When did your toddler stop napping? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD is a few weeks shy of her 2nd birthday and she has been completely uninterested in napping in the last few days. I'm shocked and mourning at the same time.

She is very vocal and tells us she just isn't tired, and doesn't want to sleep. We can go through the exact same routine that has been working brilliantly for months now and she just doesn't want to relax and chill out long enough to fall asleep.

In the last few months, it being summer and all, she's skipped a nap occasionally, and been fine. No meltdown at the end of the day. Although she would be a little extra tired the next day and if she skipped it a few days in a row, she was exhausted. But not seeing signs of any of that so far...

When did this happen to your toddlers? Maybe--I'm really hoping here--it's just a phase, but my DP remarked quite smartly that it seems as if she's readjusting her clock.
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#2 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 04:26 PM
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IMO, it varies, insanely, from child to child, even in the same family.

My older DS stopped napping a few months over his 3rd birthday. But this was due to preschool. He could have napped for a year more and been fine. He NEEDS his sleep. Just an extra half hour late bedtime and he is cross as two sticks the next morning.

My DD is 22 months and we have already cut down her nap to 1.5 hours or less. If she gets more, she is up until 11pm dancing off the walls. Even with her nap, she still falls asleep a half hour later than DS. And she is up earlier than him. Meaning, in total she only gets 1 hour or less more sleep than he does, even though she is 22 months and he is nearly 4. She just doesn't need any more sleep.
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#3 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 06:00 PM
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IMHO no toddler should be skipping naps unless they are getting a solid 12+ hours of sleep at night. It is just tremendously unhealthy for them to skip naps otherwise.

That being said, of course my toddler skips the occasional nap! And he went through a period of being extremely nap resistant. Of course they don't want to nap! Life is so cool and interesting, forget sleep!

I think she is probably just being nap resistant. My opinion may not be popular, but I would work harder or find new ways to implement nap time.
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#4 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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What would folks suggest as different ways to get a reticent toddler to nap?

Our routine: get bedroom ready (shades down, white noise on), then read books on couch, then nurse, then she gets to choose something to take to bed with her and off we go to bedroom. We would lie on bed, I would close my eyes and pretend to be asleep and after 5-10mins of rearranging her soft toys, trying out countless different positions to sleep in, she would, at no urging (I'm still "asleep") lie down, get real comfy and fall asleep.

How does one get someone to sleep who doesn't want to?
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#5 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 10:38 PM
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DD stopped napping a few months ago, around 19 months, and honestly, it has been the best thing for her.

She used to nap late in the day (would wake up late) and then not go to bed until it was past 10, sometimes 11, which would be fine, but then it would still take her forever to fall asleep (whereas she would fall asleep right away for nap). She'd end up with about 12-13 hours total sleep, with the nap.

Then she stopped falling asleep at nap time, and I continued to try without pushing for a few weeks until I finally realized she was done with napping. SHe goes to sleep at 7, falls right asleep and sleeps so well now (before I couldn't leave her or she would wake up, now she sleep well alone), for a total of 13 hours straight through overnight.

I agree that it varies from child to child. I was shocked that she dropped naps so early!

K, mommy to DD (Nov '06) and DS (March '10)
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#6 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 11:26 PM
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DS#1 stopped napping a few months after he turned 2, he's 4.5 now. There are days that he really needs a nap but if he happens to fall asleep we are up till midnight waiting for him to go to sleep at night. DS#2 is 2.5 now and still takes a 2 hour nap a day plus sleeping 12 hours at night.

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#7 of 10 Old 09-13-2008, 11:53 PM
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22 months. But the upside is bedtime got a lot, lot, LOT easier and earlier. It took a while though -- the transition wasn't overnight, but in the end, it was obvious she was not needing to nap anymore, so I stopped trying to force it, and her bedtime gradually got earlier and the time it took to get her to sleep at night got shorter too.

The difficult part initially was that in between afternoon time -- around 4 or 5pm, when she started getting sleepy, but it was too late to nap (else she'd be up until past 2am) but still too early to go to bed, so we had to use a bit of distraction for a period of time some afternoons, or she'd catnap (a 15-20 minute little nap in the car, for instance). And that would rejuvenate her for a few hours. Anything longer that late in the day though was a disaster for nighttime sleep. So in the end, we stopped trying to get her to sleep in the daytime at all.

Now she sleeps 12-14 hours every night. Which is great. We do have "quiet time" on days when I'm exhausted, but I make sure it's early enough in the day to not impact her nighttime sleep.

BUT some toddlers go through a nap disruption around the time they get their two year molars in, so it might be that's what's going on with your LO. Or a growth spurt or developmental change/stage.

marshapn, to answer your question about getting a reticent toddler to nap, I have to say it depends on whether the toddler still needs the nap, and is sleepy and physically able to nap. From your initial post, I'd say it sounds like your toddler is done with naps, honestly. At least for now. Some do give them up and later on start napping once more, though that hasn't happened with us. But if I were you, I'd stop trying. Put yourself in her shoes: if you weren't tired and someone wanted you to nap, could you? Probably not. So maybe try a compromise of quiet time instead. Have her on the bed, or in her room, but no TV or flashy toys -- just reading books, etc., quietly.

Give it a few weeks and gradually push her bedtime earlier. Don't do it in a large chunk, but just 15 minute increments or so. And see what happens. Some toddlers will react to the new routine really well, and may even wake early but go back to sleep for a few more hours (that's why ours typically does). Our ped told us not to stress over it -- as long as they're getting the total sleep needed, some toddlers simply were okay with it being in one big chunk, instead of broken up into naps. You'll be able to tell if that's the case pretty easily I think.

Good luck!

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#8 of 10 Old 09-14-2008, 12:37 AM
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Before 24 months!
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#9 of 10 Old 09-14-2008, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nighten View Post
BUT some toddlers go through a nap disruption around the time they get their two year molars in, so it might be that's what's going on with your LO.
Hmmm, I wonder if this is what is going on with my ds. He seems to be getting his 2 year molars. I wonder if he'll start napping again when they come in. Although I have been so happy with his new 7:30 bedtime that we've been doing when he doesn't nap (instead of 9-10) that I don't know if I want him to go back to napping.

marshapn, did you see my recent post about my ds and naps?
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#10 of 10 Old 09-14-2008, 12:59 AM
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Last week, at 2.5 Napping and bedtime were turning into huge struggles, and the more they'd nap, they later they'd fall asleep at bedtime and the earlier they'd be up in the morning. I started cutting naps back but it didn't work. No matter if they'd napped or not, they never got the 13 hours of sleep that I've read they should have. It's more like 10.5 to 12. Then naps were getting skipped out of frustation, and bedtime was earlier and easier. It's nicer without the naps but we do have some occasional evening crankiness and today they took a nap because they were up late last night. They don't get enough sleep by the numbers but we're not struggling with them, laying in bed next to them for hours waiting for them to fall sleep.

My problem is that I have twins and one is for-sure ready to give up the nap and the other is still adjusting. Makes quiet time a little more complicated I guess.
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