Transition to No Naps?

Updated on November 03, 2010
R.P. asks from Plainfield, IL
7 answers

Hello All,

When did your toddler transition from one nap to no naps? Our daughter is just over 2yo and she is hit or miss with naps. Sometimes she is so full of energy that she just can't seem to settle in for a nap. Sometimes she is so tired she actually walks herself to her room and lays down. I don't think she should be without an afternoon nap as more often than not she is a bear when she doesn't get her nap but she seems to be more and more resistant to nap time. We do have a regular routine when it comes to nap time but lately we can't get her to actually go to sleep. I think 2 is too young to be without the afternoon nap but don't want to force it because then she thinks it's play time. Anybody else go through this? Any ideas or recommendations?

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answers from Chicago on

I have 4 children and they are all different. My second did not require a lot of sleep. Just after he turned 2, he put himself on and every other day nap schedule. I knew he wasn't ready to go "cold turkey", but we did have down time. It wasn't at his normal nap time though, it was later in the day. This worked out because if it looked like he was going to sleep, I would tell him he needed to help me and I would give him little things to do. (get out a potato for dinner, get the dog bowl to feed him) He also knew when he was sleepy and sometimes he would lay on the floor, play with his cars and fall asleep. I would leave him there and when my older one was up from her nap, I would let her play around him. At 3, he knew if he was tired to go to his room where he would not be bothered. Kids are smarter then we give them credit for. Yes, I would guide him by telling him, if he woke up and was mad at his sister for making too much noise, that if he were in his bed he would not hear her making noise. He gave up his naps completely by age 4, but also went to bed earlier at night. My oldest took naps until she was almost seven, just short ones but long enough to get her through the day. The other 2 took naps until they were 4, and one of them only because she was in the car with me making my rounds of getting her siblings from school. Actually, she would fall asleep at least 2 days a week when she started full day kindergarten and she had nap time. Good luck!!! I hope she gets a nap schedule down for you. But be patient and gently guide her into what you feel will work out best.



answers from Honolulu on

In the MORNINGS... have runaround time for her. Kids, that age... often have sleep/nap tweaks. They are changing developmentally.
Kids that age, NEED to get physically active... to get out their yah-yahs.
Then after that morning runaround time... you come home, eat lunch, WIND-down... deflate, and verbally 'cue' her that after that is nap time.
A kids NEEDS to wind-down and deflate, prior to nap.
Then, have nap time.

My son is now 4 years old, and he still naps everyday. He will not last all day without a nap. Or he gets MEGA over-tired and fussy.
My daughter is 8... and will nap if tired.
In the mornings, that is our busy time and runaround time. I have a routine with them, daily. In the afternoon after lunch, is nap time... or quiet time at most. Even me... I nap.. or I tell them it is Mommy's "quiet time" too.

A kid that age, NEEDS to be "cued" for naps. Verbally cued.... transitioned... and not just expected to nap on their own or get ready on their own. All along the way... you cue them... and prod them to get ready. My kids ALWAYS have a wind-down time before nap... it being a QUIET time and NOTHING hyper being done or on... then they change into jammies and go to bed... and nap.
If my son is playing with his cars... I tell him "In 15 minutes, we put away... then nap..." and then he has a head's up about it... then I will tell him "okay, time is up, lets put away..." then we put away, together. Then I say "Okay, lets go to your room.... lie down..." and the 'we' do that. And then I say "Okay, lie down... make your bed comfy..." and then he does. And then, I sit there... not interacting with him... I read a magazine... and sit and don't even look at him. Then he will, on his own, key down and get lulled to sleep.

all the best,



answers from Boston on

I think 2 is too young for no naps. My 3 1/2 year old takes naps still. Sometimes he fights it, but I insist and he almost always falls asleep. I've been told "quiet time" works too where the child stays in his room for a set amount of time to play quietly and often times, ends up falling asleep. You could try that. Problem I find is my son would come out of room and want to hang out with me. All depends on child. But yes I think a 2 year old needs mid day sleep, otherwise I'm sure she goes to sleep real early.



answers from Chicago on

I agree that 2 is far too young to drop the naps. My son will be 4 in a few months and he is just dropping his nap now. I had to force him to nap for the past 9 mos or so.

Just a lot of walking her back to her room, over and over and over again. It is easier to do if you don't have any other napping kids that could be awoken by the commotion.



answers from Champaign on

She is 3 and hasn't yet dropped her nap. When she was 2 she would go through phases where she wouldn't nap for a few days, but we always tried and so far she has always gone back to napping. Now at 3 (and a few months) she naps most days (about 75% of the time). On days that she does not nap she is still required to lay in her bed for an hour.



answers from Chicago on

you don't transition to no naps till they are off to the first week of kindergarten.
Just make her room boring, dark and play music on non stop at the same time every day and she will go back to napping. Don't let her out before 2 hours is up and she will go back to napping


answers from Oklahoma City on

i say it should depend on her more around 3 years. after my daughter hit 3, i let her choose by how she acted, if one day she acted good then i didn't make her take a nap if she acted bad one day, (obviously since it was too late in the day that day) she'd have to take a nap the next day...i think she was 5 when she quit taking day time naps

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