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Is my 18 month old done with naps?

734 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  PatchChild
Today is day two of no naps at all for my eighteen month old. Yesterday, she got about three minutes of sleep in the car, and today, nothing. She's currently outside playing happily with my partner and the cat.

Lately, it takes me about an hour to nurse her down to sleep in the afternoon, and after she's out, I can't leave her. She's a very high needs kid so I'm sort of used to that-- I just get online with my laptop and lie there with her. She nurses pretty frequently during her nap but will sleep for about two or two and a half hours- usually from 2pm to 4 or 4:30.

After that nap, she stays up until about 8, and then we do bath and story time until nine. It takes me another hour to nurse her down then, and she needs me pretty much all the time while she's sleeping and I can't leave her.

Well, yesterday, she had no nap and was definitely ready for bed around 8:30-- I even got her out of the tub early because she kept latching on and sort of dozing. I started nursing her as usual, and she fell fast asleep and popped off the breast around ten minutes later. I'd gotten involved in something, so I laid there with her for another half hour and then I left. She stayed asleep for a glorious hour, allowing me to drink a glass of wine and watch some embarrassingly trashy television.
After that, she slept better than she'd slept in a LONG time and we both woke up this morning around 8, which is pretty normal.

I really think she's dropping it, but my mother thinks its temporary due to teething. She's never been a big sleeper. Any thoughts? I do plan to push her bedtime back an hour so that she's hopefully sleeping from 8pm-8am, with breaks for nursing.
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I'm going to go with it is temporary. That is awful young to give up her nap for good. And if she is then I would expect her to be in bed by about 6. 2.5-4 is more the age to give up naps. Heck my kid didn't really give up her 2nd nap until 14 months. She just turned 3 and naps on average every other day.
only temporary. Mine is 26 months. Since the 18 month mark we have had two blocks of time that we thought nap time was going the way of the dinosaur. But right now it is a daily event, thank the heavens.

My thought is as long as they get 12 hours of sleep in a 24 period then I am fine with whatever they do.

My DD definitely went thru periods of no naps, or napping a few times a week, on and off for months and months. I don't know still if it's tied to teething or what. I just try to really enjoy the quick nursing-down and better early-evening sleep while she didn't nap (we try to get her down by 7 b/c she wakes by 6:30 or so)and to enjoy the break (I usually read and sleep
she needs help halfway thru) on those days she does nap. It's still going like this at almost 2.
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I would also vote for it's temporary, and I'd advise you to keep trying to get her to nap. She'll probably surprise you one day, and go back to napping nicely. What I found with DD1 is that if I stopped making time in the day for a nap, she got out of the habit of sleeping at that time. But steadily, slowly, the overtiredness crept up on her, until two weeks or so later, she started having behavioral issues because she was chronically just a bit short on sleep. So I'd say try for the nap every day, for what seems like a reasonable time to you, and then if she doesn't sleep in that time, let it go for that day, and try again the next.
In my experience, almost all kids that age still need to nap. Often, kids seem to drop naps because their parents are too busy and can't put in the time it takes to get them down. Obviously that's not the case with you.
So it must be something else.
I would maybe try putting her down earlier for her nap. I know it doesn't make any sense, but one of the side effects of DS being tired is mania. We had gotten out of the habit of putting him to sleep/nap on time, because he didn't seem tired (also, we're lazy
) So he is running around crazy, super-happy and having a great time and I'm thinking "there's no way this kid's going to sleep." but then the longer he's awake, the harder it is for him to fall asleep (until, of course, you reach the "total collapse" stage) and the more grief he gives me for having the audacity to suggest that perhaps he should go to sleep. Also, I've noticed he also sleeps much better (longer and less restless) if he's not completely exhausted.
so for example, if we wake up @ 7:30-8am I put him down for a nap @ 12-2 and then bedtime @ 8pm.

Just because they CAN stay up so late and seem fine, doesn't always mean they SHOULD, kwim?
Hope you figure out what's wrong. A mama needs nap time!
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I vote temporary too. 18 months is really young and as she gets older she'll get even more physically active and need some sleep time in the afternoon. My son is 28 months and we started attending a toddler gym class and boy does that help with naps and bedtime! The physical exercise and excitement of the class/other kids wears him out to the point where he's literally begging to go to sleep within an hour of getting home ("Want to go to sleep mama!"). It's wonderful. Right now he's taking naps from about 1:30-3 pm and then sleeping from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am.

I've found that high activity days and very low key days work best for naps but anything in between is tough - just running around the house gets his energy up but does not wear him out enough to make nap time easy.

Good transitions are helpful too. I read to my son with the lights dim and give him three 10 minute chances to go to sleep on his own before I come in and lie down with him (he doesn't like me in bed with him because he knows I won't let him get up and play). If he still doesn't fall asleep then its fine - I just let him play quietly in his room for an hour, but most of the time he will fall asleep within minutes of me getting into bed with him. However, it won't work if I go to sleep with him from the beginning. I think he needs that last 30 minutes to disipate the last of his play energy.
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Another vote for temporary. There's something about that age and the push for independence, that's one more way to test and try and experiment.

For my DS, the key was actually a challenging week of not nursing him to sleep and helping him learn to lay himself down. His nap was very needy and clingy while he was nursing for nap. Now, he plays in his crib for a bit and then falls asleep himself. We picked a week where things were fun but the schedule was thrown off, so it was one more change in a very odd week. Then, when things got back to normal, we kept the new nap style.
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