2 1/2 year old needs naps but takes forever to go to sleep

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My 2 1/2 year old used to LOVE going to bed,I mean,really love as in he would sometimes request to go to bed at night and it was torture for him to be kept up past bedtime or naptime. The past 2 months though, he now fights me at naptime,he gets up over and over for at least an hour usually and if I could keep him in his room quietly I'd let him stay awake but I have no way to keep him in there, he likes sleepin on my bed with the dog but I don't like being banned from my own bedroom during the day.I don't want him to wake his sister who naps at the same time as I try and get him down,how can I get him to go to sleep the first time?I read him stories,I lay with him,I feed him,he has a cup of water at all times...I have tried bribery,spankings of desperation when he gets up,nothing seems to work.

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also, a no no for us was the tv/dvd player in the van. it keeps all of my kids from falling asleep. i thought it would keep them quiet enough to fall asleep, but it usually doesn't when it's been a while since there was a consistent nap.  although their bodies get rest, their minds don't. i am learning that tv is very bad for kids because of how they format scenes to keep kids stimulated which, especially for kids 2 and younger, is unhealthy for their developing brains. tv is a blessing on occasion, but overall it's not.

Diana - posted on 02/04/2009

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Try to give him a bath before bed with a little bit of lavender mixed n the water.  Warm bathes usually help young children want to sleep and lavender is a known relaxant.  You can find it a lot of times already added to bubble baths  or if you have an Avon lady there is a wonderful product made of lavender called Tranquil Moments.  It also works well on the Mother when she has time to soak in a warm bath and needs to wind down.

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Cara - posted on 11/01/2012

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Having the same problem with my daughter. Positive reinforcement and soothing mechanisms could work. Spanking is a negative reinforcement that is considered physical abuse and could have adverse effects later on in life if you continue to spank.

Lora - posted on 02/04/2009

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I went through the same thing with my oldest daughter and it all started around the same age.  I ended up laying down with her at nap time at the same time every day and every time she would sit up or stand and try to get free I would lay her back down.  It was exhausting to keep doing this over and over but after a week she began to understand and finally nap time was back to normal...its all about patience and routine, and trust me it was not easy.

Sylvia - posted on 02/04/2009

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My little one (he's 4 yrs old now) used to have his nap in his push chair, we just put him in a quiet room for 1hr 30mins max.,he was very comfy in there and when he didnt want to have a nap it kept him in there as he was strapped in.He used to cry but he got used to that routine. My mum and mother in law (they babysat whilst I was working) usually gave him lunch,played with them for a bit and then put him in the push chair. I remember also, when he was much younger though, we used to move him around in his push chair for a bit til he fell asleep. Even when I went on holiday he had this routine. Then for the night time, I made sure he was tired (took him to the park, played with him or even danced with him) and after dinner and nice bubbly bath he usually went to bed without a word. He stopped having his nap when he was around 3yrs old he seemed like he didnt need them anymore and made him want to go to bed earlier he usually goes to bed around 8ish now and wake up for school at 7.30ish. Now is when we're having the problems of not wanting to go to bed, because he's playing or watching a movie, figures.....Lolol but I have to say that once he's in bed he gives up and stays in bed and falls asleep as soon as his head touches the pillow...so much for ...but mummy, I'm not tired....lolol. All I can say is hang in there, it could be a stage and stages dont last...much! Good Luck!!

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my middle child is the same way. some of it i think is that he's got an older brother who doesn't nap, he might not need as much sleep as his brother did, and he's much more stubborn than his brother. plus...he's 2 (almost 3) and the middle child. i have to chalk it up to age and his personality. having to drive to pick his brother up from school helps. he falls asleep in the van. he's too tired from missing a nap the day before to fight me on it when i get home. it's later than he used to sleep too. i forgot as my older son grew, he needed naps later in the day or i was fighting him to take a nap. so i pushed this little guys nap 30 minutes to an hour later. i also noticed that if i was more than 30 minutes late for nap time, he got his second wind and there was no way i could get him to take a nap. some days he's agreeable again. other days, i insist that he stay in his bed/room until i say he can get up . if he doesn't sleep i don't waste my energy after an hour because that's what it turns into...a waste of energy and time. as long as he obeys. occasionally i don't even try.  letting go of that personal time in the middle of the day was hard. i had to adjust. it helped me keep the situation in better perspective when i did. insisting on quiet time/naps at the same time every day helps him take naps more consistently. putting him to bed early on the days he doesn't sleep takes care of the nasty attitude i get at the end of the day from his lack of sleep. he went through a phase where no punishment or bribe would work. i had to take into consideration that we moved, a big change for him. that took a month or 2 to work through. he's also getting older. another change for him. so i compromise a little, let him play in his room or ocasionally forget it altogether, lay with him, read a book, but stay consistent with the time of day and he's much better. not perfect, just better.

Roxana - posted on 02/04/2009

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I sympathized too! Mine is 3 and he stays up until late especially when I go to school at night and his father takes care of him. It is practically impossible to get him to stay in his room and both his father and I lose our patience very quickly because he is usually up to no good when he is out of his room. He is also not sleeping more than 8 hrs at night and I know that I cannot take away his nap time because his grandma takes care of him and he will drive her nuts if he does not have his nap. So I am at a a loss for words. Please offer some tipe. He gets a bath and plays for a bit in the tub...we put on the TV for a little bit, offer him some water and have tried to enforce bed time and room time in every positive or negative was I can think of. Thanks and yo uare not alone!

