I have a 4 year old boy who needs a nap every day.

Melissa - posted on 03/21/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 year old boy who needs a nap every day.. But he fights me for the whole hour and a half. Screaming, and crying. If he doesn't take a nap he is SO grumppy by dinner time that i'm pulling my hair out. Any ideas on how to get him to sleep in the afternoon?

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Jana - posted on 03/22/2009

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Another idea that I saw somewhere that might help with the "can I come out yet?" I read somewhere to help kids that can't read a clock yet, when they need to know what time they are done with something, to tape a piece of paper with the time you want them to stay somewhere (in their room) and tell that then when the clock matches the piece of paper they can come out of their room.  This works for digital clocks, because you can write out the numbers!



Another idea: set a timer for him, or an alarm clock to let him know when he can come out.



It has to be frustrating since you have another little one that is trying to sleep.  I hope you find something that works.

Melissa - posted on 03/22/2009

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Thanks everyone for your imput. I've tired calling it quiet time or rest time but after like 5 mins hes at his door " can i get out yet?" This in turn wakes his 2 year old sister. Its a real bear to deal with but I think for this first time this week he is ASLEEP... The little one is playing her her room but Andrew (4) is asleep.

Michelle - posted on 03/22/2009

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Jana is quite right, my son is four too, i had the same battle with him for about two years.
After lunch i announce it is now rest time it often helps if you lay with him and read him a short story or tell him to close his eyes, make up a story and tell him to imagine the story i am telling him, it helps to calm them. When you done you tell him OKAY now you need to rest a bit.

hope things work out.

Jana - posted on 03/21/2009

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Does he start to fight when you say "It's nap time"?  I think it was at about this age when my sister-in-law started calling naps "quiet time"  She has four children and knew that the older ones didn't always need to sleep but it needed to be quiet for the younger ones to sleep, so she changed nap time to quiet time and told them, "You don't have to sleep but you need to stay in your room and do something quiet until I come an get you."  9 times out of 10 all of them were asleep within 20 minutes.  And if they weren't sleeping they were doing something quite and that helped them energize a little.



If you are fighting him for 1 1/2 hours anyways, maybe you can join him with quiet time until he gets the idea.  No tv. radio etc so he understand what quiet time is.  And yes I realize that in a perfect world, this idea would work 100% of the time, but maybe if you don't tell him he has to sleep, he might not get so upset about it and at least you don't have to struggle with him.  Good luck I hope you find something that works.  Oh one more thought...I know that when anyone in my fmaily is really grumpy at dinner it is a pretty good sign that they need some protein ASAP!!!  Maybe a little cheese or yogurt about an hour before dinner might help with some grumpiness. 

Ok, I'm done, good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 03/21/2009

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I have no suggestions, but I have the same problem. I have a 3.5 yr old little boy. If he doesn't get his nap, he is a bear. I feel your pain.

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