Q&A: Nap time?
This question is from one of my friends who has a 17-month-old daughter with a new baby coming soon! Her daughter is starting to transition from two naps a day to just one nap a day. I gave her my advice, but feel free to add your nap time tips in the comments section!
How exciting that your little girl is growing up! I bet you are looking forward to seeing how your new little guy changes her little life, huh? =)
As far as naps go, you are the mamma, so make sure you get your little breaks. Jonathan no longer naps every day (he’s 5, though), but I NEED my afternoon break, so from 2-4, he has quiet time, while Hannah and Josh are actually napping. He can “read” or play quietly, and I usually have some classical music or Bible stories playing quietly for him. Hannah still naps at least once a day, but usually she takes it in the afternoon.
For me personally, I like the afternoon nap and would work on transitioning out of the morning nap, just because that way they are fresh and cheerful when Daddy comes home. I think that a slow transition, pushing the morning nap later is a great idea. The trick is to plan fun activities and outings so she WANTS to stay awake, but then be sensitive to her time needs. So, if she usually goes down at 10am, aim for 10:30 and maybe take a walk starting 9:45 so she’s DOING something that will keep her up. The library was big for us back in Paso Robles because it was right down the street. We could walk there, play and read for a while, and then walk home. Anyways, don’t rush it. Stick with 10:30 for several days until she seems used to it and then go for 11 and stay there for a few days, etc. Also, realize that this will tweak your lunch schedule for a bit, so maybe make the morning snack a little bigger so she doesn’t wake up starving. =) I do remember when Hannah started transitioning to one nap that the afternoon nap had to come RIGHT after lunch, so it was more like 1-3, but that was still OK.
You also might like to start training her to lay down when Mamma does, because when your new baby comes, you are going to need as much rest as possible! I honestly think the transition from one child to two children was harder than going from two kids to three! One thing that really helped me is that I had trained Jonathan from infancy to nap when I lay down. When Hannah came along, all I had to do was tuck Jonathan on one side of the bed and then nurse Hannah on the other side and then we’d all go to sleep together! Lots of rest for a new mamma means the family is still happy!!
Remember that when your new baby comes, your daughter may go through a little regression; realizing that she’s not the baby anymore may bring up baby-like behaviors. If you just remain sensitive to her feelings, and stay very aware of her needs, you’ll be able to tell if she’s having a rough day and maybe NEEDS her two naps, or if you need to call Grandma for some special granddaughter time while you focus on the baby. =)
Do YOU have any nap time tips that have worked well with your kids? Post them! 😀