August 21st, 2002

A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

Do any of the veteran moms reading this blog have clever ideas for teaching a little boy to stay in his bed and go to sleep when it's naptime?

See, Nicholas was great with naps when he was still in the crib, because he knew he couldn't get out. So even if he wasn't especially tired right away, he would just chatter to himself and play with his stuffed animals until he fell asleep, 15 or at most 30 minutes later. Now that he's in a "big boy bed", however, he gets out of bed and plays with his toys, and makes a great deal of noise and commotion, and as often as not it takes an hour or even close to two hours before he winds down enough to climb back into bed and go to sleep.

I tried, at first, being very stern with him about getting out of bed, turning on the light, and/or playing with his toys when it was naptime. But he still seemed to take forever to go to sleep, and as long as he was talking and banging about, I couldn't take a nap myself (and in the past year or so I've become very attached to my afternoon nap). So I tried, instead, telling him that it was "quiet time" and that if he didn't feel like sleeping yet, he could turn on the light and play with his toys and books, but quietly because Mommy and Simon needed to nap. Which seemed to work OK the first day, but today he just played and talked to himself for two solid hours until I gave up and let him out of the room again.

And the thing is, he still needs that nap, whether he's willing to lie still and let it happen or not. Tonight, having had no nap at all, he was a miserable, whiny, tantrumy little goat and I had to put him to bed an hour early. (Which I fear may result in him waking up an hour early tomorrow morning, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

So... any ideas? Other than physically tying him to the bed, that is?