Dropped a Nap, but Now Doesnt Sleep Well at Night...

Updated on May 12, 2010
H.L. asks from Los Angeles, CA
6 answers

hi ladies...
so we're switching my 14 month old to one nap, we're on day 3... she usually wakes up around 7:30, used to take a nap at 9:30 am and then again at 3.. the reason we decided to drop it, is because she started to refuse to take the 3pm nap.. she'd just lay there, talking to herself for an hour and a half... so i know that babies switch to one nap after they turn one, and figured it was the right time... Day one, fine, no problem... didnt take the 9;30, waited till 11:30, slept for 2.5 hours.. FINE... Yesterday, day 2, did good.... again, waited to 11:30 ( that time works, since i have to run out and pick up my 4 year old at 2:30)... after 5, it was tough, she was tired... cranky, wanted her blanket and pacifier, lasted till 7:30, which is their bed time, went to sleep... but around 2, started waking up, cried out a few times... gave her a paci, she went back to sleep... and a few times after that also... so all together, was up about 3 times in the second half of the night... what does that mean? is she not ready to drop the nap??? ( i heard that if they start waking up after they drop a nap, that it means they're not ready to drop it... ) do i need to put her down at 9:30 today, or suffer and stretch it and stick it out??? what do i do? this is so hard... decisions, decisions...

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answers from St. Louis on

I believe that mothers should take cue from their children. I have 4 girls, one of which is 15 months old. She gets up between 6:30am and 8:00am. We run the kids to school, eat breakfast and sit down for play time. Some days she starts getting sleepy about 10:00am and some days not until after we pick my daughter up at 11:00am. I wait for her to show signs of needing a nap and then put her down for one. When she was younger, she required 3 naps a day and that is what she got. I followed her signs and she weaned herself to 2 naps a day about a month ago. I don't believe in taking naps away from kids if they need them. To me that would be like someone telling me I can't go to bed when I am tired. I can tell you I would be a nasty bear if I didn't rest when I am tired!! You can tell by their actions if they still require a nap and when. It should not interfere with night time sleep because there body will sleep when it needs to. Now my 5 year old was napping in the early afternoon after preschool. About a month ago it was evident that she no longer required a nap, since she would not fall asleep. I still require her to have an hour of "rest time" at which she may read quietly. Some days if she didn't sleep well the night before she will nap. Other days, she will not. Either way it does not interfere with her bed time sleeping because it is her body telling her when she requires rest.

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answers from San Antonio on

I think she just needs time to adjust. Give it a week or so and see how it goes.



answers from St. Louis on

When my sons dropped one of their daytime naps, I moved their bedtimes up a bit so they would be able to recoup some of that naptime. My oldest would sleep from 11:30 until 1:30 or 2:00 during the day, then he would be down for the night at about 6:30 pm. He slept until 6:30 the next morning. It was heavenly!

I think she is so tired that she can't sleep in the last half of the night. Try to move her bedtime up by 30 minutes and see if that helps. It always has for me and my family.



answers from Madison on

Dropping a nap is definitely a transition that will take a little time. She is probably waking up during the night because she is over-tired. Staying up from 2-7:30pm may be too long for her right now. Try putting her to bed earlier at night. If her bedtime now is 7:30pm, try to have her in bed between 6:30 and 7pm instead.



answers from Honolulu on

I ditto Tina G.

I don't take away naps from my kids.
But I don't force naps either.
I go by my kids cues.
My son is 3.5, and he still naps everyday. He needs it and will even tell me when he is tired and wants to.
My daughter is now 7, and on occasion she will still nap in the afternoon afterschool.
My kids don't fight it.
If they don't get naps, they turn into over-tired fussy kids. And then they get over-tired and it makes them harder to get to bed at night.
Even with naps, they still sleep fine at night.

I have taught my kids, that being tired or sleepy or needing a nap, is not a "bad" thing or negative. I taught them its okay to tell me, that they are tired or want to nap. They know now, its not "bad" to tell Mommy. And sometimes I tell them I am tired and need to nap, and we ALL nap at the same time.

Your girl sounds over-tired. Thus over-tiredness actually makes it harder for a kid to sleep, and they wake more. Some kids even get more "hyper" when over-tired. Masking that they are tired and needing a nap.

I never dropped naps for my kids. I go by their cues and needs. Not everyday is the same, but we do have a routine about it. Or a quiet time. And for me too. We do it together. My kids know that.

Also, at certain developmental changes or ages, a child will sort of hit a tweak in their normal sleep/nap times/routines. So you have to gauge it. But it is a phase and passes. If you keep to a routine... then it is better for the child. Also keep in mind that "growth-spurts" also tweaks sleep and if they are hungry and simply need more intake too. Many things at the same time, occurs.

all the best,



answers from Dallas on

We had the same problem when my daughter decided to drop her second nap. It took awhile to adjust, but she did it. Sometimes now, even at 5 pm, if she is out of control, I will put her back in her crib for 1/2 hour. Sometimes she just talks to herself and sometimes she falls asleep. Either way, she always comes out of her crib in a better mood and she still goes to sleep between 7:30 and 8 pm. However, even if she falls asleep, I still don't let her go more than 30-45 minutes, but most of the time if she falls asleep she wakes up in 30 minutes anyway. My daughter is also 14 months old.

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