Naptime and Bedtime have become a bit of a battle in our house over the past few weeks. My daughter’s latest trick is propping herself up at the end of her cot, throwing all her cuddly toys out then shouting for us until she gets some attention. This can go on for at least half an hour sometimes longer before she finally gives up…or we do. Now I know some people might suggest she doesn’t need as much sleep anymore now that she is nearly two. Couldn’t we cut back on the naps? To those people I would say – are you f***ing kidding me?? This child needs her sleep and we need her to sleep. She is not a pleasant kid to be around when naps are off the agenda for the day.
All children are different and I think, as a parent, you are able to recognise when your child doesn’t conform to the developmental guidelines of a particular stage. I used to work in a creche and there were some two year olds who could last the day on very little sleep. Others….well the less said about them the better. They needed that rest! As children get older some drop naps altogether while some still benefit from an afternoon siesta. As it stands my tiny lady has quite an odd napping schedule. I always thought she would need an afternoon nap – all the books speak about an afternoon nap and thats what I was familiar with. But my tiny lady gets tired around half ten so its usually snack then bed at eleven am. She has her lunch when she wakes up and is generally good to go for the rest of the day…until the dreaded five o’clock slump but that’s a tale for another day.
I am very glad she attends a childminder rather than a creche as in a creche it is easier for the older toddlers to nap around the same time. Generally this is just after lunch around one o’clock. This is to allow for children to get maximum fun and activity time but it would not suit my little girl. If I try to stretch her nap past eleven then we miss the vital window of opportunity. After that it’s terror toddler for the rest of the day as she fights any attempts to put her back down. Thankfully her childminder works around her schedule not the other way around for this we are very grateful!
The point of this slightly manic blog is this; you know your own child best. So if she wants to nap for 15 minutes or three hours then work with her needs. If she wants to nap mid morning go with that. Don’t listen to the advice of others if you have a routine that works for you and your child. Yes there will be times when your toddler fights her sleep or just doesn’t nap but this doesn’t always mean she is ready to go without sleep either. Trust your instincts and trust your gut. Mama (and papa) know best!