HELP! Naps: can't live with them, can't live without them. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3yo DD is in a weird transition that has been going on for several months now. I don't know what to do. She still needs naps, but she gets tired later and later in the day which has me thinking she's transitioning into not taking naps. But I don't know what to do about it. one of three things happens:

 

1. I put her down for a nap in the middle of the day and it takes 1-2 hours to get her to go to sleep. She won't sit still or be quiet. She is crazy and thrashing the whole time. Afterward, the rest of the day is fantastic and she goes to bed at her normal bedtime.

 

2. I wait until she's red-eyed, crying and wants a nap before putting her down. She goes down easy, but it's 5 o'clock in the evening and she's so tired, she won't wake up for 3 or 4 hours. (If I try to wake her up earlier, she's groggy and cries pretty much nonstop until bedtime.)

 

3. I don't put her down for a nap at all and she spends the entire rest of the day from about 4pm onward crying, hitting, rubbing her eyes and being very distressed.

 

What do you do for those kids who are transitioning out of naps? She has never successfully gone without one. She will NOT sit still/have quiet time. She very clearly needs naps, but it takes so long to get her down for one that there's hardly any point. She ends up falling asleep in late afternoon anyway.


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#2 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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Yeah, that all sounds familiar!  My two kids went through the same phase.  I got tired of trying so hard to get a nap out of them, and went the direction of just keeping him occupied best I could in the "witching hour" of the evening.  That would often involve a calm video at around 5pm to distract him from his bad mood, and a very early bedtime.  If I could get bedtime to be later than about 6pm, usually he'd stay asleep for the night.  Then of course there could be a difficult awake hour sometime in the middle of the night... but even that went away after a while.  It IS a phase..... it will pass....  she will adjust (in the next couple months?) to having no nap in the day.

 

One other thought - there is also the option of letting her fall asleep in the late afternoon - but then waking her up after 20 minutes or so if she might go for that at all.... so, a short nap and hopefully still a pretty normal bedtime.  In my experience, though, any nap at all would make it harder to fall asleep at bedtime.

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#3 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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will she fall asleep in the car? i remember driving around aimlessly every day at noon for about a month...come winter it might be easier to cut out the nap entirely.

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#4 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, she will, but we don't have enough money for gas. LOL! We are too poor. :) And she won't transition out of the carseat once she falls asleep. If we move her, she wakes up and can't fall back asleep again and the whole horrible cycle repeats itself.
 

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will she fall asleep in the car? i remember driving around aimlessly every day at noon for about a month...come winter it might be easier to cut out the nap entirely.



 


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#5 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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I just did the dinner time naps.  My ds was a bear when he was tired.  He'd get all wound up and hyper, not eat, etc.  So I decided I'd much rather he sleep from 5-7 and be up til 11 or 12 than try to keep him awake until 7 and go to bed early.  He was also less likely to sleep through the night if he was too tired.  So even if I could get him to stay awake until 7 or so, he'd wake up at midnight and want to be up for a few hours.

 

I think I could still get him to fall asleep in the stroller if I took a long walk at the right time when he was 3.  And at 10, he'll still fall asleep in the car if we are driving in the late afternoon or evening.


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#6 of 15 Old 07-19-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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I just did the dinner time naps.  My ds was a bear when he was tired.  He'd get all wound up and hyper, not eat, etc.  So I decided I'd much rather he sleep from 5-7 and be up til 11 or 12 than try to keep him awake until 7 and go to bed early.  He was also less likely to sleep through the night if he was too tired.  So even if I could get him to stay awake until 7 or so, he'd wake up at midnight and want to be up for a few hours.

 

I think I could still get him to fall asleep in the stroller if I took a long walk at the right time when he was 3.  And at 10, he'll still fall asleep in the car if we are driving in the late afternoon or evening.


this is what we do with our 3 yo...he takes a late afternoon nap and then goes to bed late.  I can't handle those late nights though, and am looking forward to no more naps. 

 

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#7 of 15 Old 07-21-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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It sounds to me like your problem lies in her bedtime being so late.  When you mentioned that she would nap at 5, then sleep 3-4 hours, then be grumpy until bedtime I was surprised. If my kids went to bed at 5, that would be it for the night!  No getting up after that! I would eliminate the nap and put her to bed be to bed at 6 and 7:30 PM.  If she's fussy earlier, occupy her with dinner, a movie, a short walk outside or whatever pleases her in the witching hour.  I never understand people who keep their kids up all hours of the night!  I mean, I NEED a break from my kids in the evening.  To each their own, but I think kids need to go to bed early.  


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#8 of 15 Old 07-21-2011, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We aren't able to go to bed that early because of our day schedule. We live very far in the country and my husband drives to town in our only car. There's no way we can afford a second car. We can't even afford this one and it's old and used. Anyway, we all go into town in the one car and when he gets off work is the only time we can come home. Then we run the errands on the way (can't keep groceries in a hot car all day) and don't get back until almost 7:00 when I start dinner. Bedtime is 9pm and there's not really anything we can do to change it except maybe not eat. :)

 

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It sounds to me like your problem lies in her bedtime being so late.  When you mentioned that she would nap at 5, then sleep 3-4 hours, then be grumpy until bedtime I was surprised. If my kids went to bed at 5, that would be it for the night!  No getting up after that! I would eliminate the nap and put her to bed be to bed at 6 and 7:30 PM.  If she's fussy earlier, occupy her with dinner, a movie, a short walk outside or whatever pleases her in the witching hour.  I never understand people who keep their kids up all hours of the night!  I mean, I NEED a break from my kids in the evening.  To each their own, but I think kids need to go to bed early.  



