To Nap or Not to Nap..... - Denton,TX

Updated on May 05, 2011
C.M. asks from Denton, TX
10 answers

My almost 5 yr old daughter is finally going to sleep without coming out of her room a million times and at a good time (between 8 and 8:30). Now, my 2.5 year old son is constantly coming out of his room. He has always been a little difficult at bedtime, but now that he is in a bed (has been for 4-5 months now) he constantly comes out for some reason or another. I'm always shocked and happy when he only comes out a couple of times or not at all. A lot of times when he comes out (I always put him back) he doesn't go to sleep until 10 or after. This is way too late for a little guy to be up. A few months ago I stopped letting him nap from 2-4 and changed it from 12 to 1:30 or 2. That seemed to work for a little while. Now, he is having trouble with that time...he came out of his bedroom a million times last night. Today, I let him skip his nap and he went to sleep at 8:15 with no issues. I did that last week, though, and the second day he skipped his nap he stayed up until 10 or so. I do believe he still needs his naps since he gets super tired in the evenings without one and will fall asleep if I go anywhere in the car after 12. But, I would be willing to stop them if it was helping him go to sleep faster at night....but that doesn't work every time. So, what do you suggest I do???

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answers from New York on

My son at 2.5 still napped. My daughter is 2 and 4 months and usually doesn't nap. If she gets a late or long nap she is up so late. With no nap both kids (2 and 5) go to bed at 8 and the little one sleeps a bit longer in the morning. It depends on the kid.

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answers from Honolulu on

Gee he's real irregular and spontaneous huh?
Nah, I know its not funny.

My little Dude is 4. He still naps everyday in the afternoons.
If not he turns into an ugly fussy Troll!
It is just a daily routine since he was born he has always napped, and is a napper. To my glee.
He knows life as being no different. He has always napped.
And needs it.

Sooner or later he will grow out of it, due to not needing it or, him getting too bullheaded and powering his way through his tiredness, despite.

I stay in the room as my son settles down. The door is closed. If not he runs away and laughs at me!
I sit in a chair, do not engage with him, read a magazine, and don't even make eye contact. Every once in awhile I will look up and say in a soft monotone "nap...." and then he lulls to sleep. He tosses and turns first, then YAWNS, and I KNOW, that means he will drift off. And he does.

When kids are over-tired, some also get more 'hyper' and then they try to push their way, through that tiredness. But yes, they are tired.
As your son is, and by his falling asleep if you go anywhere in the car after 12:00.

Also, my son I have learned early on, he will NOT nap... if he still has to poop. Once he poops, he will nap. Nap is always, after he eats or snacks and poops.

Make everything dark and quiet and turned off and BORING before nap time, to set the stage. Tell him YOU are going to nap too. That is what I do. It calms them down.

Being perpetually over-tired, day after day, makes it worse and worse. It compounds.

Try some white noise maybe.

AND, important: start the nap routine AHEAD of time, setting the stage. Don't do the winding-down or routine, "AT" nap time, by then they will have passed that window of being able, to lull to sleep.
I get the nap routine and stage set, 1 hour, before the actual nap time. And I verbally cue, my son. Giving him a head's up.... so that he finishes playing, without getting all irked that I stopped him suddenly, in the middle of it.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I think little guys need that nap for proper development. They need so many hours of sleep per day that if they don't nap they need to be asleep by 6pm and sleep until at least 8am...that's just crazy. If they get the nap they need they can go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up at an early one too.

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answers from Reno on

I was (and still am) a big fan of naps. At five, your daughter is likely outgrowing them, so to help with your little one, I would shift her nap time to "rest time," during which she could read a book or play something quiet on her bed.

As for your son, I would take a good look at his schedule. Is he getting enough hard play time, as in running around, and fresh air. I found those two things huge in getting my boys to nap and sleep well every day. They tended to NOT sleep well if their daily activities were minimal (e.g. a movie day). Also, I would avoid tv after dinner, as well as caffeine or chocolate.

It's a tough situation you're in. Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

My daughter stopped napping at 2. No nightime issues. KEY: Stop the juice, stop the sugar. She is 4 now and is NOT a baby. If you are "napping" a 4 year old...well, .........
Regular diet and excercise is the key....if they eat right, (low sugar/high fructose corn surup) and get plenty of OUTDOOR excercise...then they SHOULD fall asleep at a decent time.
What 5 year old naps?

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answers from Honolulu on

Well there have been many many studies on ADHD and chronic sleep deprivation being linked. Seems to me that your son is keeping his mind racing so he can stay awake.

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answers from Shreveport on

My best friend believes that naps help her daughter to sleep at night. I have always said that I do not care if they nap as long as they sleep through the night! You may want to try giving up his nap, or maybe waking him earlier in the am?

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answers from Pittsfield on

My boys all gave up their naps at 2 1/2 or little after. My DD lasted until almost 3. I found there was kind of a transition period between needing one and not needing one. When my kids were in that phase, some days went just fine with no nap ( no crankiness or anything- and slept great at night) but they usually needed a nap every few days or so. If I put them down for a nap though, they'd wake up crankier than when they went down- and they wouldn't fall asleep until like 10 pm. What I found to work really well is to take a ride after lunch every few days (or when I knew a nap was needed) and let them sleep in the car for 20 min to half an hour (it takes us about that long to actually get anywhere out here anyway- lol). When they woke up, they woke up happy, I got whatever errand I needed to do taken care of, and they just had a power nap. It helped them get through the day w/o affecting bedtime much.
Maybe that would work for you too?
Good luck :)

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 4 and she still needs a afternoon nap. I don't force her but it makes for a much better evening! I would move the nap to earlier like you did. He still needs it. Lucky you! I can't even get mine to sleep in her toddler beda



answers from Tyler on

Honestly, at 2.5, I think it is about attention and not about being tired or not tired. My daughter is 3 (just) and she recently (very new development) has started getting out of bed and getting out multiple times at night. Honestly, I truly need the break from the kid's from their bedtime my bedtime. The first thing my daughter says that she needs to do is to go tee tee. That's fine with me and I KNOW she is going to get up and go tee tee after I have put her to bed (even if she has gone just before I put her to bed). So, I let her get up for that bathroom trip. Then, honestly, I put up a gate at her door. She sees me do it and asks me why I am doing it, but I tell her - it's so you stay in your room. It's night night time and you cannot get up and wander around the house. She doesn't like it. Sometimes she cries, but sometimes she doesn't. But, it keeps her in her room.

This all started about a month ago. I kept the gate up for a week and then I did not put it up for about 2 weeks (and she did not get up any). But, she started getting up again this week, so I put the gate up again.

Good luck!

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