do i ditch the nap? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-06-2007, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lucien will be three in the fall and lately naptime has become a real struggle. im lucky if he will sleep an hour (down from 2+ hours) and it can take up to an hour just to get him to fall asleep. all the tricks arent working any more - taking a long walk or a drive. he either stays awake the entire time or wakes up the second we stop or you try to put him in bed.

i would say he still "needs" it because when i try to get him to nap he's got the bags under his eyes and if he doesnt nap the afternoon can be one meltdown after the other. but id almost rather deal with that then an hour of "sun's awake, not lay down!!!" and it doesnt seem to matter what we do in the morning - we could sit on our butts playing legos or going to the park and he still does want to fall asleep. then sometimes he ends up crashing at 3pm and bedtime gets screwy.

as for night time, whether he falls asleep at 6pm or 10, he's up at 7:30am. sometimes before that, like 5. it's a rare instance he sleeps 'til 9 and when he does that really screws things up.

so do i still try or settle for quiet play?
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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My oldest was around this age when she started ditching naps altogether. I'd just follow your child on this. Things may seem "screwy" for a while -- but in just a few years your son'll be able to amuse himself independently if he's awake late at night (or up early).

Meaning you'll be able to relax in bed while he plays or watches tv in the other room -- and if he wakes up way before you're ready to be up, you can have nutritious snacks handy so he can eat something on his own when he wakes up. Three's a little young to be up on your own -- but believe me they grow up so fast: nighttime parenting won't always be as need-intensive as it is now.

Even now, you may be able to lie down while he busies himself nearby with some quiet activity like coloring.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:54 AM
 
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Well, I for one wouldn't work that hard for a nap- that's for sure. I'm of the mind that if they need to sleep they'll go to sleep.

-Angela
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I'm of the mind that if they need to sleep they'll go to sleep.

-Angela
that's the thing. the more tired lucien is, the more manic he gets. he gets physical and will literally bounce off the walls to keep himself from falling asleep.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:13 AM
 
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that's the thing. the more tired lucien is, the more manic he gets. he gets physical and will literally bounce off the walls to keep himself from falling asleep.
my oldest is like that... still at age 6 LOL. It is so frustrating, especially when they are little. She gave up her naps at 2. I found it was just easier to let her drop them and move on.

My youngest is 2.5 and still takes a 2+ hour nap during the day, but it is seriously messing with our nightimes and driving me bananas. I would say she doesnt need it anymore but then we have other issues when she doesn't take it.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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That sounds like the way my son was when we decided to drop his nap. I couldn't be happier that we did it. It was rough at first, because he wasn't tired for a nap anymore but was used to it, and was a mess by bedtime. It took a week or so, but he adjusted. Making bedtime earlier helped a lot, as did food during the crucial 4:30 meltdown time. He actually ended up getting more total sleep after we dropped the nap.

DS is also one who never just fell asleep on his own when he was tired, so I know what you are talking about with that.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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When Lucien reaches the "bouncing-off-the-walls" stage, how does he respond to offers of food? I think climbermom's right, that snacks can help as children are transitioning from nap to no nap.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:50 AM
 
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Naptime is hit and miss with my 3 year old right now. Sometimes he'll just drop where he is and nap, other times he goes all day and just falls asleep a bit earlier.

I agree with the snack when things get critical...eating and digestion seems to slow the body down a bit.
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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My DD dropped her nap a few months shy of her third birthday. I was very pregnant. Anyway, it just got too hard to put her down. And one day, when I was frustrated beyond all reason, I quit trying! Now she mostly naps if we are in the car and she falls asleep, or sometimes, she'll curl up and go to sleep on her own. Just Tuesday she asked for a glass of milk, drank it down, curled up on the couch and fell asleep on her own! She is much more pleasent in the evening when she naps BUT if she naps bedtime goes from 7:30 to 9:30 or so. Which isn't all bad in the summer, yesterday she napped and we then went to the library after DH got home. I would say that for the first few months, she only napped one day a week or so, but now she's naping about half the time. For our quiet time, we lay down at about 1pm, DS nursing and DD curled up around my feet (in a twin bed, I'm kinda in an S shape with DS at the top and DD at the bottom). DS and I nurse and then drift off or I read, DD reads to her self and then falls asleep, sometimes.

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Old 06-08-2007, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, since posting, i have dropped napping and so far, so good. we had one mini meltdown over what cup we were using but other than that, things are great. we went to look for houses today and i thought ahead and brought lots of snacks and water and pretty much kept feeding him and he was fine the entire time. he fell asleep on the ride home and woke up when we got in the house. we nursed for 20 mins and then i asked if he wanted to get up and he did and we played and made dinner. in fact, by the time bedtime rolls around, he's so tired i only need to nurse for 15 minutes, tops.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Well, I for one wouldn't work that hard for a nap- that's for sure. I'm of the mind that if they need to sleep they'll go to sleep.

-Angela
This actually is a false statement. Before becoming a SAHM I worked with a research group doing research on pediatric sleep. There are several current studies that show that when children are overtired they will have a more difficult time going to sleep, instead "hyping" themselves up in an attempt to remain awake. There are several cases of children who have been labled ADHD, that once they've had their sleep issues addressed no longer exhibit signs of ADHD.

For the OP, I think at this age it's kind of a toss up if they still need the nap or not. Once DD1 got to the age that naptime was becoming a struggle more days than not, we made the decision that we would no longer have naptime, but that we would have rest time, wherein she can decide to go to sleep or not go to sleep (I feel that it is very important for children, especially young children, to have some down-time in their day). Typically, I put DD2 down for her nap, then DD1 and I lay in bed and read for a bit, we cuddle, then I leave her in bed just as I would if she were going to take a nap. Some days she stays in bed and falls asleep, others she follows me out the door. Then there are days, like yesterday, where DD1 actually came to me and said "I need a nap today Mommy". So, basically, I guess what I'm saying is this........don't make naptime a stressful event, suggest that DS take a break and rest, the let whatever happens happen.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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We do "rest time" at my house too. My son will be 3 in a week and a half(!) and he's about 50/50 on his napping. Sometimes he just plays in his room for an hour, sometimes he goes right to sleep and today he played for half an hour then slept for 2. It works well for us.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by twopinknoblue View Post
This actually is a false statement. Before becoming a SAHM I worked with a research group doing research on pediatric sleep. There are several current studies that show that when children are overtired they will have a more difficult time going to sleep, instead "hyping" themselves up in an attempt to remain awake. There are several cases of children who have been labled ADHD, that once they've had their sleep issues addressed no longer exhibit signs of ADHD.
Hmm ... since the pp you quoted simply said, "I'm of the mind that if they need to sleep they'll go to sleep" -- how could her assessment of her own opinion (probably based on her own parenting experience) be "a false statement?"

I'm not trying to discount the things you've learned while doing research -- but for those of us who find it works best to simply follow our children's leads, research findings don't mean that our own personal findings are "false." Nor do our findings mean the research findings are "false."

Of course, I don't see your advice to just suggest a rest break, and see what happens, as harmful in any way. But I also don't think the pp made a false statement, and I don't believe her children are being harmed by her decision to let them decide when they're sleepy.

Also, when my own children show signs of sleepiness -- I actually see it as "following their leads" to suggest lying down and nursing or reading, if they haven't already gone to lie down themselves. So I'm not saying that being child-led is a totally cut-and-dry thing.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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