Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to get your toddler to have a day sleep

This post is sponsored by Big W
It’s been said that when you become a parent the days are long but the years are fast. And it’s true, they were right (whoever they are). I think Baby Time advances at a much faster rate… kinda like dog years.

So far this has been pretty true for us. Time flies when you’re sprawled out on the floor playing with your kid and his Big W Toys, and drags on and on and on and on when you’re breastfeeding at 3:00am. When it’s minus two degrees. And the heater doesn’t work. And you can’t reach your phone.

To demonstrate my point, here’s a handy graph for you. You’re welcome.
As you can see, time moves the fastest while your child sleeps. Because it’s in graph form, it must be true.

Tricky has been threatening to completely drop his day sleep over the past few months and I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. I am determined. Despite the immediate shift in the time space continuum that occurs the moment his head hits the pillow, I still covet a moment of alone time. You know, because cleaning the house while a toddler is playing is like trying to stop the Titanic sinking using only a squeegee and a bucket.

A toddler nap may only feel like five minutes but in that time, I become a Domestic Goddess. I can do the dishes, hang out the washing, grab some lunch, tidy away toys and go to the toilet alone, with the door closed, without a hip high whippersnapper demanding I look at his Duplo creation for the 300th time.

Recently I’ve put in a lot of effort in to researching how to keep the increasingly elusive nap as part of our routine and I’m happy to announce that I have discovered a cure for no-nap-itis that is so far foolproof and, as an ethical bonus, requires no gaffa tape.

Step 1: Go to the Big W Online Store

Step 2: Buy a trampoline

Step 3: Set it up

Step 4: Let child bounce*

* a minimum of four hours at a time is recommended for optimum effectiveness

Four easy steps, only one of which requires an allen key or a screwdriver. Hooray! Let's jump for joy... LITERALLY!

If your child is anything like Tricky, he will bounce for hours. He will resist, rather loudly, when it’s time to go inside for a nap, BUT he will slip in to the land of nod quicker than you can say “Mama needs a Twitter fix”. In some cases, he will succumb to sleep INSTANTLY.

At that point you are free to run around and do all the things that are nigh on impossible to do (or at least do well) with a toddler under your feet. Important things like cooking dinner and catching up on the deadlines that have gone whooshing by. It is also the perfect opportunity to put your feet up with a cuppa and do bugger all.

What age did your child give up a day sleep? Did you attempt gaffa taping them to the bed?


  1. That's a total crack up! I love the graph, and it is totally true. I hope Tricky is lovin' his trampoline!

  2. Totally true! We had our first family movie morning on Sunday. I loved snuggling up on the sofa on a rainy Sydney morning with a huge bowl of popcorn and Up (which I add might have one of the saddest starts to a movie ever - was bawling). Couldn't believe that Patchy stayed still for over an hour! Joy was short-lived however. Sitting still does not make for sleepy toddlers. Missed his nap for the first time ever. Am sure to be following you lead and heading to Big W very soon!

  3. Cudos, Glow. That is an awesome graph.

  4. So true glow. My 3 yr old got rid of her nap less then year ago. It was devastating for me cause i had just had the baby and with her sleeping and the baby sleeping it meant I could sleep as well. But she didn't want to any more. So I resorted to tv and sleeping on the couch. That sleep where you can still hear everything but your eyes are still closed and resting. Now the baby, or I can call her a toddler now cause she WALKS, has grown out of her afternoon nap. Crap. I now have her walking through my legs trying to get dinner done. God help me.

  5. 1. Jaden is not allowed to give up his day sleep until he starts school (we LIVE for the day sleep on the weekends!)
    2. Best. Graph. Ever

  6. Love this, I fear the day when my babies don't have their day naps. I have a similar method although I use a climbing frame thingy instead of the trampoline

  7. I love this!! I have the added challenge of getting my 1yo and 2.5yo to overlap their nap times - but I do everything in my power to make it happen. Your graph is brilliant :-)

  8. I consider myself a nap expert.
    I can't nap to save my life, but Greenie still naps at three, and yes I look at people in horror when they tell me their child who is younger than him doesn't nap. How do you do it?!
    Bluey napped right up until the day before he started primary school. Yerp. I am so serious it's not funny.
    My tip, which is gold, is don't screw around with nap time too much. If you're out some days and home others you're encouraging your child to give up the nap. Be home, do the same wind down, and put them down at the same time. Some days you will have a little more resistance than others, it happens, they're using their new found independance, and really can you blame them? Wanting to hang out with you instead of sleep?
    Also, this is important. Let your child play. Like actively play and engage in what they're doing, and provide some challenges, daily! It may take them a month to get it but that challenge is still there. This is what will help to tire them out and when you're tired? You don't have the energy for resistance.
    So there you go, my secrets all for free, but only because I want you to have more time online because I miss your stalking.
    This shit is worth thousands! Stop being ungrateful Glow. :P

  9. mine seem to stop naps at about 3.. but I force them to have quiet time (in their rooms reading etc) for an hour a day until they go to school... its necessary, for my sanity and their safety ;) lol

  10. Kelley @ magnetoboldtooAugust 6, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    My Damn Emos sleep like it is an Olympic sport. Boo, alas, grew out of his day sleep at EIGHT MONTHS OLD.

    No wonder I look so damn haggard.

  11. Immy still naps some days and she is 4 1/2 ;) And swimming is just as good (actually probably better!) as jumping :)

  12. YES! Swimming used to always leave me starving hungry and ready for a sleep. In fact, it still does.

  13. Dude! 8 months?! That's not fair.

  14. I'm a big fan of quiet time for everyone's safety :)

  15. Hahaha! This week he's not been allowed on the trampoline because he's been too sick. So we've gone for really long walks to tire him out. So much energy, they NEEEEEEED to get out and burn some up.

  16. This is exactly what puts me off having another kid!

  17. Fabulous! When he gets bored of the trampoline I will buy one!

  18. I have no idea how people manage with a newborn and a kid who doesn't nap. NO IDEA. I bow down to you.

  19. I bawled my eyes out in the first 10 minutes of Up and now can't watch it. I fast forward!

  20. He would live on it if I let him! We have teddy bears picnics on it sometimes :)

  21. Day sleeps WILL NOT go away in this house.

    The only reason the Little Man doesn't have one every day is because he's at school. He totally does two hours on Saturday and Sunday though!!

    My Mother in Law, Mum to 5 under 7 at one time, gave me one piece of decent advice and it was that 2pm is quiet time. No. Matter. What. Kids do to their beds and they stay there for two hours. They can read, they can play quietly or they can sleep, but it is not negotiable. Mummy needs her time too. I later read something about the importance of kids understanding that Mum deserves time for her. I decided that I would do the same.

    I am lucky though because my kids are at the very high end of the sleep scale and they happily go for their nap, no matter where we are!

  22. I'm pretty sure I'm going to follow your MIL's advice too. Quiet time is really important - be it sleeping/reading/playing quietly I think everyone wins!


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