May 29 2018

Climbing, Travel and … Napping!?

Hi Beth,
 
First, thank you for truly being an encouragement, inspiration, and role model to all of the mommies out there trying to navigate their new roll as life giver while also trying to remember and live their identities as adventurers. Certainly a hard and rewarding transition.I loved the blog about the third wheel, thank goodness for them.
 
This May my husband and will setting out to climb throughout North Carolina, then on to Wyoming and Utah with my son Cedar, just turned two April 10th. Some camping, some living out of in-laws rv, etc. And the thing I am most concerned about is naps. I have loved following your journey across Europe and am really curious how you handle the naps for Theo. Cedar is a terrible sleeper, does Theo nap while you guys are out cragging? Thanks for any advice you are able to share on how and when haha. And I also completely understand if you don’t have time to respond to this.
 
Again thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in life, especially as a kindred mom. You really seem to be an incredible person.
 
Best,
Kathryn

 

Hi Kathryn –
 

Thank you for reaching out and the kind words.
 
Ah the question of sleeping and napping! Theo is almost four, and in the past couple of months has started dropping his beloved nap. We’ve had friends and family who had their kiddo drop their nap earlier and some who have dropped their nap later. I’m always hoping he’ll be a lifelong napper like me 🙂 but time shall tell….
 
I always hate to give advice or sound like an expert because every kid, family and situation is so different, but I can let you know some things that I learned and hopefully you can take some of that and morph it into something that might work for you. Here’s a post from a couple of years ago on where we were then and what friends did as well.
 
Before this recent trip, I was pretty set on trying to get him to nap each day no matter where we were, what time zone we were in, no matter what the weather. I think I was just so set on “sleep is good for brain development!” that perhaps I was too tied to napping (and I get pretty grumpy without my own nap 😉 I tried to do it roughly around the same time (give or take an hour or two depending on his fatigue level, when he woke, etc), but I’d give it a go. If he didn’t go down, I’d try again a little later. At first I was bummed if he didn’t sleep as long as he did at home, but then I started to just be thankful for any nap he would get. Then, he started getting more and more used to other places and situations. So instead of his crib being a constant, it was me, the bouldering pad, the Ergo, etc. Just the fact that there was a “nap time” each day gave me something to look forward to.
 
Theo didn’t sleep through the night consistently until he was over two 🙁 that was rough for us. I’m hoping Cedar is better than Theo in that regard!? Again, I think consistency as much as you can have it will help. Obviously if you are traveling most days, it won’t be his crib, but maybe a blanket, you, a bouldering pad, a familiar book or story.
 
If it’s anything like us, the first days, weeks might be a little rough, getting into the groove, but then hopefully he’ll start to adapt. I know I was always tearing my hair out and questioning traveling because I turn into a very grumpy person without sleep. My biggest piece of advice is patience for you guys and him (and I know this is HARD when sleep deprivation is involved – like I said, I am not pleasant without sleep). I always loved it when it seems like we’ve got a routine or something clicked with a schedule, I feel like somehow I unlocked the mystery that is parenting, but sure enough that’s right when Theo will switch it up on me … so … patience 🙂
 
We’ve been traveling with Theo his whole life. And while it’s safe to say that I question that decision at some point on almost every trip, it’s also provided some of my favorite memories as our little family 🙂
 
I don’t know if that helps at all, or if it was just a big ramble. I wish I had the magic answer “do x y z and you’ll get a 3 hour nap each day and he’ll sleep through the night each night!” but alas, I’m still searching for that answer myself 🙂
 
Good luck and I hope you have a great summer trip!
 

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