My 21 month old DS is getting harder and harder to put down for a nap, at least for the last 3 weeks. At this point, I am "forcing" him to nap, which eventually leads to some "me time," but doesn't sit right with me. He asks for more milk, over and over again, after pulling off and seeming uninterested (my supply is lower because I am pregnant, but also it seems like it just doesn't help him to sleep like it used to). I have resorted to saying "milk all done," "it's time for sleep," and repeating "lie down" over and over again, and placing him back in bed after he rolls around and screams over and over again. It's dreadful and increasingly does not feel worth it. It takes about 45 minutes to get him to sleep, and I think he might sleep because he's tired from crying. If he sleeps for any more than 1.5 hours, he's hard to get down at bedtime, too.
The trouble is, I don't know if he's really ready to drop a nap. I think he would definitely fall asleep in the car around nap time and if he did fall asleep in the car in the late afternoon, well then I'd be really screwed. However, if I don't try to put him down (and don't use the car or stroller), he will keep playing, be sort of fussy in the early evening, and go to sleep easily at bedtime. This seems like another awkward nap transition (like between 2 and 1), and I don't know what to do to make the transition easier. I have decided today, though, that I do not want to "force naps" anymore. I feel like I'm being too rigid and creating an unhealthy dynamic.
How did you know when you're LOs where ready to drop a nap, at least some days? What did you do to keep the same bedtime, or did you?
Ok, just realized most people posting here probably still have nappers. I figured out, though, that he still needs to nap, but I probably need to wake us up at the same time each day so that he's sleepy enough to take one. I also got him down today by encouraging him to lie down with his stuffed koala for "sleepy time." It worked. Here's to gentler solutions! I feel much better.
But - I think if I'd been able to make it through those few months, she might have continued napping. As it was, it took months before she was anywhere close to normal in the hour or two before her 5:30(!) bedtime. She often was too tired to eat her supper. It was a lousy period.
So I would say that if you can keep him napping, then do, even if you have to take a walk or drive each day for a while to keep the peace. Or at least have him in bed in the dark during that time. Or something.