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My DS#1 has stopped taking naps and I am at my wits' end. He used to be so cool about taking them - we'd have him pee and then lay down (on his own toward the end) and he would look at books until he fell asleep. Now he does anything BUT sleep.

So he's transitioning from *toddlers* to this forum, I'm sure, but the problem is he goes berserk without a nap. By evening we can't take him out of the house (and it's summertime!) because he is so wild. He does all the things he normally knows are not okay (like hitting, shouting, playing at the computer, etc) and gets this evil maniacal laugh that signals the start of human pinball where he just bounces off things and flails and thrashes about and we cannot reason with him or get him to calm down. I imagine it must be like someone who is really strung out on drugs and "not him/herself!" I truly hate the child that possesses my boy when he doesn't sleep.

Yesterday he didn't nap and all last evening was AWFUL and he still didn't go to sleep until 10pm. Now it's 7:30am and he's up. I have this terror in my heart just thinking about this evening.

BTDT's, any advice?
 

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That's a tough one. Dd stopped taking naps at 2 years old. Some days she's fine, but I've seen her do exactly what you're describing. When she does that, we let her take a bath or play in her sandbox. Those things seem to calm her down quite a bit. I don't know what you can do to get him to nap. Will he sleep in the car? An afternoon drive might be good. Can you lay down with him? Maybe if you could lie down and rest together, he would fall asleep?
 

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My ds (almost 4) doesn't want to stop playing to nap so I usually have to lure him in. He still nurses to sleep so that makes it easier. I'll tell him "let's lie down and have nummies and if you don't fall asleep after a little while we'll go back outside." It helps him to feel he has some control. Once he is cuddled next to me, he usually falls right to sleep (as long as I don't try this too early). Maybe you could read something soothing or lie with him. Sometimes I give ds a bath and let him play for a long time when he is crazy tired but won't sleep. The change in pace sometimes helps (videos if I'm desperate).
 

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Not sure where on the three spectrum he falls (just turned 3, 3.5 or almost 4), but the third year of life is when most children give up their naps. My oldest hasn't napped ONE time since the day he turned 2. It was my experience that there is an adjustment phase that happens each time a kid gives up a nap. It has happened when my boys went from two naps to one and from one to none. It seems like after a week or so, they adjust and do better and don't have that weird manic behavior stuff at the end of the day.
 

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Oh yes, I remember the nap-giving-up stage. It seems like their minds are ready to stop napping before their bodies are. A couple things that work for us - we do "quiet time" after lunch, where the kids sit on their beds, read books, or play another quiet activity (Leap Pad, dolls, etc.) for about 1/2 hour, sometimes more. They actually like this, and my 5 year old often asks for it. It really seems to help them regroup. On days when they don't have quiet time, they have much more difficulty keeping it together in the later afternoon/early evening. Also, we have an early bedtime - 7:00. (They wake up between 5 and 6am every day.) If it were any later, they'd just start falling apart - meltdowns, fighting, that kind of thing.

A couple other ideas - make sure your dc has enough protein during the tired times, that helps a lot, and when my kids reach the point of no return w/meltdowns, Rescue Remedy seems to help.

HTH.
 

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Oh, I hear you. We have gone in and out of naps several times since 2--we're almost to 4 now, and he won't nap with anybody but grandpa, or sometimes in the car.

Here is what has helped at different times:
Get him up earlier. A little earlier each day, until he can nap again. Or until you run out of early and give up.
This has helped when we couldn't get him to sleep earlier at night.

Quiet time is good for him, but bad for me because I get sleepy and then cranky. (I gave up naps, reluctantly, when I started first grade.)

Get him outdoors in the crazy times of day--just the yard, nowhere different. Put water in his pool, give him some sand or mud or something, and hang out with him.

When we're both crashing early afternoon and he won't nap, if I am smart I wrestle with him. In some silly and very rowdy way, like a pillow fight. Re-energizes, lifts both our moods.

Explain. I drew a diagram, as I told him about it, of one day where he gets up, stays awake all day, and then goes to bed while it's still light--and another day where he naps in the middle and can stay up till dark. He loved this. I didn't judge either one, just gave him the choice. He chose to nap a lot of days, for a while.

Good luck....
 
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