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Parents Panel: What's the naptime routine in your house?

A mid-morning sleep, two naps a day – or none at all? Our panel weigh in.

parents panel2 Source: TheJournal.ie

AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way.

Developing a nap time routine that suits you and your child can be exhausting for you both, with it coming easily in some households and causing a struggle in others. 

As for timings, you may find that things run most smoothly with a strict routine timed to the minute, or indeed that a more flexible approach works better for your little one. So what’s the best tactic to start off with?

This week, we’re asking our panel…

What’s the nap time routine in your house?

Here’s what they had to say…

parents panel1 Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly Source: TheJournal.ie

A first nap at 10.30am, and another later on. Tymek is almost three and he doesn’t really nap anymore. Unless he’s sick or extremely tired, we enjoy napless days and therefore early evenings. But for the last year when he used to nap once a day we usually ate second breakfast at around 10:30am and after that he was more than happy to go to his room and just go to sleep with a blankie and a dodie. Beforehand when he napped twice a day, we were trying not to have him up for more than four hours as he would get overtired and found it hard to settle. On the other hand, Frankie is only eight weeks old so it’s way too early for any routines.

- Marta Lisiecka

Twice a day, every day, in the double buggy: Naptime routines for my youngest three were always pram based. With the twins we walked everywhere pushing their double buggy, twice a day, irrespective of weather. We clocked up 4000k in one year alone. They slept like, well… babies, and the side benefit was that I got fit. When our youngest came along, the same routine happened, but typically only once a day and the second sleep was in his cot.

- Ross Boxshall 

unnamed The Boxshall twins in their double buggy. Source: Ross Boxshall

The length of the naptime varied depending on the day. My kids are a little older now, so they don’t have naps any more. But when they were having naps, when the time was right we cut them so that they would sleep all night. It was always a fine balance between keeping them going during the day and ensuring they didn’t get over tired. If they really needed to sleep, we’d let it happen. They would be out of it by the age of two or three though.

- Alan Dooley

He naps at least once a day, but it’s never easy to get him to go down. As much as I would love a naptime routine, I’ve never gotten there! When Charlie (now two) was breastfeeding he would often just fall asleep on me, otherwise when we were walking or driving. So I never taught him to nap in his cot. To this day we have to drive around to get him to fall asleep and then we transfer him into his cot. Embarrassing but true! Of course he asks to go to sleep for his minder but has no interest for us. However, I can’t complain because he would then typically do a lovely long sleep at night. He dropped from two to one naps pretty early on and I suspect will drop from one to none early as well.

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- Kait Quinn

He used to nap daily at creche, but that’s stopped now. Our son had a great nap time routine (either in his cot or at creche) until his was three. At that stage, one of the staff members in his creche approached my wife to say that it didn’t really suit them for him to nap anymore. My wife told her that he should be able to continue to nap for as long as he wanted to. Unfortunately, someone in the creche then told him that “big boys don’t nap”. Naturally, he instantly didn’t want to nap anymore and it was just awful. He was exhausted coming home and so narky. We’re still very unhappy about how his napping stopped. It really wasn’t the best thing for him.

- Olly Keegan

We don’t have a routine, she sets the pace. Ellie Mae is three now so naps are practically finished. She is a very bad sleeper and trying to put her down for naps during the day was a nightmare, so I just gave up and let her set the pace. I could never just put her down because she would scream the place down, so she would have to fall asleep in my arms or if all else failed I’d have to take her out for a spin in the car.

- Denise Cumiskey

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More Parents Panel: What’s one thing you’ve tried to get your kids to read more? 

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