Phasing out naps — The Bump
Pre-School

Phasing out naps

Tell me how your LO stopped napping.
DD is 3.5 and was taking a solid nap from 1-3.  Bedtime is 8, she's sound asleep no later than 8:30, and she wakes up at 7.  I'm currently on maternity leave with DS, so I'm home now to monitor her naps.  For the past 2 weeks, I've been putting her in her room at 1, but she doesn't fall asleep until 2 or 3.  Then, she sleeps until 4 or 5.  I've tried skipping the nap altogether, but she's a mess by bedtime.  I tried cutting her nap short, but she's super crabby for the rest of the day.  She has no problem entertaining herself in her room quietly for an hour or 2(I've watched her on the monitor).  Not sure what I should do at this point - let her sleep until 5 if she doesn't fall asleep until 3?  It doesn't seem to affect her bedtime.

Also, I'm going back to work in 2 weeks, and she will be going to preschool full day.  Their naptime is from 1-2:30.  I don't even know if I should send her nap stuff with her or just force her to skip her nap.  However, I know she is usually tired from school, and might need a nap?  I also REALLY don't want to deal with her if she doesn't nap - it's like tantrum city all evening. :(

Re: Phasing out naps

  • DD1 was a little over 3 when she started napping less and less, or taking longer to fall asleep. We just started giving her "quiet time" in her room - she can read, do puzzles, other quiet activities as long as she's quiet and not up running around. Most days she does that, but once in a while she still sleeps. Those days she'll often play quietly for 30-60 minutes, then fall asleep and sleep an hour or so past the end of our normal nap time. I just let her sleep. It doesn't really interfere with bedtime, and it happens so rarely that I figure she must really need the sleep that day.

    I would guess your LO will probably nap at school, at least in the beginning. School wears those little people out :) And if she does give up naps most of the time, the tantrumy evenings will get better. It was rough when DD1 initially stopped napping, and still is once in a while, but once she adjusted our evenings were a lot more pleasant!
    Mama to two sweet girls
    DD1 Feb 2010
    DD2 Sept 2011


    Pregnancy Ticker
  • memali26 said:
    DD1 was a little over 3 when she started napping less and less, or taking longer to fall asleep. We just started giving her "quiet time" in her room - she can read, do puzzles, other quiet activities as long as she's quiet and not up running around. Most days she does that, but once in a while she still sleeps. Those days she'll often play quietly for 30-60 minutes, then fall asleep and sleep an hour or so past the end of our normal nap time. I just let her sleep. It doesn't really interfere with bedtime, and it happens so rarely that I figure she must really need the sleep that day.

    I would guess your LO will probably nap at school, at least in the beginning. School wears those little people out :) And if she does give up naps most of the time, the tantrumy evenings will get better. It was rough when DD1 initially stopped napping, and still is once in a while, but once she adjusted our evenings were a lot more pleasant!

    This is how I treated the phasing out.
    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
    [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/1zzndkl.jpg[/IMG]
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  • My guys all did it on their own between 2 and 2.5.  In your situation, if she will have a nap at school, I would start waking her earlier over the next two weeks, aiming for 6 so if she still needs a nap, she will go down earlier.  I would not let her nap until 5.
    If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.

    [IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/34fg0u1.jpg[/IMG]
  • I guess I'm missing something- why would you want her to quit napping? My DD has declared that she doesn't need naps anymore at school, but they still have her rest on her mat. She normally falls asleep in the car on the way home and will sleep from 5-6. As long as she is still in bed and asleep by 8 without being a cranky mess, I really don't stress about the nap time/length.
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  • DD: cold turkey at just before 4th birthday.  One day she just said, "I can't fall asleep.  I'm not tired.  I don't need a nap anymore." Done.

    DS: gradually at around 3.5.  He would still nap on school days.  On weekends, we were always busy, and he didn't "have" to take a nap (although he would usually konk out in the car if we were on the road around naptime.)  In the spring before he turned 4, I told him that he had to take a nap while he was in school, because school is tiring.  Once summer vacation started, he could stop.  This worked well.  When we were at the beach for vacation, he asked to take a nap because the beach made him tired.  Once vacation was over, he transitioned back to no nap at all!
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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