Posted by: Paul | January 17, 2010

The Nap-y Hour

Parents know the importance of naps. Not just for the children, but themselves also. It was hard at first for Alison to get Adam into a routine of napping twice a day once he became more active, but she persisted and after a week or so of putting up with the crying, he got the idea and benefitted from it fast.

Now he’s older he is beginning to forego the morning nap. This makes him rather tired and irritable around lunchtime, especially if he’s been up early, but it generally means he takes a long nap in the afternoon – long enough at weekends, sometimes, for his parents to indulge themsleves with a movie, or a nap of their own.

Not so today. Today has been rather a trial. His swimming class has switched to Sundays at a later time which has thrown his routine out, and a misguided attempt at getting him to nap in the morning instead set up the subsequent failure of any attempt since. Bedtime seems a long way away. Said toddler is currently running around with no trousers, throwing cushions, CDs, and any other objects which are not screwed to something onto the floor. I am sitting very, very still and trying to maintain composure.

Shouting at a child who does not understand you is utterly pointless. All you accomplish is frightening them and raising your own blood pressure. The best tactic we have found is diversion – rather than attempting to negatively enforce undesirable behaviour, all you can do is attempt to distract them with something else. I would say that at these times we resort to TV but his attention span is so short that this works for precisely 30 seconds. Far better to actively engage in something with them. After all, he’s after a reaction from you, and your attention, so better to pre-empt it by giving them something to do which involves your attention before the situation becomes a tantrum.

The Nap-y hours we quickly found are golden. The only time when you can accomplish something undisturbed, these moments are to be cherished as you have so little time when all your attention is not focused on the child. I have no idea what I’m going to do once he doesn’t nap anymore. Hopefully by then, he’ll be at school!



  1. Ha ha myself and Nic were chuckling at this one. 🙂

    Occurred to me there’s a gap in the blog world for parenting from the other side (as it were…)

    • I think so too. I’ll definitely be writing more in this vein.

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