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Day Time Naps for a 2 year Old

(36 Posts)
mumsemily Mon 23-Jul-07 10:53:37

Hi my DD is 25 months and has started taking an hour to settle on a night, which results in 2 night time wakings.

We experimented on Saturday and kept her awake all day (she usually has 1 1/4 hrs nap from 1.00 til 2.15), she didn't get really tired until 5.00 but after tea the bath revived her and we put her down to sleep at 7.00, she was asleep by 7.10 and didn't wake once during the night and slept until 6.35 the next morning.

We reverted back to and hours nap yesterday and put her down at 7.30 as usual, she didn't go tot sleep until 8.35, then woke at 1.00 and 4.00, so I don't know wether to get to give up her day time nap or is it too early with her just turning 2.

Any ideas would be great.



Sixer Mon 23-Jul-07 10:56:49

I would go with what DD wants to do. Keep her up, don't put her down during the day. If she needs a little nap, let her, even if it's on the sofa.

Desiderata Mon 23-Jul-07 11:00:41

In their second year, the naps they need on a daily basis can vary hugely.

Let her sleep if she needs to. You can't keep a toddler up if they need to sleep, but the trick is not to put her down (as Sixer mentioned).

You will find it increasingly more difficult to put her down for a nap in the daytime over the coming months. She'll fight it tooth and nail ... so you just have to go with the flow and hope (with all fingers crossed), that she will eventually sleep right through the night.

witchandchips Mon 23-Jul-07 11:02:26

yes don't put her down to sleep but give her some "quiet time" in the middle of the day to recharge her batteries (and yours). I really dreaded the end of naps but its so much easier now. After lunch if we're at home i just read on the sofa for a bit and if ds wants a cuddle he can get one otherwise he just potters around me. sometimes we watch tv, but the important thing is the I get a rest too!

pointydog Mon 23-Jul-07 11:14:53

both my dds stopped daytime naps soon after 2. SOund slike your child might be ready to give up.

mumsemily Mon 23-Jul-07 11:24:25

Thanks girls, that's been a real help. It will be much easier planning the day if she doesn't need a nap.

Fingers crossed.


Sixer Mon 23-Jul-07 11:26:05

Go with the flow

Ellieo Mon 23-Jul-07 19:09:27

Yep, my DS gave up his daytime nap almost on the dot of turning 2. He still has the odd one if he's in the car or buggy and is exhausted in the middle of the day, but on the whole he rarely has a daytime nap now. Good news is, after around 20 months of him waking 2-3 times a night, he's now doing 7.30 till around 8am the next morning - bliss, and well worth giving up that couple of hours in the day

amidaiwish Tue 24-Jul-07 07:44:11

Ellieo, you give me hope.

DD2 is 21m and still wakes a couple of times in the night, every night.
She has started to resist her naps, but the problem is if i don't get her to sleep at 1ish then she will crash at about 4pm. When that happens i have to shake her awake an hour later and she is then difficult to get to bed, she wakes early the next day and spends the day exhausted.

is this a phase?
any suggestions?

PrettyCandles Tue 24-Jul-07 07:54:06

My older two napped until nearly 5yo, and it didn't make any difference to their nights. If anything, missing naps made them overtired and harder to settle at night. They went through a period when they rebelled against the nap, but, because they were still sleeping through the night, Iwas sure that they still needed it.

But all children are different.

I would say, don't drop the nap completely because things may change and you may find it veyr difficult to reinstate a nap if she starts needing it again. Why not nap her every other day, or every two days. Neither of my older ones dropped their nap in one go. Over a period of months they became able to cope with one day a week without napping, then two - but not consecutive - then consecutive days, and so on.

amidaiwish Tue 24-Jul-07 08:14:32

i did this with DD1 - just let her nap some days and it did work. i just don't think we're quite there yet with DD2 as she will fall asleep late in the day without her lunchtime nap.

do you think it would be worth putting her to bed early those days, say 5.30pm? or will that just end up with a 4am wake up?

