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THE Nap: Shorter / None

A child's ability to sleep though the night and nap without fuss is a blessing to all parents and caregivers around the world. Some children are 'automatically' tuned to that mode from the moment they are born and others like mine, were sleep trained from infancy.

Parents and caregivers throw their arms up in the air when their child / children drop their daily afternoon nap, I rejoice that mine still enjoys them until recently.

From time to time, Charlotte can go an entire day without a day nap. Daniel, on the other hand, loves his nap and he needs it.

Logically, as a child gets older, he/she requires less or no nap which aids in the child's ability to fall asleep quicker at night and enjoy much longer overnight sleep.

In the last few months, we have moved their bedtime routine forward by 15 mins and that means, they are in bed by 6:45pm with total lights out. As their usual practice, they will spend the next 15 minutes self-settling before lulling themselves to sleep. However, that 15 minutes of self-settling was taking longer and some evenings, it may take up to 60 minutes!

Well, I am not complaining because they are quiet during that time except, I want them to have good quality sleep. Their brains need to grow and my brain needs that silence.

Therefore, we started limiting the amount of nap time at home by gradually decreasing it from 2.5 hours > 2 hours > 1.5 hours and over the weekend, 1 hour.

Granted, they wake up grumpy and clingy for a few minutes. However, the benefits of this overrides that small window of grumpiness and clinginess. They are ready for bed at 6:45pm and by 7:00pm, they are usually fast asleep.

Over the last 3 day weekend at home, the kids only napped at home once - on a Saturday because they are knackered after their weekly swim lesson. The other 2 days saw them nap in the car from destination to home in the early afternoons.

Parenting. It's all in the routine and tweaking. For me, that is.