We are having nap problems, part of which is totally my own fault – but that doesn’t make it suck any less. A few weeks ago when Caroline started fighting naps, I let her pick which bed she slept in. Sometimes it was her bed, sometimes it was Evan’s bed, sometimes it was the guest bed, and sometimes it was my bed. One day she was up in my bedroom and found the iPad under the pillow. Since she was born in a world that has never been without iPads (OMG flying cars are totally next) she unlocked it, found her app folder and watched Mickey Mouse until she fell asleep. I heard her over the monitor and thought it was funny – “Ha ha ha what a clever baby, how cute that she’s watching her show! And also that nap was so easy!”

You can probably see where this is going. I let her get away with using the iPad before naps as long as she was going to bed with no complaints. It was just so eeeeeeasy to say “Naptime, Caroline!” and have her run happily upstairs and jump into bed to lie down. She never made a peep and would fall asleep really fast. Since it happened RIGHT at the same time Evan stopped napping altogether I just…didn’t have the energy to fight it. Trust me, letting technology put my kid to sleep is LOW on the scale of “Thing I Feel Guilty About As A Mother.”

So anyways, this system worked fine – GREAT even – for a while. But for the last few days she’s been spending longer and longer messing around with the Disney Junior app and less and less time actually sleeping. She does eventually fall asleep – around 3:30 – but then I have to wake her up after an hour so she’ll go back to sleep at bedtime. I thought maybe she was just getting to an age where she didn’t need a nap anymore but AHAHAHHA NO ABSOLUTELY NOT. We tried it on Wednesday and she was a wreck by 6:30. Giving her a bath was like trying to wash a rabid cat and twice as noisy. It took her a full day to recover from missing just one nap. But on the other hand, if she’s basically just going to watch TV all afternoon I could at least keep her downstairs where I can interact with her (or, you know, we could do puzzles or she and Evan can run in circles and try to ride the dog. Again).

I suppose the first thing I should do is just STOP letting her have the iPad, but I’m dreading the screaming. There is already a LOT of angry child in this house and this is one the few things we DON’T fight about. But the current system isn’t exactly working either and I’d rather work on changing it now then a month from now when it would be even harder to stop. Any suggestions for my totally, completely, ridiculously first world problem?

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9 Responses to “iNap”

  1. Cole says:

    Maybe send her up earlier? That way she can play for a while and still fall asleep at a good time…

  2. Fionnuala says:

    O owns an ipod touch. (Yes, I realize the excessiveness of this, but when you have to drag a toddler to a week of classes at college, you throw reason out the window.) Well it became a crutch, (shocker) obviously. One day I honestly forgot to charge it, and so she was in possession of it, but in her mind she articulated “it bloken Mommy” sufficed her need for wanting it but an inability to play with it…

    About a month later of successful “dead battery” and “bloken ipod” she watched me plug in iphone, and realized that was the solution. (Smart a$$ toddlers get you every time.) So, I ever so stealthy unplugged power cord from wall, but still let her plug it into ipod.

    Now, the ipod “magically” works with a car charger and O has classified it as a long trip thing. Somedays she asks for it when we are out and about and I always just say oh, Mommy needs to charge her phone because Daddy or Granny might call.

    It is not perfect… but it worked for us, with minimal melt downs.

  3. Mkp says:

    What about either setting up a sleep timer on the iPad so it just turns off, or saying she gets half an hour and then has to put the iPad down for its nap? In a drawer with a blanket or something

  4. Erin says:

    We going through these same cycles. And I know Reid is alot older than Caroline but he still really needs a nap and generally takes long one (he doesn’t get as much sleep at night since he is joggled around for my class schedule. The earliest he ever gets to bed is 9 and then he gets up at 7 so nap is where we make up for that). Anyway, I was completely out of trick for getting him to fall asleep in a timely manner. He was going up to nap at 2 or 3 and then not falling asleep until 4 or 4:30 if at all. Then I was having to wake him up for dinner where he was tired and cranky because he didn’t have his 2-3 hours in. Not to mention that he just spent all the time he had at home with me alone in his room. Then I just started laying down with him. At first it would really escalate into frustration because I would find myself laying there focusing on the fact that I had work to do and this was wasting all my time. Then I would get angrier and angrier that he wasn’t lying still and going to sleep. It was a complete disaster that still took up the whole afternoon. But now we have a new system. I set my phone alarm to vibrate in 20 minutes and then put it in my pocket. Then I lay down with him and tell him that if he wants me to stay he needs to close his eyes and go to sleep (and not fidget). Then I just let myself falls asleep. It turns something that was really frustrating and unproductive into some wonderful sweet cuddly time with my little guy (that I feel like I’m barely getting to see right now) and it never fails that he is asleep when I wake up. Sure, it takes up 20-30 minutes but in the end it’s really worth it right now. Until something changes and that stops working, that is :)

  5. Lindsay N. says:

    My biggest fear right now is that our 3 year old will decide he’s done napping when the new baby is born in April. biggest.fear.

    Have you tried laying with Caroline while she’s playing with the ipad, pre-nap? Tell her “you can watch one video/play one game, then it’s time to put the ipad to sleep, too.” Do you think that might work? I’ve found that, in the mornings, my son is more willing to leave the house (and walk away from the 10 minutes of tv he gets to watch while I’m loading up the car and making lunches) when I say “when mommy comes back in from packing the car, it’s time to turn the tv off and leave.”

    Hope that made sense to you…it did in my head! :)

  6. Krista says:

    We are right there with you and I have no advice, I’m just here for the commiserating and to read the suggestions YOU get. Only for us, it’s at bedtime. It started before we moved when we were out of our house, but not in Florida yet, so Chessa slept with me while we house hopped. I gave her the ipad so I could talk her into going to bed at her bedtime but I wasn’t ready to bed too.
    I’ve tried a few times to take it away from her, but mostly it’s become my best bargining tool. When she’s not nice to her brother? I threaten to not let her watch DocMcStuffins before bed. When she throws her plate on the floor? She loses iPad priviledges. SIGH. Oh well. I’m with you. On the list of things i feel guilty about this is way down there.

  7. molly says:

    Landon has become obsessed with technology and I don’t necessarily like it. He doesn’t need it to fall asleep but it’s the first thing he asks for when he wakes up. And I just think of myself as a failure that all he wants to do is watch tv and/or play on my iphone!

    I hope Caroline keeps napping. My boys are 4 and 2 1/2 and still take a three hour nap. I seriously don’t know how I would function if they didn’t do that.

  8. Denae says:

    Glad to know I am not the only one with a rabid cat/toddler. My advice, the prob seems to not be the ipad but her abuse of the ipad. I would do nap time like normal but explain to her that after she plays she must go to bed and return 10-15 mins later to take away the ipad. I would full expect crying but in Elena’s case after 2 or 3 rough days the crying lessens to 10 mins max until normally nonexistent. We are firm about nap times over here since they are absolutely essential to a happy and well-centered child. Tantrums accomplish nothing.

  9. Robyn says:

    i agree with the suggestion to send her up earlier. at least try it first, since it’s the easiest solution and see if it works. and i seem to have to switch up Rory’s naptime and or bedtime routines every few months, so i don’t think this naptime issue is all that unusual. we went through something similar with letting Rory watch tv in our bed to put her to sleep. i ended up having to switch the routine to books before bed, and now we don’t even have a true bedtime routine…she just goes to sleep. as they say, this to shall pass :)

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