Scheduling the Day around Naps

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Getting out around 16-mo-old's naps

June 2004

I have been trying to figure out how to manage an outing around my 16 month old's nap, and have been very frustrated by it. Often, if I wait until he falls alseep for his nap, it can get to be so late, that by the time he wakes up, it's nearly the end of the day. If I take him out before he naps, he often is very fussy, or falls asleep in the car, and he since doesn't stay asleep in the car very well, he will wake up after 30 (or 45) minutes, then be unable to fall asleep again and spends the rest of the day very fussy. How do other people handle this? I didn't see anything about in in the archives, which surprised me. I am starting to feel pretty stir crazy, as I am a full time stay-at- home mom. Help! Jennifer

You don't say when your baby naps--is it twice a day, or just once? Seems from your message to be one afternoon nap--if that's the case, then try to get out in the morning, as early as you can. If you spend the morning out, then it doesn't matter if you go anywhere in the afternoon (that's my ''do one thing a day rule!''). We try to be out of the house no later than 10. Then we can come home for lunch (or picnic out, then come home), and be back in time for a solid nap for my 1-year old (and a rest for my 3-year-old). If they get up early (like, by 3 or 3.30), there's still time in the day to get an errand run, or go to a park (especially when it's light outside). Good Luck, the juggling can be hard! Donna L.
I hear you. We spend most of our weekends at home waiting for out older kid to wake up from his smack-in-the-middle-of-the day naps. It gets easier when they get a little older--you can adjust the naps a bit more. My approach is to be grateful that he sleeps so well and accept the fact that nothing is fun when we mess with his naps because he is miserable. My strategy is to decide what I want to do in the morning and have everything ready the night before, hit the road immediately, and plan to be home for the nap. Then, during his nap I prep for whatever it is I want to do in the afternoon and get moving as soon as he wakes. I also plan activities such as phone and e-mail for while he is sleeping. Some moms get frustrated by kids' inability to sleep! Elizabeth
i have a two year old and many friends with a child of around the same age. all our kids generally nap around 2 hours a day, from noon to 2:00 give or take. we all have outings either in the morning, making sure to get home before nap time, or after the nap. we use the nap time to rest and/or get things done. if you leave the house around 9 you would have a good 2 - 3 hours out, or could go out from 3 - 6 or so? hope this helps
I have a 2 year old who naps from about 11am to about 3 pm. During the school year I force myself to get right up and do errands with him in the morning -- the earlier the better, or wait until after my husband gets home from work and leave them together. During the Summer I have a little leeway, because my other kids are old enough to babysit, so sometimes I go DURING nap time. Maybe that would work for you? Can you hire a teen to sit in your house while your baby sleeps so you get a break and your errands get done? With a cell phone you could arranged to be called if/when the baby wakes, too, so you'd need a responsible, but not necessarily experienced babysitter. Heather
Naps should be at the same time everyday and if baby sleeps best in one place, make sure you are home for nap. I am home everyday by 12-1 at the lastest so my son can take his nap. We do everything in the morning between 9-12. Only on special occasions does he miss his nap and then he's in bed by 6:30. Protecting a childs sleep is the most important thing you can do (Weissbluff, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child). anon
My advice to you is to find out what places are open early and get out of the house early. Grocery stores are open at 8:00 am as well as Target, my dry cleaners, the ATM, the park etc.... The baby needs his nap and I always gave that a priority. I needed it too. Some places you won't go to for awhile or perhaps you can sneak out in the evening by yourself and leave well-rested baby home with someone else for a few hours. HL
I trained my child to ALWAYS nap in his stroller, which fully reclined. This meant that we could go anywhere (museums, store, walks in the neighborhood, shopping, see friends, etc.). It gave me a lot of flexibility, and I never felt tied down to the house (waiting for nap to be over). However, this also meant that he had to nap in the stroller in the house too! I would often carry him out of the car, if he fell asleep there, and stroller him around to put him back to sleep. The gently bumping and rocking of the stroller worked well. stroller mama