Sadie is 3 and a half years old. She still very much needs a nap.
If we drive somewhere in the afternoons, she always falls asleep (the older children never do). If I nurse her or lay down with her, she will quickly and easily fall asleep. She yawns if she sits still for a story after lunch.
There is no doubt she still needs that nap.
She relies on my body as a sleep aid. That’s fine at night, I’m happy to snuggle up next to her at night to help her transition to sleep.
But during the day? Emm… not so much.
I have things to do and other children to attend to. And I don’t need or want a nap. If I sleep for one minute longer than 20, I’ll feel poorly and tired. I’ve tried setting an alarm or having my oldest wake me up after that time, but because she is reliant on me to sleep Sadie will awaken at that time too.
20 minutes isn’t enough of a nap for her. She needs an hour to an hour and a half.
I think it’s time for nap weaning.
When my oldest was around 2 1/2 or so, I could lay down in the bed with him and put him to sleep and then sneak away. I enjoyed an hour or even two hours of alone time with my newborn second son, or to myself if they were both sleeping. It was wonderful.
I need that time to work, to spend with the other kids doing school, to clean, or just chill. Or whatever.
Nap weaning has begun. This is Day One.
I sat down with her in the bed and we read 3 stories together. During this time she yawned repeatedly and her eyes closed several times, but she would wake herself up.
I rubbed her arms. I traced her face. I ran my fingers through her hair. I sang songs.
This went on for about 30 minutes.
Then I got up. It’s been about an hour and a half and she’s still in her room (the playroom really, there is a bed in there but she and her sister don’t sleep in it at night!). She is protesting but not horribly loudly.
Asking for water. Asking for pillows. Asking for snacks. Asking for going to da bafroom. Saying, “I’ve had too much sleep!”
LOL! She hasn’t fallen asleep yet.
For those of you who have done this before, what’s the prognosis?
Will this go on for another day or two and then she will realize mom is serious?
Do I keep trying to stay in there with her for a reasonable period (say, 20 minutes) and then leaving if she’s not asleep?
Do I stay in the whole time?
Do I not stay in at all?
Do I insist that she can’t come out unless she naps?
Or do I require a certain time limit regardless of whether she falls asleep?
Advice and BTDTs much appreciated.
p.s. I don’t do cry it out and she has only left the room two times. I calmly and gently ask her to go back in, I tuck her in and kiss her cheek. No punishing. So please don’t suggest that. Not that you would.
Keep in mind also that she naps easily for her Dad and my Mom when she stays with them. And neither of them have mee-mees.
It’s 3:30 pm, and after publishing this post, getting a couple of comments, and trying again:
Sadie is napping.
And I’m obviously… not. I was able to roll off the bed without waking her. So now I’m making a menu and grocery list and getting the other kids ready to head out to Whole Foods.
Whee! Success! A little later than I would have hoped, but I’m sure tomorrow will go even better.
She woke up at around 4:15 and got lots of hugs and praise from mom.