Advantages to The End of Napping

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Some parents dread the nap time bubble bursting. But as some parents share, it comes with some big perks.

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PSP members say:

 

No nap time means earlier bedtime:

"At this age (4-5) my daughter was DONE with the naps. The other thing she was done with was a late bedtime. She had been napping 2-4 hours in the afternoon and staying up until 10-11 p.m. So, we switched to no nap and a 7:30 bedtime with a 6-7 a.m. wakeup routine, which has generally held for the last 2-3 years, especially during the school year. This is also nice for the grown-ups! She WILL nap under pressure for a late-night adventure, like a Yankees game, concert, late dinner, party, etc. and then will be up as long as the adults. The crankiness will subside as the new 5-7ish routine is established. Ours goes along these lines: bathtime, dinner, story, cuddle, etc., and lights out!"

 

No nap time means earlier longer nighttime sleeping:

Our daughter's nighttime sleep lengthened after she gave up her nap. There was an adjustment period. For a while, we were going back and forth with her napping some days and not others. I don't know if there's any way to avoid doing that, but if there is, I think the adjustment period would be shortened. When I finally decided to give up completely (she was 2.75), things got better. Part of it is, you stop counting on that time. It was emotionally draining for me to be counting on that time and not getting it half the time. Then, we'd both be crabby. Once we gave it up, we were both happier. I had to start doing a little more housework, phone calls, paperwork while she was awake, which is still sometimes hard, but overall I think it's good for her to notice my whole day doesn't revolve around her. Before she gave up her nap, our house was more like Truman Show, with things magically getting cleaned up or prepared whenever she was asleep or at preschool.

and:

"My daughter never slept more than 9-10 hours a night, so when she started fighting me on the nap (at 3 and a couple of months), I was reluctant to have her give it up. Finally I did, though, and for a couple of weeks she was seriously tired, until her nighttime sleep gradually got longer. Now she sleeps 11-12.5 hours a night and is going to bed between 8 and 8:30, rather than at her previous 9:30-10. I figured at some point you have to trust what their bodies are telling them"

 

Bedtime is easier:

"My 2.5-year-old son gave up his nap a few months ago and has been going down for his bedtime SOOOO much more easily and sleeping a solid 12 hours (9 pm- 9 am) since he phased out of the nap thing. For a while, he would get sleepy around 6 in the evening, but that seems to have passed and now he makes it a full 12 hours during the day until bedtime. Once he's out, he's really out! I do have to admit that I sometimes miss the afternoon downtime, especially now that I am pregnant and often really sleepy around 3:00 or so, but the trade-off has been well worth it."

 

Remember, there are other ways to rest in the day than nap:

"This is my opinion: the child's not that sleepy--tired, exhausted, yes--but not sleepy. My son gave up naps when he was around 20 months, and the advantage was that he'd go to sleep, and still does, around 7 as opposed to 11. I'm not kidding. Now he is 28 months old and still doesn't nap (only in the car). He gets tired around 2 or 3, so I put on his favorite video and that helps him relax, or I read a couple of his favorite books. Sometimes they can't really fall asleep because they are hungry: Bananas, some milk, cheese can make them feel better. I read that toddlers are always changing, but not my son. He's had this schedule now for close to a year."