Attachment Parenting

End of naps - I want to cry :(

Hi ladies,

My son will be 3 in May and it seems he is giving up naps.  He has been napping up to this point, but only because I rock him to sleep or lay down with him.  If I don't, he doesn't nap.  This last week, he has just refused to nap and rock or lay down with me no matter what I do. He also doesn't really seem to need it - he's fine without one and doesn't seem tired as the day goes on.  I am just panicking because I totally cherish his naptime to get things done and have time to myself.  I'm a SAHM with no family around and my husband works really long hours. I'm pregnant and due in a few weeks so I know everything will change then anyway, but I'm having a hard time reconciling this.  I do put him to bed earlier when he doesn't nap, but I'm usually so tired by then myself that I crash too lol.

Has anyone had any luck implementing a "quiet time" with your 2-3 year old?  Where they stay in their room for a certain period of time?  If so, any tips, and how long?  My son is very social and I haven't had much luck with this so far, short of locking him in his room (which I'm not going to do), I need some advice!

Thank you!

Re: End of naps - I want to cry :(

  • My sister insisted on quiet time with her kids. She would set a timer for an hour and the kids had to stay in their respective rooms for one hour after lunch. She'd supply some craft/art supplies, plus all the books and toys that are normally in their room. Her kids seemed to be happy enough with the arrangement, but I didn't watch the first couple weeks of it. Wink

    She's a SAHM with little support, as well.

  • I did "quiet time" with my kids and it worked well.  My kids took long naps -- like 2 to 2.5 hours.  You can't expect them to hang out and play quietly for that long.  But you can still get 45 minutes.

    Everyone hates when the kids give up naps, but there are some really nice things about it.  It's especially nice on weekends when you can sort of get up and go right through the afternoon without having to worry about whether you'll be home for nap, whether the child will be cranky, banking on "maybe he'll nap in the car" and stuff like that.

    On the first beach vacation after my youngest stopped napping, my DH and I both felt like we got "vacation" back.  No longer were we tied to the house and the need to nap. Aaahhh! 

    Secondary English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 9th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 4th grade
  • Thanks for posting about getting vacation back. Our summer vacation wasn't bad being that we just kind of bummed around, but when we went on a destination vacation 6 months earlier it was very much like oh no what about nap time.
  • Thanks so much for the advice ladies and I appreciate the reminder about the benefits of naps ending.  I really need to focus on that!  I just need to figure out a new "schedule" and way to cope with the change.  Thank you!
  • i don't have personal experience, but my SIL has two kids (3.5 and 6) and the 3.5 year old still takes a nice long nap (alone in his bed) and the older one gave up her nap when she went to kindergarten.  i asked her how she does it and she said both kids went through nap strikes, but she just stuck with it and they went back to napping.

    A half dozen times in the past few weeks, DS has not slept but stayed in his room for a couple hours (he naps in his twin bed, sleeps there at night too).  I wouldn't believe it if he hadn't done it.  But he didn't protest, he just didn't sleep.  I think it is this age in particular where they toy with giving up naps.

    my plan when the time comes is to just stick with it and hope it is just a temporary situation. 

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  • I started quiet time when DD2 was really little and started to need naps in her room vs anywhere in the house (probably 4-5 months).  I just told DD1 that she needed to play quietly so I could but DD2 down to nap.  Then once DD2 was asleep I freed DD1 from her room.  I gradually increased the time.  Now if she doesn't fall asleep, she will play in her room for an hour.  It's not always quiet but at least I get things done and more importantly, a little me time.  DD1 will be 3 in June.  

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  • image j.d.gal:

    i don't have personal experience, but my SIL has two kids (3.5 and 6) and the 3.5 year old still takes a nice long nap (alone in his bed) and the older one gave up her nap when she went to kindergarten.  i asked her how she does it and she said both kids went through nap strikes, but she just stuck with it and they went back to napping.

    A half dozen times in the past few weeks, DS has not slept but stayed in his room for a couple hours (he naps in his twin bed, sleeps there at night too).  I wouldn't believe it if he hadn't done it.  But he didn't protest, he just didn't sleep.  I think it is this age in particular where they toy with giving up naps.

    my plan when the time comes is to just stick with it and hope it is just a temporary situation. 

    DD has done the same many times. She'll go on a 2 or 3 day nap strike and just hang out in her room. I watch on the video monitor and she'll get up, get a book, get back in bed, rearrange her stuffed animals, get a different book, drink some water, repeat. She's perfectly happy so I just let her stay up there for her normal nap time. 

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  • I put my son in his room at 2 pm and open the door at 4 pm or whenever he starts making noise to come out. He has all his toys in there and is content by himself on the days he skips his naps. Those days he goes to bed an hour earlier because he does tend to be a crank ball if he doesn't sleep. When his cousin is over and napping in the same room as him he practically skips to bed because he knows they get to play after the door is shut. I've started to wonder if he is getting ready to give them up because he is up more often than he is down but he isn't fighting the quiet time so I am watching and waiting
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