I have cut out my 2.5 y/o's nap due to nighttime sleep issues. I feel guilty. Anyone else not letting their toddler nap anymore? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-05-2011, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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X posted in Toddlers:


My DD would happily nap for 2+ hours every day at about 2-4pm.  It's always been her schedule since she switched to one nap a day at 15 months.  However just in the last month (She's 2 years and 8 months old now) her nighttime bedtime was getting later and later and later.  Some nights it would be midnight and that was after trying since 10pm.  It got so out of control I stopped letting her nap in the day.  She gets really, really tired around her normal nap time but I keep her up.  Now she has a normal toddler bedtime (8-9pm) but I do feel guilty because I know kids need their naps for sensory processing during the day.  She does get really grouchy and exhausted around dinner but we let her watch TV (I know, this is a sub optimal situation but I'm doing the best I can) while we clean up from dinner until it's time to go up to bed.


I tried just doing a "quiet time" without napping at her normal nap time but she would always want to nurse and then she'd fall asleep anyway.  I tried waking her up after 60 minutes of nap (she still wouldn't go to sleep until 11 that night) and then waking her up after 30 minutes (same thing) so really it is down to not letting her sleep at all during the day if we want any reasonable bedtime.  Which we need for our own sanity!  My husband and I were exhausted when she was staying up so late.


Anyone else BTDT or think it's horrible to not let a toddler nap?  I am really curious what others think.

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#2 of 11 Old 12-05-2011, 02:56 PM
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My dd is the same age as yours, and I cut out her naps when she was 2. The only way she'd fall asleep was in the car, and with 2 kids that became a huge PITA. She'll still fall asleep in the car sometimes if we happen to be driving a long distance in the afternoon, but she usually doesn't get a nap.

I also feel a little guilty, but not enough to go through the trouble of getting her to nap every day. I'm sure it would push back her bed time as well, which I really don't want either. I don't feel like I'm damaging her or anything, and I haven't noticed any ill effects.

I guess that doesn't help you much, but at least you know you're not the only one. And if what your doing is bad, then I'm even worse. :P

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#3 of 11 Old 12-07-2011, 08:22 PM
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You have to do what works for you.  I feel guilty about everything with mommying and it just doesn't help!


One idea though is getting her to nap closer to noon.  My daughter is 2.5 plus too and is a bear to get to sleep, but when she doesn't nap she wakes up so frequently at night that we feel she still needs the nap.  We'll see though.  Tonight I spent 2 hours getting her to sleep and her and I were both crying (not fun).  I may go the no nap route soon!  Dr. Sears says, "If you resent it, change it" so honestly I think you are probably on the right path.

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#4 of 11 Old 12-07-2011, 11:29 PM
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my son is 2 y 3 m and the same as you described with the naps and then pushing bedtime back. his 5 yo sister took 1/2 hour cat naps, but he will happily sleep from, like 2 pm until almost 6 pm. ... and then  stay up with me till around 11:30 pm. which sucks, since i'm the only nighttime parent, and my daughter has to get up for kindergarten at 7 am. 


currently i am TRYING for an earlier and SHORTER nap, since the ONE TIME i succeeded in keeping him up from his nap he was hell on wheels that day. (but a super easy bedtime at 7 pm, which was nice.) 


my situation is also complicated in that 5 yo sister has early evening activities several days of the week. in some ways, it helps, since 2 yo brother comes along and gets a little worn out. on the other hand, if it weren't for the need to head out at 6 pm, i would probably persist in keeping him up from his nap all afternoon and then just get him to bed at 6 pm.


my only advice for you, seeing as though yours is 2 y 8 m, is that you are NEARING 3 years old... and a lot of kids start giving up their naps by around age 3. (not saying this will necessarily be the case, though!) but at some point your child will outgrow this phase. 


in the meantime, i have only commiseration.


do they really need those naps for sensory processing? my 2 yo has to TOUCH everything. today he reached out to touch my digital camera when i had literally just turned my back and managed to delete our super cute video of sister talking to Santa on the phone. i was soooo sad.


if you do get your 2 yo down for a nap, and then wake him up after a short time, like an hour, how does he act? mine gets crabby and is not happy, but i am doing my best to just expect that and keep going with what i have to do. he only stays crabby for a short time (maybe 15 minutes or so) and then seems to adapt to being awake. and then he has the "edge" off of his need to nap... and is still relatively tired at bedtime. not a 7 pm bedtime of course, but a little more reasonable, like 9:30 or so.


good luck!

