The END of Napping as We Know It

It has happened now for good.

The END of NAPPING for big sister.  At just about 40 months, she has said goodbye to her afternoon nap and hello to an earlier bedtime!

The end of napping as we know it is tough for me.  I CHERISHED coordinated nap schedules with big sister and little brother snoozing peacefully, freeing me up to do my own stuff.  I talked about how I love quiet time in this post.

How do I know the end is here?  Well, she hasn’t napped in over a week.  Today I tried my best to tire her out, complete with running around at open gym, more climbing and playing at the Y, and over an hour of reading together.  I successfully left her in her room for quiet time, and when I checked on her, it was clear she was just playing and chattering to herself.  Sigh….

According to the BEST sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D., naps disappear between ages three and six.

“On their third birthday, most children (91 percent) are still napping every day. At age four, about 50 percent of children nap five days a week, and by age five, about 25 percent of children are napping about four days each week.”

With naps out the door, I think I will still continue about an hour of quiet play in her room after reading stories together, secretly hoping she will decide to nap on some days.  Other parents, what do you do when the napping stops?

Big sister sleeping at 10 months old

Big sister sleeping at 10 months old

A Glimpse of my Future Teenager


sleeping big sister

sleeping big sister

My daughter LOVES her sleep!  In this picture above, she fell asleep while on a wagon ride at 13 months old, and CONTINUED to sleep after I brought her inside and unbundled her a bit.  It was IMPRESSIVE to say the least!!

Now as a 3 year old, I still see that baby face when she’s snoozing.  Though she may not nap everyday anymore, when she does, I have to employ the “gentle wake system.”  This is a term coined by my husband, who believes in gradually waking up – turning on the radio, slowly increasing the light in the room, and just laying in bed.  As I started the waking process shortly before dinner yesterday, she simply said, “No, mommy, no,” and waved me away eyes still closed.

In that instant, I fast forwarded ten to thirteen years, when I’m quite positive she will be a teenager wanting to sleep in until noon.  I wonder if I will still be able to see that sweet, baby-like innocence in her face when she’s a teen.

Do you know kiddos who need the “gentle wake system” too? Is it just me, or do you also see your baby when your child sleeps?