Taking a Nap vs. Going to Bed Early

a nap

It's that magical time of year. The time when football is on almost every hour of every weekend from now to January... and you know what I like more than watching football? I like drifting off to sleep while a football game slowly lulls me into a post lunch coma.

However, it is impossible to take a nap with a four year old poking you in the ribs with her bony finger!

Princess P has been resisting an afternoon nap for quite some time now, which has really cut into adult nap time (it's not as dirty as it sounds). This wouldn't be so bad, but when early evening rolls around, if Princess P hasn't taken a nap, an evil unlike the world has ever seen awakens in her soul. She flies around the house looking to harass any living being, with the sole purpose of causing discomfort.

But... if Princess P does take a nap, when bed time comes she will not fall asleep until around 10:30, which is two and a half hours past her normal bed time.

What to do, what to do? Would I rather have an afternoon nap, or a quiet, peaceful evening? That is the question.

Which would (or do) you prefer?

photo courtesy of SewPixie

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I prefer the nights. My Ladybug (4 this month) refuses to nap during the day. I guess we could lock her in her room, but then she'd wake up her younger brother. We get 2 of the 3 down for an afternoon nap pretty much on a daily basis. If we let her, she'd fall asleep on the couch around 4:45 and sleep for an hour. Which would keep her up until 9:30 or so.

So since I started getting off at 2:30. I'm there to relieve the wife of some of the stress from the kids. No naps after a certain time. Which makes it easier at bed time. She's ready to go to bed at an appropriate hour. Like I said my son (2 this month) and her share a room. If I put them down at the same time, they can play for hours. So, I put the boy down and let her watch a cartoon or two, then she's ready for bed. The boy is out and I have my evenings to catch up on DVR'd shows or some OT.

But yes, every day when there is no nap or she doesn't release it someway else. It's bombs over baghdad with her..

But long story short.. Peaceful Evening. Mainly because eventually the nap has to end when a kid wakes up. Evenings, you got at least until 6AM...

That last sentence should be on a calendar, or inspirational poster.... "At least you've got until 6AM".... I like it

I like both! It's a tough call though. I think if I had to chose, which I will someday, I'd prefer to get them down early. By the end of the day I'm bread dead and just want to veg. Although my wife would say I'm brain dead all day :P

I agree. At least in the evening you can wind down without having to ramp up again when the kid wakes up.

I've heard it done both ways. My boys and I still take a nap in the afternoon because we just like to feel fresh in the evenings. Of course, like you say, the consequence is that they'll have a late bedtime. Our daily schedule sometimes dictates the circumstances. On days that we go to a museum or otherwise do an activity out of the house then nap time get's the heave ho. I can deal with it both ways, but I still prefer to have the afternoon nap.

I do enjoy my afternoon naps, but I just can't decide if I like them enough to give up an extra hour or so at night.

Right now I prefer that he naps well because it gives me time to do some writing on my blog and take the occasional mid day nap, which is highly important on Tuesdays when I'm up til after midnight watching Monday Night Football. That and I have reinforcements in the evenings with the wife home. I'm sure this will change over time, but I'm going with nap time for now.

Good point about the reinforcements when your wife gets home. I know by the time I get home from work, my wife is ready to hand the kids off and get a few minutes to herself, or at least time to go to the bathroom in peace.

I prefer the nap because it helps with any behaviors that arise from our girl being over tired. We try to have a cut off time though so that it doesn't interfere with bed time. Sometimes she still won't take a nap, but the quiet time is necessary for regrouping at our house. -Jason

It's a delicate balance. The midday reboot is sometimes much needed (I say that, and I'm not even a stay at home dad... I only get a taste of what my wife feels).

Our strategy has been a nap until the kids are 4-ish, and then we go right into "quiet time," meaning everyone is in their rooom, either sleeping (those 4 and under) or playing quietly (those 5 and older). Our oldest is almost 6, but this strategy has worked very well to give the Missus and I some quiet time during the afternoon to nap, work, whatever. It will be interesting when they all start to get older and we lose that time, but for now, it works.

That's what we've tried to implement with our 4 year old. So far it's had mixed results. Sometimes she's so amped up that she is constantly asking if "quiet time" is over... which leads to discipline, which in extreme cases wakes the little one up. I'm hoping when we get the habit a little more ingrained she'll even out.

I love my sleep way too much, isn't there a way to have my cake and eat it too?

Our little one is only a month old and still sleeps the majority of the time.... it is only the tip of the iceberg for me.

To bed early for sure, if you can put up with a slightly irritable kid through the afternoon. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too, though - just fill their day with activities so that they are tired for both ; )

We try to wear the kids out, but then I end up being the one wanting a nap while they run around the house like crazy people!

Thanks for stopping by.

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