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To expect my 3 yr old to go to sleep when we take him to bed?

(36 Posts)
miniegg1980 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:01:12

I know this should be under sleep but I need as much advice as possible! Our ds has a nap of 1 1/2 - 2 hours sleep after lunch, but people keep telling us we need to drop it now he's 3. So we're starting to slowly decrease it which he hates and sometimes screams that he wants to sleep longer.....but now it's taking him longer to get to sleep at night. He goes to bed at 7 has a couple of stories and i'm normally sitting with a cup of tea by 7.30. But for the past 2 weeks we've had every excuse for him to get up again. Tonight we've had a rougue sock, a piece of dodgy looking paper, a nappy, a straggly bit of duvet and now his brothers crying. He'll be up at 6 in the morning and he looks like shit.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry! Please any help?

BsshBossh Tue 01-Jan-13 16:09:22

Has Christmas worn him out? My 4 yo has always settled and slept well but over Christmas she's resisted sleep more at bedtime. She's getting back to settling well again now. I blame the festive excitements!

PenelopePipPop Tue 01-Jan-13 13:33:27

There isn't a right answer but DD (just over 2.5) has recently dropped her nap and is now settling much better at night. The transition took about a month and what you describe does sound familiar

Things that helped...
Lie-ins - she has finally dropped it properly over the holidays whilst we've been able to sleep in, but we'll see what happens when she is back at her CM next week.
Keeping her awake all day to see what happened.
Letting her have a lamp on by her bed to look at books by so she could settle herself off - and so she could get up and play by herself even if it was still dark when she woke.
Daily fresh air, even if it is just a squelch in muddy puddles. I think going from warm to cold and back again feels nice even if they don't go far.

halcyondays Tue 01-Jan-13 13:09:58

Neither of mine ever napped after they turned two, much though I would have liked them too,but they still didn't settle at night. He probably still needs the nap.

If he normallysettles easily at bedtime, and it's just been for the last two weeks, could it be down to Xmas excitement/change in routine?

larks35 Mon 31-Dec-12 22:22:32

Well the conflicting advice on here just goes to show why they don't "come with a manual"!

Every child is different. My DS still sometimes needs a nap in the afternoon and he is very nearly 4. It can affect his bedtime a bit if he doesn't nap til late in the afternoon/evening but if he needs it then I feel it is better for him to have it, as he is much happier after.

I'm finding that my DS and DD (8mo) are both sleeping a lot more at the moment - I put it down to the weather, time of year and usual growing needs. I also thank the gods for it, as I need more too!

Do you still put him to bed for the nap? I found it better to let DS nap on the sofa as then he would wake after having a refresher nap rather than a full sleep cycle. That might help but hey, you and your DS know what he needs and don't feel you have to listen to everyone else's advice.

charlottehere Mon 31-Dec-12 22:19:51

My 3 year old went to bed at 730 and is now awake downstairs which is common practise here. hmm Grrr. i have 3 others too, one being Ds who is 5 weeks. should know how to do it by now [

BigBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 22:10:28

people are all different, it's only logical that kids are too so who's to say your son doesn't need a 2hr nap?

Myself, I could do with 10pm-8am and an hour's nap after lunch too. Don't often get it, but that'd be ideal grin Others might get the horrors at spending 11hrs of every 24 asleep though!

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 22:10:16

As for early wakings, DS gets up himself turns his light on, gets his potty and plays with his toys until we come and get him.

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 22:09:13

If he's like my ds then probably not enough grin

When ds goes to soft play <shudders> he's nowhere near as exercised as when we go outside, despite running about like a loon. We've been sticking him in super thick waterproofs and wellies to splash in massive squelchy puddles in the park. It makes such a difference to get him out.

Can you just make bedtime a bit later for him? We keep ds in bed by sitting with him for a bit, leaving him and coming back after 5-10 mins or longer until he sleeps.

Softlysoftly Mon 31-Dec-12 22:06:58

If he was napping and sleeping I'm not sure why you would stop it. DD1 can't nap or she won't sleep but I know my friends boy 2 months older (both3) sleeps 1.5hrs in the day and the same as her at night.

Just go with what works for you.

For the 5am waking he's 3 you can tell him! Doesn't matter if he's up you don't have to be. Give him one of those light up clocks and he stays in bed/bedroom with books and toys until it lights up at 7.

If DD1 wakes early (shes in my bed) I have drink & raisins on the side table so she helps herself on waking and logs into Netflix cartoons on
The iPad for an hour blush

maternityleavemum Mon 31-Dec-12 22:01:01

With my son I had to be strict with him at night cos he would get up for so many silly things -duvet not straight etc that he went to sleep really late. I stopped this behaviour by threatening to take stuff away the next day or no TV next day etc. Then when he was actually going to sleep at 7pm I shortened his naps in the day.

Think it's a case of having him up later at night if he has long naps or get him going to bed early with shorter naps

TBH never heard of a child with long naps that goes to be early too- too good to be true I suppose!

miniegg1980 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:59:15

I just want to do what's best for him.