MotherFunk Wed 25-Jul-07 03:08:38

Message withdrawn

mumsemily Wed 22-Aug-07 08:50:22

Hi girls, back again with this one. We let Emily drop her nap and only have one if she wanted one, the only thing is now, on teh days she has no nap she's in bed at 7 and asleep by 7.10 which is good, on the days she has a nap like yesterday, i put her up later at 7.30 and she didn't go to sleep until 8.00 after much crying.

I really don't know what to do for the best, any one had any similar sleep problems like this.

It's started to make me and DP bicker at each other again and I'm sick of sitting in the dining room to get away from the constant atmosphere at bedtimes.

Help desparate mother.

Acinonyx Wed 22-Aug-07 09:49:26

My dd is 26 mo and never takes a nap during the day unless we're in the car. Many days I time outings so she does get a nap in the car and sometimes carry her in to continue sleeping at home. Some days she takes no nap. I'm finding at the moment that after 2 days running with no nap she really needs to nap on the third day (but still won't unless in the car so I plan for it).

If she naps for more than 2 hours her bedtime tends to drift from the standard 8 pm to 8.30, and if it was a long late nap, even 9 pm. If I can see that she's really full of beans I don't aim for the earlier time - it's just torture for both of us! Otherwise it's 8 pm sharp. I don't think there's much you can do about the variation except plan for it. Sometimes we take advantage of a late bedtime day by going out to a pub for an early dinner with her or for a picnic (cheaper!). OTOH, if we really need her down by 8 I don't let her nap or not for long (30-40 mins).

I thought she was ready to stop napping but I see see does need to nap - just not every day and not always very long. Good luck! Gill

Acinonyx Wed 22-Aug-07 09:52:23

PS - 7 pm seems very early for a 2 yr old. Dd sleeps 8 - 6.30/7. Maybe you need a later standard bedtime.

mumsemily Wed 22-Aug-07 10:05:54

Hi Gill

Thanks for your reply, we thought 7 was fine if she had no nap as we didn't want to stretch her too much. The thing with Emily is no matter what time she goes to bed she still wakes at 6, if we are lucky 6.30am

Maybe it would make sense to put her up at 8 when she has a nap and maybe push her to 7.30 when she's not had one (if that makes sense). I live with a right worry wart who is sceptical about anything to do with her sleep (ahhh).

I'm just so tired and frustrated and any advice is gratefully accepted.

Thanks Gill

mumsemily Wed 22-Aug-07 10:40:48

Hi Gill

Can I just ask if your DD sleeps from 8 is that the time you leave her?

How long does she normally take to go off?



lizziemun Wed 22-Aug-07 10:59:14

My dd is now 3 1/2 yrs and has only just dropping her day time nap.

She has always gone to bed by 7pm. We are now moving to 7.30pm as daddy is later getting home.

I realy think it is down to the child, if dd didn't have at least two hours during the day (always between 12 and 3pm) she would wake up every hour or so during the night.

Now she sleeps between 7.30pm and 7.30 - 8am. If she wakes and comes into our room i put her back into her room with her night light on and some books.

lizziemun Wed 22-Aug-07 11:01:14

Sorry should have read if she wakes up early (6 - 6.30am) into our room i put her back into her room with her night light on and some books.

Acinonyx Wed 22-Aug-07 11:02:10

Bedtime is the one routine we have really worked on and stuck with. My sister used to spend all night putting her boys down and I so didn't want to do that. Dh baths her and gets her in her pjs for 7.30, then I read with her to 8 pm. At 8 pm, her night music goes on, lights off and I go downstairs. It seems to vary quite a bit after that - although I don't usually peek until at least 8.30 as I don't want to disturb the process. If she's really tired it's less than 5 mins, but I think sometimes it's quite a bit longer. I think the music (I rotate it every week or two) helps her to settle and not get impatient. She never cries when I leave her, but I did do some controlled crying when she was about 9 mo and I was totally desperate! It's rare that she cries in the night and I always resettle her. She's in a toddler bed now so I really have to be pretty sure she's going to settle before I leave.

