Can My 2Yr Old Be Outgrowing Her Naps?

Updated on December 21, 2010
J.K. asks from Kula, HI
14 answers

My 2.5 year old daughter has never been the greatest sleeper. She sleeps pretty well at night but has always faught her naps. Her daycare provider told me recently that most days she does not nap at all, she just lies there while the others sleep. She is sometimes cranky when this happens and sometimes she is fine. We try to get her to bed earlier on these days but it usually doesn't happen and she just ends up falling asleep quickly after her nightly routine, which is great. On the weekends when she is home with us the only way we can get her to nap is in the car. We've tried laying down with her, books, tv, etc. but she never falls asleep. We always make sure she's good and tired by doing intense activities in the morning and feeding her a good lunch. Now she knows that we're taking her to the car for a nap and she will scream her head off for at least 30 minutes before. It's horrible! She even tells me she hates her nap. But when she does nap for us on the weekends it's around a 2 hour nap and she is such a better toddler to be around. What do I do? Should I continue to force it in the car or should I quit and let her be? I would like to quit but on nights that we go out I have a hard time enjoying myself when I might have a cranky, tired toddler on my hands.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Redding on

My kids were never great nappers but they slept all night from the time they were infants.
I just never tried to force the sleeping thing, but I made them lay down at the same time each day.
There are times when it would be better if they actually slept, but you really can't force a little kid to go to sleep for a nap.
Some days, rest time is all you can ask for and if they are in the habit of it and do it, that's a great thing.
My kids didn't sleep but they would lay still and quietly and in that regard they did at least get some quiet rest time.
Sometimes they would konk out, but rarely.
And I never resorted to the car thing. I know it works for some people but the more you focus on the nap thing, the more they fight it, in my opinion.
I told my kids they didn't have to sleep, but they had to lay down. They did so pretty willingly because I never used the "n" word...nap.

Try using a different tactic and if she doesn't actually fall asleep, don't worry so much about it. As long as she lays down.

Best wishes.

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from New York on

Could you maybe get her to nap just one weekend day?

My son is 2 1/2 and he doesn't nap every day, but still naps probably 4 out of 7 days.

If he naps every day, bedtime is a nightmare - he's been up talking to himself as late as 10:30!!

On the days that she doesn't nap, could you do "quiet time." Maybe leave her in her room with some books (honestly, that works for 30 mins max for me). Or plop her in front of a movie or something so you still have a bit of quiet time.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son was always afraid he'd miss something fun if he took a nap, but he really needed them. So me and Dad would lay down with him on our big bed till he fell asleep. 9 times out of 10 we'd all end up taking a nap together.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

It is absolutely possible and most likely probable. Our older one outgrew her naps by 26 months. You want to talk about hair-pulling times? Yep, that was me :) I'm so sorry :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

All 3 of my kids were done napping right around 2.

I have no great advice for you other than to make sure she gets a healthy afternoon snack on days when she doesn't nap, that might help with the least she is quiet during nap time at daycare!?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

My older 2 girls were totally done with naps by the time they were 2 years old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Ah yes my son stopped napping at 2 and it was hard to accept. We eventually moved his bedtime an hour earlier and started having quiet time (gate him in his room with toys/books for 1/2 to 1 hour ) at that point. There were a few times that we wanted to plan something in the afternoon and figured since he did not actually sleep we could skip it but boy were we wrong. Turned out he really needed the downtime.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Everyone goes through this adjustment period. You will either have to alter your evening routine (i.e. earlier nights out or fewer nights out or get a sitter!) or fight with her to sleep during the day. I did quiet time with my first one through this stage, but then had to put away ALL of her toys that she took out while sequestered in her room. With my second, I just gave up and did not force the issue. It was actually a relief to not have to structure my day around a nap schedule, especially since I had another child to pick up at school, take to dance class, etc.



answers from Detroit on

my kids are 3 adn 5 .. I was having problems with naps/nighttime sleep.. so I did a chart of their sleep.. they need 12 hours per day. so if they go to bed late and wake up early they absolutely need a nap.

I would suggest writing down how much your daughter is sleeping for a week or 2 and figuring out how much sleep she needs to be pleasant. If she doesn not nap that day move bedtime up -- there have been night when my kids are in bed at 630 pm.. and thery are sleeping as soon as they hit the pillow..



answers from Tulsa on

Shes about the right age to do that outgrow naps. mine does some days and doesn't other days



answers from Las Vegas on

Sounds just like my son. The transition to no naps is hard on both of you, but you really can't insist she take a nap. However, you can insist on a period of quiet time, such as sitting on the bed and reading a book or other quiet activities. By age 3 my son had even given up the quiet time. You just have to go with the flow, she'll adjust her sleep cycle as she needs to (some kids just don't need as much sleep as other kids). Good luck :)


answers from St. Louis on

I would just play it by ear, some days she might need one, some not. My son tried skipping naps, but would fall asleep at the dinner table, so I had to enforce the nap. I couldnt have him falling asleep before dinner. If he was making it fine without it, I would probably let him go. Even some down time, alone in there room is good too, even if they arent sleeping.



answers from Gainesville on

Both of my kids went thru a phase where they protested their naps at that age. Would get upset when they knew that nap time was coming. But like you said, she is better when she naps. Toddlers that little still need rest during the day. My son napped well into age 4 because he needed rest during the day.

What worked with both of my kids was/is to tell them "you don't have to sleep but it's quiet time" And 98% of the time both fell/fall asleep. Very rarely does my just turned 2.5 year old not take a nap. Sure she has her days like they all do where she won't nap but it doesn't happen often.

It's easy to give up the naps and not try to come up with a different solution but when you know they still need it you've got to get creative!



answers from Dallas on

Both my kids stopped napping at 2. 5pm was rough because sometimes they'd fall asleep which would mess up bedtime.

Next question: Sleep Pattern Changing?