Apocalypse Nap

I can hardly believe my son will be three in a month. Time really flies!

Of course, if he is really phasing out his daily nap, I’m gonna start aging even faster than he is.

As a stay-at-home dad, my son’s nap time is pretty much the highlight of my day.

Don’t get me wrong: I love playing with my kid and taking him to the park and to swim lessons and to the grocery store (not really). I love getting to spend my day with him (not always).cheezburger, naps, toddlers, kids, parenting, dads, moms, sahd, sahm, sleeping, children, home, lifestyle

But his midday nap, which he typically takes from about one to four, is the only time calling it “my” day would be accurate.

When he’s asleep, I have a small measure of freedom. For three hours, it’s almost like I don’t even have a kid! I can write a blog post, I can browse job listings, I can make phone calls, I can watch some non-children’s TV, I can pound some non-children’s beverages, I can research fantasy football, I can even take a nap myself if I want to. It’s exactly the break I need to recharge and regroup and relax before he wakes up and we tackle the evening together, by which I mean he spends the evening literally tackling me. It’s fun, especially when I can combine playing with my son with my workout, but on those rare days that he skips a nap, my capacity for child’s play is low.

The mid-day nap is a gift, for my son and me both. But I think it’s about to be returned: Detective Munch and the mid-day nap may be parting ways.

The first warning sign was shorter naps. Instead of three hours, I was lucky if he got two. Initially I thought it was a fluke. And then the nap dwindled to one-and-a-half hours. Then he stopped falling asleep entirely, choosing to sit up and talk to himself and his stuffed animals and whatever else might be in his room for a few minutes before calling for me over and over and over and over and over and over until I rescued him from his bed. Occasionally, like on those days that he gets up extra early, he’ll still take a full three-hour nap, but that’s becoming increasingly rare.

cheezburger, naps, toddlers, kids, parenting, dads, moms, sahd, sahm, sleeping, children, home, lifestyleAccording to “experts” (i.e., according to what Mom and Buried told me after she read something online), children usually start to phase out their daily nap around the age of four. Which would make Detective Munch a full year ahead of schedule. Which is not ideal for my energy, my mood, my blog, my job search, my DVR or my sanity. Or for those so-called experts either because can’t you get something right for once?

But maybe the experts are right about the four-year thing and this is just a phase. Maybe he’ll settle back in to his nap routine and I’ll get one more year, by which point he’ll be spending more time at school and it won’t be my problem.

If not, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. He’s gonna start seeing a sharp increase of turkey in his diet.


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10 thoughts on “Apocalypse Nap

  1. Here’s a sanity-saving tip that has helped keep me from committing filicide: When my kids gave up the nap, I started “quiet time.” This means they have to play quietly in a room that I’m not in for a specific period of time. Start with 30 minutes and work your way up gradually. I usually get about 2 hours of quiet time a day with a 3 and 5 year old. It saved lives. Theirs.

    1. I’m pulling the same scam as Tamara. Quiet time = happy time. But lately I spend the first 20 minutes of quiet time by her door listening to the insane conversations she has with her stuffed animals. I’m going to start rolling tape…:)

  2. Ugh, reading that post made me mourn the life I used to have a year ago. It’s been a YEAR since my son gave the nap the middle finger (He just turned four in July), so I guess my kid was ahead of the curve too. Quiet time in his room lasted a week I think. Now when I really need downtime, we pop popcorn and have a movie afternoon or three Mighty Machines back to back (thank you, Canada). You’ll find what works best should he decide to go
    cold turkey, but any way you slice it, it sucks!! Cherish every second. Good Luck!!

  3. When i worked in a nursery most children would drop their naps by the age of three – some even younger. I feel sorry for the parent whose son dropped his at 2 1/2 never to return. Ignore the “experts” it always depends on the individual child. Hope he returns to his napping ways… or his turkey coma!

  4. here is my comment again, if I can cobble it together:

    my firstborn is about the same age as your dude (mine is a Thanksgiving 2010 baby). His naps are my Halleluyer hour and Thanksgiving combined. Littler Dude (his infant bro) is a champion napper so I make sure their naps overlap in the afternoon.

    An urban legend whispered around in my ‘hood about an 18 month old little girl who stopped napping altogether. Scarier than ANY scary movie that’s out.

    I have been in denial about the shift that you speak of, from three hours to two. Cue “Jaws” music and somebody hold me.

  5. Our son is about to turn 3 in October and for about a month or two a few months back, we were dealing with the exact same thing. Now he’s back to his usual 2 1/2-3 hour nap. So fingers crossed the same goes for you and it does end up just being a phase! These kids like to keep us on our toes a mix things up a bit…jerks!

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