3 y/o napping at inappropriate times - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-05-2012, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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My ds1 is a pretty high energy kid and we've always had sleeping struggles. You know the type: doesn't want to sleep because he'll miss something. We are at the point of possibly dropping his nap. I have ds1 who is nearly one so we had a nice routine for quite a while with the two boys napping together in early afternoon. We had a head cold then visited family and now the routine isn't working. He skipped naps for a while and did well. It seems like there are some days he needs a nap and some days not. Yesterday I decided I'd give him the opportunity to nap around 1 pm (his former normal nap time). I had him lay down in his own bed to "rest" (thinking even if he didn't fall asleep that he would be recharged by resting to go the rest of the day). He didn't fall asleep so I figured okay today's a non-nap day. I had to get ds2 down for a nap around 3:45 and while I was getting him down, ds1 fell asleep! This has happened several times in the past month or so, ds1 napping at 4 in the afternoon which is waaay too late.


Any suggestions on how can I avoid him falling asleep so late but instead napping at a reasonable time or else just not napping? Anyone had a similar situation with their child?

Mama to Blake, 6, and Grant, 4

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#2 of 4 Old 01-05-2012, 06:56 AM
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I think all preschoolers go through this.  I remember working my driving errands around her nap time, otherwise, she'd fall asleep in the car, and then be recharged til 11:00 p.m.  So, we'd leave the house at nap time, she'd sleep in the car, stay asleep, and I could get all my stuff done.  


One night.... my husband let her fall asleep in the car at 7:00 p,m, then gave her a CANDY bar to eat..... Needless to say, he got to hang out with her that evening.


Anyway... back to your question.  Maybe instead of quiet time being in his bedroom, he can have quiet time on the couch and watch a movie, or listen to a story on tape while he looks at the books.  If you manipulate your youngest son's nap times so that your oldest son will be having "quiet time" at 2:00-ish, maybe he'll sleep there for a while.


If you can't change the youngest one's schedule, maybe your oldest can do something rather exciting, but quiet while you put the youngest one down for his nap.  Playdough, a new puzzle, fill the sink with water and have him wash cups or toys.  (put a towel on the floor)  Then, when the little one is asleep, you and your oldest can start dinner together.  

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#3 of 4 Old 01-06-2012, 07:46 AM
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When my kids drop naps, which for 3 of the them have been at age 2, I have to watch the falling asleep randomly very carefully. If it is before 2pm then I let it happen and they get a little nap in the car, if it is after then I wake them up as soon as I realize what happens. I'm not able to stay up until midnight or whenever they could finally go to sleep after napping so late in the day so waking them up it is. When they transition from napping to not napping it is very common for them to not nap a day and nap the next day or just nap every few days or nap late in the day while in the car, you get the idea, it changes all the time! 

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#4 of 4 Old 01-06-2012, 06:16 PM
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My 3 yo DS is the same way.. certain he'll miss something. However I found he went through a phase like this a few months ago, nap, no nap, nap, no nap. late nap, etc. while we were trying to maneuver around DD's naps. Then when my DD cut her second nap and started taking only 1 nap a day at about 1 pm, DS stopped fighting his naps all together and more so declares "naptime!" - like we've had playtime & lunch and he can see that DD is going to sleep and I'm tired and nothing else is going to be happening in the house anyway, and he is now back to napping daily. And a much happier kid for it. He goes to bed at 730pm and wakes at 6 am. In general, my DS hates when he & DD have to do things differently. This 1-nap-at-the-same-time thing seems to have made him think all things are equal and he enjoys it very much.


I see your other DS is the same age as my DD who will turn 1 on the 28th. Perhaps his nap schedule will change soon too? I sometimes wish my DD would nap more often but she sleeps 7pm - 6am so it seems worth it.



My killer is the car... if we've got to go somewhere more than 10 minutes away, forget it. They're both asleep and nap/sleep schedule is in the tank!

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