My 2 y/o will lay in bed, talk to her stuffed animals and sing to herself. I have to go in and remind her that it is sleepy time. Sometimes she dozes right off. A lot of the time she will just lay there for a while and I can hear her talking to herself. About an hour goes by and she yells "Mom, i'm wake!!" (she won't get out of the toddler bed unless I come in). It's actually really funny because I say to her "You didn't even sleep!" and she goes "I know."...Not much help but had to share!
2.5 yr old dropping only nap - Page 2
So I'm working toward creating a quiet time routine because it does not look like naps are going to return. We put a mattress on the floor instead of using the crib since I was having trouble getting him in now that I'm pregnant and he's about 30 lbs. This is definitely not helping the situation. For now I just put a stack of books next to the mattress and get out some activities and then close the gate on his room. I want to get some new toys/activities that will keep him busy and will be special just for quiet time. Maybe also some library books that will stay in quiet time basket so they are only accessible during that time. I also plan to order a kid friendly timer as I think a visual will help. I definitely want something established by baby 2's arrival!
Right now ds also seems to hate quiet time as he is equating it with naps (which he was fighting at the end) and knows it is time by himself. I want to try to make it a positive time so I'll have to work on that. I think we have to start small with maybe me even in there reading my own book to start and then ease my way out and lengthen the time. I have been so exhausted I am not really teaching him what the time is for and I just put him in there and crash on my own bed across the hall. He calls for me every 5 min or so and I don't really get much rest. Sometimes I let him sit on my bed and read books which he seems to accept more than being alone. I am okay with it but of course he wants to talk to me while I am trying to sleep, haha.
DD started dropping naps right after she turned 2. But it would be on and off, like a week of good napping then a week of it taking me 2 hours to get her to sleep and it all ending up not feeling worth it. By 27 months nothing made her go to sleep. She's never slept in the car or stroller (unless she's not with me... which is rare) but putting her in the soft structured carrier and dancing would always get her. But then no longer. She can defy sleep like no body's business. And with a sly grin on her face the whole while! I realized that no naps may be the new normal and that I better figure out how to deal. (What I noticed was without that down time in the afternoon my mental health plummeted.)
She's still my only child so I realize it's simpler but here's the journey we've been on: At first I was like, "fine, if you're not going to nap, great, I'm sick of rushing through our morning activities to get home to try and get you down and have it be a fight. I know you need rhythm and routine and all that gobbly gook but I need a break. I want to focus on really enjoying our mornings out and coming home when we come home. You can sleep along the way if you need it." This kinda worked. For helping my sanity at least. We'd focus on enjoying our mornings and letting them drift into the afternoon if they did. Then we'd come home and have a very quiet, mellow, home-based afternoon that went straight into supper and bedtime. She would get insane (wound up and volatile and hit the dogs) every evening for about a month maybe? Then that passed, and, as long as she got down time for deep, uninterrupted play in the afternoon, she'd make it to bedtime no problem. I think she's ready for bed at 6pm really, on the no-nap days, but my husband doesn't get home until then and we've always leaned toward the later in bedtimes. So I feel conflicted as a mother but go with the philosophy that we meet her needs 99% of the time and that sometime she has to work with the family's needs too. So we try to be in bed by 7:30pm for stories and snuggles and then she's usually out by 8pm. And, although sometimes quite restlessly and nursing at least 3 times throughout the night, she'll sleep 12 hours.
Lately (she's 30 months now) I've been noticing her showing really clear tired signs in the afternoon, like 1-2 range and if I make the space for nursing and rocking or snuggling sometimes she'll drift off. And if she doesn't drift off she'll be super quiet. I usually read to her for awhile then say I need to close my eyes and then I don't respond no matter how much she freaks out. Generally it's not a very long freak out and she cuddles up and falls asleep or plays quietly until I sit up (she can go up to half an hour.) We haven't had successful quiet times without my presence BUT I've noticed that, even if she does not sleep, they help her make it through the afternoon. And, even though I'm not getting solo productive time, I am getting to lay down and close my eyes and be still. Which helps me make it through the afternoon.
She was really sick last week and was all of a sudden napping every day again and it was amazing. And this week she's keeping with that trend. She seems desperate for sleep in a way she wasn't before. BUT the trade-off is that she won't fall asleep until 10pm. Even if we're in bed at 7:30. And then she only sleeps 10 hrs. So she's not really getting any more sleep.
Just my experience! Think it's always helpful to share our stories :)