For almost a year, I've been dreading the inevitable, my three-year-old dropping his last nap. That glorious two hours where I can sit down and breathe. I had so many parents tell me it would happen right around his third birthday.
But it didn't.
At three and a half, he was still happily napping. So, I decided I was one of the lucky ones and stopped worrying.
Then, somewhere around three and nine months, getting him to take a nap started to suck. Sometimes he would nap easily, others I would battle him for an hour, before finally giving up. Yes, I lasted an hour of chasing him back to bed, giving into one more cuddle, and making empty treats.
For about a month, I went back-and-forth with putting him down for nap or just letting him stay awake in his room, "resting."
It became clear during that month, whether not he took a nap, played a big part in how he slept that night.
No Nap: He would go to sleep easily between 6:30 and 7:00pm, but for the two hours leading up to bedtime, he was so tired and cranky we were all miserable. Then, to add insult to injury, he would wake up at 5:00am.
Nap: Happy kid. Happy mom. Later bedtime around 8:30pm, then sleeping through to 7:00am
Needless to say, I preferred naps to an early bedtime.
With only two months to go and until he turns four, he's showing real signs of ending his nap.
Over the past two months, I've seen the progression of how the last nap works itself out. The days he doesn't nap, he is progressively making it until right before bedtime to turn into a cranky-pants. He's going to sleep a little later 7:30 and sleeping until 7am. So, even though he is not taking the nap, he's building it into his night sleep. Going from 10 hours to nearly 12.
While, I really need him to nap during the holiday break from school so I can get things done without his, "Help", I can tell my little guy is growing up and I have to honor that. Thankfully, he's happy to play in his room during rest time, or play on his tablet. So, in a way, I still get my mommy rest time too. For now. Oh it's so hard to watch my baby grow up.