The Benefits of No Naps

Yes you have read the title of this correctly, today I will be digging deep and attempting to find some silver linings around the dark cloud that is the end of daytime naps.

My son (now 2 ½) has never been the best napper in the world…we’ve had our moments of nap-heaven of course – but short-lived moments. Most of his babyhood was a bit hit and miss with catnaps and hours spent sling wearing, pushchair rocking and going quietly insane. I could often be heard muttering ‘I can’t wait for him to not need a nap anymore’…my wish was granted at the merry age of two.

You may wonder why I spent 80% of my waking hours either trying to get him to sleep or worrying about getting him to sleep next…I mean surely I had better things to do!? Well perhaps, but if you’ve read even half of the same baby ‘expert’ gumf that I have then you will know that poor naps = poor brain development, nighttime nightmares, illiteracy, juvenile delinquency, inability to hold down a job in adulthood and the possible breakdown of ANY future relationships. At least I think that’s what they were saying…

Aaahh the stress!

Which leads us nicely on to the first in my list of benefits:

Less Stress
There is still a little quiver of worry because your child is now not napping at all and this could lead to any of the problems listed above. BUT there isn’t the daily (twice daily, sometimes three times daily) pressure points of trepidation in the approach to naptime and acute stress in the execution of naptime. For that I am grateful.

Fewer moments of crushing disappointment
Despite knowing my son as I do and knowing our mediocre nap success rate I still ALWAYS made little treaty mental plans about what I could do/achieve during his naps. Even if I told myself not to expect a nap, part of my disobedient brain wouldn’t listen and in the midst of rocking (my son, although sometimes me. In a corner. Rocking) I’d fantasise about 90 minutes of relaxation or accomplishment enhanced with the wonderful feeling of parental success that goes with a sleeping child… Suffice to say I was often disappointed.

I no longer have to worry about these lows, there is no expectation of ‘me’ time in my day anymore. Ha!

Earlier bedtimes
We were getting to a point where there just wasn’t enough hours in the day for my son’s ‘awake’ time. Bedtime was getting pushed later and later, it was getting a bit ridiculous! We are now at the sociable sleeptime of roughly 7pm which leaves a lovely evening for all those grown up things you wait to do all day like drink wine and watch Death in Paradise and sleep. Hmm, note to self: use early evenings to be more productive?

More peaceful bedtimes
Since losing the naps bedtimes have improved immeasurably. He’s tired but not exhausted and the bedtime and sleeptime feels like the right time for his body and brain.

Easier to plan the day
No more rushing to get home for a nap or nervous late afternoon drives hoping he doesn’t fall asleep in the car. No, we are now free to plan our days around…well food actually. We can go on day trips, mornings out, afternoons out, whatever takes our fancy. There’s absolutely no chance of him dropping off to sleep at any point so the world of 8am to 6pm is our oyster.

Inventive quiet time
When we are not travelling round the country like a miniature wide awake circus we do make sure we have a good few moments of quiet in the day, often after lunch. We’ve discovered new books to read, created worlds of imagination with drawing, cuddled up to Disney films and I’ve relived my childhood with the Peg Mosaic. We’ve had some really special times which, as preschool and school make their unstoppable march towards us, I know I’ll look back on and cherish.

Washing the cot accompaniments
In the heady days of naps getting the ‘bedtime top’, blanket, favourite pyjamas and selection of cot friends washed and back in action for bed was a race against time. Now? Oh I’ve got all day to get things clean if they need it, ALL day.

Quieter swimming pool
This probably extends beyond the swimming pool, but if you go to my local leisure centre at around midday midweek you can be almost guaranteed to have the baby pool to yourself. I can only assume the other toddlers and babies are having lunch or, you know, SLEEPING.

So there you have it, perhaps not the longest list in the world but if you are in the shaky place of ‘nap-dropping’ I hope these serve as a few little glimmers of hope in what can seem like a disastrous development.

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I’ve decided to go with the blogging flow and enter into the BiBs and MAD blog awards. It’s a lovely opportunity for people to show pride in their own blogs and admiration for others they like. You can read my arguments for and against nominating my blog here.

