I have gone through oh so many eras of naps with W. When he was brand new he napped fantastically. Then he didn’t. There are honestly many, many months that are a total haze for me because I was so caught up in getting W not just night time sleep trained, but also nap time sleep trained. It was hard. So hard. And in the end I realized that we trained each other and that the key element to the “training” was time.

{If someone had said to me when I was in the thick of sleep training, “just give it time” I would have cried. So this is not advice- heavens no! This is just a chronicle of some of W’s nap/sleep stuffs.}

There was a time when I thought that W was going to be one of those toddlers that stopped napping around 15 months. Now I see that he actually really needs a morning nap or it’s all downhill.

W has always, always, always been an early riser. I’m talking between 5:45 and 6:00am genre. Sometimes he will wake at 6 and be fine trilling or chatting in his crib for a while as I slowly wake up. Mostly he would wake up on the dot of 6 and MUST BE TENDED TO. Have I mentioned that I have a vocal child? I do. Very. And while it is adorable to be woken up by the occasional opera about “Mamaaaaaas Coffeeeeeee” usually he is doing his rain-forest parrot being attacked impression. It’s not pleasant.

What does a 6am rising toddler mean? It means that he stays in his pj’s until lunch because usually I have him back down for his one and only nap around 9:45. He wakes up from this around 10:30 and that is our nap for the day.

Or is it?

I am about to break the glass jar that contains the words that you are NEVER EVER supposed to type: he is sleeping more.

For the last couple of weeks he has been going to bed about an hour later (which means 7:30pm instead of 6:30pm) and getting up after 7am. I have been waking up BEFORE him. I am not exaggerating when I say this is the first time in his entire life that I have ever woken up before him. He always wakes me up. (I am, ahem, NOT a natural morning riser)

Now that we are a few days into daylight savings time I am noting that he has been waking up after 7:30. He wakes up with cheerful energy (as opposed to screaming and angry parrot energy) and seems so much more sponge like. Meaning the morning has now become this great time to talk about letters and numbers and learn how to do new things.

He now shows signs for being ready for a nap around 11:00 and I have to be sure to give him a snack before I put him down because (pausing for effect) he has been napping from 11:15 to sometimes 2:00. And again he wakes up in the most delicious and amazing moods.

I cringe when I back to the time when he would stand in his pack n play screaming and refusing to let go to his sleepiness to nap. There was nothing, seriously nothing, that I could do to convince him to nap. The only thing I could do was look for his obvious signs of tired (which in his case were rarely the scenes of an obvious eye rubbing cherub and more likely to be him hitting me or throwing a toy across the room) and then swiftly take him upstairs and begin the nap routine.

Our nap routine: change diaper, close the curtains, sing twinkle twinkle and then bushel and a peck, turn on the sound machine, place him in crib and say “good night”. 8 times out of 10 he will be asleep before I make it to the bottom of the stairs. If he doesn’t fall asleep he gets 20 minutes to work it out on his own. This means that he can cry and protest and lob his animals out of the crib for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I will go up and check on him for any obvious nap stoppers (need for a dipe change being a typical one).

I won’t lie – there are many, many days where he just does not nap well. And it is hard on both of us. But right now it’s kind of good. And I would like it to stay like this for a while.

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