Two year old will only nap in car!

(39 Posts)
GlummyMummy Sat 10-Sep-16 21:25:25

My daughter who is 2, has got to the point where she refuses to nap unless I drive her around in the car to get her to sleep!

Sometimes, we are coming back from somewhere so I just extend the journey a bit, but other days, we are going out in the car with the sole purpose of getting her to nap. It's starting to become a nuisance, never mind a drain on my petrol! Anyone else been in a similar situation?

TheRedCarWon Sat 10-Sep-16 21:43:29

Is she OK without a nap? I found with my own that by about 2-2.5 they were ready to stop their daytime naps. For a short time they went to bed a bit earlier to make up for it but then reverted to their usual 7-7 overnights.
If it helps, look at it as being a release from the straight jacket that is the daytime nap routine.

GlummyMummy Sat 10-Sep-16 22:09:00

She does still seem to need her nap. Was great at going down in her cot for ages, then all of a sudden decided she didn't want to nap in the cot!! Managed to get her to sleep in the pram for a few weeks but now it's car or nothing. The days she does miss it, she can be grumpy, tantrums and very obviously overtired. Frustrating!

FATEdestiny Sat 10-Sep-16 22:29:17

Does she go to sleep in her cot ok in the evening?

I assume you've tried copying bedtime routine at naptime?

GlummyMummy Sun 11-Sep-16 08:01:21

Hi, yeah she goes down in the cot no problem at night. And we used to have a nice nap time routine of stories etc, same as at bedtime. So it's really come out of nowhere.....just put her in cot one lunchtime and she howled the place down and has never napped in cot since really!

Cakescakescakes Sun 11-Sep-16 08:03:39

She probably getting ready to drop her nap. There is an awful transition period where they still kind of need one but won't sleep (we are going through it with dc2 at the minute) but eventually it settles. On days he doesn't nap I just put him to bed at 6pm and he is out like a light. He is a nightmare most of the afternoon though but I know in a few weeks it'll have settled.

TeaBelle Sun 11-Sep-16 08:04:13

Can you transfer her once she's sound asleep? My parents have a blow up ready bed from Argos at their house, drive dd round for 15 mins to ensure a deep sleep and ccan then transfer her. Still not ideal but at least they can get some bits done indoors

DollyBarton Sun 11-Sep-16 08:07:17

When mine started refusing at 2 we carved out 'quiet time' where at the same time each day he'd have a choice of his bed or the couch watching TV for a while. For a long time he'd crash in front of the tv and sleep there and then gradually as he needed the nap less he'd stay awake but get some rest before coming back out in a better mood and brighter in himself.

AmaDablam Sun 11-Sep-16 08:22:01

Dd was exactly like this at 2. Agree with PPs who say she's probably getting ready to drop her nap but is in that difficult transition period where she needs the sleep but her brain struggles to switch off. Have you tried moving the nap later? I realise this may cause problems at bedtime and for that reason we never did but I know it works for some, especially if you can bear to lose a bit of your evening and put her to bed later at night. I'm afraid we just toughed it out and put up with the grumpiness on days we didn't need to go out in the car. They do get used to managing with no nap after a while, and if you can manage to get one in the car a couple of times a week it seems to top them up.

InsaneDame Sun 11-Sep-16 10:21:33

I remember you from one of my previous threads on this issue. Sorry to hear you are still struggling - as am I! Basically my DS was doing well with having a nap in the car, I just tied in his nap time with driving home from somewhere BUT I noticed a pattern that he was only dropping off every other day. So basically one day it would be a 1.5hr nap, the next nothing. Just when o thought we were in a new 'pattern' he has thrown a spanner in the works and not napped for the last two days.... I wouldn't mind as he is asleep by 7.30pm and not getting up until at least 7am (this morning it was 8.15am and only then as I woke him as I was worried he was sleeping so late!) But his nights seem more unsettled - last night he slept until 1am then was up crying/moaning on and off for a couple of hours. He didn't want anything, he just couldn't seem to drop back off. The night before he was up briefly 4 times (has a cold currently so needed de-snotting!). This makese think he isn't dealing well with not napping and his overtiredness is coming through in the disturbed nights. I'm either hoping he will give in and start napping again or soon adjust better to not napping. It's such a tricky time!

He is 29 months btw.

InsaneDame Sun 11-Sep-16 10:24:04

P.s on the days when he doesn't nap I tuck him up on the sofa with a blanket and cushion with the TV on and he lays and chills out for a bit while I potter around doing housework.

beela Sun 11-Sep-16 21:04:59

My dd is the same. She is 28 months. My mum looks after her once a week and she will tell her that she's a bit tired, and go for a nap on the sofa!! No chance at home.

