when did your child give up naps? — The Bump
Pre-School

when did your child give up naps?

I"m in no nap hell this week! My son is 3 years and almost 2 months. He has always taken an afternoon nap and a few times he's missed it for various reason, he is a bear the rest of the day. Yesterday, following an unusual bad morning at 3K, he didn't take one. He had a tummy ache and I let him lay down with me. He was almost asleep when his baby brother woke, waking him too.

Today, we have been home, but he and I have been busy with crafts and playing. He's only watched a bit of TV and that was when I needed to put the baby down for a nap this morning. Thought naptime for older son would go fine today. Well, he went down fine, but screamed 3 minutes after I left the room. This is what he did yesterday which he has never done before. I asked what was wrong and he said he needed to poop. So I let him go. Once on the potty, he peed a little then started singing and smiling and all. I told him to poop and he said he did not have to. So I explained that he lied to me and took him back to bed. He screamed again. This time he woke up the baby. I peeked in his room and told him to quiet down and it was naptime then went to get the baby back to sleep. By the time I was done 10 minutes later, Nathan was hysterical screaming that he had to poop. Again got him up and let him go, but he acted the same as before - didn't have to poop at all.

I should add that he has used this have to poop excuse to get out of the bathtub before we are done with bath if he's not in the mood for bathing. We are working on what lies are. Anyway, so after he screamed more, I was losing my cool. Had to take deep breaths before I addressed him again. He was standing up in bed and crying for me to hold him. So I gave him a hug and got down against the bed. I got him to lay down and I rubbed his back while I explained that it was naptime. If he did not want to nap, he needed to at least stay in bed for quiet time and play with his stuffed animals. He cried again when I left but calmed down. After over an hour of all this, I think he is asleep. But I can hear him over the monitor doing that hiccup type breathing. He did this yesterday too after crying so much at school.

I don't kow what is going on with him. Delayed reaction to baby brother? (Jealousy, realizing he's here to stay even though he loves him) Reaction to school starting even though he loves it? Change in weather? I don't know. But I miss my sweet, obidient little boy. I feel like I do not know how to address this behavior. Is it not needing a nap anymore? Is it not getting out enough (I try my best but with the baby it is not as much as I'd like).

Its really stressing me out if you can't tell. I should add that I work from home 20 hours a week and naptime is when I got most of my work done.

Re: when did your child give up naps?

  • Both my kids still nap.  My son I think is starting to try to give up the naps or taking shorter naps.  He'll be 3 next week.  Can you try to give him some rest time.  Maybe pop in a movie or have him play quietly in his room. Tell him that he needs to rest an hour (set a timer) and let him know when it goes off (the timer) he can get up.  He may fall asleep on his own or not.  At least he has some down time.
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  • What you're experiencing sounds pretty normal for an older toddler.

    Both of my kids went through stages where there were more resistant to napping than usual.  Like you, I had the rule that they still needed to rest quietly, even if they didn't fall asleep.  Sometimes, they would eventually fall asleep, but at other times, they'd just play quietly for a while.

    My DD gave up nap right around 4.  DS was a little younger, maybe 3.5, but compensated by sleeping later in the morning than my daughter ever has.  Before giving up nap entirely, they both went through a stage where they had more and more days where they just played in bed instead of falling asleep.  Eventually it just seemed clear that they didn't need that mid-day nap anymore.

    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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  • My son is 4 years old (will be 5 in January) and still takes a nap (about 3 hours).  We do this because my husband has a long commute so we put DS to bed later than average kids (9-10) and he gets up later (730-830).  We've gone through times where he didn't want to nap, but we always pushed it.  I am hoping he naps until our twins (due in 3 weeks) sleep through the night.  That way I can get a nap or rest during the day.
  • DS gave up his nap at 2.5 years.  He decided after he pt'd that he was too big for naps. 
  • DS has basically given them up. I do quiet time every day to give us a break, which I think is really important. It actually isn't that bad...he goes to bed earlier and easily, and while he does get crabby sometimes, he is actually much worse on the days he does nap (post nap he will be incredibly cranky). In fact, today he fell asleep during quiet time for the first time in 3 weeks, and I am dreading when he wakes up - I know he will be a bear plus be up a lot later.
    Henry 4.23.2007 Elliot 3.30.2012


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  • Griffin still naps at daycare for a good 2 hours... and MOST days at home he'll still nap - but in the past month or so he started not napping some days. He still lays in bed - but he sings, talks, bangs his legs around, etc.... it is only maybe once or twice a week that he does this - and since he still stays in bed for the full 2 hours - i don't care if he naps or not :)

    after the first 2 days that he did that - I started putting music on in his room and that helped- i told him to close his eyes and listen to the music - and he listened - most of the time it works. :)

  • dd still takes naps but not every day. She probably takes 2-3 naps a week.
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  • My girls gave up their naps early. 

    DD#1 was 2, and DD#2 was 20 months. DS is 21 months and can go all day without a nap.

    I don't have any advice for what you can do. Maybe try "quiet time" with a reward chart? 

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
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