and had 90 minutes before heading out to a dinner party.  My 12 year old wanted to know what we were going to do for the interim period!  We got home from the party around 8pm or so and again the 12 year old wanted to know what was coming next. 

I never had set nap times for Shiloh so I never got to experience planned segments of downtime during the day.  Or planned periods of focused activity (cleaning, bills, me-time) without having to supervise a child.  But I have to say, right about now I'm thinking that Spain has something going with their mid-day siesta time for all!

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Re: A question for those with older kids

Kari wrote:

When Juliet was younger she'd sleep anywhere, anytime.  Now she's quite particular about where she sleeps.  I wonder sometimes if it's because she's a stomach sleeper vs. back sleeper.  Justin was a back sleeper and still sleeps in the car seat on occasion, but Juliet prefers the knees tucked under her and butt in the air position, which is impossible to achieve in the car seat or stroller.


This is how Tiny sleeps too!  She's also the type that if we are out and about she will NOT sleep, no matter how tired she is, which leads to an overtired cranky child later in the day. 

I think you need to look a lot at your child's personality.  Boog I could take anywhere, if he was tired he'd sleep.  Moosie would sleep in the stroller or carseat, or being worn/held a lot, which was a god send with a 4 year old around.  Maybe Tiny would sleep better if I had done tha with her from the start, but I run my own daycare, and my daycare dude sleeps at the same time every day, so she fell into his nap schedule, and now I cannot break it, its just not worth it for my sanity!

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Re: A question for those with older kids

We schedule everything around naps. If our 22 month old doesn't nap for 1.5 to 3 hours a day during a time window (11:00-2:30 or so), our normally happy-go-lucky, generous and loving toddler turns into a total monster with tantrums, meltdowns and defiant behavior. It's like two completely different children. It amazes me how much sleep impacts his demeanor.

I, too, am looking forward to a much more open schedule in the years to come and am bummed about how much we miss out on gatherings, events, play dates and museums, etc. We rise early and are usually out the door by 7 or 8am or so. It's tough to find a lot of fun family activities that start early in the morning and we run into the same issues as you mentioned, Kari.

Re: A question for those with older kids

I don't think it gets better it just gets different. I have ages 12, 9, and 6. Now we run around delivering kids to dance practice football practice, church groups, birthday parties, band concerts, school events, and on and on and on. And there is no resting because something is always going on. I kinda miss kids taking naps so that I can have some me time that happens before 9 pm.