So, our 2 year old said goodbye to his crib last week! Yup, that’s right! He is now in a toddler bed!! Well, that’s is, we converted his crib so that one of the sides is off. The first night he fell off twice. He cried the very first time, and his father rocked him back to sleep. We found him in a prayer position with his head resting on his arms, on the bed the second time. After observing him on his video monitor we have noticed that he now knows to climb back in after falling off. The transition was so seamless and I will share why next.
Eilan has always been fairly simple when it comes to nap or bed time. Last month he started protesting being placed in the crib. He would whine and cry, and even scream when we would put him down for nap time or bedtime. We couldn’t figure out why he was fighting the inevitable. A couple weekends ago my mom was over and watched the kids for hubby and me. Needless to say, I was concerned that Eilan would give her a hard time. She eventually got Eilan to sleep.
In a later conversation with her, she mentioned that Eilan may no longer want to go in the crib because it makes him feel confined. She went on to say that when he wakes up the thought that he can’t get out may be making the crib a less than desirable resting place. I took heed to that advice and decided we should try converting his crib. I figured we had nothing to lose. We could easily put the crib back together If it turned out to be a disaster. Well, it has been quite the opposite!! Eilan has not protested in the same way for the last several nights. As a matter of fact, it has been relatively painless putting him down for the night.
This success got me thinking about the way I approach nap times. I started to wonder “what if nap times were less restricting?” What if they felt more natural? It's often harder to get our little ones to sleep during the day, so I decided I would try a non traditional nap time. That’s been working perfectly, too! Here's what I've been doing. When it’s time for a nap, I begin to give Eilan subtle cues. I shut the blinds and put on some white noise in the background. I lay a comforter on the floor, along with some pillows and sometimes I’ll even lay down. After a while he will lay down, too. Before I know it his eyes start to droop, and well, you know how the rest of the story goes. I am then free to do what I need to, whether that is stay right there next to him and catch some Z's or complete some chores. I forgot to mention that my baby girl Gisele also takes her nap around this time. I will usually put her down first, and then work on Eilan.
I thought I’d share my experience because it might help another mommy. This non traditional approach may be the difference between getting some much needed alone time and not having a spare moment to breathe. Not to mention that your toddler needs that nap time for developmental purposes. An added benefit is that you have a much nicer toddler on your hands after they are rested!
So tell me, have you mommies tried this before? What are some other nap time tips you can share with us? COMMENT DOWN BELOW!