2 1/2 year old not napping - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 08-19-2008, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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My problem is that all of a sudden my child (who will turn 3 in December) has been skipping naps, and today was a nightmare

For about a year now, he would:
- wake between 6-7am
- nap for 3-4 hours
- bedtime at 8pm
This made him and I very happy And doctors would say is very healthy because he was getting 12-14 hours of sleep.

Now he doesn't want to nap at all, spends the afternoon crabby, and crashes at 6 or 7pm. This makes him and I very angry:

How do you think I should solve this problem? My first instinct is to move him from his crib to a toddler bed to help him feel that he is in control (even though he has never been forced to sleep). He seems to fall alseep fine at grandparents house on a cot. I am hoping that this will change things up a bit, help him feel like a "big boy" and give him an incentive to want to go to sleep.

What do you think?

I am going to double post this in the toddler forum.

Happy Wife & Mama to 1 boy 12/6/05
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#2 of 19 Old 08-20-2008, 04:59 PM
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My 2 1/2-year-old has all but given up his nap in the middle of the day. Frankly, I am thrilled when he wakes up at 7, goes all day without a nap, then crashes around 7:30 or 8. Because if he does take a nap, he doesn't fall asleep until 9:30 or 10.

But each child needs a different amount of sleep. Even so, as kids get older they do tend to nap less.

I think moving him to a "big boy bed" sounds like a good idea. That way, when he's crabby, even if he won't sleep he can sit on it and play quietly (and maybe take a nap if he needs one).

Mom of 2 boys: D-Mac (Feb 06) and Ducky (Dec 08)
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#3 of 19 Old 08-20-2008, 05:07 PM
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Moved to Toodlers...home of daytime toddler sleeping questions!

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#4 of 19 Old 08-20-2008, 05:33 PM
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My 29 mo gave up naps altogether about 2 months ago. I didn't try to force him to sleep. He generally goes to sleep about 8 or 9 and doesn't wake up until 8 or 9 in the morning so he's still getting a good 12 hours or so of sleep.
I know some 3, 4 and five yo that still take naps but on the other hand I know a couple of 2 yo that don't, my son included. I just think it depends on the child.

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#5 of 19 Old 08-20-2008, 07:20 PM
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K will be 3 in December also. Have you tried adjusting what time he takes his nap? I also no longer call it nap time, it's rest time.

We moved K to a twin bed in mid-June. At bed time he knows that he must stay in his bed. Rest time it varies. I don't mind him playing-as he usually ends up in his bed asleep anyway. But if I feel that he does need a nap, I tell him he can't get out of bed.

K does still usually nap, but sometimes doesn't. But K is good and we don't usually have any meltdown problems if K misses his nap.

Wife to J 9/00 Mama to K 12/05
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#6 of 19 Old 08-20-2008, 08:01 PM
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My just-turned-3-year-old has had similar problems, off and on. I think the best thing to do is put the child down for the nap at the same time every day...then leave them in bed for 45 mins to an hour, even if they don't sleep. (If they do sleep, just let them sleep as long as they need to.)

This gives the child a sense of routine, AND some quiet, alone time. Quiet alone time isn't as good as a nap, but it does help.

So while my daughter has certainly had nap strikes, eventually she goes back to napping.

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#7 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 01:19 PM
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Well my 23 month old is deciding some days she does not need to nap anymore, she already dropped to one nap at 8 months, well she she didn't nap at all for about a month then picked up just a PM nap, almost everyone I know has a kid who sleeps 2x's a day, ugh. At one point she didn't sleep at night or in the day and it made us not a happy family. Now she is not napping some days and I can say it wasn't her that was the problem yesterday, but me I had a horrid headache and she just wanted to play outside, and I couldn't do it. It's so weird other days she practically begs for a nap.

Then this am she decides at 6 she wants to get up, and DH and I simply said, no go back to sleep and she did. When we got up it was almost 9(WOW!!!). Dh had overslept, but it's ok because he's a contract electrician so he didn't have to be to his job at 8am or something. She also went to bed at 8, so we got a lot of sleep last night. Thank goodness.

I just want you to know I totally understand, there are days my DD does this and I know soon she will not sleep in the day.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#8 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 02:27 PM
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I agree with pp about trying a routine at the same time each day and if they sleep, great, if not, move on. Having said that, DS#1 stopped napping for me a few months before he was 2.5 - for me I think it was partly because of a new baby and partly because he never was a great sleeper. There were days that I KNEW he needed a nap but he wouldn't sleep, so he went to bed alot earlier. He also usually gets up around 7 so he generally goes to bed between 7 and 8 and if he is really crabby more like 6.

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#9 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 02:40 PM
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I posted several weeks ago with the same problem. my dd is exactly the same age as your son and the nap has been iffy all summer. she never napped as much as your son (2 hours was a long nap). I was really upset when the nap wasn't happening (I needed a break too), so I instituted "quiet time" between 1 & 3 or so. I would try for the nap, but if it didn't happen, I'd just let dd play quietly, or we'd read books. sometimes I doze on the couch while she plays. the upside of this arrangement is that she goes to bed much earlier, around 7:30. of course, once I had adjusted to this, she suddenly started taking naps again for about a week (and going to bed around 9 or so), but now we're back to no nap. I think it's a process, just like when they go from 2 naps to 1, etc. good luck!

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#10 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 02:45 PM
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I have another 2 yo non-napper. She dropped her nap around her second birthday. She still gets 13-14 hours of sleep, just all at night. I'll put her to bed around 6:30 and she'll wake up between 7:30 and 8:30am. I miss the afternoon break (especially since my 4.5 yo still takes a 2 hour nap every afternoon ), but this seems to work okay for her. I can't make her sleep. I've tried....

