R. has almost always wanted to go down for her nap. Shortly before she started preschool it seemed like about half the time she would play in bed and I thought it was the end of naps. When she started preschool she was just exhausted when she came home and really needed a nap. She has ABA therapy in the afternoon, so with the nap the sessions have been from 4:30 – 6:00. After a couple of months of school, she started skipping a nap or two a week. I was also finding that on the weekends if I planned something fun during nap time she did not care if she missed it. When they were making the ABA schedule for the summer they asked me if I wanted to switch to an earlier time. They thought that R. would do even better with an earlier time slot. One of the therapists told me that in her opinion the kids with earlier time slots do better than the ones with the later times. I agreed. It will be easier to have therapy from 2 – 3:30, then R. can relax in the afternoon and we can even have time to go out and do things.
Last week was a week of summer vacation before ESY starts. I just stopped putting her down for her nap. I don’t think she noticed for a couple of days, it’s common to skip naps on the weekends. It seemed like when we were home during her usual nap time she would request music on her CD player (with PECS card). Then she would get all her favorite stuffed toys from her bed and relax with them in her bean bag chair.
I was actually most worried about R. wanting her nap when she comes home from school. She has a routine of coming home, diaper change, drink and to bed. Today was the first day of summer school, but we our summer ABA sessions don’t start until tomorrow. The bus ride home is longer than it was and when they arrived she was sound asleep. She woke up, but of course she wanted to go to bed once she was inside. She kept tossing her favorite toys into the crib and reaching up for me to put her in bed. I told her no nap today and she started to cry. Of course I felt terrible, what kind of mother refuses to let her kid go to sleep? I happened to explain to DH what was going on and she stopped crying like she understood. She retrieved her toys from the bed and went on to have a nice afternoon. I think it will take a couple of days to get the idea and she’ll be adjusted to the new routine.
I think I had a more difficult time adjusting to the lack of nap, especially last week when she was off from school. I was spoiled by being able to get things done while she was at school or napping. The nap also broke up the day and gave it a specific structure. Some days seemed really long. I found myself calculating things like six and a half hours until bedtime.