Two Year Old Won't Nap

Updated on November 28, 2007
C.G. asks from Lewistown, PA
13 answers

My two year old won't nap during the day, but right before dinner he seems to get very drowsy and fussy. He won't eat because he's too irritable. After dinner i try to give him a bath and put him to bed. The only problem if he goes to bed early, he gets up at 3 or 4am!!! I'm going nuts!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all of your suggestions!!! I really liked the idea of giving him a bigger lunch, so at night if he is too tired to eat well I don't worry as much. I really appricate hearing that I am not the only who has gone through this stage! It will be over soon, and he will no longer need a nap! Thanks again!
C.
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J.L.

answers from Erie on

Hello,

My son is also 2 and has done this a lot latley too. It is very hard to deal with. Especially the getting up at 3 or 4 am. It throws everyone's schedule into a frenzy. I know this might sound rough and I don't do it all the time, but I will put him in his room and let him cry it out for a while. He usally falls asleep after a few minutes. If he doesn't seem tired I won't do it. But I know when he's tired because he get's rough with me and his sister. And he is cranky. Normal things kids do when they are tired. If he crys over 20 or 30 minutes then I go get him and lay down with him on the couch. Just to have some quiet time.

I hope this works for you.

Jen

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L.T.

answers from Philadelphia on

Two is when kidsd start to ween off of the afternoon nap wether they need it or not. My advise, from experience with my two girls, push the nap time ahead by 30 min. (ie from 1:00 to 1:30), stop calling it nap, start calling it quiet time. Go through the same nap routine, potty, story, snuggle, and then leave him in his room for an hour ( or however long his normal nap would be) whether he naps or not he is still getting down time and resting, my 2 1/2 yr old actually sleeps about half of the time. When she doesn't sleep she "reads" and plays. When she asks to get out of her room, if it isn't time yet I tell her just that "quiet time is not over yet".

I hope this helps, Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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E.A.

answers from Allentown on

That is the same year my son stopped napping. I had the same problem and it does get better. Try to keep him occupied with games or something that is interactive around the dinner time and bath time. My son was going to bed around 7 and would be up by 5:30. (My son was also a baby that woke up just because every 2 hours all night long until he was almost 3)So it does get easier and if he sleeps through the night you should have it a little better soon. Good luck, and hang in there...I know you're probably exhausted...I was!
E. A.

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J.L.

answers from Erie on

Hello,

My son is also 2 and has done this a lot latley too. It is very hard to deal with. Especially the getting up at 3 or 4 am. It throws everyone's schedule into a frenzy. I know this might sound rough and I don't do it all the time, but I will put him in his room and let him cry it out for a while. He usally falls asleep after a few minutes. If he doesn't seem tired I won't do it. But I know when he's tired because he get's rough with me and his sister. And he is cranky. Normal things kids do when they are tired. If he crys over 20 or 30 minutes then I go get him and lay down with him on the couch. Just to have some quiet time.

I hope this works for you.

Jen

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T.A.

answers from Philadelphia on

Try pushing his bed time back. Keep him awake. Just a thought.

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J.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter (2yo) is in this phase also. It is very frustrating because you know that they still need a little sleep to get thru to bedtime. They seem to feel they may miss something if they take a nap.

Most days, I try to lay her down around 2:30-3pm. She may not like it, but most of the time, she will doze off. I only let her sleep for about 1/2 hour-45 minutes or she will be up late at night.

When she doesn't take a nap, I try to provide her with a quiet activity during the time she would normally sleep. She is so active that sometimes just the relaxing quiet time is enough to keep her sane(and us) until bedtime. If she skips a nap one day, then she usually takes one the next day.

Your son is probably over-tired, which is common during this transition to no naps. Try to get him to nap. If he is really resistant, tell him that he needs to have quiet time or rest time in his room or in an area where he can engage in a quiet activity. This too shall pass!

Jen

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A.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

At this point, my youngest son would do the same. I found out that he needed about 1/2 hour nap maybe three to four time per week to "catch up" on sleep. The only way that I could get this to happen was to put him in the nice warm car and drive around until he fell asleep, usually around 2-2:30. A half hour in the car napping seemed to make him pleasant again!

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would put him in his crib/bed for 30-45 minutes around 3:00 in the afternoon and see what happens. He will likely cry or take a fit for the first few days but I would tell him he needs a "rest", give him a book or two and tell him its quiet time, not a nap. I know its hard but don't give into him. You'd be surprised how quickly they realize you aren't coming to get them if they scream and start entertaining themselves.

Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

my son did that too....
I adjusted to him.... I would give him a bigger lunch and tried to let him sleep through dinner..( giving me a relaxing dinner with my older son and husband sometimes... ) then he would wake up after our dinner and I would give a small dinner, wash him give him a warm drink and he usually went to bed again pretty quick...
It didn't last long.... he's 3 ... makes it through dinner and goes to bed at a good time.....Good Luck

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J.J.

answers from Sharon on

I make Dennis lay down and"rest"we don't call it nap time but rest time.I'll put a video in for him and he can watch it but he has to stay in bed...
There are times he falls asleep others he doesn't.And we make him go to bed by 730pm and he's up around 700am...
HTH,
J.

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S.P.

answers from Scranton on

Make him stay up till his bedtime. You don't want him waking up so early. He will get tired and then he will take his nap more willingly. You will have to have him lay down, and not let him get up till he naps if you want him to take one though. Kids will usually keep going and going if you let them, until they drop of exhaustion.

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D.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi C.,
Boy does this sound familiar!! Routine! Try your best to get a good routine in place right before his nap. Perhaps, lunch - short story - puzzle time - a drink - and favorite snack, then to his room. Maybe a little music, another short story and a fan for white noise. These are just suggestions, do what would be fun for you. If not, what worked well for me was to give a healthy fun snack right before the drowsy or fussy time begins. Say apples and peanut butter, carrots and dip, yogurt,- with ten minutes of your time. It worked like a charm on the days that they wouldn't nap. Good Luck!!

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J.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi C.. My two year old is starting to grow out of his nap as well. At our last check-up the Pediatrician warned that he would start refusing nap time and recommended I start “quiet hour” in place of his naps. My son is still in a crib, so I go through all the usual motions of putting him down for a nap, but allow him to choose some books & stuffed animals to bring to his crib. Some days he naps, some he doesn’t, but he’s finally starting to get the gist of what’s happening. Kids love and need schedules, so hopefully your little one will adapt to whatever schedule you begin to follow. Good luck – I know how hard it is to say good-bye to those 2+ hour naps!!

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S.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

i feel for you, because i'm in the same boat with my two year old little girl. the ONLY thing i have found works for me is to put her in the car (preferably this happens on the way home from an afternoon errand) and get her to take a 10 or 15 minute "power nap" on the way home. then she seems to last until her normal bedtime and gets up at her normal time of 7 am. otherwise she does the same thing as your son.....she falls asleep without eating dinner and wakes up for the day at 4 or 4:30 am. it's rough, isn't it? WHY do they have to give up their naps??? don't they know that i have to give up MY nap then??? :)
good luck. i feel your pain :)

S. :)