Please help me get my 3yo to nap! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My three year old DS has in the past several months started fighting his naps. He has always needed me to lie with him to take a nap, but with a 2 week old that can't always happen now, and even when I do he often will not go to sleep. I really don't know what to do. I need a break, I need to nap if I possibly can, and I need to be able to look after my newborn.

 

He is not even close to being ready to give up naps - without fail by 4pm he is running around screaming, throwing tantrums over everything, grinding his teeth so hard that I can hear it across the room, and banging his head on the floor. It is 2pm now and he is in his room shrieking because I left after and hour and a half. This really has to stop. I don't want all three of us to be in tears every afternoon. Today I was planning on picking up DH at work and going grocery shopping so he could help me carry everything in the house and so that we could all have an outing together, and now this is not going to happen. We need groceries!

 

I get so frustrated with him for not napping, and then all the bad behaviour that goes with it. I end up yelling at him, and then feel like the worst mother in the world. I just feel like he used to be such a good kid, and now I have no idea who he is and that it must be my fault somehow that he acts like this. It breaks my heart that I want my "old" son back and am having trouble enjoying spending time with him now (I am in tears writing that).

 

What am I supposed to do?


Amanda + Steven SAHM to James (Feb 19, 2008) and Alexander (Jan 7, 2011). Lost little ones always in my heart (07/11/2009) (04/2010)
 
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#2 of 4 Old 01-26-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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He might be to the age where he does not need a nap every day. There is an adjustment period though where the afternoon is miserable until they get used to not napping. That is always the first sign that my kids are done napping, they won't go down easily or when they do it is for like 20 minutes. Both the girls were done napping at 2, with DD2 I had newborn DS so I completely understand. 

 

ETA: I saw the baby is only 2 weeks old! Of course your son isn't napping, everything has been changed. It may be the new baby or not needing naps as much or a combo. To limit everyone's frustration I'd set a time limit on how long you are going to try. With DD2 it was 30 minutes, I'd lay with her nursing DS and if she wasn't asleep by then we'd all get up and do some else. Otherwise he gets frustrated, you get frustrated, everyone loses. 


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#3 of 4 Old 01-29-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

He might be to the age where he does not need a nap every day. There is an adjustment period though where the afternoon is miserable until they get used to not napping. That is always the first sign that my kids are done napping, they won't go down easily or when they do it is for like 20 minutes. Both the girls were done napping at 2, with DD2 I had newborn DS so I completely understand. 

 

ETA: I saw the baby is only 2 weeks old! Of course your son isn't napping, everything has been changed. It may be the new baby or not needing naps as much or a combo. To limit everyone's frustration I'd set a time limit on how long you are going to try. With DD2 it was 30 minutes, I'd lay with her nursing DS and if she wasn't asleep by then we'd all get up and do some else. Otherwise he gets frustrated, you get frustrated, everyone loses. 



I agree - it sounds like he is outgrowning his nap - for both of my kids it happened at about that age, and, like Peony said, there is an awful adjustment period where we ended up tolerating some evening grumpiness. My dd gave hers up right when I needed her to nap most - when I was pg with ds and desperately needed an afternoon nap myself! I'm sure you feel the same way!

I also agree that at some point trying to force a nap becomes more frustrating than just letting it go. One day I realized I had devoted a long, frustrating hour to try to get dd to nap, unsuccessfully. That's when I just gave up trying - and sure, enough, a couple of months later she had totally adjusted to no nap.

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#4 of 4 Old 01-29-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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My dd also outgrew her nap at that age and it was miserable until she got used to going to bed earlier to compensate for not napping.  She just couldn't sleep in the afternoon but still needed a little more sleep than she had been getting at night.  We had a consistent bedtime routine of bed by 9 so I bumped it back to 7:30 and after two weeks of that she was fine without the nap during the day.  I was not fine for a while longer because I had come to rely on that time for a nap for myself or time to be by myself, but we did both adjust after a while.  One thing that really helped us was getting out of the house in the afternoon so I didn't have the expectation of a nap happening.  With a baby that will probably be very hard but a walk, trip to the park, or daily zoo visit (if you have a zoo and can get the family pass so you can go often without breaking your bank account) can really help that time transition from the fight for nap to a peaceful time for everyone.

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