Mudpie Fridays
Diary of an imperfect mum
Pink Pear Bear
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55 thoughts on “The Benefits of No Naps

  1. My daughter gave up naps around the age of two. When I finally decided to give up the fight, it was so freeing. I didn’t spend my whole afternoon trying to get her to sleep. Of course, I am still really jealous when I hear other mothers talk about how their four-year-old still takes two hour afternoon naps!

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    1. Freeing is exactly the word I would use too. It was such a relief to be honest! But of course, yes we can be completely entitled to jealousy over napping 2, 3, 4 year olds…who then still sleep well overnight! How!?
      Thank you for commenting, I’ve enjoyed a wander around your blog this evening x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so nice to know I wasn’t the only one spending most of my time trying to get baby to sleep! The long car journeys are always a great temptation for my daughter to sneak in a nap and at 4 years old could means she’s awAke for the next 3 days with the renewed energy from a 10 min nap (ok slight exaggeration) but I too am thankful day time naps have dropped! Great post xx

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    1. Haha! Long, late car journeys can be tricky! Looking back I think there must have been loads of people trying to get unsleeping babies to sleep…and I really don’t think a lot of expert advice helps, particular the language used…well it didn’t help me anyway, but I suppose that’s a post for another day! Thank you for commenting x

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  3. Ha, yes, the knotty problems of getting them to nap in the day is no more. It is to be celebrated. To be fair, the regimental post-lunch nap never happened with my second, as I was too busy with my first, taking him somewhere, bringing him back from somewhere, wondering if I could leave him somewhere… and it was a lot less pressure. No more driving round and round the town with anxious glances in the rear view mirror to see if he had finally fallen asleep, as my head sagged lower and lower until my chin rested on the steering wheel and dribble slowly crept from the corner of my mouth…

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    1. The pressure was the worst bit for me, I absolutely thought I was damaging my baby when I failed (after HOURS of trying) to get him to sleep. Definitely something to be celebrated…oh those car journeys, I’d normally drive round and round then give up and go home and he’d fall asleep on my road. It was all an evil ploy I’m sure!

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  4. Lol we used to rush to get home for nap time as my boy would nap for a good 3 hours without it impacting bedtime. he is two and a half now and we’ve dropped the nap. i much prefer not stressing about being home and just enjoying the day out! #bloggerclubuk

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    1. Ahh lovely, I hope so! I do think there’s something genetic. I was a dreadful napper according to my poor mum.
      Ahh thinking about when my son was a baby now…we had a lot of ‘on me’ sleeps when he was younger, so special.

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  5. As the mother of a poor daytime napper I can relate to lots of these! The stress of arranging plans around the nap, the disappointment when I can’t get him to sleep – thinking about all of that disappearing is actually a huge weight off my mind! #bloggerclubuk

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    1. The disappointment for me was the worst, tinged as it was with stress and failure! To wake up in the morning and not have to think about it anymore is a massive weight off my mind…I hope, when the time comes, it is for you too! Poor daytime nappers unite!

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  6. I love this positive tale on no naps! The Popple isn’t a great napper and every day there’s the “will she or won’t she?” anxiety. In fact, I’m rocking her in the carrier now and it’s not going well. I’m kind of looking forward to the day when I don’t have to stress about naps anymore. #StayClassy

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    1. It is a relief now to have that anxiety lifted. Rocking, walking, driving, endlessly lifting in and out of cot – it can all get a bit exhausting! Just wait, freedom (of swimming pools and cafes anyway) will be all yours one day. Hope she’s ok today x

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  7. I feel your pain-I also have a poor napper, not to mention a poor sleeper generally. Probably down to teething but last night Piglet wouldn’t sleep AT ALL unless clamped to a boob. Oh the joys! #FamilyFun

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  8. Fab to see a positive post about missing nap times rather than the normal what I miss one. I love your angle. I remember the stress of trying to get them to sleep well. I love your writing style!!! TY for linking up with #FamilyFun 🌸

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    1. Thank you lovely. Of course a nap (when it happened) was just grand, but I wouldn’t go back to nap days for anything now! It’s such a relief to wake up and know that stress and worry has been lifted. It does mean I can’t blog as much as I used to though! Thank you for hosting fab #familyfun

