If you chuckle upon hearing the word “nap time”, this one’s for you. The solution I’m going to share with you initially causes my friends to smile with empathy, or giggle with uncertainty (“she must be joking, right?”). I was called crazy, and desperate. And you know what? I don’t care, because it works.
My daughter has never been keen on napping. Never. 20 min naps was her norm as a baby. I mastered squeezing 2h of normal person’s time in that tiny bit of day: a shower, a lunch, and read the news, or even a whole article online. I can seriously take a full-on shower in under 2 mins.
There were also long periods of time (yes, plural), when I was unable to make her fall asleep. My husband would come home for lunch every day to put Z down for a nap. It usually took him around 1 min to accomplish, what for me was simply a mission impossible.
Somewhere between her 2nd and 3rd birthday the naps got longer. However at the same time, it got harder to make her fall asleep. Though now that I knew she could sleep for 1,5-2h I was devoted to make it happen every day.
She’s been so wired the whole day, I am not surprised she struggles to calm down, slow down, disconnect, and “waste” time on sleep. Reading books telling stories, making the room dark – it doesn’t work, everything triggers her imagination and boosts her energy. I get her, I have same problem when it comes to falling asleep.
Z sums it up pretty well herself: I can’t sleep mom. I can’t. It’s too boring. I don’t like to sleep long anyway.
So, how did I help her unwire? What did I do to limit the stimuli? What’s that great tip I want to share with you?
How to make kids nap?
Well, I put Z in the car and drive.
Yep, that’s my secret. I take my laptop, a magazine, or a book. I drive for 15-20 mins, she falls asleep, I pull off and start enjoying me-time. I never turn the engine off. When the weather is nice I get off the car and enjoy the sun.
In many ways it is so much better than a nap at home. I’m not distracted by the piles of dishes, laundry, vacuum, bathrooms calling for cleaning. It’s only me and whatever I had planned: sometimes just Facebook, and friendly chats. Sometimes I choose to drive around, I go to the countryside and drive through the fields, woods, and vineyards.
It might be the worst nap time method ever but it works for me. It might work for you as well.
And remember, if it’s working, it’s not crazy – it’s salvation