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Have you re-started napping?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My 3 yo needs to nap again. She's much less resilient, she quick cycles from frenetically happy to a screaming mess to meaningless physical outbursts, and so on. She is much less happy than she has been from the start. She's a complete wreck in the evening.

She gets about 11 hours of sleep at night, very consistently. She has a consistent bedtime with an hour window, so between 6:30 and 7:30. She wakes up most mornings before 6:30, and really she is up at least once a night when she moves to our room. She gave up naps almost 18 months ago, and it has not been an issue.

She is my third child, and I think she's acting sleepy. I know three year olds have it rough. Their lives are in major flux, and I was completely accepting of her erratic behavior at first. It's what three looks like to me. However, things are worse, and I just want to know how (or IF) other ever re-instituted a nap after it had been extinct for so long. This sweet thing is TIRED and I truthfully cannot get her to bed before 6:30 at least 5 nights a week. So, a nap seems like a better solution. Any ideas?
post #2 of 5
Hmmmm....I've never tried to re-institute naps, but my 4 y.o. is still napping some days, so I'm a bit of a nap-enforcer.

Have you tried laying down with her to see if that makes her sleepy? When my (then) 3 y.o. was ready to give up naps, I was pregnant and really needed to nap, so we started napping together. He always liked the extra cuddle time, although some days he would fight it a bit.

Although, being a homeschooler, you may not have the luxury of stopping your day for an hour to nap. Perhaps institute a quiet-time hour? Tell her she doesn't have to sleep, but she does have to rest her body. (That's what I say to my 4 y.o.) Perhaps put on some soothing music or a calming storytime cd?

Hope this helps!
post #3 of 5
You could present it as "quiet time" in the afternoons and see how that goes. Have her either stay in her room or on the couch (whatever works for you) and either put on a quiet movie, let her read books, play with something quiet, etc. and maybe she will fall asleep sometimes. That is what I do with my 5 year old while he is out of school for the summer, and have my almost 3 year old do in her room (sometimes she gets up and plays quietly for a bit, and then will go lay down on her bed and fall asleep, sometimes she does not sleep). I phrase it as ALL of us need some quiet time (mommy too), so that it does not seem punitive. Good luck!
post #4 of 5
We have quiet time and sometimes she naps, but not often. I think what she has is a case of just being 3. Three seems way more emotional than 2.
post #5 of 5
My ds pretty much stopped napping by the time he was 3.5 yrs old. There are occasional days he'll be tired in the afternoon and fall asleep in the car or even on the couch (gasp!) all by himself. But these naps we've found to be difficult because he'll wake up in a super duper amazingly foul mood, so it seems usually better for us to try to avoid a nap and just have some peaceful afternoon quiet time to re-energize. Because of the bad-mood thing, I never tried to get him to take a nap, but if a nap happens, I let him sleep, figuring he's pretty tired.
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