At first I loved the nap. A nice little 2 hour break in the day where I could be me, not a parent. Rooms could get organized, shows could get watched, work could get done.
That was then. Now, with a nearly 5 year old and a just past 2 year old, the nap is a pain – especially on the weekend.
Shannon Hilton has 3 kids, the youngest is 2 and a half and his nap schedule is dragging the family down. “We stopped them for awhile, but can’t stand him come 3pm (or earlier, like today!).” she exasperated on Facebook. “Only problem with him having a nap is that he’s not ready for bed at 8pm. It’s a hard stage for sure.”
So here I sit on the couch at 1:45 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Yesterday I took our oldest for a walk and hike in the woods, today it’s my wife’s turn to get out of the house. We have plans for a family day in the sunshine, but that won’t start until about 3. That leaves just enough time to get everyone snacked, pottied, and dressed before it’s time to head back home to make dinner.
And the good news is, we have nearly 2 more years of this afternoon nap thing. While most toddlers give up their morning nap around 18 months (that one was hard to say goodbye to), preschoolers don’t usually stop the nap until closer to 4.
The nap is really determined by how much they sleep during the night. Toddlers need 12-14 hours of sleep. So if they’re an 8-8 baby, they’re already almost there and may not need the nap.