What should I do about giving my baby/toddler/kid a nap during a day that we are at the Disneyland Resort?
This seems like a simple question, but boy is it open-ended!
First off there are really only 3 options for naps…
a) Skip naps and power through
b) Nap in the stroller / baby wrap while in the Park
c) Take your littles back to the hotel for the real deal
When folks ask me this I flounder a little bit because I have tested all of these possibilities and then some, and really there is no one right answer! What it comes down to is you and your child.
For your child, take into consideration: Does your babe NEED a nap, how will they react to missing one nap – or several, do they struggle to fall asleep, and finally what is the worst that can happen?
For yourself, think about: Are you OK with them skipping a nap, will a tired baby wear you out, how do you feel about “losing” Disney time in the Parks, and also do YOU want a nap too? (Maybe that last one seems silly, but not to moms with really small babes.)
Ok, so now all that said here’s my personal experience and advice –
I think naps ARE important for the sake of everyone’s enjoyment. If baby is cranky then mommy and daddy are too and no one is getting the true magical Disney experience. We’ve probably all witnessed the classic toddler meltdown in Disneyland. So yes, I am in favor of getting those naps in when you can!
If you are bringing a tiny baby plan to go back to the hotel for a bit (then if you decide you don’t need to, it’s a pleasant surprise). If it’s an older baby-to-young child you can probably get away with baby wrap or stroller naps.
When my son was 5 months we took him to Disneyland for the first time and when he was that little he really struggled to nap and he was a cranky baby a lot of the time, so I took advantage of our lodgings at the Grand Californian and took him back to the hotel whenever he was losing it. Honestly having that hotel room be so close, quick, and convenient was a life saver, and it was a lovely place to spend a few hours by myself (with the baby). After that we found that he would nap in the stroller, maybe not as much as we wanted, but he would and we made it work for us.
Later on, when my daughter came along we took her to Disneyland at 9 months and didn’t once think about going back to the hotel to give her a nap, she was a different kid and also an older baby, plus I had learned a few tricks for how to make naps happen and how to deal with it if they didn’t – it made a world of difference. Ever since then I have let my kids nap in their strollers so we could stay in the Parks and make the most of the time we had there. Obviously, it gets easier the older they get – they need fewer naps and start appreciating the stroller more. But, that isn’t to say that there was never a time when I regretted letting them nap (ie. not nap) in their stroller, but mostly it worked like a charm. I shared 5 Tips for Helping Your Babes Nap at the Disneyland Resort last year, I plan to stick with these until my youngest has grown out of needing a mid-Disney-day-rest (although, don’t we all still need these?).
What are your thoughts on getting your babes their naps even on Disneyland days? Do you, or do you not?
If you have any other questions that you would like us to answer please leave them in the comments section or post them to our Facebook page!