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3 year old exhausted and needing a nap but refusing to have one - help!

(18 Posts)
nondomesticgoddess Tue 22-Sep-09 19:14:08

Dd is 3.3 and doesn't normally have a lunchtime sleep but I think she really needs one about once a week to catch up.

She hasn't had a nap now for about 3 weeks and her behaviour has become extremely difficult (she is rude to me, horrible to her little brother and over-reacts to everything). She just seems so tired but completely refuses to have a sleep.

She spends about 30-50 mins in her room after lunch every day and looks at books but will not sleep. I have tried bribery (stickers) to no avail.

She would never just fall asleep on the sofa - the more tired she is, the more she fights sleep. She would fall asleep in the car but wakes up when the car stops.

I have tried tonight to put her to bed much earlier (6.30) but I suspect it might just lead to an early wake up.

Any tips on how I can persuade her to sleep?

Horton Tue 22-Sep-09 20:04:01

Does she ever fall asleep in the pushchair? I'd try that if so.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 22-Sep-09 20:13:36

I put DD in the car and drive her somewhere 30 minutes away - that normally does it. They start doing so much and just get knackered don't they. DD is a complete PITA when she's had a long morning at preschool.

Danthe4th Tue 22-Sep-09 22:22:20

I always used to leave my ds on the sofa watching tv, I used to say to lie down but don't go to sleep. I never stayed in the room as it wouldn't work. give it 10 mins and he was gone.

dogonpoints Tue 22-Sep-09 22:25:05

Personallyl I think she's too old to be having a nap and you;r e on to a hiding to nothing

fruitstick Tue 22-Sep-09 22:29:57

My DS is 3.5 and hasn't had a nap at lunchtime since the new year. He is quite often overtired and hyper by bedtime and cranky in the afternoons.

Very rarely (about once a month) he will fall asleep on the sofa if he's watching TV after lunch and far more likely he will fall asleep in the car if the journey is longer than about 20 minutes.

If he does, he is a nightmare to get to bed in the evening.

The tired/overtired tightrope I seem to constantly walk drives me insane!

fruitstick Tue 22-Sep-09 22:30:56

I apologise for my split infinitive!

notnowbernard Tue 22-Sep-09 22:34:36

Same here

DD2 is 3.1 and really needs to be having a daytime nap once or twice a week at least, but doesn't (unless we're in the car)

Boy, do we all know about it hmm

lucykate Tue 22-Sep-09 22:38:59

what about trying a bit of reverse psychology, when she's in her room, tell her she's not to get in bed and fall asleep. works for us when we're trying to get ds to eat.

muddleduck Wed 23-Sep-09 09:25:00

IME at this age an early night is easier to manage than trying to force them to have a nap. Once they are out of the habit of sleeping in the day it can be hard for them to do. (Same as for an adult really).

FernieB Wed 23-Sep-09 12:51:24

If she's looking at books she is resting and that's good enough. You can't make someone sleep (if someone told you to sleep would you be able to do it on command?), so I wouldn't bother trying. If she is really tired, stick her in the car and go for a drive. It's a tricky stage when they give up naps but in a few weeks she'll be used to it and it probably won't be an issue any more.

Bucharest Wed 23-Sep-09 12:54:14

Trouble is, if she goes back to having a nap, you'll probably find she's wide awake at 10pm.....

nondomesticgoddess Wed 23-Sep-09 13:05:45

Thanks for all your tips.

She woke up at 5.50 this morning - over an hour earlier than normal and I was ready to face the day from hell. However, so far she has been pretty good! She's now at pre-school so I'll have to see if she's turned into demon child...

I'm wondering if she's tired in a mental way more than a physical way if that makes any sense? Maybe it's a combination of being back at pre-school and all the other groups and the stress of having to be places at certain times (that certainly makes me stressed - I'd forgotten how long it can take an adult and two toddlers to leave a house!).

On the days when she does sleep, she still goes to bed well at night which is what makes me think she needs the sleep.

Maybe I should just try and spend more time quietly at home. It's difficult though when ds (17 months) has a massive nap after lunch and wants to spend the rest of the time running riot!

Oh, it's all a balancing act. We'll get there...

spinspinsugar Wed 23-Sep-09 13:42:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VerityBrulee Wed 23-Sep-09 13:47:51

Just make sure she has a quiet period after lunch, read to her or put on cbeebies, anything so she's not active for a while. That will keep her going until bedtime.

Believe me, I tried everything when dc1 gave up napping at 2.3 and I had a newborn at the same time. You can't make someone sleep if they don't need to, but you can make them rest, which is almost as good.

dogonpoints Wed 23-Sep-09 17:38:40

|Ime most kids stop napping shortly after 2. You just have to accept it.

TheBalladofGayTony Wed 23-Sep-09 17:43:48

i agree with dogon. exercise her like a labrador and early night

pigletmania Wed 23-Sep-09 19:24:24

Yes i agree, plenty of excercise during the day and sleep early evening about 7.30-8pm(this is early for us, even if dd 2.6 years did not have a nap during the day sometimes she does sometimes not, than if i put her to bed an hour earlier than this, i can expect an early wake up at about 4-5am no thanks!)If your dc is sleepy you could put her on her bed, read story, close curtains, stroke head and if she is tired she might just drop to sleep, this is what i do when i suspect that my dd needs a nap and has difficulty.

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