Sunday, December 21, 2008


This blog should be named "Nap Quest." I know I am a broken record here, but I am obsessed with making my children nap. And lately it hasn't been going well.

Becca has only napped once or twice in the past week. She plays and gets out of bed, messes with her curtains, turns on her light, and gets all her books out, and all her toys out. And takes off her underwear and puts on pull-ups. So far she hasn't left her room, well, she has once if you count going out in the hallway to retrieve her dress-up shoes.

This is driving me crazy.

So, tell me: do your kids nap? Do they get out of their beds? Out of their rooms? What do you do about potty issues during nap time? Because I am of the FIRM--VERY, VERY FIRM--belief that I should NOT let her start getting up and "going potty" during naptime. First of all, she has MASSIVE holding power and often goes 8 hours or more without going potty at all, so I know she can hold it during naptime--especially when I make her go just before. And, knowing my strong-willed child, this will mean she will never nap again, but instead will just be running in and out of her room and playing in the bathroom now as well. I have told her if she needs to go, to call out for me and I will help her. So, I'm not trapping her in there with no potty outlet.

And, actually, I don't think the potty thing is the root of the not napping. I think she has just discovered that she CAN get up and play and that I can't FORCE her to sleep. (Dammit)

Yesterday she finally conked out around 3 p.m. (she goes down around 1 p.m.) with her light on, toys all over the place and in a dirty pull up (she refuses to go #2 in the potty). When she does fall asleep, it is after she's been in there an hour or two, and then she is napping until late--I have to wake her up around 4:30 or 5:00. What is the DEAL? She is obviously tired and needs a nap, but seems to be refusing to do it. The days she doesn't fall asleep, she is a complete BEAST the rest of the afternoon. Meltdowns R Us. Hellaciousness.

Great. Now she's crying and screaming. I told her when I laid her down that if I had to come in there and tell her to be quiet I would be removing her toys.

I really don't mind too much if she just plays in there quietly for two hours. But she doesn't do that. She starts banging around and screaming. And, actually I do kind of mind--because she is so cranky when she doesn't nap. And we won't even TALK about how cranky I am when I don't nap.

I just went in, turned off her light, told her to GO TO SLEEP and removed all the toys and books from her bed. She is REALLY screaming now. I can't wait for the rest of the afternoon. Should be a barrel of laughs.

Naptime: FAIL!!

*Update* It has been 15 minutes. She stopped screaming. It is quiet. Oh dear. She either figured out how to escape out of her window, or....could it be????....... I WIN I WIN! *Victory Dance*!


sgtsharp said...

so who is the nap for you or Becca? Maybe you should just call it quite time and not nap time? and put Becca in front DVD , move lunch time up and put her done at 11am. I guess what I'm saying is move everything up a few hours. she doesnt need to know it. My kids didnt nap much at that age even if they needed it. Or you could try some whiskey for you. Goodluck with all that :D

Katie said...

Ummm. The nap is for ME. DUH! :)

Quiet time. Now there's a phrase I've never even considered before. That might just work.

Angie said...

Ashlyn stopped napping for the most part shortly after she turned 3.

I put Ashlyn down for quiet time most afternoons. I used to try to keep her in her room napping, but I would get mad putting her back over and over. Finally, I made it where I put her in her room and maybe back once for "quiet time." Ashlyn could really use a nap, too, but quiet time helps.

She will fall asleep in the car and even transition to her bed. Last week, I could tell that she was super-tired, so I planned our errands to coincide with afternoon. She napped for 3 hours.

I miss naps.

Angela said...

Quiet natzi here! I make all my kids stay in there bed for 2 hours every day! The older ones (1 1/2hr) read and the younger two nap. If Luke says he doesn't want to nap, I tell him that is fine, then I give him a few books and tell him he cannot get out of bed or else! Now, Luke use to get out of bed and play with his toys before. But I got fed up with that and made a new rule. And if I have to go up there to deal with potty issues I get MAD! Especially when I take him before his nap. If I buckle and make one change to the rule (like...let's read a book in Mommy's bed), they will want to do it every day and then it takes me 3 days to fix it. The girls have started practicing gymnastics in the middle of rest time before, and it sound like a wrecking ball in the house. Now that drives me nuts too!

Laura said...

Katie - I so feel your pain. We struggled for a long time, too, but this is what we found works for us:
1. We make it really dark in his room so he can't see to play with his toys.

2. I turn the light off up at the ceiling fan with the pull cord so he can't turn in back on.

2. We also turned the door knob around so the lock is on the outside and we lock him in. Otherwise he comes right out. He now knows, that the only option is to get back in bed and go to sleep.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Feener said...

oh i recall those days i called it NAP RAGE. i use to resort to car drives to keep my sanity. it sucked A)*(*^*&^

i have no words of wisdom except that it felt the harder i tried the worse they got.

i would drive them around and get them to sleep and try to transfer - if i was too scared of transfer i would park and sleep myself

Tracy said...