Roxana - posted on 02/04/2009

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I sympathized too! Mine is 3 and he stays up until late especially when I go to school at night and his father takes care of him. It is practically impossible to get him to stay in his room and both his father and I lose our patience very quickly because he is usually up to no good when he is out of his room. He is also not sleeping more than 8 hrs at night and I know that I cannot take away his nap time because his grandma takes care of him and he will drive her nuts if he does not have his nap. So I am at a a loss for words. Please offer some tipe. He gets a bath and plays for a bit in the tub...we put on the TV for a little bit, offer him some water and have tried to enforce bed time and room time in every positive or negative was I can think of. Thanks and yo uare not alone!

Michelle - posted on 02/04/2009

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Oh Krista, ... I SOOO feel your pain, a strong suggestion I got when my youngest (now 4 and surprisingly still alive, LOL) did the exact same thing was, even though we don't want to use tv as a babysitter, was to allow nap time to become quiet time. a floppy pillow, a favorite toy or blanket, and a favorite movie with the volume low, or treehouse because I trusted their line-up. The reason for the volume to be low is so that if he does fall asleep, it doesn't disturb him, and the focus and concentration required usually ended up in her falling asleep. Nap time doesn't HAVE to be about sleep, ... although we mothers would LOVE it to be, ... LOL, ... it's really quiet time to rest their little bodies, and if sleep happens, we win, ... *smile* ...Best of Luck and don't forget, it's a perfect snuggle time for you too.

Nichole - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Kate:



what about putting one of those gates up in his doorway? Is his room dark and do you have white noise? This helpd too.






I have tried this too. He gets up and hollars out into the hall way and wakes up my daughter and/or climbs over the gate.

Nichole - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Kate:



what about putting one of those gates up in his doorway? Is his room dark and do you have white noise? This helpd too.






I have tried this too. He gets up and hollars out into the hall way and wakes up my daughter and/or climbs over the gate.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Char:

why would you spank him...



as punishment for getting up after being told to stay in his room...

Nichole - posted on 02/04/2009

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I know what you mean. I am having the same problem with my two year old son. I have tried waking him up early, making him stay up later, chaning nap time, changing the outdoor time and the activities, changing lunch time... It still takes him a long time to fall asleep but the only thing that seems to work now is separating my children at nap time. One in the bed room and one in the play room. He only gets one blanket, no cup. All I say to him when he calls out or whatever is good night. He eventually falls asleep. I still haven't gotten the bedtime at night down yet. IDK... just trhowing things out there.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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I'm starting to wish we hadn't taken him out of the crib,he did so well at first though,it's been about 6 months since he switched to a bed, I have thought about putting him in a pack n play but I think he might be able to climb out of it.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Kate:



what about putting one of those gates up in his doorway? Is his room dark and do you have white noise? This helpd too.






I have tried that a few times,but sometiems he hollers from the doorway and it wakes my daughter. We have a humidifier in his room for white noise and his room is as dark as it'll get withut me going out and buying custom shades for his odd shaped windows!

Wendy - posted on 02/04/2009

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I sympathize with your problem about keeping your son in his room.....we have purposely not put our son in a toddler bed yet for that reason....he still sleeps in a crib. Believe me, for as long as I can keep him in the crib, I will!!!!! :)

Kate - posted on 02/04/2009

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what about putting one of those gates up in his doorway? Is his room dark and do you have white noise? This helpd too.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Diana:



Try to give him a bath before bed with a little bit of lavender mixed n the water.  Warm bathes usually help young children want to sleep and lavender is a known relaxant.  You can find it a lot of times already added to bubble baths  or if you have an Avon lady there is a wonderful product made of lavender called Tranquil Moments.  It also works well on the Mother when she has time to soak in a warm bath and needs to wind down.





 



The only problem I have with bathing him before bedtime is  the  bathroom is right next to her bedroom and my son gets pretty loud in the tub so I don't think bathing him right before bed will work,thanks though.

Lisa - posted on 02/04/2009

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the best way to get your child to nap is for you to take a nap too! reading or car rides work as well.... or try keeping him up until he gets so tired he falls asleep on his own. My daughter stop having naps at 3 yrs cause she wouldn't fall asleep at night anymore....

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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I thought he had outgrown them,for about 2 wks he didnt' nap at all, I would have him lay on teh couch and watch a movie quietly,but then one day he needed to sleep again. I wouldn't mind having him in his room for quiet time if I could keep him in there,but we live in an old house and the previous owner painted all the doors and doorways upstairs so the only doors that shut all the way and stay shut are the bathroom and my daughters bedroom door. I did suggest to my husband that we should have the kids switch rooms because my son will sometimes go in and wake my 13 mo old daughter in the morning.

Krista - posted on 02/04/2009

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well he used to go to bed at 8 p.m. and get up at 8 a.m.,now he goes to bed around 8/830,gets up around 7/730,sometimes as early as 6:30...He's tired at naptime,he just doesn't wanna stay in bed and sleep.I don't wanna wake him any earlier than he already gets up.

Wendy - posted on 02/04/2009

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I'm having the same problem with my son who is 2 1/2 also...people have told me that he is probably outgrowing them. However, today for instance, after about 3 weeks of him not napping, I put him upstairs for "quiet time" and he fell straight to sleep. I believe that a 2 1/2 year old still needs a nap in the afternoon, especially, if like my son, he is only sleeping 10 1/2 hours at night.



Good luck. I need some too. :)

Wendy - posted on 02/04/2009

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Have you tried waking him up earlier in the morning so he's ready for a nap. might mean less sleep for you but it's a thought.

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