When Did Your Children Drop Naps?

Updated on January 15, 2014
C.P. asks from Valley View, PA
22 answers

For the last 3-4 mo my 3&1/2 yo dd only naps half the time but when she does its 1-3 hrs. I can see ages getting older and may be dropping her nap. In the last 1-2 wks now my 23 mo ds is not napping. The days he doesn't nap he's cranky by 5 and falling asleep by 545.. That tells me he still needs his nap. I wonder if he thinks " big sis isn't napping why should I?" At what age do children start dropping nap? Thanks

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answers from Washington DC on

both of my kids stopped napping at 2 years old. If they did, they would be up until 11pm. When they stopped they were in bed by 7:30-8pm.



answers from New York on

Mine still naps at 3. His preschool has them taking an afternoon nap till kindergarden.

F. B.

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answers from Detroit on

my daughter napped till 5 1/2.. my son napped till 4.. I stopped their naps casue they wouldn't sleep at night if they took naps..

when they drop the nap.. bedtime moves earlier.. they still need about the same amount of sleep.. (so if they were napping for 2 hours and 10 hours at night.. when they drop the nap.. they should still get about 12 hours of sleep..)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son napped until just after his fifth birthday. My daughter turned 3 in October and still naps for two hours every day. She definitely still needs it and gets cranky on the rare days when she doesn't take a nap.

Have your older one do some kind of quiet time on the days she doesn't nap. If she is playing or looking at books quietly in her room, as opposed to being out and about in the house, the little one will be more likely to sleep.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I wanted them to take naps until they stopped taking them at school. The girl did it perfect. By the middle of kindergarten she was no longer wanting to nap.

The boy? He fought them from age 4 all the way. He even had to stop going to Head Start when they were abusing him and trying to make him lay down and not disturb his friends. He still laid down at home every day he was home though.

Kids need naps. They need to have that physical and mental break in the middle of the day.



answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter dropped naps entirely when she was 2, much to my chagrin, since I was pregnant with her brother at that time and desperate for naps myself. My son, on the other hand, still needed an afternoon nap when he was 5. Because of this, we chose not to enroll him in full-day kindergarten. So I think that the age a child can stop napping depends very much on the kid.

That being said, if you see that your youngest still needs his naps, maybe it would be helpful to get big sis to help. My very unsleepy oldest child would go into her room for some quiet time at the same time her brother went for a nap. She made sure to kiss him "nap time goodnight" and let him see her going to her room and shutting the door. That way he didn't try to stay awake because he didn't feel like he was missing anything. As soon as little bro was down, I'd go get big sis from her room, thank her for helping, and let her carry on with doing her own thing.

Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son napped all the way through kindergarten at school (late birthday so that was until he was 6-1/2 and these were good sound naps). At home he gave up naps at about 5 (we did 1-1/2 hours of 'quiet time' instead).


answers from San Francisco on

It's VERY different for everyone, but mine were all between 2 and 2.5, much to my dismay :-(
We still did quiet time for several months of course, down time either laying in bed reading, or watching a movie on the couch.



answers from Wausau on

My daughter stopped napping at 3-1/2. My son is 2-1/2 and still napping (hopefully for awhile longer!) but has been battling me for a month now, taking over an hour to fall asleep. I finally have him napping in a big bed, not a crib, and half the time I just have to lay with him til he falls asleep. Thankfully my 1 year old is now napping at the same time, so it works fine. DD gets a show or game while she waits for me. The trouble is she could use more sleep at night, like others said, to account for the no nap, but she doesn't want to be the first one to bed! Especially since 2-1/2 year old shares a bedroom. *sigh* it's always something! :-) Good luck! Oh, and my daughter boycotted naps for 1-2 weeks right around the 2 year mark, so hopefully it is just a stage for you. I think 2 is quite a bit too young to drop naps. Hope you find something that works for you.



answers from Chicago on

My 5 year old dropped his nap a little before his 5 th birthday.. Now, here and there we get him down, but that usually means he is sick or getting sick.

I dropped my nap when I was 2.5 , I just did not need it.



answers from Chicago on

Both my older kids gave up naps around their 2nd bday. Both continued to need power naps (20 minutes naps) around 4 to take off the edge. When i would sense they needed a power nap, we'd run a quick errand in the car. They didn't need it every day, maybe every 3rd or 4th day.

