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2 1/2 yr old wont nap unless he falls asleep in the car....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My son seems to only fall asleep in the car for naps and then I transfer him to bed. Ive tried everything to get him to nap on his own at home, waking him earlier than usual and trying for earlier bed times, read lots of books, you name it Ive tried it. Hes not ready to skip naps yet because when 5-6:00 rolls around he will FINALLY pass out on his own from pure exhaustion and we just cant have him napping that late. Ive also tried keeping him awake until a decent bed time hour but hes extremely difficult to handle at times like those...and Im also pregnant due any day now! I always end up giving up trying to get him to nap at home and run an errand just so he can fall asleep, but I cant do this once the baby comes along.

I should add that he used to nurse to sleep for naps which wasnt a big deal to me at the time, but the moment I surprisingly got pregnant my milk was no longer there at all. :(


Anyone been in this situation before? Advice?

post #2 of 6

He could learn to sleep independently by now. Is he in a cot or a bed? 


The car is a prop and his nap won't be very well rested if he falls asleep in one place and wakes in another, it can be a bit disturbing for little ones. 


I would try early waking, around 7am and then REALLY knacker him, outside, lots of exercise, maybe go swimming if possible. Has he got a favourite stuffed animal he is attached to? That can be integrated in play, and when he gets tired, talk to him that it will be his wee bear or whatever, who will help him sleep. Do a wind-down after lunch, draw the curtains, rock or cuddle until quite drowsy, bit still awake then put him in his cot. DON'T leave the room, it will scare him and isn't gentle enough. My opinion, anyway, I am sure some people will disagree. Put him back down, always with the same words, time to sleep, for DS and the cuddly. Stay next to his cot, but don't interact, just keep putting him back down. He will get it after a few days. 


If that doesn't work, he might truly have grown out of it, it can happen and you will be in that transition phase.... Sometimes, a short nap in the stroller works to keep them until bedtime. If he doesn't sleep at all, aim for a 13 hour night, tuck-in really early.



post #3 of 6
I was in the EXACT same situation with my daughter last winter! I could not get her to sleep except in the car after she stopped nursing. I finally started just telling her (sometime after mynow 3 month old was born): "it's rest time. Would you like to lie down in mommy's bed or your bed?" Sometimes I give her the choice to go for a ride in the stroller since she will also fall asleep there. So I give her 2 maybe 3 choices and I just keep repeating the question of where she would like to sleep until she chooses a location. Then I lay down with her and rib her back or feet or sing until she sleeps. She still wants to cuddle up on my shoulder to sleep.
post #4 of 6
I think 2 year olds still need a lot of touch and cuddles to sleep. She will even cuddle up to her little brother if I'm nursing him to sleep at the same time she needs to sleep.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

We are a co-sleeping family so my son sleeps with us in our kingsize bed and we have a crib sidecarred next to it, so he occasionally sleeps between us or in the crib. I think its all about consistency and patience, which has been really hard for me when dealing with this pregnancy also.

post #6 of 6

That there is a cot and a bed to choose from is good. Can you give him the choice WHERE he wants to nap? Is your bedroom dark enough at lunch time? 


For the falling asleep bit, cuddles are important, and stay present, too. Just not too much interaction like playing, tickling, etc, as that will just get him all riled up again. 


Seen as you are preggers, you could do with anap, too, so can you two take it together?

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