I think a bit later bedtime when your dd's had a nap is worth a try. What would drive me bananas is the night waking - that was what I did controlled crying for when she was younger (she used to be up at 5 am as well shudder - I was past exhausted). Must say I would dread trying that with a toddler but I would if it came to that.

What is it your dp is worried about exactly?

PS I'm supposed to be working from home right now which of course and of course would much rather 'talk' about toddlers.... Gill

mumsemily Wed 22-Aug-07 11:14:00

Hi Gill

DP is one of those daddies who just hasn't adapted to having a child!!! He stresses that doesn't sleep enough, if she doesn't eat enough etc etc.

We've been having sleep problems since she was 9 months and now she's 26 months, we've tried all sorts of routines. She used to go down no bother until mid July (which coincided with us moving at the end of June), then she started taking longer and longer to settle so we decided to drop her nap and see if that helped. It did for a few days then she seemed to get overtired so we let her have a nap. As mentioned before on the days without a nap she goes off no bother in about 10 minutes after her music has stopped, on the days she has a nap and its no more than an hour she can take up to 45 minutes to go off. We don't know what to do for the best as we don't want to stop her falling asleep for a nap if she's tired. I've tried letting her watch a video for 15 minutes before sleep, that doesn't work.

We use the same routine every night, bath, milk, story downstairs with dad, then I take her up and read another story before leaving her with her music show on.

She's also started waking in the night again, not as bad this time she does settle herself after approx 10 mins but still its disturbed sleep. Last night she didn't go off until 8 and then was awake at 5.35am so she will be absolutley shattered today.

Sorry this is all a bit ong winded but it helps getting it off my chest ready for another battle tonight with both DP and DD.



Acinonyx Wed 22-Aug-07 11:44:35

Hmmmm. It sounds like you are doing everything possible and if she settles herself during the night then I'm not sure that you really have a problem here - except your DP thinks there is one. If her naps and tiredness vary day to day and bedtime can vary a little too I think that's as much as you can do at this stage. My dd will never voluntarily nap but if she wanted to I wouldn't want to stop her either although I might cut it a bit short to get her down at bedtime.

Your DP does sound a bit OCD about this - I suspect his attitude is the major stress on you here and perhaps he needs to be a bit more flexible in his expectations. Personally, I wouldn't battle and force dd to go to bed if she's not ready if it was just a case of waiting another 30-60 minutes and having a peaceful bedtime.

In our house - it's mealtimes that can get stressful and dh and I are not always on the same page! Gill

Acinonyx Wed 22-Aug-07 11:46:02

PS Is you DP very unhappy if dd goes to bed later? Maybe he wants to protect your evenings and that is part of the battle.

mumsemily Wed 22-Aug-07 11:52:31

Thank you, you have been a big help. I think we will just have to take each day at a time and if he starts I'll open a bottle of wine and sit in the dining romm (haha)

I will say this about DP, he says he would do anything for her as long as she would sleep, I think its us that are making the big deal out of it and not her. I think I might get him some valium or better still take it myself and then I'll not minding is stressing



bozza Wed 22-Aug-07 12:02:07

Have you tried just giving her half an hour's nap? Or moving it earlier - say midday rather than 1? Also maybe have bedtime later when she has napped. And try and have a really active afternoon if she has napped. It sounds to me like she is on the verge of not needing a nap but not quite there yet.

DD has been like this for months, and I have managed to get us to a reasonable stage with it. She goes to nursery Tues-Thurs and does not nap there, so I know that by Friday (given we also go swimming Friday am) that she will be ready for a nap. But a late night on a Friday (I also have a school age DS) is not so bad. But I try and get her down really early for her nap and be careful not to let her sleep too late.

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