I usually just end up driving somewhere at around lunchtime and she drops off, then I transfer her into her bed. Some days she doesn't drop off in the car, or we aren't in the car around that time, and she doesn't sleep but to be fair she's usually quite cheerful... and bedtime is much much easier on days when she doesn't nap grin

GlummyMummy Mon 12-Sep-16 14:32:03

Thanks for all the advice folks. This battle at nap times has been going on for two months now so if she's dropping it altogether, it seems to be taking a while! I've not ever tried transferring her into the house from the car ( too much of a wimp!) but I might be brave...if anything it can't be comfy for her sleeping squashed up in a car seat. Today she hasn't had a nap at all-despite running around at toddlers, then a swim! Drove her around for 40 minutes before I gave up, and she's now sitting on the couch watching peppa. I'd love it if she would sleep on the couch but it's not happened so far!!

broodyness16 Mon 12-Sep-16 22:52:57

Hi. My son was ready to give up all naps at 18 months old! We went through a really bad time (hell) where if he did have a nap he wud b up until 12 midnight running around like a loon or if he did manage to go to sleep at 7.30pm he wud be up at 1am wide awake ready for breakfast! he was all muddled up bless him. He is 22 months old now, we have to only give him a little nap no longer than 30 mins for him to go to bed normal time 7.30 but he will only drop off if we are on the move, buggy car etc. If he is really ratty we just have quiet time and snuggle whilst watch his fav shows, then he will have a really early night instead of nap, he sleeps 7.30 till 8 most nites. I would love it if he just fell asleep on the couch aswell, never happened! Lol

Sounds like she's dropping the nap. She's about the right age for it. Instead of trying to make her nap can you do half an hour quite time on the sofa with books/tv. Does the same job of letting them regroup and you get a sit down too

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 13-Sep-16 06:40:43

We are going through the same thing - DS has been getting steadily harder to get to nap over the last couple of months, coinciding with his 2nd birthday. If I want him to sleep we go out in the car, or sometimes a walk in the buggy does the trick.

At home I follow the same routine as bedtime (other than bath teeth and jammies) - we read a book, say night night to his toys, close the curtain, put white noise on. Then he just jumps around in his cot, throws his teddy bear around - basically zero interest in sleeping.

He's at the childminders 4 days a week and still reliably naps there, and is more likely to nap for DH than for me. Frustrating!

GlummyMummy Tue 13-Sep-16 18:20:20

Sounds like we are not alone! To be honest, I think nap time has become a battle of wills!!! I wouldn't mind so much if she was good natured, but she gets overtired and very out of control and can't settle to anything!

I am convinced she still needs her nap, cause even with a late afternoon nap, she still goes down to bed fine at 7.30pm

RandomMess Tue 13-Sep-16 18:47:31

She will probably survive happily on a nap every other day, you may just get to enjoy a lay in or her going to bed earlier than 7.30pm!

GlummyMummy Wed 14-Sep-16 20:42:20

That's three days she's not had it now....any idea when you get to the point of stopping offering them the nap?

Angeliqueinquest Wed 14-Sep-16 20:48:39

My ds was like this, I used to have to go for a drive every day just to get him down then carry him in the house then when he turned 2.2 (2.5 now) I stopped bothering and it was a nightmare for a week with him being over tired but then he asked to go for a nap! I put him in his cot with his blanket and teddy and off he went shock had tried this god knows how many times before, but it was a bit of a miracle for me.

GlummyMummy Wed 14-Sep-16 20:51:31

Wow!!! What a turnaround! It's been two months since she napped in her cot, so I really couldn't see that happening here!! I've never transferred her from car to cot either. Probably should have tried!

InsaneDame Wed 14-Sep-16 21:53:49

Glummy my DS didn't nap for three days last week (Fri, Sat and Sun) I thought we were done but he has napped every day for the last three days! We are also solely car naps now which work well as in he gets a nap and it lasts at least an hour but I worry it's not as comfortable or as good for him than if it were in his bed. Given the choice though he always asks to sleep in the car, bless him!

GlummyMummy Wed 14-Sep-16 22:01:00

Does he tell you when he wants to go for his nap? Helpful wee soul!!! :-) Sometimes I think it's a timing issue with naps, only a small window of time when it will work before over tiredness sets in. How long do you drive around for before you give up if no nap?

EllenJanethickerknickers Wed 14-Sep-16 22:12:01

2 - 2.6yo was the magic 'drop nap' time for all 3 of my DSs. I just stopped worrying about it and if they happened to fall asleep in the car on a necessary journey, that was fine, if they didn't, that was also fine. It didn't take long for them to adjust. Initially they got a bit grumpy before their tea, but I just made that earlier, about 5- 5.30, and that gave them enough energy for a second wind, and they went to sleep at 7.00pm.

InsaneDame Thu 15-Sep-16 07:15:32

I've been know to drive for 50 minutes before finally giving up blush I'm usually driving home from somewhere anyway and just make sure I take a longer route. I'm quite stubborn but so is he so I usually end up giving in before he does! I've now given myself a rule that if he isn't asleep within 30 minutes then I stop - so far this week it has only taken 15 mins maximum. We are potty training so I think the extra concentration is wearing him out!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now