More Transition Woes: School + Nap = A Mess


Toddler’s progress report? Stellar? So … what’s the problem, mama?

Way back in January, Toddler started preschool, and I had a few reasonable worries.  It turns out that her school is going great! Things have been a piece of cherry pie and she is doing so well – and loves it! Nothing I worried about back then has come to fruition. But the one thing I never thought about is our only and burgeoning issue:

Baby’s naptime conflicting with school hours!

(Please excuse me while I alternately cry and pull my hair out….)

I’ve said before that I think the transitions are the hardest part of being a parent. Going from 3 to 2 naps was tough enough, but going from 2 to just 1 is hard on everybody!

I remember Toddler struggling with this – was it me who struggled more?? – and us constantly trying new naptimes to see what worked best for her. Some kids magically stop napping in the morning and continue with just an afternoon nap, usually moved to right after (a now earlier) lunch. My kid dropped her afternoon nap and gradually moved the morning nap later and later.

It was a bear trying to fit her lunch in (before? after? what works, kiddo?), but after a few months we got onto a standard one-nap-a-day routine with normal mealtimes.

That’s all cool when there’s one little princess in the house, but now that Baby’s life largely revolves around her big sister’s schedule, playing Let’s Find an Ideal Naptime is seriously testing my mom skills.

The problem?

Toddler’s school in the morning! It goes from 9-11:30, and I need to wake up Baby from her 9:30/10 nap at 11 latest in order to avoid being The Late Mom at pickup time.

See where I’m going with this? It’s impossible on school days for Baby’s nap to creep later and later, because that one (and longer) nap backs up into pickup time. Sigh. Parenting fail. Sure, I can try completely forgoing the morning nap and just go for an afternoon nap, but Baby will fall asleep in the car on the way to school anyway, and waking her up from a 10-minute nap is cringe-worthy at best.

This kind of mommy struggle is my least favorite and most stressful … because I firmly believe that a well-rested baby is a happy baby. Sure, this is just the situation twice a week, but a bad nap day affects that night’s sleep and the next day, too.

Needless to say – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – I really can’t wait until Baby is down to one nap solidly in the afternoon, after school pickup!

This fall Toddler will have 3 days of school per week, so her little sister better have this naptime deal firmly planted at 12pm or so, else we are going to have major problems….


Has anyone else dealt with this recently? Was it just a shitshow for a few months or is there a happy solution?


16 thoughts on “More Transition Woes: School + Nap = A Mess

  1. Transitions are the worst! My daugther is almost 2 and 1/2 and I worry about her transition when she starts preschool since she is THE WORST at getting up in the morning. She has to be at the nanny’s house by 8am and I am often late so I feel like when school is in the mix I will have to start getting her up earlier and she just wont have it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, 8am is early! 9am is tough for me, and especially with a 1yo in the mix. I think sometimes we “let ourselves” be a little late if we possibly can get away with it (umm, at least I do this – anyone else do it??), but for something like school it’s somehow easier to get to on time because you HAVE TO. 🙂 You’ll do fine!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It makes a tough day, doesn’t it? It sounds so sacrilegious to look forward to one nap, but it really is less stress and more time to do everything – once the kids get old enough not to be cranky by the end of the day…..


  2. Oh I hated it when my little man had more than one nap. He was a nightmare and the longest he would go at any one time was 45 minutes. What can you achieve in 45 minutes? He now has one nap for a couple of hours after lunch, nursery seemed to make the difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, 45min is the worst!! My oldest daughter was like that, too, until I think 7m. Then we did sleep training and she napped longer.
      I’m glad your son does one long nap – you can actually be productive during that time. Thank goodness nursery helped him to get past the transition to 1!


  3. Yikes! It really is such a tough transition. Good luck with it! Baby Girl dropped her morning nap like a bad habit out of nowhere — fingers crossed that maybe your youngest will go that route.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the support… I hate transitions! Yes, dropping it quickly is definitely preferred – you were lucky! I have a feeling my kiddo will need that morning nap for awhile longer. She’s an excellent sleeper, which is a blessing and a curse!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Naptime (Mommy Free Time) – Playing the Denial Game | welcometothenursery

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