The Shifting of Naps in Toddlerhood


Dear Daughter,

You’re twenty months old today! You’ve been working on trying to figure out what new napping pattern makes sense for you, and you’re hovering between those two places at the tail end of your journey to independent sleep. “I CAN’T” has been followed by “I WON’T” and now you’re slowly moving into “I DO IT MYSELF!”

Lately I’ve stopped trying to push the nap at “nap time” and have been letting you lead the way and figure out what your new napping schedule looks like. Allowing you this independence is what bridges that gap between “I WON’T” and “I DO IT MYSELF”, just like being very firm about schedule helped you bridge the gap between “I CAN’T” and “I WON’T”.

Today it was naptime so I took you up to our bed in our room and nursed you.

You were not ready yet. So you popped off and sat up and started to play with the clean cloth diapers that I had been stuffing earlier in the day. (And you sat on my head.)


You decided after a bit to point at your diaper and exclaim “poo poos!” which you have learned will instantly teleport you to the room where we keep all the fun paper (We’re using the Wait it Out Method of Potty Training too.)



After a little while you stomped your feet and pointed at the potty and wanted to sit on it with your diaper still on. That’s okay too. It’s progress. (You sang “nyah nyah nyah nyah-NYAH!” while sitting, by the way.)


We then flushed all the fun paper down the toilet. You giggled and ran to the safety of the door and waved “bye bye” as the toilet flushed.

Then you wanted to read books. But as soon as we snuggled down to read them you decided that you did not want to read books and practiced speed crawling instead.

So we went back downstairs and you wanted to tuck the doggy in. “NAP!” you declared as you covered him up.

Feeling the need for some order in your life you decided to reorganize the cabinets.

Then you stood up and took my hand and we went back up to your brothers room. You climbed onto the floor mattress where we tried to read books earlier. And you asked to nurse. (Yesterday you fell asleep there watching the fish across the room but today was too exciting so you wanted to wind down a bit.) You knew just what you wanted to do, and squinted your eyes closed as soon as you were latched on and comfy.


Within a minute you were asleep.
An hour past your usual “naptime”, two PM is where your naps are more and more often. Soon it will be the new naptime for you. Not just yet, though. You’re still finding your pattern.

I’m okay with waiting while you figure out your needs so that you can dtell me “I DO IT MYSELF!”

<3 Mama

  4 comments for “The Shifting of Naps in Toddlerhood

  1. K's mum
    December 13, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Loved this Sarah! Thanks for sharing the adorable photos :)

  2. Amy
    December 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Very cute photos.*-* You wear short hair now. I like it!

  3. Juanita Fourie
    December 18, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Very cute photo’s! Had a good laugh, again exactly were we are now! We can write a new book of what children should be doing at certain ages…Wanted to ask. Does the shift in day naps not affect night sleep? Our son struggles a lot with finding balance, sleep earlier then take another nap later then can’t sleep at night because he’s not tired…Will just have WIO this time as well hey?

    • sarah
      December 18, 2013 at 10:42 am

      When their naps shift their nighttime sleep shifts a bit too until they find their “time”. I find that there’s a few months when the naps are a bit up and down and nighttime sleep follows. Currently if my daughter takes a nap around 11AM there is no change in her nighttime sleep. When she takes a 2PM nap she pushes bedtime back to 9PM instead of 8PM. My middle child did this too, and went to the 8PM bedtime when he eliminated naps altogether, or when he went from 3 hour naps to 90 minute naps.

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