I had five children in less than eight years. That’s over four years of being pregnant. That’s one or two in diapers for 10 years. I used to joke that if you were born into my family, you took a daily nap from 1:00-3:00pm. I really wasn’t joking – the nap was my life line.
Parents often comment that their little darling gave up their nap when they were two.
I usually smile sweetly and think, “That’s when you gave up their nap… not them.”
I have yet to meet a two-year-old who isn’t much improved by a daily nap. Try this sociological study. Take a trip to the local shopping mall any day at 2:00 in the afternoon. I guarantee you will see at least one glassy-eyed screaming toddler accompanied by an exhausted and frustrated mother. Every one of my two or three-year-old kiddos bucked the nap rule at least once. One little guy, my chief testing engineer, got up to wander the house every day for a week; needing a snack, a drink, to see what I was doing, etc… Don’t be fooled parents! They still need a nap. Outlast them. It’s for their benefit, not just your own. It’s really good for a child to learn early that “just ’cause they feel it, don’t make it so.” An excellent life lesson – easily taught when they are knee-high. Not so easy when they are teens.
I had some selfish reasons for wanting this nap. I was TIRED!! It’s hard work parenting little people, especially when pregnant. Some days my date with the couch lasted 2 straight hours.
By the time the older ones really outgrew their naps, around five, they were in such a daily habit that we transitioned from sleeping to “alone reading” or art time, while the younger ones slept. My kids shared rooms; three boys in one room and two girls in the other. Trying to entice your brother to join you in your “alone” time was not included in the rules. You can guess who tested this rule … many times.
The best benefit of nap time? My children had a happy mother for the other eleven hours of their day.