Just call me Queen Nap Nazi! Cait has no choice in the matter. There are NO toys in their rooms, darkened shades and the fear of death if they get out of bed. As you know, Madison just recently stopped taking naps and she is half way through kindergarten. I still refuse to talk to her during Cait's nap. That my friend is MY time. I even closed my eyes on the couch today. Cover the mirror. The toys gone is another great thing. Maybe you need earphones to drown her out (or a whole lotta wine)

Natalie said...

Tough one. Matt and I both napped, even asked for naps, until we were eight. To this day, we still enjoy naps. So, my kids have the nap gene. I hate giving nap advice b/c I feel like I'm the last person to be giving out advice and I just piss the parents who's kids aren't napping, off. - but, here are a few things:

1) Liv has gone through several stages of not wanting to nap. Longest nap protest: 1 month. Usually, as long as I stand my ground (no toys in room, no light on, no books, no leaving room), she gives up the protest and starts napping again. I view it as a test and make it my mission not to fail it!
2) We recently started saying this: "You don't have to take a long nap. Just rest your eyes for a few minutes." Then, we tell her of a project we'll do after. When she wakes up, I exclaim, "wow, that was a short nap! Do you feel rested!?" She buys it, what can I say?
3) I think I've mentioned this to everyone in the past: My MIL taught preschool for over 10 years. Each year, she had only 1 or 2 children who layed awake during nap. The rest conked out (class of 18 kids). My MIL is a firm believer most kids under the age of five need a 1-2 hour nap each day, and proved it each year in her classroom. When Liv goes through times of protest, I remember this and hold out.

I would recommend what others have. Clear out her room. No stimulation whatsoever. We do it on occasion. Works.
Bribes work for us too. Promise of a project after nap works well - most of the time.

That's all I have. Sorry. Hope it gets better b/c I HATE no nap days!!! I need them to nap in order to keep my sanity!

Dad said...

Becca is great!

bevo said...

NapQuest! Love it!

Please send directions for napping from one o'clock to three o'clock.

ash said...

first of all, i can't believe becca will actually stay in her room during naptime! rj would immediately get out of bed and walk around the house. so- we did what laura did-- reversed the door lock. he is locked in his room when he sleeps. but- for about 3 months, he just screamed and banged on the walls and pretty much destroyed his room during naptime--- never went to sleep. it made me a crazy person! so- for the past month, i have been able to convince him to take a nap in my bed. he thinks it's a treat. it works about 4 days each week. and- he has to wear a diaper during naptime.

Cheryl said...

I have much to add to this discussion but not enough time right now! Do have to say that I think Braden and Becca have a secret comm link system because I swear every time she's on nap strike so is he!!! INFURIATING. Thought we had it figured out but was wrong. Still trying to find the secret code but REFUSE to give up as I need that time and he is so not ready to drop nap as is evidenced by his behavior and the fact that he looks like he's been living in a crack house (dark eyes, pale skin) by the afternoon. Will write more on this later. Hang in there and don't give up!!!!

Natalie said...

Katie, I think what Cheryl said was key. If Becca's behaivor on no nap days is proving she needs a nap, then do not listen to anyone who tells you to drop it!

Whenever Liv goes through a protest and I complain, someone tells me to drop her nap, even when I tell them that she cannot function as a normal human being after 3:00pm w/o a nap. 3-7 on no-nap days is HELL. It's also been suggested to give it two weeks and the 3-7 hell time would ease up and she would get used to no nap. Haha haha haha haha. Do you think I have the patience to give it two weeks? NO. And, I'm sorry, when she stages a protest and acts like a sweet, nice, normal child, then and only then, will I consider letting her give up her nap. Like I need a whining, bratty child pestering and screaming at me while her sister sleeps like a dream upstairs!

Katie said...

Oh, guys. This is the best. I love hearing all your stories and advice. It makes me feel like less of a mental case....thank you.

Today's plan: THREATS. If she does not go to sleep/settle down quickly, I will be STRIPPING her room...most essentially, I will be taking the table lamp out. Because she gets up and turns that on and then it is all over.

Thank you guys for all the advice!

The Quinn Report said...

Just replace all the Becca's with Salem's and I swear I would be reading my own writing/thoughts!

I will HAVE to share this with Andrew; for he thinks we are the ONLY family in America who struggles with this very issue.

Jen said...

I am at a loss for this as well. Now I have both girls in the same room for most naps, and Kate knows she is IN TROUBLE if she wakes her sister up. But she loves to sing (loudly), read books, and play with her toys when she is supposed to be napping.

Lately I have been threatening to put her in Claire's crib if she doesn't behave (meaning: quiet), and that seems to be working. I don't know if this is an option for you. Other friends have told me that they have removed all toys from the kid's room, but I don't know where else to put the damn things, and I really don't think it would work much for me.

For you: how about a fan in your room? Might drown out any background noise from Becca, and you could use a monitor for Andrew?

As for potty issues and naps: although Kate is totally daytime potty trained, we have her in a pull-up at naps and a diaper at bedtime. She is allowed to get up to use the potty during naptime, but knows she has to produce something or there will be trouble.