Nap Time: How Do You Manage?

Of my four kids, Grayson has to be the most stubborn of all (which is saying a lot!). Not unusual for boys his age, I am sure, but nap time (or lack thereof) is a constant struggle.

He will nap occasionally, of course, but only when unprompted, never when told, and usually in the strangest, most inconvenient places.

For example, a couple weeks ago, he came into my office to ask me a question and then promptly belly-flopped on the floor and fell asleep.

Feb 11 2014 007

A favorite of his is to fall asleep on the couch just as we are getting ready to leave the house.

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And, let’s not forget the stairs.


Yet, if I ever try to get him to nap at a normal time, in a normal place (you know, a bed), I get exhausted tears and utter defiance.

Using a crib is no longer and option as he can climb out. He knows how to open and unlock doors, and I refuse to switch the doorknobs to put the locks on the outside.

He is always the last kid to bed at night and the first one up in the morning (often beating one or both parents in either instance), but he is only 3.

And not to be outdone, Clare manages to find unique places to crash as well.

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So, what struggles have you had with kids refusing to nap when they so desperately need to do so? Have you found any methods (i.e. tricks) to convince them that sleep is actually a good thing!?

Until next time – Chris

4 thoughts on “Nap Time: How Do You Manage?

  1. That’s a hard one. I don’t think our society makes time for sleep, and kids are picking up on that.

    My own little “I-hate-to-sleep” guy (who is now a daddy and dealing with these nap-and-bed problems himself), once fell asleep in a restaurant, face down in a pile of shredded cheese I had put on his high-chair tray. Plunk.

    I don’t know how to convince children that sleep/rest is a good thing except by example. My children always naturally slowed down and got quieter (and were more willing to nap) when at my grandparents’ house, older people who moved slowly and lived quietly. But is it possible to make a lifestyle that encourages plenty of slow/quiet time in every day, in this hectic world? If it is possible, it’s awfully tough to do.

    • I agree – we are all supposed to be super parents that are constantly attentive to our kids’ needs, while still managing a household, full-time jobs, and yet make sure we have time for ourselves, and of course sleep 8 hours a night. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere and personal time and sleep are always the first to go.

      Thanks for the image of your kid falling asleep in a plate of cheese. I had a good laugh about that one. 🙂

  2. Jason Chaney says:

    We have this problem with Nolan too. He will fall asleep at a restaurant, in the car, or anywhere that is inconvenient. Having a brother who is ten years older than him, Nolan usually gets put to bed when he repeats one of Andrew’s phrases. Yesterday he was ruling the Disney Infinity universe until he said, “You don’t tell me what to do, boy!”, after I asked him to bring me his cup. So after a brief trip to the kitchen to compose myself and wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes, I told him he had to go take a nap for saying mean things. He went to bed and at dinner Andrew uttered the phrase to Nolan when Nolan asked for the ketchup or a napkin or something. Nolan immediately told Andrew he had to go to bed for saying that. I guess the moral of my rambling is there really isn’t a way, except bourbon and melatonin! (I kid, I would never give my kid melatonin)

    • Isn’t that the worst? You want to punish your kids for misbehaving, but you can’t help but laughing in front of them because of how ridiculous it all is. And once you start laughing, they don’t take you seriously anymore, so you may as well give up.

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