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Am I doing harm instead of good? (re: nap)

608 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jeca
My 17mo ds naps one time a day, usually around 10-11am. He will sleep between 30 minutes and 1 1/2 hours (very rarely, 2 hours).

I've discovered that if I let him sleep (even half an hour) when he seems tired around 3:00, we're up until 10 or 11pm. If I don't, he goes to sleep around 7:00 and stays asleep (with one or two night nursings) until 5:30-6:30.

When he does go to sleep very late, he still gets up at 5:30-6:30 (maybe he'll "sleep in" to 7:00!).

Am I doing harm to him physically by keeping him awake in the late afternoon?

He's never been much of a napper. Cat naps, 15 minutes here and there when he was younger. The longer napttimes started after he was a year old.

He just seems to get more sleep time when I make him wait, but I'm feeling guilty...

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I think I would try to postpone that morning nap, stretch it about 20 minutes a day until I got it starting closer to noon. That way it occurs closer to the middle of the day and he'll likely be able to make it to bedtime without staying up really really late.

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I agree with Leah, I remember that stage very well. Ds is now 26 months and goes to nap at 2 and sleeps for about 2 hours, then goes to bed at 9, sleeping until 8 usually.
My dd isn't the best napper in the world, either. When she was an infant I discovered that if I held her when napping, she'd sleep long 2 hour naps. Then I started nursing her down laying down next to her and she still slept long naps, going to just one at 1 year old. I found that her nighttime sleeping really improved when she was getting plenty of daytime napping that didn't occur later in the day. I'd say at 17 months, your toddler is ready to just keep one nap, and gradually pushing it back to later in the day (say 1:00pm) isn't going to do him any harm, and might even help him to develop a better (i.e. not waking so early) sleep cycle. But yep, like you ds, my dd went to bed late if she took a late nap... but she'd still wake at her usual 7:00am and be a bear the next day.
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My father and I get into it all the time about this. If DD won't take a nap at earlier in the day I try not to let her sleep after 5:00 which means she'll still be up late and still get up at the same time in the morning regardless of what time she naps. BUT he swears that I am messing her up and she should be able to sleep only when she is tired.
It's not that she isn't tired when she does take her naps(usually 1-2) it's that she'll get too busy playing or something new will be going on and she won't take it. She fights it until she gets her second wind. I would love to just le her sleep when sh'e tired but not at teh sake of my sanity as I do have 2 other small children I have to work into th emix also.
I don't think it will do any harm. Postponing his nap may do wonders and if not you can always go back.
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