I then moved their bedtimes up by 60 minutes, and they made up for the lack of nap sleep at night. My son would even sleep from 7 to 8:30 in the morning.

My kids have "quiet time" in front of the TV in replace of a nap. It's like sleeping with your eyes open ;-)Works great.


answers from Grand Forks on

Both of my boys gave up naps by the time they were 2 1/2. They would still have the occasional nap, but if they did it affected bedtime.


answers from Chicago on

My DS dropped his at 2. He still needed the sleep, but he just would not nap.

My DD - who is 3.5, still naps. She's fine without it if she doesn't get one, but will sleep for 2 hours if we do put her down.



answers from Los Angeles on

My SD dropped naps by age 3.
My DS dropped his nap by 3 1/2.
Sounds like he still needs his naps.

Edit: He's probably too young to notice sis isn't nappy.
So just do your best to get him to nap.
When sis goes down for a nap, try lying down w/your youngest. Make it
quiet & relaxing and maybe he'll go down for a nap



answers from Honolulu on

Both my kids, dropped daily naps, at about 5 years old.
Once they entered elementary school.
Naps were never a battle.
And when/if they were tired and needed a nap, when older, they did.
I taught them to know their body and cues. Taught them that naps, helped their body and brain. Rest, is positive, not "bad."

My kids are 4 years apart. Even if one was napping and the other was not, it was fine.
Naps never interfered with my kids' ability to fall asleep at night.



answers from Allentown on

My daughter napped til age 4 if I recall correctly. But my son stopped napping before he was 2. It drove me crazy because his older sister was still napping. He slept well at night but also was ready for bed early. But he would get all his sleep at night. Like 5:30 to 7:30. And he would sleep through. Within a few months of dropping the nap when he was two he was able to stay up later and slept in a little later as well. And at that point I stopped having my daughter nap and just got them both to bed earlier. I think bedtime was around 7 pm and that worked nice for me as I got my time then in the evenings instead of during nap. But that only lasted a few years before they started staying up later and later, especially my daughter. Now they go to bed around 9 pm. They are 6 and 8.


answers from Washington DC on

My 10 year old was never a good napper. Now if she's really tired now she will, but rarely.

My 8 and 6 year old have always been very good sleepers. The 6 year old fell asleep in school once this year (after lunch on a rainy day recess - meaning watching a movie) and the 8 year old fell asleep almost daily during Kindergarten silent reading (laying on mats) time. They both normally fall asleep on the 20 minute drive to my daughter's dance after school now. They go to bed around 9 and get up about 730...so they get enough sleep. They are just nappers. Like their mama :).

So the point of that was that the child drops the nap when they are ready. But in my house, that still doesn't mean there is constant activity. Even my kids know there is an hour of queit in the afternoon if we need it.


answers from Norfolk on

Our son will still take a nap sometimes on the weekend and he's 15 yrs old now.
He napped through kindergarten (the teachers were surprised how deeply he slept) and he was a fairly grumpy guy in the afternoons through first grade but he still napped on weekends/holidays.
He was growing so fast he just needed all the sleep he could get - and he slept fine all night too.
It varies a lot from kid to kid.


answers from Dallas on

My son is 3.5 yrs and still naps between 2-3 hrs. If not then he gets overtired and night sleep is inpossible :/ he'll probably nap til he goes to Kindsrgarten. I can't believe some kids 'stop' napping before 2/2.5... mine's given me a horrible time about it some days when he had turned 2.. lasted a month but I made him stay and eventually he fell asleep.


answers from New York on

my 2 girls napped until they were 5. My son is 2 and naps every day 1 1/2 - 3 hours depending on the day.



answers from Chattanooga on

My dd stopped just before she turned 2.

I still had her sit in bed for an hour of quiet time though. She could have books, coloring stuff, or stuffd animals, but she had to stay in bed for that hour.

At 3 1/2 she still does this. Usually she just plays quietly, but once in a while she does sleep.



answers from St. Louis on

I am a daycare provider & I follow our school district's schedule. For the 1st semester of KG, the children are required to "rest" for a minimum of 45 minutes in the afternoon. Families are responsible for purchasing KG nap mats, & the "rest time" is enforced. Once Christmas rolls around, the nap is eliminated. & honestly, only a few kids don't close their eyes!

With this in mind, I am strict about naptime. I shorten it the closer we get to KG....& that's the only exception.

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