Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Survive a Nap Strike

And on the fifth day, he napped.
I'm not going to far as to say the strike is over, but for now, he's sleeping.

I've been through nap strikes a lot for someone who has been a mother for under three years. CJ gave up one of his naps altogether at the shocking age of eleven months, and then there was the legendary Great Nap Fail of 2013, when he napped only four times in 30 days. Not that I was counting.

Whenever a strike rears its ugly head my first instinct is to wig out--and I did so, with great fervor, for the first several episodes. Just ask Nemo.


I don't know much about nap strikes. I don't know why they happen or how to make them stop (and I have to decided that pondering these things is a waste of energy and will make me crazy) but I AM (albeit slowly) learning how to get through them without being all

Listen up, grasshoppers. Here's how it's done:

Gather Supplies

The thing about nap strikes is you never know when (or if) they will end, so you have to plan for the long term. You're going to want a stockpile of delicious, calorie-dense foods to sustain you through the ordeal. Experts recommend Nutella (straight from the jar so as not to dilute the key nutrients). In dire straights, semi-sweet chocolate chips will do.

Be sure to keep your food stores up high and eat on the sly so the scavenging toddler doesn't make you share.

Stay Hydrated
Your survival depends on choosing beverages that are either a) caffeinated b) alcoholic. It's probably best to save the alcohol for the evening hours so the neighbors don't talk, but if it's 4:30 and you have absolutely had it, who cares what they think! Desperate times and all that! Whichever you choose, keep in mind that the restorative powers of your beverage will be enhanced if it is also c) insanely yummy. Go with the black coffee or cheap red wine if you must, but I would like to submit for your consideration:

White Russian Milkshake, recipe here. You're welcome.

Conserve energy
Cleaning has no place in a nap strike stricken household. It is of the utmost importance that every moment NOT spent dealing with nap time drama should be spent in relaxation. At this juncture I would like to point out that all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are on Netflix.

Band together
Call a friend. Heck, call the whole internet (*ahem*). No one with an ounce of compassion is going to begrudge you a little complaining when you have to hang out with a sleep-deprived toddler all day.

Don't Panic
There are only two possibly outcomes to a nap strike: Either it's temporary and the toddler will eventually resume taking naps, or it's not temporary and the toddler will never nap ever again, ever. Hey--I said don't panic!

When I do start to feel the strain, I remind myself that there is a good chance that it's just a phase. If it isn't, my backup plan is to rebrand the 2-3 o'clock hour as "rest time", chuck them in bed, and carry on sewing as usual.

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.


  1. This is hysterical...and that milkshake. Oh my.

  2. My 2.5 year old finally slept today on the 5th day of his strike! The only redeeming part of non-nap days is early bedtime!

    1. Agreed! Lately both the kids have zonked out by 7pm, so my evenings have been very relaxing:)

  3. This is great, Eva!! Thanks for listening to me vent today :-). Poor guy was a mess by bedtime tonight!

  4. Too too funny! (I'm here from Ana's) My toddler is nap striking as we speak and we just moved and I have an infant who only sleeps when the toddler is awake and my husband is currently working 84 hours a I needed this post. Oh, how I needed it.

    1. Ugh, that sounds so tough! Indulge yourself, for sure. You deserve it!

  5. One small point of correction: if it's after noon, drinking is appropriate. If it's before noon, just make sure it has orange juice in it!!

  6. You know, I think I actually let my first two morph their nap strikes into "giving up naps at 2 years old." Not this time! This time I'm seeing it for what it is: a strike! Temporary. This post is encouraging because it's so easy to forget that they are NORMAL. Thanks for linking up!

  7. I loved this! Your title brought me over from Sarah's. I wish I had had this battle plan laid out when my oldest was so little. Have a wonderful day!