Adventures in Napping
I’ve read every article under the sun trying to figure out how to get our sons to take a nap when they were younger. Those moms with the good nappers can kiss my *ss. Granted, I might have been more successful if I would have had them from birth, but not likely as you will see in a future post that I will be writing on sleeping. I’ve had my youngest since birth, and she sucked at sleeping as well.
I fear some of my issues with the adventures in napping had to do with my control issues. I think when I get stressed out, I send off some hyper control vibes towards my kids, and they rebel. Not to mention, they were at home, and it was their stuff we were trying to get them to give up for a couple of hours.
No boy wants to lay down and lose out on quality time with his cars and trucks.
All the experts say to pick one way and stick with it. Maybe that is where I failed. I tried it all. The best I can say is figure out what works for your family and do it. Here goes my list of horror stories and epic parenting failures.
Do It Exactly Like the Daycare Does It?
To practice this method, you need to know what the daycare workers do to get your child to go to sleep. In general, the kids will complete lunch. After their meal is done, they will get out their mats or cots, blankets, and pillows. Most daycares will turn out the lights and either play a movie in the background or listen to a musical lullaby CD.
At my house, this did not work. With two male toddlers laying side by side, they wouldn’t leave each other alone. They spent all their time giggling or talking. When I finally got them to stop, the oldest would sometimes go to sleep. However, the youngest was my albatross. That kid wouldn’t go to sleep for anything. I could move him to another room, rock him, sing to him, pat his back, leave him alone – nothing worked. The leaving him alone resulted in everything on his bed ending up on the floor in a pile, and him jumping off the bed. What did I get from all of this? Pissed off.
Replicate the Night Routine
Then, I read an article about having the same sleep environment for naps as sleeping, so I moved the whole operation to the bedroom with no better success. I tried movies, music, and quiet. I can’t forget the rubbing or scratching of backs and tummies, TV, crying it out – the works. Eventually, I attempted moving one of them to another room. At best, all I accomplished was one of them sleeping and me being angry. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were times that they both took a nap. However, those days were few and far between. They were about as frequent as a solar eclipse of the moon. Usually, I spent 30 minutes to an hour bouncing a two-year-old on my knee just to have him still be awake. But, by God, he was going to go to sleep.
No More Playing
One day, I told them that they couldn’t play again, inside or outside, until they took a nap. The oldest quickly feel asleep. Do you happen to see a pattern? He’s a much better sleeper of the two. On the other hand, two hours later, my younger son was still awake. Then what? I dragged both of my kids to the SUV and took a drive. It was almost another 30 minutes before that little rascal went to sleep. Obviously, trying to control slumber is nearly an impossible task. That’s why I try not to be a dictator in as many areas as possible because I can’t win, and I need to win!
Head Out the Vehicle
So, what did we do almost every holiday and weekend? We packed up and got into the vehicle to take a drive. They nearly always went to sleep. And without a fight. No more frustration. No more begging. As a result, they got the rest they need, and I wasn’t crabby all afternoon. I don’t know whether it was because of the lull of the vehicle, the boring routes, or my lack of stress that results in them falling asleep, but it really didn’t matter. While it wasn’t cheap, it was the quietest hour or two of the day besides sleep time. No fighting, and peace and tranquility for everyone. Once they woke up, they were as sweet as angels.
I’ve long since stopped caring that they don’t fall asleep for a nap when they are at home. Of course, they rarely need naps anymore, but still, all sleep in the van when we are driving.
What struggles have you had with getting your children to sleep? I hope you’ve had better luck than me.
If you want the truth, I’ll give it to you. My life is a sh*t show. Granted, my children are now five, eight, and nine, so they are beginning to become human beings that don’t make me want to staple my head to the carpet. Halleluiah!
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