The day has arrived. I’m far from happy about it, but I’ve finally admitted defeat. I’ve fought it for so long, but now I need to concede. It’s time for Toddler L to drop a nap. From now on, she’ll only be heading to bed once during the day, not the two I’ve become accustomed to.
At 23 months old, I know that two naps a day is VERY rare. I also can guess what you’re thinking – “Oh, boo hoo, Dave. You should be thankful for the fact that she’s lasted so long. You’ve been living on borrowed time for ages already. Stop complaining, she’ll still have one nap a day. My kid doesn’t even nap at all. Bla bla bla.”
I don’t give a shit though – I’m mourning my loss! I’m usually all about looking at the bigger picture, but today I don’t want to. Today I’m going to complain, whinge and moan because that’s my right. Today is my day to feel sorry for myself and sound selfish. I’m not going to feel guilty or apologise for that. Instead, I’m going to be in a bad mood and shed a tear whenever I want.
The ‘Old’ Routine
For as long as I can remember – certainly during the entire 15 months I’ve been a stay-at-home dad – Toddler L has had a morning nap and an afternoon nap. She usually goes down for a nap around 11am, sleeps for one to two hours, then has another at 4pm for another hour or so. Bedtime is at 7.45ish and she usually does a solid 12 hours.
I liked this routine. It not only meant that I wasn’t up at the crack of dawn, but it also gave me two breaks during the day. Time to myself to do whatever – work, watch TV, do stuff around the house, have a nap etc. They were targets to get me through the monotony of each and every day. Toddler L was happy and I was very happy! But, as they say, change is the only constant and there’s certainly been a fair bit of that recently.
Two things have changed. (1) Toddler L has started waking up after five or ten minutes during her afternoon nap and wanting to get up, and (2) she’s started waking up for the day between 6.00am and 6.30am. After a few weeks of this happening, the unwelcome realisation has hit that she’s probably ready to drop a nap.
I kind of figured that she’s waking up pretty soon after going down for her afternoon nap as she doesn’t need it and she’s waking up earlier in the morning as she’s getting too much sleep during the day. Nothing has changed in terms of what we do and how we do it, so the change must be happening with her. Bloody inconsiderate kids.
The ‘New’ Routine
So, today is the first day of the routine change. My mindset is reluctantly changing from ‘she has two naps’ to ‘she has one nap’. Her new routine will see her go to bed around midday, which should mean that she’s awake for five or six hours either side of her nap.
What I’m hoping is that she’ll have between 1.5 and 2 hours sleep around lunchtime and that her morning wake ups will move back to being post 7.00am. I do enjoy having a routine as it allows both of us to know what to expect each and every day. However, I’m not a total dictator about it – if she has a nap in the car on the way to a toddler class in the morning or goes to bed at 12.30pm instead of 12.00, then that’s cool.
I imagine it’ll take a few weeks for her – but mainly me – to get used to the new routine. I think the change is what she needs though – even if it’s not what I need. Parenting is all about sacrifices, eh?!