Iggly normally the boy is outside but the awful weather and a waterlogged garden/flooded area hasn't helped recently. We live in a bungalow and running from one end to the other must cover some milage?!!

dayshiftdoris Mon 31-Dec-12 21:49:16

Please sdtop listen to advice and follow what you know about YOUR child...

You are the expert on your child x x x

Next time anyone mentions something he is or isn't doing lie and say that normally he does but today is an exception grin

There is no right or wrong.

I had to throw out the book with my son and I stand by it now - i generally know what is up / needed - sometimes can;t fix it and it's still hard but following gut instinct is ok and good for you both. Have confidence in yourself

Now going to follow own advice

Megsdaughter Mon 31-Dec-12 21:42:05

No Arf its not far from true.

9 times out of ten an over tired child will not settle at night.

I am also a mother and grandmother, so a lot of experience.

My present charges 2 and 4 both sleep, the 2 year old for half hour, the 4 year old an hour.

Both sleep 6.30 till 7.00, Mum phoned me yesterday (not worked since the 17th) and said over Christmas the elder has not slept as so much going on and has been really difficult to get to bed and not sleeping through. So she put him to bed after lunch.

He went to bed at normal time and slept through only waking once for the toilet.

Iggly Mon 31-Dec-12 21:37:35

My ds naps for two hours and goes to sleep at 8pm.

No nap = crashes at 6.30pm.

He's 3.3 now.

He needs plenty of physical exercise. A 30 mins play in the park isn't enough - he needs to do walking about eg walk around the shops, a run about in the park for an hour minimum and general fresh air.

How much time does your ds get outside? Fresh air makes the world of difference.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Mon 31-Dec-12 21:36:55

If he's still napping for that length od time at his age then 7pm is probably too early a bedtime for him. Keep the nap if he needs it and try putting him to bed at 7.30 or 7.45.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:36:18

let the poor lad have his nap

I can remember in reception class there were still a couple of children having a nap after lunch, there used to be a little bed in the corner!

one of my dcs never did anything more than power nap, the other used to have a couple of hours -it's not unusual, it's just not what they are used to

ceebeegeebies Mon 31-Dec-12 21:35:42

I don't know what to advise tbh but if all was fine before you started messing with his nap, maybe go back to what you were doing before. He will let you know when he doesn't want to nap anymore (my 2 certainly did) and as long as it isn't affecting his bedtime sleep, let him do it.

However, if you do want to let him nap but shorten it (which is what I did), I used to find waking them up, sitting them on the sofa in front of their fave TV programme with a biscuit and drink for half an hour usually did the trick - they are grumpy as anything if you wake them up so just accept it and let them come out of it in their own time!

miniegg1980 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:33:30

We decided to try and lessen his daytme nap as well as he had a spate of getting up at 5 am which was really afftecting me and more often than not waking his 5month old brother

miniegg1980 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:31:24

My ds normally spends his days running round/dancing/singing one minute and concentrating on jigsaws/books/colouring the next. Past few days his concentration has decreased and getting him to 'play' has been a real struggle. Just wants to lay about in front of the tele looking like he hasn't slept in days. Even out yesterday he complained of tired sore legs.

goldenlula Mon 31-Dec-12 21:29:16

Tbh, every child is different. Ds1 dropped his regular nap at 2.5 years, but if he slept on the odd occasion it had no effect on his bedtime, even if it was late in the afternoon. Ds2 stopped his regular nap before 2 and if if sleeps at all during the day (even 5 mins) it effects his bedtime. Cold you try an earlier nap maybe?

homeaway Mon 31-Dec-12 21:28:29

He was napping fine before and sleeping at night so I would go back to that and ignore what other people think. He will drop his nap when he is ready, why put yourselves through this when it is not working ?

mungojerrie Mon 31-Dec-12 21:25:05

Could you perhaps try him with a 'quiet' hour on the sofa with a dvd/cbeebies on instead of a nap?

miniegg1980 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:21:09

Oh how confusing? Why don't they come with a mannual? I completley understand the overtired way if thinking, if i've got overtired i can't sleep, but at the same time if i've napped during the day it can prevent me sleeping....

Treacle - peppapig was a favourite in this house until the christmas one and santa scared him.....my child is odd!!

ArfAPandaTreacle Mon 31-Dec-12 21:17:19

'If he sleeps for two hours he obviously needs it.'

If you've worked in childcare for 30 years you must realise that the above is far from true.

Both mine would happily nap for 2-3 hours after lunch, if I let them. But I like them going to bed before midnight. hmm

ArfAPandaTreacle Mon 31-Dec-12 21:15:13

Im going through exactly the same thing with my 19 month old. Hes dropped his naps.

But he had a 30 minute nap at 11am the other morning and he didnt go to sleep until 10pm because of it. <faints>

Yesterday he didnt nap.
Today he had 15 minutes.

My point is, they cannot deal with it suddenly taken from them.

Let him have half an hour for the next week. You'll just have to deal with the screaming, I personally find Peppa Pig programme a great wake up call.

Its a PITA in betweeny stage. But it doesnt last long.

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