From Nap time Nightmares to Easy Activities

Nap time Nightmares

I did it. I did the one thing that you should never do when it comes to nap time routines- I got cocky. W dropped to two naps right around 6 months, and it was like a dream come true. Gone were the days of 30-45 minute naps, unwashed hair (you really think I’m going to waste my precious few minutes blow drying this hair?), and never-ending piles of laundry. With two naps, two long naps, I had all the time in the world. It was heaven. I had time to workout, take a shower, wash my hair, blow dry it, and even had a chance to sit down for a few minutes. At first, I thought the 1 1/2- 2 hour naps were too good to be true. So, I just sat there, not doing a single thing, wasting a whole two hours just thinking to myself- don’t start something, he’ll be up soon. As the months went on, however, my awe over W’s long naps faded into smug, self-confidence. I cringe as I think about the words that would spill out of my mouth- Oh, we just have to make sure to be back by 1:30, he ALWAYS takes a nap at 2:00. Ugh, when will I ever learn that babies’ schedules are constantly changing? It’s like trying to predict the weather. Unfortunately, I have now found myself stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella.

It appears that W has started the transition from two to one nap a day. I know, I know, he’s too young. Everything I have read on all of the sleep websites ( is one of my favorite sleep sites) state that the average age to drop from two to one nap is 15-18 months. Yet, at 11 months, W knows exactly what he wants, and he does NOT want to take a nap in his crib. Honestly, he doesn’t even want to snuggle up next to me a take a nap (believe me, I have tried). He has also figured out Mommy’s weaknesses: reading books, smiles and kisses. He likes to hand me book after book because he knows I will read the books and further delay “Operation Nap Time.” After W’s book tactic fails, he then resorts to the “hugs and kisses strategy.” He is not typically a cuddly baby and he uses this to his advantage. Yet, Mommy prevails with the secret weapon- the sleep song. Once I start singing the sleep song, he knows it’s over. The screaming and flailing of body parts begins. He makes one last ditch effort to get out of nap time. Why does this kid hate sleep so much? If someone sang me a song and tucked me into a nice crib with white noise playing in the background I would fall asleep before my head hit the mattress. Where did this boy come from? Good Papa and I are both amazing sleepers. We can fall asleep whenever, wherever and will sleep through anything. I guess we need someone in the family that will wake up if trouble arises in the middle of the night.

W may have started the transition to one nap a day, but he certainly is not ready for it. For the past two days I have tried dropping to just one, but he wakes up only an hour later screaming his head off, clearly still in need of more sleep. I have played around with different times, but the results are the same- an over-tired, up-all-night Mommy baby. My latest attempt at making this a smoother transition is to push the morning nap to 10, wake him up 30-45 minutes later, then put W down for an afternoon nap that will hopefully last two hours. Cross your fingers that this is a winning plan! This Mommy is having a difficult time coping with not only a lack of sleep, but a lack of time that two long naps provided. This brings me to my next topic…

Easy Activities with Egg Cartons

What do you do when your child is up all day, refusing to nap? You need something new and different that will occupy baby’s time and attention. I know! Use the leftover egg cartons from all of the egg dishes that I made this past week. Lately, W has been really into putting smaller objects into larger objects. The other day he spent almost 15 minutes putting a bunch of our drink coasters into a tupperware container. So, I thought egg cartons would be perfect to keep W busy.


Here is W checking out the egg cartons. I filled one with plastic eggs. Some of the eggs I left empty, while others I filled with rice, beans, pasta, etc. so they made different sounds. I just secured the eggs with duct tape. They aren’t the best-looking toy around, but W didn’t seem to mind. He had a great time shaking each egg to find out whether it made a noise or not.


W had a blast with the plastic eggs. I then decided to try another activity involving the egg carton and some old plastic “play money” I had from when I was teaching. The play money can be a major choking hazard, so I made sure this was a heavily supervised activity. W got super excited when he opened the next egg carton and found the play money. He knows right away when he sees something that is usually forbidden. He did try to put the coins in his mouth, but I encouraged and demonstrated how to put the coins in the different sections of the egg carton. Although he continued to try to see if he could get away with a nibble here and there, he did have fun putting the coins in the egg carton sections.


Despite W’s nap time struggles, he continues to be a wonderfully fun, happy baby. W may only be 11 months, but it’s easy to see that he is intent on living life to it’s fullest. There’s no way he is going to let anything, especially something so silly as a nap, get in his way of enjoying every second of his waking hours.  Although I think it’s natural for a parent to crave a predictable schedule and to hope for a good night’s sleep, I also know that it’s best not to forget what truly matters. I think I need to take a page out of W’s book- smile, laugh and enjoy life’s wild ride! Sleep is for babies!

To readers with children, is/was your child a good napper? How did/will you deal with the dreaded nap transition?

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  • MaryKay says:

    I laughed out loud. I had the worst ever sleeper baby for my first one and no other baby ever came close…but now there’s W! You are lucky he is so very pleasant with or without napping. I love the egg carton ideas. I can picture him trying out each egg to see which ones rattle. Adorable pictures of adorable W!

  • Ann Marie. says:

    I suspect W has at least one grandpa who likes to get up and get things done everyday?
    Skips a generation?
    I love that W likes finding the egg that makes the noise. It’s such a cute activity. He really keeps you busy doesn’t he?

  • Ann Marie. says:

    I look forward to challenging W to a game of Mancala!

  • Melissa says:

    When Jane went down to 1 nap, around 10 months, we did the short nap/wake up routine for about 2 weeks and then she settled in to the 1 long nap. I actually love the one nap. You can do more during the day, and I can usually expect at least 1 and a half hours of sleeping.
    I am definitely going to try your egg carton activities with Jane! I have seen some color learning activities too, where you sort the items of the same color. Thanks for the suggestion, Good Mama!!

  • MaryKay- At least someone else can relate to what we’re going through… I agree that I can’t complain though because he is the happiest guy around when he’s awake.

    Anne Marie- You are right! W has TWO grandpa’s that have sleep issues. It definitely must skip a generation.

    Melissa- I would definitely not mind one, long nap. We like to do a lot of activities in the morning and in the afternoon. It can be challenging to fit it all in when you are working around two naps. I know we’ll eventually get there though.

  • Natasha says:

    I love it carton games and activities for babies and toddlers. They’re so much fun and great busy time keepers for them.
    Natasha recently posted…Homemade StampsMy Profile

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