Nap Time Stress

Updated on June 09, 2014
S.F. asks from Ogdensburg, NY
10 answers

I have 2 little ones (4 1/2 & 2 1/4). My oldest gave up her naps way sooner than I was prepared for her to do so but you know how strong headed a toddler can be so I lost that one. Anyway my youngest is really throwing me for a loop here. She will go down for her nap everyday at around 12:30 - 1:00pm and sleep for about an hr and a half ALWAYS without the slightest fight and she will occasionally tell me "I want my nap now". But for the last few months she has done exactly what my older one did after a nap which is to mess around at bedtime until the darn cows come home. There doesnt seem to be an issue with getting her to bed but once shes in bed she will talk/ sing/ chat for a bit then she wants a hug then she has to pee then this then that.......and about an hr later she is finally sleeping. We had a very busy weekend outside both days pretty much all day playing and swimming and all that fun stuff and both days she didnt nap and honestly seemed to be just fine and both nights was out as soon as her head hit the pillow. I guess my question is at what age did your little one ditch the nap? Im having a hard time with the lack of structure because Im such a planner but I feel I need to just let her do her thing and nap only on days when she asks at this point because obviously her body is saying she needs the rest
Thanks in advance

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answers from Los Angeles on

I do remember a time at around age 3 where we switched to naps on an "as needed" basis--every other day, every third day, or just when he really needed a nap or some quite down time.
The napless days? We'd move bedtime 30-45 min earlier.

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answers from San Francisco on

Two of mine dropped their naps around two, my middle around two and a half. We still laid down and had quiet time for another year or so, and they DID sometimes fall asleep (so did I lol!) but yeah, the nap phase didn't last as long as I had hoped.
Keep quiet time in place (laying down in a cool, dim room, reading books, staying in bed) and they'll still get some rest and you'll have some structure. That's a good way to transition out of the napping stage.

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answers from Grand Forks on

My guys dropped their naps between 2 and 2 1/2. I replaced nap time with a late afternoon quiet time. They were allowed to sit quietly and watch a movie while I did some housework and made supper. Once in a while they would fall asleep if they were really tired, but not usually. I was glad to be done with the naps because it afforded us more freedom to go places and do things.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I put the kids down for a nap until they were in Kindergarten. Why? Because they had to take a nap in Pre-K and then they had to take a nap in Kindergarten. Until Christmas Break almost all schools will have the kids lay down.

I put them down and laid down with them and I didn't let them up. We laid there every day and after a couple of days their body went back to it's previous biorhythm.

The kids bodies will let them know when they're ready and that's not always when they start school, it can be when they're younger. I just didn't give in to them and we always had quiet time and laid down. I'm the adult and mean it when I say it's time for a rest. No issues.

You can have quiet time too. If they don't want a nap simply put in a quiet type movie like Veggie Tales or something similar. They'll lay down with you and like the time with you.

I have a lot of years in child care and I know kids need naps. They can give them up but their bodies still need the down time.

If your kids are not going to bed on time then push bedtime back a bit. They are getting bigger and don't need 12 hours of sleep all at once. With a nap, even an hour, then 9-10 hours during the night they are getting enough.

Our kids got up around 7:30am then went down for nap after lunch. They got up around 3:30 and then went to bed and still go to bed at 9pm. Even though they are in school all day now they still go to bed at 9pm. It's what they are used to.


answers from Norfolk on

Our son napped till he was around 7 yrs old.
They napped in kindergarten and his teachers were surprised how soundly he slept but he was growing fast (4 inches that year) and he just needed the sleep.
In first grade he was super grumpy in the afternoons after school but he still napped on weekends.

If you know there will be a lot of dawdling around bedtime, then start your bedtime routine earlier to account for it.


answers from Indianapolis on

Around 2 - 2 1/2 for my first. She hardly ever naps now. When she does it affects her bedtime. That's how I knew when to stop forcing the issue.

My second is 2 1/2 now. She still naps most of the time. But there is no structure to it. She really doesn't want to nap anymore. But she is unable to stay awake all day yet. So she'll just pass out on the couch or sitting with me or Daddy either before or after dinner. Most of the time bedtime is unaffected.


answers from Dallas on

Mine is still napping and he'll be 4 in a month. If he doesn't then sure bedtime is no prob but he'll sleep fitfully for 6 hours and then try to be up for the day. overtired makes him do that :(



answers from St. Louis on

My oldest both dropped naps at 2. It was hard and they needed them longer than that but they NEVER would sleep (at daycare or home) during 'naptime'. We started instituting quiet time - with a movie, books or just laying down. If we were out and about driving around during 'naptime' they would sometimes fall asleep. My third is only 9 months old so I'm hoping he holds onto the naps longer than age 2!



answers from Chicago on

My two oldest both ditched the nap around 2. Yes, at 2. if they napped, they stayed up 3 hour pasted their bedtime.

We did/do quiet time in front of the TV every day. I get me time, and they get to relax. I tried quiet time in the room with my oldest, but she would literally destroy the room, and there was nothing quiet or relaxing about that. I had a newborn, so I decided it was time for her to watch a video for the first time.

In my head, I'd rather have a kid sleep 12 hours at night, then 2 hours during the day, and 10 hours at night.

If I sensed an overtired child, i would drive to the library (5 minute drive), and let him/her nap for 10-15 minutes to take the edge off.



answers from Chattanooga on

My dd ditched hers shortly after she turned 2. I was so sad.

We continued with an hour of quiet time, where she was allowed to look at books, color, or just lie quietly as long as she stayed in bed. She slept sometimes, but not very often. Quiet time stopped shortly after she turned 3, because my school schedule required me to take her with me during that time so my SIL could watch her between her classes while I was in mine.

The funny thing is that she recently turned 4, and has started napping agin 3-4 days a week now that it is summer break. She just takes herself to her room after lunch and goes to bed without any prompting from me at all. Lol. It is nice, because she will be starting preschool in the fall, and they will have nap time. :)

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