How do I get my 2 1/2 year old to take his afternoon nap?

Wendy - posted on 01/26/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Up until a few weeks ago, my son was doing very well at taking a nap. It would take him about 15 minutes to fall asleep, and then he would nap for almost 2 hours. Now, it is a nightmare trying to get him to go to sleep rather than play. He definetly shows signs of being tired when I put him down, he just seems to fight it now. Any ideas or suggestions? I just think that he is still too young to not need at least a small nap during the day!!!!!

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[deleted account]

I have three children and although my toddler doesn't nap anymore (she will be 3 next month), I would physically do the same things as I would when she was a baby to get her to sleep.  I woud either rub her forehead (she closes her eyes for this) or I would gently hum a low tune (nothing too peppy) to get her to get to sleep. Sometimes a glass of warm milk works too -  feels good in their tummies.  Also darken the room for nap time.   See if you can supervise the naps for a while until he can fall asleep on his own again.  It may be time to give up naps, too.  If that's the case, put him to bed sooner so he makes up for that nap at bedtime.  He'll be crabby in the evenings, but that comes with not napping.



Just my 2 cents... hope that helps.



-Lynn

Brittany - posted on 01/26/2009

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oh and if you do try the movie thing it might not work the first few nights she kept getting out of bed and screaming but you just keep putting them back and finally i was like you can lay in her with or with out the toons its up to you and she said toons and eventually she learned that she wasnt getting her way and now she is a angel at bed time.

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Wendy - posted on 01/27/2009

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Thanks to everyone who offered their advice and experiences....maybe he doesn't need a nap anymore!!! Maybe just putting him in his room for a little "quiet time" (or play time as the case may be) will just have to be enough. I guess I should be happy and thankful for the fact that he sleeps very well for me at bedtime!....beggars can't be choosers, right!!! ;)



Thanks again.

Priscilla - posted on 01/27/2009

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I asked this very same question, and what I herd was that sometimes they don't take naps anymore. My son stopped taking naps at 3 and what I would do is just put him to bed earlier..I know it sounds crazy, but some kids just don't feel it anymore...the whole nap thing.

Sarah - posted on 01/26/2009

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i babysit a 4 year old who still takes an afternoon nap, lol so i do agree with you, come up with a new program to get him to get ready for nap time, just like bed time, read a story or sing to him or have a calming time, and then tell him its time to go to sleep and if he gets out of bed just keep putting him back until he finally stays, good luck

Rebecca - posted on 01/26/2009

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p.s. you may get into a decent routine again, but based on my experience, you go through cycles where getting them to sleep becomes a problem again, and then you re-establish a new routine.

i also think an hour at 3pm is fine.

Rebecca - posted on 01/26/2009

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maybe he doesn't need it, or maybe he needs it a bit later... its not about age ... its about what schedule works best for him... also, maybe just switch to an earlier bed time; they often then just sleep for 12 hours on the trot.

the only other things you can do, is make sure he gets lots of active play earlier in the day, so he's tired, and then calm down with some inactivity. with my younger daughter we put on teletubbies or some loud dancy music followed by quietening down music. i also make getting ready for sleep time cuddle time, and she tends to drift off on her own then. and i take the time to have some quiet time myself (who doesn't need some?) :D

Brittany - posted on 01/26/2009

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i had the same problem i tried reading stories everything but she loves to watch "toons" as she calls it so we put a tv and dvd player in her room and let her watch a movie and she just falls asleep she even looks forward to it now just today she came to me and said i want to go to bed and watch lilo and stich thats her fave movie. we used to have to start putting her to bed at 7 to get her to sleep by midnight she was such a fight now by the end of the movie she is usually asleep. good luck i know its hard. oh and it has also got her out of our bed yay!

Wendy - posted on 01/26/2009

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Quoting Chrislyn:

My daughter is 2 and a half also. I, too had this same problem. What I statred to do was after lunch, I start to wind her down. I would engage her in quiet activities like reading a book or two to her or some quiet play I would do with her to calm her. Then I gradually slid her nap time a little later, like 2 PM. She actually tells me it's nap time, now. She sleeps about 2 to 2 and a half hours, and it doesn't affect her 8:30 bed time.



thanks for the advice, however, I already put my son to bed at 2. I don't think I would be able to put him down any later. It's funny because people used to be amazed at how easily he would go to sleep at nap time...with absolutely no fuss. All of a sudden, for the past three or four weeks,he just decided he doesn't need them!....

[deleted account]

My daughter is 2 and a half also. I, too had this same problem. What I statred to do was after lunch, I start to wind her down. I would engage her in quiet activities like reading a book or two to her or some quiet play I would do with her to calm her. Then I gradually slid her nap time a little later, like 2 PM. She actually tells me it's nap time, now. She sleeps about 2 to 2 and a half hours, and it doesn't affect her 8:30 bed time.

Wendy - posted on 01/26/2009

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Quoting Paulette:

I have twin girls. They are 5 now. My spunky girl (the tomboy) probably quit napping around 2. So I just started putting her to bed earlier. If they got a nap, they usually went to be around 8:30 or 9:00. When she quit napping, she started going to bed around 7:30 or 8:00. It was so nice to have the extra quiet time at night with my husband.



did you not find that they tended to be a lot grouchier in the evenings because they missed out on sleep in the afternoon?

Paulette - posted on 01/26/2009

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I have twin girls. They are 5 now. My spunky girl (the tomboy) probably quit napping around 2. So I just started putting her to bed earlier. If they got a nap, they usually went to be around 8:30 or 9:00. When she quit napping, she started going to bed around 7:30 or 8:00. It was so nice to have the extra quiet time at night with my husband.

Lindsay - posted on 01/26/2009

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I am having the same problem and my son is 2 and about 2 months. I am interested in see what other mom's say since i am in the same boat!

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