My strong-willed child and I have been in a stand-off for two months now. Two months. He has decided he doesn't need to nap. I know that he does. When he doesn't nap, he is cranky and irritable and usually falls asleep in the car in the afternoon, or spends the afternoon laying his head on me and whining. I've read books. I've read countless message boards online. Nothing I try is helping move us towards an afternoon nap.
Most recently, I've been sitting with him in his room, reading a book by book light, until he falls asleep. After a few weeks of this, I came to the realization that once Kennedy arrives, I will not have time to sit with him for an hour and fight with him to make him sleep. I've decided to pick my battles. The main thing I need from "nap time" is for him to be quiet and out of the way, tucked into his room for a few hours. My goal between now and when Kennedy gets here is to institute a time of "quiet rest" where he has to stay in his room either napping, reading books or playing quietly in the afternoons. Only time will tell how this will turn out, but I think it's the best solution for all parties involved right now.
Today was the first day we tried this new "quiet rest time." I told him he had to stay in his room from 1:00 until 3:00, and that he could play, read or nap, but he had to stay there until I came for him. He cries at nap time when you shut his door, so I left the door open and sat down the hall in my room and sent him back to his bed every time he came near the doorway. He eventually stopped leaving the room, but instead brought tons of toys and books into the doorway of his room and sat there playing. It's all about picking your battles at this age, so I decided this was fine. Suddenly, I realized there was complete silence in his room and that he must have gone to sleep. Expecting to find him in his bed, I went into his room to find this -
Yes, he's asleep IN THE DOORWAY. At least he followed rules and stayed in his room. Pick your battles, right? After about 20 minutes, he woke up crying. I was down the hall, so I said to him, "Shhh, it's still time for a quiet rest." I thought he'd wake up and play some more. Instead, he changed positions and went back to sleep for another half hour IN THE DOORWAY...ON THE HARD FLOOR...with his blanket and Ninny. Sigh.