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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#11 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 02:48 PM
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Both of my kids were done naps by 2.5. My son stopped a little before 2, but I was fighting him with naps by 18 months. My daughter stopped shortly after her second birthday. She wakes up around 6:30/7:00 and goes to bed at around 7:30. It's working out well for us. I stop worrying about naps once I realize that they sleep more in 24 hours without a nap than with.

*However, my kids have never taken a 3 hour nap in their lifetimes. I considered 2 hours a long nap for my kids with an hour being more typical for 1-2 years old.
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#12 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 02:54 PM
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I would probably buy a double bed for your dc and institute quiet time at a certain time everyday and pick a couple books to read to him at that time. He will probably fall asleep at that time and you can get up and do your thing.
Or if your ds can fall asleep in a stroller, I'd just make sure I go out for a walk at the same time everyday.
IMO, 2.5 is way to young to give up naps, especially if it means a horrible day.

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#13 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 03:59 PM
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I could've written your post exactly. Dd, who will also be 3 in Dec, gave up her nap about a month ago at the exact same time that she decided to be completely potty trained. She now wakes up between 6:30-7:00am and goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm.

My dh loves the "new arrangement" because she used to nap for 2 hours in the afternoon and not go to bed till 9ish after fighting it. Now it's quiet at our house by 8pm every night and she falls asleep immediately at bedtime. I hate it because 1. I need a break in the afternoon, especially with 2 kiddos at home and 2. She gets either grumpy or what I call "stupid silly" every afternoon. I know that she needs to nap because she falls asleep in the car every time we drive anywhere farther than 15 minutes or so, but I refuse to be the mom who runs the car for an hour to get my kid to nap.

Not sure if the toddler bed will help your dc...Dd has been in the toddler bed since she was 2 or so for nights, but still always napped with me. Now she will nap...ummm...no where. We do have quiet time, which basically consists of me reading her a few books and then reading my own books or going online while she "rests" and her baby sister sleeps beside me. She'll stay in bed for an hour or so babbling to herself and sometimes looking through books, but she will not sleep. I'll be watching this page for suggestions too...hoping this is a phase that will pass and that we'll be back to nap time soon!
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#14 of 19 Old 08-21-2008, 04:23 PM
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My 29 month old twins have given up their nap in the last week. I miss it I liked getting a shower and a little "me" time in. They wake at 7:30-8am and in bed by 7:30-8pm every nite. They use to nap from 12-2. I have always let them decide when they are ready to change things and I guess they are ready. They really aren't fussy until about 5 then they get a little cranky, but not too bad.

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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#15 of 19 Old 08-22-2008, 06:18 AM
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this has been happening more often than not in our home lately for ds, 22 months...

he wakes at about 8, doesnt nap (esp. if we are out and about at nap time), then crashes at about 530/600pm.. he turns into a grump, but I can not let him sleep at that time.. I have to hold out until about 8pm..

yesterday this happened, and we ended up at the full playground at 530.. big mistake.. he threw the hugest fits.. we came home, he ate dinner, had a bath, and easily fell asleep at 8pm, he woke up for about 10 minutes at 330, but then slept through until 8am.

sometimes I wonder about the nap.. because when he naps, he takes a nap between 130-200 and sleeps for about 2-2.5 hours.. in the evening it isnt possible to get him to sleep before 10pm.. which is late for me.. Id like him to sleep earlier, but the only way for that is with no nap and a cranky kid..
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#16 of 19 Old 08-25-2008, 01:26 AM
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I'm wondering if my DS is ready to give up naps too. He didn't nap for an entire week about a month and a half ago, but it was one miserable and tiring week. His schedule is: Wake up between 6:30-7:30, nap from 12-2 (but never later than 3), and sleep at 9:15 at the absolute earliest.

He still nurses to (mostly) sleep and tonight was one of those nights that he just wanted to nurse, and nurse, and nurse. Not only does our pre-bedtime routine take for-freakin'-ever, but then it takes him between 10-35 minutes to fall asleep.

I'm having a baby in a few weeks though, and I don't know how much I could/should change. Sometimes I would really love for him to be asleep by 7:30, but then I remember that he is a complete psycho when he doesn't get a nap. But, right now *I* need to sleep during the day too!


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#17 of 19 Old 08-25-2008, 09:05 AM
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last spring my dd started to transition to no nap...it went from nap some days/late naps some days, naps in the car some days, no naps some days until gradually it was no naps most days and earlier bedtimes.

She only napped 2 days in the summer and now she is in bed by 8pm, no naps and the crabbiness has subsided but the transition period was very hard for both of us.

What is great now though is a loooooooong 12 hour night sleep! All my kids now sleep through the night: although she does still come out in our bed some nights.
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#18 of 19 Old 08-25-2008, 09:09 AM
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That's about the age that my kids dropped their nap, and my 2 yo is in the process of doing it now. There seems to be a weird transition time where the kinks haven't been ironed out yet - it can be rough but it does abate.

It's a lot like allgirls described, actually! I could have just said : to her post.

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#19 of 19 Old 08-25-2008, 10:03 AM
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A 3 hour nap? Oh my, I'm jealous.

This is common at that age. My son still naps, but my daughter had stopped by 2.5 and many of my friends kids did, too.

If he's really tired, I'd suggest pushing his bedtime a bit earlier....Sorry for this! Losing the nap can be hard. Hope it's just a stage.

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