Dropping the day sleep: “I just got my days back, and it feels totally weird!”

Posted in Sleeping.

I have two kids and my youngest, who recently turned three, has just dropped his day sleep. As a result, a whole new world has just opened up to me!

Goodbye day sleep!

For five and a half years, my non-work days have been ruled by my boys’ day sleeps. That’s five and half years of having to be home before lunch lest I disrupt their routine and have all hell to pay later in the day.

It’s SO WEIRD for me to now find myself being able to leave the house with the boys at, say, 11am, have a picnic lunch and not have to be home for a day sleep. It’s liberating and exhausting in a whole new way.

Here are six things I’ve realised now that we’re no longer governed by the all-important day sleep.

1. The days are so much more fun!

Without having a day sleep curfew, our days have now really opened up. We can take a day trip to the city because we don’t have to be home by midday for a nap. We can enjoy a bush walk and a picnic lunch. We can even go further afield because we have the whole day to fill. It’s more tiring (for me), but it’s fun!

2. But the days are also L-O-N-G

Without nap time creating an intermission in our day, my days suddenly feel so much longer. I now have the whole day to fill, and it’s exhausting. After we’ve been to the playground, done some chores together, baked a cake, made a fresh batch of play dough, and I’ve cleaned up after them over and over, I’m in need of wine time. And it’s only 2pm.  

3. It’s costing me more money

As a result of needing to fill in the WHOLE day, I’m spending more. While we used to just hang at home in the afternoons, now I find myself handing over $10 so my little guys can go crazy in the ball pit instead of at home, or taking them to a cafe to sip on babyccinos while I indulge in a flat white. 

4. My boys are playing – and fighting – a lot more

Now that his best bud doesn’t have to go down for a sleep every day, my big boy is relishing the all-day-fun he gets to have with him. While they like to make ‘spaceships’ out of our tub chairs and play hide and seek, they are also bickering more. My house is suddenly so much noisier than it was a month ago. I have to admit, I am craving the quiet time that a nap brought.

5. I miss having some me-time

When my youngest napped, I used to let my eldest indulge in some TV time. This was also my time. My time to make that phone call I hadn’t been able to make all morning, prepare dinner, or – gulp – have a cup of tea while scrolling through Facebook. Now, I don’t get that break. While the telly still gets switched on for both boys to allow me time to get dinner, there are now fights over whether to watch Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig.

6. Bedtime has gotten easier

Now that my little guy has dropped his day sleep, he’s totally spent by the time 6:30pm rolls around. Where I used to have to coax him into bed and read Where Is The Green Sheep? 100 times before he’d shut his lids – now he’ll ASK to go to bed. He literally rolls over after just a couple of stories and has fallen asleep. Bedtime had gotten so much easier!

7. The car has become a trap

Now that we are in a no-day-sleep schedule and the bedtime routine has improved, I have to be wary of the car. Some days my little guy simply can’t fight the urge to sleep on a five-minute drive down to Coles to get milk. When this happens I face a dilemma: should I wake him up and spare us the bedtime battle, or let him snooze because maybe he still needs this? At the moment, the answer to this varies depending on what we have on that day. And whatever I choose will probably be the wrong thing anyway!


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