Bye-Bye to Nap Time

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My 2 1/2-year-old son, Brayden, has stopped taking daytime naps, just like his big sister, Sage, who quit her midday siestas before she turned 3. But I’ve spoken with many parents who say their 3-year-olds are still snoozing during daylight.

At first I was a bummed out. After all, when I was home and Brayden would fall asleep around 12:30 p.m., I knew I would have a relatively easy two to three hours. If I was with Sage, I could give her my undivided attention. If I happened to be with Brayden only, then his nap time would be my invitation to a mini-holiday. There would be no tantrums, no running around, no stress.

I initially missed my little midday vacation, but as I adjusted to this new schedule, I learned to appreciate it more and more. Yes, it can be stressful at times, especially when I am home alone all day with both kids. But on the flip side, I no longer have to deal with Brayden’s cranky attitude when he wakes up from his nap. (That little boy can have a big attitude.) Also, after a full day of activity, Brayden and Sage rarely have problems falling asleep. They are usually dreaming before my wife and I get down the stairs, and they usually sleep through the night.

What I am learning from all of this is that as Brayden and Sage continue to grow, they also continue to change physically and mentally. What appears to be a negative on the surface can turn out to be something positive.

With a good night’s sleep, Brayden is more alert, happier and full of energy. Also, because the kids are awake all day, our schedule opens up. On days when my wife and I are both home, we have all day to go somewhere with the kids, without worrying that we are missing nap time and throwing their sleep rhythm out of whack.

So the next time something seems to be a problem with the kids, look harder. It might just turn out to be the best thing for all involved … and you can sleep on that.

Bruce Snyder is a longtime sportscaster who lives in Charlotte with his wife and two kids, Sage, 5, and Brayden, 2