This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

What It's Like to Nap with a Toddler

Trying to take a nap with a toddler is like scaling Everest. (I know this because I recently watched the movie Everest so I am totally qualified to make this assessment.)

It may sound like I’m exaggerating. I am. But hear me out.

It’s dangerous.

It will take forever. Life will go on without you while you’re either (a) trying to convince your toddler to sleep or (b) trapped in a precarious position (i.e. under a sweaty child or clinging to a mountainside in subzero temperatures with very little oxygen).

Seriously, it will feel like days have passed since you were able to move at will.

You will be uncomfortable.

You will be hungry.

It could all come crashing in around you if you so much as sneeze. Or cough. Or try to shoo the fly away that’s landed on your nose.

There will be injuries (i.e. kicks in the gut by little size 5 feet or frostbite that may result in the loss of a finger or toe).

You’ll be terrified.

Sometimes it feels like you might die.

But it’s worth it because they are so crazy cute. (That part has nothing to do with Everest. I have no idea why anyone would try to climb that. Why would you do that? Are you crazy?)

I must be a thrill seeker because I try napping with my two year old all the time. If you’re a mama I’m betting you do too. I have a theory about this. We’ve likely all had that one perfect napping experience where your little one just drifted off to sleep nestled in the crook of your arm. They’re usually so active. So noisy. So full of questions and enthusiasm. So covered in dirt. And for this one perfect hour they powered down and fell asleep with you. Just once. Maybe they were sick. Maybe they were the exact right balance of tired but not overtired. Whatever the reason it happened that one magical time. And never again. My perfect mommy/toddler nap occurred on April 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm. (Kidding. But it was around that day.)

Here I am two months later still trying to recreate that one glorious shared nap with my sweet little spitfire.

For your enjoyment I give you this recap of my recent attempt. It was about 2 pm. We climbed into my king bed. She was excited as she always is when I say she can nap with mama. She’s in the middle of the bed and I’m on one side of her. I’ve placed a huge pillow on the other side to keep her from rolling off. She’s wearing her bathing suit top and a diaper because she didn’t want to put on regular clothes and who am I to argue.

Toddler: “Whayadoinmama?”

Me: “Mama go night night.”

Toddler: “Oh.” Lying on back. Legs straight up in air. Care Bear tucked under one arm.

Me: “Go night night.”

Toddler: “Ummmmmmm. No.”

Me: “Go night night.”

Toddler: “No.” Sits up.

Me: “Put your head on your pillow.”

Toddler: “No.”

Me: “Put your head on your pillow like mama.”

Toddler: “Ummmmmmm. No.”

Me: “Night night with mama or night night in your crib?”

Toddler: “Night night with mama.” Hurls her body backward so she’s lying on the pillow again. Eyes clenched shut to convince me she’s asleep.






Toddler: Whayadoinmama?” Eyes pop open. Big grin.

Me: “Close your eyes.”

Toddler: Rolls to tummy. Rolls to back. Rolls to tummy. Climbs on me. Drapes her little body across my midsection.

Me: “Close your eyes.”

Toddler: “That a fan. Mama, is that a fan? Is that a faaaaaaan?”

Me: “Yes, baby. Please close your eyes.”

Toddler: “Mama, what’s thaaaaat?” while pointing one at a time to everything in the room.

Me: I close my eyes and feign sleep.

Toddler: “Mama! Mama! Mama!”

Me: Still pretending to sleep.

Toddler: “Mamaaaaaa!”

Me: I open my eyes and her face is literally one inch from mine.

Toddler: “What?”


Toddler: “Is that your hair?”

Me: “Are you going to lie down with mama?”

Toddler: “No.”

Me: “Okay, it’s time to go night night in your crib.” I pick her up and carry her down the hall to her room.

Toddler: “No! No! Night night with mama!”

Me: I give in and carry her back to my bed.

Toddler: Flings herself across my midsection. Her bottom lip is poked out as far as she can get it.

Me: Eyes closed. Trying to look asleep. Ignoring the cramp in my arm. Why did I lay it in such an odd position? Don’t look. Don’t look. Don’t be stupid. Don’t look. Don’t look. I open one eye.

Toddler: Big grin. “Is that your pigtail?”

Me (wearing a messy ponytail): Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. I laugh.

Toddler: Jumps up. Stands in the center of bed and leaps onto me. “Got ya!”

Me: “I quit. Let’s watch Bubble Guppies. Want popcorn?”

So to recap, don’t try napping with your toddler if you actually need sleep. And, yes, obviously I’ll be trying this again tomorrow.



Share the Love:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Abbie says:

    “You will be terrified.” I have tears!!!

  2. Michele says:

    But when it happens, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world!

  3. Kassi Chapman says:

    So accurate and perfect! It makes me sad that our daughter doesn’t nap on me anymore like she used to when she was an itty bitty babe. I have more freedom to actually do stuff during her nap but sad. Such a sweet and precious thing! At least she’all cosleep with us when she’s not feeling well.

    1. Christina says:

      It’s so sad when they won’t snuggle up for a nap together anymore! Still it’s definitely nice to get a little time back in the day!