2 1/2 year old not napping

Kelli - posted on 04/29/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Wow, I've been having such a hard time with my 2 1/2 year old. She is in a Toddler bed. She will stay in her room one hour during "Quiet Time" but she won't nap. It's SO frustrating b/c @ 4pm she starts becoming over tired and has TONS of behavior problems with meltdown after meltdown. I've tried rewarding her with treats if she takes a nap, which she doesn't. The only way she will sleep is in the car and I'm not willing to drive her around every day. If she does nap, she goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps til 7am. Or at least she is in her room 12 hours, I don't think she falls asleep right away. If she doesn't nap we have to get her in bed no later than 6:30pm or she freaks out and screams before falling asleep. Any suggestions?

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Lani - posted on 09/06/2012

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My 2 1/2 year old daughter does the same thing. She used to nap for a couple hours - easy. Now I can't get her to do it, and even quiet time is tough. I talked to two Dr's and both said to stick with it. However I'm not sure what to "stick with"!? At 2 1/2 if they don't want to sleep it isn't happening! I feel terrible because I feel like she needs the sleep:(

Nichole - posted on 08/02/2011

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I just started having trouble with my 20 month old not taking naps. He has always been an awesome sleeper until recently. I'm not sure what's going on...we haven't changed our routine at all. I know he's tired, but the very mention of a nap starts a temper tantrum. I've tried everything and still no success. I really hope this is just a stage.

Vicki - posted on 07/31/2011

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Wow this is an old thread :) My boy has been an on and off napper for about 6 months. He only turned 2 a few weeks ago. The only thing that will definitely send him off is a car trip. I refuse to do any kind of CIO or shut him in his room, mostly because I don't like it, but also because I'm 100% sure it wouldn't work with him. What I do now is give him an opportunity to sleep everyday. Usually this means some time with both of us lying on the bed breastfeeding. If he falls asleep great! I get up and have toddler free time. If he doesn't then that's ok, we've had a rest at least.

On days when I NEED him to sleep, such as when I have night shift and need a nap myself, I drive him to sleep then transfer him inside. Not ideal, but needs must.

The frustrating thing is that on the 2 days he spends with my Mum he ALWAYS naps. He runs to the pram, climbs in, she pushes it for a couple of minutes at most and he's out. Never fails for her, doesn't work for me! I've tried that and he just screams when I try to put him in and wriggles out of the harness.

Jennifer - posted on 07/31/2011

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I swear it's a two year old thing. My son isn't quite 2 1/2 yet but we've been having issues with naps lately. Some days he'll nap no problem other times he refuses. I think it goes along with the NO stage! That sense of independence, or the struggle to get it, they have. All i've been doing is kind of following our bedtime routine as far as making sure it's dark in there, cause honestly can you fall asleep in a bright room? I know I can't...then I put on our bedtime music softly. And since it is summer and we are in TX I put the AC on cause I know he can't sleep if he's too hot (has been that way since day 1). Nine times out of ten he'll end up falling asleep, even though he may not want too!
I've also been making sure his naps aren't too long now. I find if he naps too much during the day now he won't sleep at night. So I look and see what time he fell asleep, if it's before noon (which most days it's not) then he can sleep a little long, but for the most part i try to keep them to no longer than an hour/hour and a half. (Bedtime is at 7pm, if he's napping till 3 there's no way he'll be ready for bed then). I hope this helps you some, if not then you know there are others out there in the same boat as you. :) Good luck and keep us posted. :)

Nicole - posted on 05/05/2011

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I am having issues with my 21/2 year old son too! He is refusing a nap and won't even stay in his room for any "quiet time"- he is able to open the door and even climb over the gate. Night time is just as bad...he won't fall asleep unless I am there to soothe him to sleep then he wakes several times and usually around the 1am mark he wakes himself so much to the point that he won't fall back to sleep unless I sleep in bed with him. We've tried EVERYTHING I feel like...even resorting to holding the door shut while he cries which doesn't make me feel good and not to mention hasn't worked. I am due with my second in two months and am just so nervous b/c I won't have all the extra time I have now to dedicate to trying to get him to sleep! Any suggestions? I am desperate! Thank you!!!

Mia - posted on 05/06/2009

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It has to be a 2 1\2 thing I have the same troubles with My son. The only way I can make him take a nap is my holding him and rocking him to sleep and I have tryed everything Movies, reading music but the only thing that seems to work is my heart beat. I can't even get a away with an soother with the heart beat sound. The melt downs are crazy and it get to the point where I just have to put him to bed early and let himself cry to sleep. I feel bad but I can't always be there to rock him to sleep. I swear if he could he would run all day

Kelli - posted on 05/04/2009

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Thanks Renee, that gives me hope. She napped in her bed today for the 1st time in about two weeks. I just hope she's not up all night. :)

[deleted account]

Hi Kelli, it is so frustrating, isn't it? Like Jeannie says, don't give up. Keep in mind that it could very well be a stage. I am not sure if it is a developmental thing or not, but this happened with my daughter at exactly this age and she is now approaching four and still naps about 5 out of 7 days per week. It took a couple of months overall, but I was very consistent and very matter of fact when it came to nap/quiet time. My daughter was very much one that was afraid that she was missing something when she was napping. I told her that I would be napping too and she realized fun wasn't happening. I made things VERY boring. Anyway, good luck! Afternoon meltdowns are torture aren't they?

Jean - posted on 04/29/2009

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I have the same problem with my 2 1/2 year old! I have read that they will naturally stop taking daily naps around this age. I just put her in her room for quiet time and she has to stay in there until the designated time is up. She too has the afternoon meltdowns when she is tired so I try to distract her with mommy and me projects, like baking cupcakes, or coloring pics for Daddy, anything that keeps her mind off of how tired she is. Also, I give her fruit in the afternoon and it seems to give her the natural boost she needs to get through the afternoon. Mine too will sleep 12hrs without a nap that day, but if she has a nap she will stay up playing until sometimes midnight, so I too am struggling with this issue. All I can say is stick to your guns about quiet time, and she'll sleep if she's tired, just like she'll eat if she's hungry, right? I'll keep you posted if i have any successful progress.

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