16 answers

Toddlers & Naps

Hi Mommies,

I was curious to know when your child stopped taking naps. My 21 month old seems to be phasing out her nap...although, I think it may have to do with what time I wake her up in the morning. She seems to do fine without a nap, but by dinner time, she is so overtired, that she just crumbles and bursts into tears and throws tantrums. I'm trying to introduce "quiet time" (story time, movie time) in the afternoon which seems to help.

Any information/suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated :) Again, I'm just curious to know.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone's responses! They were very much helpful. I figured because my daughter was having her meltdowns at dinner time, nixing the afternoon nap was definitely not an option...I just needed to hear it. I think I'm also going to need to wake her up earlier, that way she's tired by lunch time, and wakes up from her nap early enough in the day where it doesn't affect her bed time.

Thank you again!

Featured Answers

I am a believer in naps as long as you can. With both my sons there was always a point that they fought the naps. However, we worked through it and but both my sons napped until they were in pre-k (one was 4 almost 5 and the other was just 5).

More Answers

My son will be two in May and he still takes a long nap in the afternoon. He sleeps from 9pm to 8am and then sleeps from 1:30 to 3:30. I think there was a month that I was like uh oh is he going to skip naps?? He did a couple of times but went right back to napping again once I got him on a regular sleep schedule and feeding him a big lunch before he goes down in the afternoon. I think it just depends on the child. My son is a mess by 1:30. There is no way he could go all day without a nap. Also, I think some kids go in phases depending on growth spurts and such. Not sure if any of this information helps. Take care.

Yea.. my dd tried the whole no-nap routine. It wasn't pretty.

She phased out the morning, but we kept her 1PM.

When she started no-napping around 2/2.5 y.o. I stuck to the nap routine anyway. Sometimes she'd fall asleep closer to 3, but the point is she'd stay in her bed. She'd babble, sing, whatever..it was a quiet down time.
She eventually, within a month, fell back in step with her nap and doesn't really fight the routine.. after reading a story, now.

She is almost 4 and we bumped up her nap to 2pm and in 6 months will probably bump it to 3pm (until we phase it out and she gets used to longer days- but I think a quiet (me)time, be it reading, coloring, etc is a good thing for everyone!)

The question is: can they handle going the entire day without a nap. Mine CAN NOT. She gets to 5 and then melts down.

I heard once that the little ones just need quiet time to rejuvenate. If they sleep fine. If they just rest, fine.

Go with the flow, but you know the answer already: she melts down by dinner = she needs a nap/rest period. Once she learns your expectation, she'll yield to it.

Good luck!

I worked as a preschool teacher, and 90% of our 3-4 year olds still took naps. Most about 2 hours. My son is 20 months, and every now and then will skip a nap. It's probably just a phase, but i would say it is too soon to stop.

The phase during which children are adjusting to the elimination of the afternoon nap is tough. There is no absolute on what age is "normal" for kids to give up their naps. Some give it up by their first birthday, some nap past age 4 yrs. It is quite normal to be tired and cranky by the end of the day. It doesn't necessarily mean she needs the nap. It is also very normal during this phase to nap some days but not others, or for the nap to be either shorter or longer than her former "usual" afternoon nap. I think your afternoon quiet time is a perfect solution: it gives her the opportunity to sleep should she want/need to do, gives her (AND YOU!) some quiet time in the middle of the day. Even if she doesn't sleep she is still resting. Good luck!

I think the fact that she's so teary and throws tantrums by dinner time means she needs a nap. You said you think it might have to do with what time she wakes up...is it on the later side? The time that a child feels tired enough to nap definitely depends on what time he/she goes to bed and wakes up. I would still put her down for a nap...usual bedtime routine...and tell her things she can do quietly in her room if she's not sleepy...then leave her there for a designated time frame. Some days she may sleep and others she may not. I think the quiet time (story/movie)...if it's WITH you might be motivating for her as close time with Mommy, but may not stop the dinner tears and tantrums. Lastly, I found with my kids...the time to truly stop trying for the nap was when the nap backfires. If she takes a nap and then can't go to sleep until really late at bedtime, it's time to be done.

Good luck!

Hi J.,

You must be exhausted with a new baby and the older one not napping! Several months ago our 3 1/2 year old went through a phase of at least a month where she was barely napping at all, maybe 2 or 3 days a week and very short naps at that. I was so afraid she was all done with them! I kept putting her down every day and telling her it was nap time, and gradually she started sleeping again. Now she's back to sleeping for 2 hours every afternoon -- and it's usually at the same time our one year old takes her afternoon nap, too! Yay!!! Don't give up!

Its only my opinion but she seems too young to eliminate naps. Have her get up at the same time every morning and lay down at the same time every day for nap and she will probably fall asleep. Keep the lights down low and tell her its time to take a rest. Try to follow a similar routine as you would for bedtime. My own son would only nap if I had him sit on my lap, rock in the rocking chair and watch tv for 10 mins (not a show he would be interested in). I didn't phase out nap untill he was more than 3 1/2 but he was like your child and would breakdown if he missed a nap.

Hi J.,
My just turned 2 year old hasn't napped since last December. He was never a good sleeper and if he does take a nap it makes going down at night the biggest struggle and he actually sleeps worse at night when he's had a nap during the day. Every child is different if she doesn't want the nap don't force it. We usually have some quiet rest time after lunch but he stays awake. Personally I would rather deal w/ a cranky toddler then one that doesn't want to go to sleep at night. If she is very over tired in the evening put her down at an earlier bedtime.

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