5 answers

18 Month Old That Wont Nap

hi moms my 18 month old daughter is refusing to nap durring the day. she is only given one nap and just out and out refuses it. i know she needs this sleep because by 5pm shes soo cranky that i cant stand it. shes in bed between 7:30-8pm and i dont hear her again to usually 7-7:30am. she is usually a good sleeper taking a 2 hour nap a day (she gets put down at 11-11:30a and doesnt make a peep till around 2 (she plays in bed when she wakes). i cant stand fighting with her anymore its rediculous and my husband is no help (we are separated right now). any advice?

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Hi J.:
Your daughter is nearing two,and its common,for active toddlers,to grow out of their naps.Not so much because they don't need them,but because at this age,they are so active, and preocupied with playing,that they sometimes are unable to calm down enough to just lay there motionless,and nap. The only reason,that preschools and kindergarden classes have a nap time for the toddlers,is because its part of the schools schedule, promotes disapline,and gives the teachers a rest.Its not because,those children NEED a nap.If that were the case, then they would be inforcing naps for our 9th and 10th graders.In my personal opinion,Their need is much greater,Physically,and mentally. Those mothers with teen experience,will agree.Naps are right up there with eating.If your child is hungry,she won't let you starve her.If shes not hungry,you wouldn't, or shouldn't force feed her.If shes tired enough, she will lay down for a nap,and fall to sleep.If shes not,then shes not going to sleep.I don't know about you, but if anyone told me, that I HAD to fall to sleep, regardless of wether I was tired or not, there is no way in this world i could sleep. The PRESSURE of being told i (HAD TO) would void any chances of my sleeping. AND, if i was being threatened,or yelled at with consequences,that niches it!! Now I'd be laying there worried about what will happen if I don't fall asleep. Think about it J.. If your daughter is tired,go through your regular routine,for a nap. If she winds up merely laying there, and singing or talking to herself,but resting her body,thats ok.Her little body is still getting a rest. If she fights it to the point of screaming and crying,then don't make this about a power struggle, between personalities.Let her up,and find something for her to do,that would be restful,like sitting and drawing you a picture, or helping you cook. It is nice to have that free time, while they nap,but if it means constant yelling and frustration and chaotic moments between you and your daughter,its simply not worth it J.. I wish you and your daughter the best.

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Let me say, my kids started resisting naps at about the same age, so that is not so unusual. I just continued with the nap routine and put them in the crib with a favorite blanket. I did not try to insist that they sleep. If they cried, I would come back into the room briefly to check on them, give a hug and tell them, "You are fine, Mommy is just doing the dishes".. or whatever. This is an age where they are concerned about where you are and it is hard for them to settle down. Also you mentioned you are separated from your husband. Certainly, she must have a relationship with her daddy and is aware that things are different. This could be contributing to her anxiety. Try to be extra reassuring, so this period is not too stressful for her. Hopefully, things will be back to normal soon, since you say he is a wonderful man!

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Hmmmm. Some will say she is "giving up" naps already. Some say, like me, they still need it. Otherwise, yes they get SUPER cranky!

For me, with both my kids... even through developmental changes (like yours is going through now), it is normal that their sleep/nap ability fluctuates.

During these "refusal" periods... I myself just kept on with their pre-nap and nap routines EVERYDAY- ie: same nap time, same routine before nap, same method of putting them down, same everyday. EVERY day.

My children STILL nap to this day. My 25 month old son is napping now in fact. My 5 going on 6 year old daughter, still naps after school. They both nap about 2 hours each. They STILL sleep and go to bed fine at night. This has been their routine since babies. Along the way, their "timing" of naps may shift...but that's fine. Main thing is the routine was consistent.

It DOES take effort to keep to a nap/sleep routine. It takes dedication and patience.

If your daughter if refusing to nap right now... then wait in about 1/2 hour increments.. .and try putting her down a little bit later. Main thing is to keep a quiet time pre-nap... don't over-tire them or they will actually get more 'hyper.' I actually will dim the room... and quiet the atmosphere before my kids nap. I also verbally warn them that "it's time..." etc. Then we get ready.... read, watch a favorite CALM tv show for about 15 minutes... change diaper, give milk, then pick my son up, carry him into the room, lower the blinds, turn on a fan on low for white noise, arrange his stuffed animals in the crib, put him down, pat him/kiss him, and then I turn around and close the door. That's it. I've done that since he was a baby, that SAME routine, and still do it now... so its like auto-pilot now and he just KNOWS what to expect and do.

My girl, by now she puts herself to nap. So no problem. But when she was younger, I had to sort of co-sleep with her. Which I don't have to do with my son.

In any method you choose... just keep it consistent. Put her down to nap...at the same time everyday. If she balks or fusses...wait. See if she will self soothe herself. If not, then take her out. Then, 1/2 hour later, try again. Same routine. And so forth. At least that is what I have done, and my kids are good nappers/sleepers still.

Mainly, I think your girl is just going through developmental changes now. But YES... they need a nap. Kids this age do. If not they get so cranky and can't function. Naps/sleep aids in their development, overall well being, and even their immune system. Even kids in Preschool and Kindergarten STILL nap. It's needed. My opinion.

Good luck,

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hi J., sorry to hear about you and your husband. I'm just going to say it, parents of today need to start discipling their kids, and I don't mean time out, I read alls kinds of request just like this one, Sweetie why are you fighting with an 18 month old, you are the parent, don't allow her to refuse to obey you, discipline her, and make her understand that you are in charge not her, cause right now J. she is in charge. I am 51 my youngest s 19, and we disciplined, and believe it or not our kids thank us for it, they believe that they are the men and woman they are today, becasue of the love and disciplie we gave them. I hope I didn't come across harsh, if i did i apoligize. Just know there is nothing wrong with discipling yur kids. J. L.

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Hi J., my son is just around the corner for turning 20 months and we went through something similar at 18 months... right after his 18 month check-up, too! For two weeks he started sleeping less at night (I think now maybe it was a result of the chickenpox shot he got that I was unsure of whether to give him at all). Anyway, because he started sleeping less at night, he was getting crankier and crankier with just one nap, and his naps were getting so short they were almost non-existent, so I went back to two naps (or one nap if he had a solid 12 hours the night before) and he was doing well with that for awhile. He just this past week started going back to one nap, but he keeps pushing it later and later and now I find that he prefers to go down even as late as 1:30 (he wakes up between 7 and 7:30 lately). For the most part, I have an idea in my head of when I'd like him to go down, but I just watch him and see how he is (or sometimes I try to put him down at a certain time, but he'll insist that he wants to use the potty or something and prolongs going down). Some days he seems really tired in the morning so I'll put him down for a long morning nap but then he refuses an afternoon nap, so I think he's ready for one, but he varies daily on the time when he's most ready for his nap.

I hope this helps you... or at least lets you know that you're not the only one dealing with a stubborn toddler!

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