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Holding onto naptime: Holding on too hard?

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...


Sunshine is on the cusp of ending afternoon naps. I am alternately ready to accept this and desperate for them to continue.

NAP NOSTALGIA IS NEARI know that some kids give up their afternoons much sooner than Sunshine. I know I should count myself lucky that they have continued this long, and truly, I do. That hour to an hour and a half makes such a difference to the balance of my day and to Sunshine's mood that I really am loathe to see them go. I certainly won't encourage them to end.


I still make sure we are home by 1:00 p.m. every afternoon. I still don't schedule anything until after 3:00 p.m. That two-hour window is precious, preserved time. We have our naptime routine. Sunshine picks a book and we read for a few minutes, snuggled up in bed. I bring my sudoku puzzle and work on it while Sunshine settles down. Then I go downstairs and try to refocus the rest of the day and Sunshine either falls asleep. Or not.


I suspect that the issue of Sunshine being my last baby is as much an issue here as anything. I want to hold on to those bits of early childhood as long as I can. Heck, I still sneak in when she's asleep to watch her breathe and take her picture.


Naptime has always been one of my favorite times with Sunshine. It's a little reprieve in the day. When she was tiny, I would nap with her. I loved just being with her, just as I loved being with the boys in the same way when they were tiny. It was different with Sunshine, though. That last-baby thing.


When the boys gave up their afternoon naps, I instituted quiet time in their room. It was a way for me to still have that afternoon break while respecting that naps were no longer needed. Of course I could do that with Sunshine, and probably will – when the end of naps hits me over the head with finality. Until then, I'll continue to encourage the napping, and be thankful for every one of them.

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