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  9. My son stopped napping at 16 months!!!! I was so traumatised. I didn’t take the time to think of the positives so thanks for this #stayclassy

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  10. I think that my little one is planning on dropping his afternoon nap soon so it’s good to know that there is a silver lining. I think I’m most looking forward to the not being grouchy when tired part when he doesn’t want to nap! Your snap of baby boy sleeping is so cute x #FamilyFun

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    1. Ahh yay, just think of all the places you can go! The nap dropping process can be hard…the will they won’t they bit. But yes, it will all be ok on the other side! The boy sleeping was actually a late night, teething, not sleeping episode where he finally konked out on our bed but I didn’t have another pic that worked (poetic licence and all that!). Thank you for commenting x

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  11. Its a few years since mine have had naps and I must say I enjoyed both before and after for different reasons. I am so glad that on the whole mine both sleep through now…they are 7 and 10 so thank goodness!! But one didn’t like sleep at all until he was about 5 and its taken me a few years to get over it…and lots of wine. I loved your post and the piccie is sooo cute:)

    mainy – myrealfairy

    #stayclassy

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    1. Everyone says they do sleep in the end and I guess you can add your voice to that even though it took 5 years. Wine is a great healer for the parent of a non-sleeper! Yes the pros to napping would be a long list but, honestly, I wouldn’t want to go back now mostly because of the daily worry! Thank you so much for commenting so kindly.

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  12. A lot of really great reasons!! I can understand exactly where you’re coming from, and also had a love/hate relationship with naps, which have also sent me to the brink of insanity, and brought me back from it!! Both my children used to nap for 2-3 hours every afternoon, at the same time! (Don’t hate me, it took ages to get to that point, with me also enduring the endless 20 minute catnaps, the rocking, the walking in the pushchair, the same worries that they would be mentally unstable for not having slept enough!) so I was devastated when the eldest dropped his nap at 3. We now have quiet time together while the youngest sleeps, but I do miss that time to myself, for important and ‘me’ things. My husband can’t wait for the ‘rush home for 12.30’ thing to be over, and we can stay out all day. But I’m nervous about having to entertain the both of them ALL day, having some time broken by the nap makes it easier!! There’s always a trade off to everything, isn’t there!!
    #StayClassy

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    1. No hate, I feel very pleased for you! But synchronised napping? That’s is impressive! Yes the departure of all naps in does mean that there can sometimes be no sane, down-time in the day. I sometimes struggle with that, particularly if my husband is away and if my toddler doesn’t fancy quiet time. But yes, on the flip side – not clock watching is great, trips out can become more adventurous, you can have lunch out with them (and maybe drink wine with it if you so fancy!), all sorts. Definitely always a trade off, so so true. Thank you for commenting x

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  13. I definitely felt these benefits when my eldest stopped napping. It does give a lot of freedom. I was so much less worried about late car journeys and letting him sleep later in the mornings. His sister was born when he was 2 yrs 3 months and I had an amaxing 2 months of dual napping… as amazing as that was, it was pretty stressful – as you had double the chance of one not napping properly and then waking the other. She is down to one very short nap already at only 15 months so my napping days are numbered I think… #BloggerClucUK

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    1. Ahh synchronised dual napping…it’s like an Olympic sport! Sounds bliss. But yes, I can see the possibility for double stress. Maybe you’ll get a good few months left with your daughter and if not, then yes the list of benefits is long! Thank you for commenting x

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  14. Eldest is still a really good napper, though she can cope without if we’re busy. Little one has always been more difficult. & I can add that to the list for you know too: it’s all well & good having a good napper, but if you then have another kid, they will not nap at the same time! At that point, all benefits of nap time (for you, at least) are lost anyway, as there will always be at least one kid up! Plus the staggered nap times of two kids can waste most of your day!

