So…as a Mother of two little ones I have vast experience with this…not to mention it’s a very popular question amongst my clients. Now…this post isn’t about the importance of napping, quiet time or resting…it’s about the “how to”. And PS – Napping is highly RECOMMENDED; especially for younger ones and families doing an “All Day” experience.
In my opinion there is really only 3 ways to “nap” at Disney; in room, in stroller or my new favorite…on Mamma (or Dadda).
- Napping in room, aka your resort room is the obvious choice…but is it the best? First you have to leave the park, take a bus (or hop the monorail) then quiet down the fam, close the curtains, turn off the lights and hope & pray the kid(s) nap. Now…this option is awesome when everyone wants to nap and will nap. It’s perfect for families who travel often and are use to sleeping in one room or families that co-sleep. It’s also great when a young family only has one kid. The family with one kid can put the baby (tot) to nap while mom and dad sit out on the patio and discuss the day.
We did this one vacation and I can honestly say it worked out great. Did I want to leave the park, NO…Did I like missing out on a few hours of potential play time, NO…but did it ruin my vacation, NO…my then 2 year old slept everyday like a champ and was then ready to tackle the evening for a few more short hours (we are early sleepers). Now what saved us was not sitting and waiting around for 2-3 hours (everyday)…I packed her pack n’play tent (see pic), her baby monitor and we were able to walk the grounds a bit, grab a snack and return to the patio knowing she was safe. Many people saw us and wondered where the baby was, asked if we had “grandma” with us…I mentioned the monitor and everyone was in awe. So that’s my secret…enjoy.
Of course some could nap, some could play (swim)…but unless that napper is really, really tired…they might not want to miss out on any fun…so beware of that.
- Napping in the stroller; I must confess that I have never done this but after several trips to Disney and watching other parents…I kinda have an insight. First the perk is…you stay in the park, you don’t have to leave thus you can enjoy more rides and more park fun…however…if you have a napper in the stroller someone either needs to wait with the napper while others play or you wake the grumpy napper. In my opinion this option doesn’t seem totally convenient, but if you have grandma with you who really doesn’t want to ride the rides or the parents switch off – it can be done. But beware…hot sweaty kid in hot stroller might equal some unpleasant results…so remember sunscreen, get a shade and hydrate when awake.
Of course you could take that time to shop the air-conditioned stores and get your spending on…but do you want to do that everyday – just something to think about.
- Napping on Mom, aka baby wearing; this is my new favorite way to nap at Disney…why? One major reason…you can still ride the rides, that’s right…if the kid can ride it awake, you can ride it when “wearing” them. This was basically our only option this past trip…the older kid didn’t want to leave (neither did I) and the napper was never going to nap in the room anyways (not a napper at home)…so I brought the baby carrier and hoped for the best. He napped everyday for 2-3 hours…on me. It was hard to use the restroom and getting in/out of the rides reminded me of pregnancy, lol – but it was awesome. We still enjoyed ourselves and he had an awesome nap. For the record he is 2.5 and about 32lbs. I wasn’t in pain, my shoulders didn’t hurt and no…I did not trip. I was able to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise and other similar rides, no rollercoasters obviously. In fact I joke because he fell asleep in Mexico and woke up in Canada…he slept through the entire World Showcase, lol.
And if you want a 4th option, lol…you can always be like the family I see every trip…where the napper fell asleep on the Railroad or Monorail…and the parents just keep going round and round until naptime is over. It happens folks and we all understand when it happens to you.
Hope this little napping segment helps…if anything go with your gut and with what works at home. Some kids will sleep anywhere and some need that quiet space…and some just need a Mamma/Dadda hug.
Good Luck – Nina