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Toddler twin naptime hell(p)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So my guys are just a few months shy of 3 years old, and they are champion bad sleepers; always have been. But we are pretty much going out of our minds with naptime lately. We can't get them to stay in their beds, and they scream and fight and generally make life miserable for us and themselves. It's always been tough to get them down for a nap, but lately they are fighting harder and harder, and I think I may actually lose my mind. Both DH and I (he's home for the summer, which is great, but I think he had this plan that he was going to 'fix' naptime, and now he's finding out how maddening it is) are going crazy with this. We have started going for rides in the afternoon so they will at least get a snooze, but it's just not sustainable.

I would be more than happy to let them skip nap and just go to bed earlier, but days when they don't nap at all are ugly, ugly, ugly, and often they fall asleep wherever they are (table, couch, floor, etc.) at around 4:30, which is terrible news because then they are up half the night.

So.... any ideas? How do your toddler twins go to sleep for a nap? I would love to hear what all of you wonderful mamas are doing for a routine so I can hopefully get some sanity back in my life..... TIA!
post #2 of 13
I feel your pain! We are in the exact same boat. Naps are hard and make the twins stay up too late. No nap makes for a nightmare between 4 and 7 (as well as the face first nap plant on the floor at five when I am making dinner). I am hoping other mamas have advice.

Two makes it more than twice as hard in sleeping stuff.
post #3 of 13
After about 4 months of fighting DD to nap, I finally just gave up, she was 2 1/2. DS continued to nap until 34 months, but was harder and harder to get to sleep at bedtime, so I just stopped having him nap. It was a pretty difficult transition. DS is a sleeper, was able to fall asleep in the car during a 2 minute drive, but taking naps was making him much less sleepy at night.

For a few weeks I had to be very aware of where DS was and what he was doing, especially like your two, around 4:00. I found him fast asleep one day sprawled across a bunch of toys in the playroom. Swim lesson days were extremely difficult and he fell asleep one afternoon standing on the floor with his head resting on the couch. They turned 3 in June, and except for car rides over 20 min, DS is nap free. The good news is they now go to bed at 8 and sleep solidly for at least 12 hours. I do admit that I really miss the naptime break during the day, but now that bedtime isn't a struggle anymore, DH and I have a few hours to spend alone together in the evening (that is the nights that he doesn't end up falling asleep with the twins).

That is where our situations differ, we co-sleep, so I was lying down with the twins at naptime and trade off doing so with DH at bedtime. I can completely relate to your frustration, but I found that once I let go of naps, really came to peace with the idea (and I"m not joking, it was a difficult transition for me!) the loss of that daily fight has made my life more peaceful. HTH
post #4 of 13
Don't want to jinx things, but nap time is working for us right now. Our girls are 2 1/2. At nap time, the girls choose books and stuffed animals to take to bed with them (cribs). We pull the blinds, which makes for a darkened but not dark room, and put our spinning fishes night light on. And then walk out and say have a good nap.

It's quiet time as much as nap, and I can hear that the girls sing and chat and play for a good long time. I usually have to wake them up after a couple hours so they don't sleep too late.

If your boys are in beds, maybe you could do some variation of this, but I'm dreading that day.

Oh please, oh please, oh please keep up the good napping / sleeping! And girls, stay in your cribs for another 18 months at least. Maybe until high school.

Good luck!
post #5 of 13
Once my girls were out of cribs and into a bed, I had to lie down with them to get them to take a nap. Otherwise they would just chitter chatter and end up climbing the walls and emptying the drawers. I won't lie - it kind of sucked. It also kind of sucked that when my babysitter was here 2 days a week, she would just kiss them and put them in bed and they would go right to sleep - and sleep longer than they would for me.

Eventually they stopped falling asleep when I lay down with them - probably around 3 years 4 months. But I didn't give up altogether until they stopped napping for Janine (a few weeks later)!
post #6 of 13
Have you tried having them nap in separate rooms? At some point mine could not nap in the same room, they would chit chat forever and play and it was just too much stimulation.

What do you do in the morning before it's time for a nap? Do you run them around a lot? Mine will nap if they had a lot of exercise and outside play, but often DD will not nap if the morning was the least bit not active enough.