 


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#9 of 15 Old 07-21-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post


We aren't able to go to bed that early because of our day schedule. We live very far in the country and my husband drives to town in our only car. There's no way we can afford a second car. We can't even afford this one and it's old and used. Anyway, we all go into town in the one car and when he gets off work is the only time we can come home. Then we run the errands on the way (can't keep groceries in a hot car all day) and don't get back until almost 7:00 when I start dinner. Bedtime is 9pm and there's not really anything we can do to change it except maybe not eat. :)

 



 

 

 

 

 When my kids stop naps, we have to move bedtime up, by hours. My 2y DS just stopped napping, now instead of going to bed at 9-9:30pm, it is 7pm on the dot. Huge PIA to get home and fed by then but if we don't then we end up dealing with what you are going through. My girls did the same thing, used to go to bed later and then even now, years after the transition, they go to bed earlier then they did when they were younger and napped. The behavior transition takes a while, where they stop being so grumpy in the late afternoon. 


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#10 of 15 Old 07-22-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by prancie View Post

It sounds to me like your problem lies in her bedtime being so late.  When you mentioned that she would nap at 5, then sleep 3-4 hours, then be grumpy until bedtime I was surprised. If my kids went to bed at 5, that would be it for the night!  No getting up after that! I would eliminate the nap and put her to bed be to bed at 6 and 7:30 PM.  If she's fussy earlier, occupy her with dinner, a movie, a short walk outside or whatever pleases her in the witching hour.  I never understand people who keep their kids up all hours of the night!  I mean, I NEED a break from my kids in the evening.  To each their own, but I think kids need to go to bed early.  



But what if that five o'clock napper woke up raring to go at 6:30?  This is my son.  I DO need a break, we have never wanted our son to stay up late.  But how do you force a child to sleep?

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#11 of 15 Old 07-22-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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OK, your OP made it sound like you were home with her all day.  What do you and dd doing all day when he's at work?  Is your dd not getting enough sleep at night?.  If her bedtime is 9 PM then she should be sleeping until 9 AM, minimum.  It sounds like you have gotten her up by then and started your day.  
 

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We aren't able to go to bed that early because of our day schedule. We live very far in the country and my husband drives to town in our only car. There's no way we can afford a second car. We can't even afford this one and it's old and used. Anyway, we all go into town in the one car and when he gets off work is the only time we can come home. Then we run the errands on the way (can't keep groceries in a hot car all day) and don't get back until almost 7:00 when I start dinner. Bedtime is 9pm and there's not really anything we can do to change it except maybe not eat. :)

 



 



 


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#12 of 15 Old 07-22-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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Well, I would eliminate that 5PM nap first, keep him up until 6 or 7.  I'd have to know more about your typical day to say any more than that.

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But what if that five o'clock napper woke up raring to go at 6:30?  This is my son.  I DO need a break, we have never wanted our son to stay up late.  But how do you force a child to sleep?



 


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#13 of 15 Old 07-22-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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This is totally my 2 yr old. She's been doing this since about 20 months. She used to go to bed at 8 every night, but now, if she has a nap (won't go down until 2pm, up between 3:30 and 4) then she is awake until 11 or 12. If I try any earlier, we both just cry together for hours until she falls asleep. If she doesn't nap, she's a mess by 4 or 5 and I can't leave the house because she'll fall asleep in the car/stroller/ergo. On those days, I can put her to bed around 7-7:30 (any earlier and she wakes up at midnight raring to go). But my dh doesn't like that because then he doesn't get to see her after work.  AHHHH! I can't wait until this stage is over!


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#14 of 15 Old 07-22-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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Oh, and I don't think she's getting enough sleep when she naps. Without naps, she gets 12-13 hours a day but is cranky part of the day. With naps, she only gets about 10 but she's not cranky (though I'm starting to wonder if that the reason she's having more tantrums lately, or it could just be that she's 2).


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#15 of 15 Old 07-22-2011, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes we stay home, sometimes we are in town. When we go to town, we run errands (library, groceries, play dates, homeschool group, LLL meetings) and at naptime, I put her down in the spare bedroom of my friend's condo. It's empty during the day and she lets us use it. Then DH picks us up after he's done with work.

 

She doesn't EVER sleep until 9am. She used to, but not anymore. I never wake her up. She always wakes up on her own between 6 and 7 am, alert and happy. Sometimes I can get her to go back to sleep until about 8, but almost never. I guess she's abnormal but you can't make a child sleep.

 

We tried going to bed earlier (on some not-going-into-town days) and it ended very badly. Her body treated bedtime like a nap. She passed out and then woke up at about midnight rarin' to go. :(
 

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OK, your OP made it sound like you were home with her all day.  What do you and dd doing all day when he's at work?  Is your dd not getting enough sleep at night?.  If her bedtime is 9 PM then she should be sleeping until 9 AM, minimum.  It sounds like you have gotten her up by then and started your day.  
 



 



 


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