First, let’s talk about Smith. Smith is a freak of nature. Smith has a God-given ability to sleep anywhere at the drop of a hat. Smith looooooves going to sleep. We can be in the car and he will actually say, “I think I’m going to take a nap now” and he’ll close his eyes and just go to sleep. He was sleeping 12 hours in a row beginning at 7 weeks (and still does to this day) and today…at 4 years old, he takes a 4 hour nap every day. Yes. He lays down in his bed at 1:00 and I wake him up at 5:00. Freak of nature. Thank God for Smith. (If I would have had him first, I would have thought Kensington was a nightmare!)
So, I’m not going to talk to you about Smith…because honestly, I have no idea why/how he loves to sleep as much as he does. Today, I’m going to talk about Kensington. This child…I taught how to sleep.
Back when Kensington was this age…
No. On Saturdays, we are typically really busy and they don’t nap. Smith will sometimes nap in the car or something but he’s not cranky (probably because he’s so well-rested that he doesn’t need to be cranky). When they were much younger, I just made sure we were home for their naps (even on weekends). Now that they’re 4 and 5, they can miss one and be fine.
3. Do they nap at school?
This is the first year that Kensington’s class doesn’t nap during the day but up until this year, she always napped on her nap mat at school (and Smith still does it today). They only get an hour but they both sleep. So, on these two days a week, their naps are shorter but that’s fine with me. I just want them rested…and this seems to do the trick.
4. How do I make my older kids nap?
You’re going to think I’m lying…but Smith will say to me almost every day after lunch, “is it time for me to nap yet?”. Yes. Freak of nature. So, I never, ever, ever have problems with him…Kensington on the other hand is just used to the routine and expects that she’ll need to rest every day. If she gets out of bed (at night or when she naps), I simply say, “go back to bed”. If on the off chance she doesn’t listen or disobeys…well then the bigger problem here is that she’s not obeying and that’s a behavior problem (now that she’s 5 and completely understands what I’m saying and the rules of our house), so we handle that like we would handle any other behavior problems…they need to listen and obey our instructions. (Again, I’m not being unreasonable…at this point, she doesn’t nap every day…only when she’s a hot mess and completely exhausted…and only rest can cure that! And she needs to stay in bed when we put her down at night too…that’s not the time for her to get up 4,000 times as a stall tactic.)
Listen…you ladies asked me what I do…and this is it. I show my kids a lot of grace and there are many exceptions. This is just the normal routine…I’m with my kiddos 24/7…I know them really well, if I think they don’t feel well, something is wrong, or if it’s a super fun day and we just want to play instead of napping…then we don’t nap. This is for the average day (but I always love peppering in crazy/fun/special days too!). I am not a drill sergeant…there are many exceptions to this. This is just the normal. When moms email me (all the time by the way) and ask me about napping, I always say the same things…consistency and routine. Some kids and parents don’t need napping to be a part of their daily routine…and that’s completely fine! This post is for all of those moms who email saying they’re dying for their kids to nap, they need their kids to nap, their kids need naps, everyone is cranky and no one is sleeping…this post is for those moms.