My DD skips nap more than DS; on those days I still enforce quiet time in her room. She can read books or play quietly. Sometimes that means she falls asleep, often she just has quiet time and comes out an hour later. It's still better than no rest at all in terms of impact to evening temperament.
post #7 of 13
I was tired of the hour long fight at bedtime, so naps went. It was really hard in the beginning and almost a year later I still sometimes find D asleep on the couch with a book. But most days we come home, have lunch, have some down time, and off to the park we go. I make dinner before we go out and we pretty much come home in time to eat, about an hour and a half to two hours later. They are so tired by that time, that bath and bed go off without a hitch. On those days when we need them to sleep I make sure the morning is really active (lots of outside play) and I try and put them down early and wake them up after an hour. We tried that yesterday and it worked great. They went to bedtime about half an hour later and slept in an hour this morning It's all about the timing. Sounds like yours just don't want to nap anymore.
post #8 of 13
I thought I was going to have to give up naps at 2.75 because of the party atmosphere at naptime. Separating them bought me another 9 mo. We gave up naps at 3.5. It took a couple months to get over afternoon he**, but sure made bedtime a lot easier.
post #9 of 13
My two girls are 3.5 now and we gave up naps a long time ago. It was really hard to get them to sleep and then, if they did take a nap, they would be up til at least midnight! Late afternoon/early evenings could be tough, but the reward for all of us was that once dinner was done, it meant bedtime for the twins! They almost always went right to sleep and slept all night. This has been working ever since.
The only solution I can think of for you, if you want them to take naps, is to have them in separate rooms. Otherwise, they will keep each other going and, as you say, drive you crazy!
One other thing we did (for bedtime, since they didn't take naps) was remove everything from their room except for their beds, which are bolted to the wall. Also, their bedroom door is gated. This way, if they do happen to have an evening when they don't go right to sleep but start goofing around, there isn't anything interesting to do or to destroy. They soon give up and go to sleep.
Twins are really something, aren't they?!?!?!?!
post #10 of 13
My girls are almost 2 and just figured out how to climb out of the pack and plays, so naps are not so peaceful here either. Now I have to lay down with them until they actually go to sleep. (I put on a video for my oldest son while I'm doing this). I just started this, so it takes about 30 minutes or so, but they eventually sleep. It's the same thing at night.

I don't really have any pre-nap routine though, except changing diapers and putting on a video for brother. Does anyone have any routine that helps the LOs to sleep a little faster, since they are anticipating sleep? (I ask this, as I sometimes have to literally hold them down so they lay down and go to sleep. Sometimes they are kicking the wall or giggling with each other. They eventually decide to lay down by themselves (though I still have to lay down between them.)) Also, have found that singing slow songs to them tends to calm them down. I've tried reading books some too, but haven't been too regular with that. Anything else that helps them to clue in that it's time to sleep?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
thank you, mamas! We have been trying to schedule our longer trips of the day for naptime, so we've gotten a bit of a break with that because they sleep in the car. But it's just not sustainable in any sense of the word to keep doing that, so I think we may just give up nap. I'm actually terrified of what our afternoons will be like, but I do think that bedtime would be much easier. Here goes......
post #12 of 13
We are huge on the quiet time over here. I think it is what has kept me sane over the last 8 years. My older children still have quiet time (in fact, they ask for it!!) - it is a time of day when they have no responsibilities, they can relax, read, listen to a book on tape or play quietly in their beds. It gives us all a break and gets us charged for the rest of the day. If we get into a habit of missing them, after a few days, I notice behavior issues.

So around 1pm (after lunch) we all go to our rooms, and chill. The whole house is quiet......

On your boys: mine are 2.5, and they are at that point where they don't always NEED a nap, but is can get scary from 3pm on until bedtime if they don't. When they have quiet time, even if they don't nap, it is much easier. I lay in bed with them and pop in my ipod and usually doze off. They can look at books or play with stuffed animals in bed. If they are super tired, they nurse and fall asleep. Not sure if that helps, but I know mine would not stay in bed, unless I was with them.
post #13 of 13
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