Transitioning to No Naps---help!!

Updated on September 21, 2012
N.J. asks from Redlands, CA
7 answers

Alright mamas how do I transition my son (4.5yrs) to no naps, when clearly 4pm rolls around and he's sooooo done, meltdowns, no control of behaviors, just a wild child on a boys/nephews are the type that wind themselves up to keep themselves awake. They literally will run in circles, laps down the hallway so they don't fall asleep. When they are put to bed the literally crawl up and down their cribs on their tummies until they pass out.

So with that said there really is never a QUIET time, although' I've tried but he won't sit still/be quiet because he knows he'll fall asleep. I've tried putting him down later--but it seems he's not tired until 4pm which is obviously too late for a nap, right? Let him sleep for 1 hr and wake him? I don't know, I can't take him out and wear him out because my 3 yr and baby are still napping--help!

I even tried plopping him in front of the tv / video games and he's shouting and jumping dancing around with everything--> waking my 5 month old or 3 yr old. And when 4 o'clock rolls around he's just out of control. He's in Pre-k 5 days a week from 9-12pm so I know he's burning energy there, and I can tell when I pick him up he's tired. By the time I get home and feed him it's like a second wind??

Thoughts suggestions

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answers from Charleston on

Don't put him down at 4pm - he'll be up until midnight!

Can you read/watch tv with him as soon as he gets home from school after he eats? Get a little "still" time as we call it. Then in late afternoons 4-5pm, start his nighttime routine. Give him a bath at 4:30, get his pj's on. Eat at 5:30pm. Put him to bed at 6:30. Yes 6:30. He's tired!

Sleep begets sleep. His body is telling you he needs sleep, so put him to bed earlier, and I bet that will solve his problem.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Have him do his quiet time in his room. He will still probably not sleep, but it will be isolated time that will help him and at least give you a sort of break! ;) I know it's not very "break-ish" when you hear him up there bouncing around and not sleeping, but it's a start! Go over some ground rules like you can read books, play with toys, whatever...but there is to be no dancing, hopping, etc.

If you feel like he really will be loud and wake the others you can do a little stoplight system to help him gauge his noise/activity level. Cut out some green, yellow, red circles from construction paper. If he gets too loud or whatever then slip the yellow under his door. Do it without talking or getting into a discussion about it. If it continues slip a red under the door. Have some sort of agreement that if he goes an hour (or maybe 45 minutes) without a red he'll get a show or extra time on video games or whatever.

He may never take a nap, but maybe once he gets used to the routine he might consider laying down or at least being quieter and listening to his own body. It is hard and my just turned 5 year old is starting to sometimes resist quiet time, but she always ends up playing happily and being a little refreshed when it's over. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would make him go to his room and lay on the bed. He is having a battle of wills with you and he's winning. He needs a nap still, that's obvious. If you make him lay down even if it's with a book or something he is being quiet and will get some rest.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My son, went to no naps once he was in Kindergarten.
But even in Kindergarten, they had naps. For the first part of the year.
My son would be tired after school and would nap at home too.
But due to homework and other schedule issues, I couldn't have him nap everyday, which is usually what he would do.
He is a regular napper.
But once he started Kinder, then naps were not possible.
Even my older daughter, would nap, after school at times, even when she was 7.

Now they are 6 and 9, so they no longer nap.
But sometimes need to.

Also though, some kids get seemingly "hyper" when tired or overtired.
My son, is like that. WHEN he is tired or overtired, he gets more "hyper." Because he is trying to FORCE himself, awake.

Times when my kids can't nap and are tired, they go to bed earlier. AND DINNER & showers is also, earlier.
With no battles.
They know themselves and their cues, and I do too.
I always give them, a head's up, prior, that "today, you both are overtired, so bedtime earlier..." and they don't fight it.
They know that too.

I make the house dark and quiet, about 1 hour prior to their actual bedtime... IN ORDER to, wind them down and key them down.
It is necessary. To create a calmer atmosphere, BEFORE the actual bedtime.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I would try and find him an afternoon pre k program so at least he is out of the house while the other kids nap.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My son is very active like yours. I remember those drop the nap days from his 4's well. He is still bounce like crazy until he crashes at 6. I remember I had Nintendo Wii and he used to play that from about 1-3. Around 4 we had to pick up big sis and he would bounce around on the playground and expend energy. There would be melt downs when we left the playground, but the fresh air did help. Can you let him run around in the yard?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Change his bedtime/ wake up time or go for an afternoon drive. My 6 year old still falls asleep sometimes if we are in the car in the late afternoon/evening. Then he has to wake up when we get out of the car, so I can control the length of the nap a little.

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