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#5 of 11 Old 12-08-2011, 04:56 AM
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What time does she wake up in the morning?  That bedtime seems very late to me.  


I cut my son's nap at 2 (and his sister cut her own at the same age) b/c of the late bedtime issue.  But then the new bedtime was 6pm to give him 13 hours sleep.  He needed that and now at age 5 needs about 11.


A non napping 2 year old is not idea, behavior wise.  But less ideal IMO is a 2 year old being up past 8pm :)

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#6 of 11 Old 12-08-2011, 11:43 AM
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Can you try leaving the shades up, so she wakes with the daylight?

It may help return her to a more natural sleep pattern. My son was napping until 6 pm and then he would stay up past my own bedtime.

Waking from the daylight has helped tremendously and it's a gentle way to wake. He now naps earlier and goes to sleep again when my husband and I do. 

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#7 of 11 Old 12-09-2011, 10:07 AM
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We had to do this with our 3.5yr old. She would easily go down for a nap when held in the rocker by my wife or I. But then she wasn't sleepy in the evening. We cut it out a few months back and she is now going down between 6-7 at night. So nice.

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#8 of 11 Old 12-20-2011, 01:02 PM
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You've gotta do what you've gotta do!  My DD quit taking naps around age 2.  It was too much struggle to get her to sleep.  So I quit.  Bedtime became a whole lot easier! I would second the opinion that you might try bedtime even a bit earlier.  Mine are usually in bed, asleep by 7:00 or 7:30.  or sometimes 6:45 even!!!  I don't know if that's feasible for you, but it might help her make it through the day (and you will make it to bedtime a little easier if it comes sooner!!) 

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#9 of 11 Old 12-23-2011, 10:41 AM
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i am really struggling with my 2 yo DS and his sleep. he doesn't seem able to get through the afternoon without a nap. but he CAN make it through till around 4 pm and then he turns completely OBNOXIOUS and does all sorts of mischief that he knows is wrong, but does it deliberately until i put him to sleep. if i think this is just a super early bedtime, he's got the last laugh. he will sleep till around 8 pm and wake up completely refreshed, and wanting to stay up till midnight or 1 am. like last night.


OTOH, i just tried to nurse him down for his nap now, at noon, and he would not go for it. he was happy for the nursing and the cuddles, but when it came time to keep his eyes shut and go to sleep, nope, he popped right up.


meanwhile, i was hoping for my 20 minute nap, so now i'm in a really bad mood, since he can't be trusted to be up and running around while i sleep.



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#10 of 11 Old 12-23-2011, 11:37 AM
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The transition to no naps just kinda sucks, no matter what age you're doing it at. Our son stopped napping at about age 2 (maybe a bit before). Dd never napped well at home. At daycare she'd nap for 45 minutes until she hit 3. Then suddenly, she began sleeping for several hours. I felt awful telling daycare to wake her up after an hour, but if we didn't, she'd be up until midnight or later. It was awful because she was only in daycare MWF and she just couldn't get a regular schedule.


Kids who are transitioning out of a nap do get tired and cranky about 5 pm. Heck, I get tired and cranky around 5 pm! if you can make it through about a month or two, she'll settle into a new routine.

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#11 of 11 Old 12-24-2011, 10:42 PM
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What time does she get up in the morning? 

I would try getting her up at 7-ish, putting her down for a nap around 1 and getting her into bed by 8pm. If she's sleeping in, that could really be setting her up to be "late" throughout the day.


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