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    Childrearing #10

    September 5, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Break up a younger toddler’s naps to provide for uninterrupted school-time.

    A while back, Cindy mentioned that she wished there was a homeschooling resource that explained what to do with a toddler. I do, too! I know that breaking up naps is only going to work for so long, but for now, it is my solution.

    It is my understanding that most toddlers drop their morning nap between 14 and 18 months. But my four-year-old still naps in the afternoon, so morning nap is prime lesson time around here. My solution has been to figure out how to keep the morning nap as long as possible.

    I can only say what works with my toddler. This may not work with other toddlers, but I do believe it is worth a shot for a mom who schedules her children’s naps.

    Of course, accomplishing this requires a comprehensive plan of action. First, I wake A. up at a reasonable time in the morning. I can’t very well let her sleep in {though she’d very much like to}, and then expect her to be ready for a nap at 10:00. So I wake her around 7:30am, no matter what. Secondly, I don’t allow the morning nap to go on and on, either. I only let her sleep an hour or an hour-and-a-half, depending on our need. Again, if I let her sleep away, she won’t want her afternoon nap, and that nap is important because both of the children sleep at the same time in the afternoon. This means Mommy can do chores, or take a nap of her own if she needs to. I usually allow her to sleep {within reason} as long as she likes in the afternoon.

    Most 18-month-olds sleep two to three hours in the afternoon. Essentially, what I have done is broken that three hours into two separate naps. So, there is the same amount of sleep, but it better fits our day.

    A time is coming when she will refuse this nap, and I have no idea what I will do with her then. After all, I am sure that E.’s school time will seem to her a fitting hour to read Dr. Suess’ ABC Book eight or twelve times. But for now, organizing her naps is working for us.


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  • Reply Brandy September 7, 2006 at 2:33 am

    Ms. Slama,
    Thank you for the quiet time idea! I know that it is only a matter of time until I lose that morning nap, that my tactics will only be successful for so long, so I am always on the lookout for some new option. This is definitely one I will consider, especially since the nap seems to keep her mood up–perhaps a bit of quiet time would have the same effect.

    Oh. And allow me officially to welcome you to Afterthoughts. 🙂

  • Reply Ms. Slama September 7, 2006 at 1:13 am

    Hi! I love reading your blog :). Working out naps sounds like a great idea. I’m a nanny not a mom but generally when young ones get to the age that they no longer want to sleep during nap time I introduce a “quiet rest time” during which they can look at books in bed, listen to soothing music of their choice, or play with 1 quiet toy (a doll, a car, stuffed animal- nothing electronic). This lasts about an hour and since routine is so important to them, they usually get very used to this very quickly, sometimes they fall asleep but if not they got some rest in their busy day. I hope you continue to find something that works well for you too!

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