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    1. So true! Particularly if they both nap for a while, that could be 3-5 hours gone. Ooo eldest and little one…did you ever conclude the Toddler/Baby question now the Baby isn’t a baby!? I’ve been meaning to ask you…

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  15. Oh there are benefits for sure! My daughter gave up napping just after two and I thought I had been robbed. But actually it’s not too bad. We can actually go out and do things! Peppa pig world was pretty empty during naptime 😉

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    1. I need to try there, it’s not far from me. Maybe I’ll be able to add it to the list! It can feel like a robbing…I find particularly when everyone else seems to be napping happily. But yes the freedom is kicking in now. Thank you for commenting X

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  16. I love the positivity you have on this matter! I am lucky to have a little napper, but I feel these days are numbered and I am very worried about the loss of my own nap time/me time in the day, so you have given me reasons to look forward to and even (on a good day) embrace the step… especially the car one! #bigpinklive

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    1. Not being able to rest yourself can be a problem…although if required I can be quite adept at napping through CBeebies! Definitely more things to look forward to when things settle, just think of the empty swimming pools/play areas etc! X

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  17. Like you I currently spend so much of my time trying to get our little one to nap – without 2 a day she becomes a monster. I have to trapse around the park every day trying to get her to sleep in her buggy, why babies don’t enjoy sleep I don’t know. I also get a little disappointed when the nap doesn’t happen at home, as I know then I can’t crack on with blogging. It sounds that not napping is now working for you which is great, as least you know what the expect and when, and it must be heaven having an evening. Claire x #bigpinklink

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    1. It’s so tough when you know they need it and you have to make it happen…I think that alleviation of that particular stress was the biggest positive for me. He doesn’t need it now in quite the same way and so the pressure has been lifted. I feel for you, I was there for a long time…I did sometimes marvel at the places I ended up when trying to encourage sleep…the sights we drove to, the places I walked, the things I ended up listening to on the radio. Thanks for commenting Claire x

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  18. Amazing. As parents we really need to learn how to chill out and let our children do what is right for them as individuals. The books all want us to conform into what they think is the right amount of eat, sleep and play, but there isn’t one right answer. Actually there is no right answer, ever. I love this list, especially the way it’s written, “sociable sleeptime.” I like the idea that there would be nobody in the pool. My little one is still quite young and sleeps when he wants to sleep which is pretty random. I can’t handle the rocking, swinging, swaddling, it started to drive me crazy and now I just let him do what he wants. Thanks for linking up with #StayClassy!

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    1. That’s a nice way to be, it must be much more relaxing to go with the flow…I’ve never been massively good at that! Apparently there’s very little research into baby naps (lots into nighttime sleep) so it does make me frustrated that there can be so much pressure about the right number, amount of time, age to drop etc. Anyway I’m probably going down the same baby expert route I went down on my comment on your post so I’ll stop now! Thank you for commenting and hosting x

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  19. See every cloud and all that! My little one who is only 20 months quite often doesn’t nap in the day (argh) but it does mean we often get earlier bed times but oh my goodness the witching hour is tough if she doesn’t nap! It must be nice now the sleep stress has eased up and you are reaping the benefits of no more nap times! #bigpinklink xx

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  20. I remember when Monkey dropped his naps and it was heaven! For all the things you have mentioned above to be honest I was never very productive while he napped anyway so I didn’t miss that element and he’s always been good in the evenings and over night since. That time in the evenings is so important to keep sanity. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again this week x

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  21. I can relate to this! My daughter is 2 and a half and stopped napping before she was 2 – I was devastated! You’ve made some good points and I’ll try and remember them when I’m desperate for some peace! #BigPinkLink x

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  22. I’ve already seen this post via a different linky! Still loving the positivity here!! My youngest has just gone down for his nap, and the eldest insisted on getting into his sleeping bag, and is resting on the sofa! Phew, because I’m exhausted!!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink!

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  23. I was quite nervous about my son giving up naps, thinking of all the spare time I’d be losing, but in reality it has been a bit of a relief. I hadn’t realised how stressed I’d been about getting him to nap until we stopped 🙂 #bigpinklink

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  24. I’m one of those lucky (evil) parents whose kid still has a nap most afternoons – even at the age of three and a half. In fact, I have to prise him out of his bed, just like I had to lever him out of his cot. He’s more like a teenager than threenager.

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