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3 1/2 year old not quite ready to cope with no day nap.....

(10 Posts)
SonyaSingapore Wed 20-Jul-05 14:35:14

What do you do when your child grows out of daytime naps (because he's gone from cot to bed....and shares a room with his younger brother...) but is just too tired to cope with the longer day - my 3 1/2 year old son always used to sleep for 2 or more hours every day, but once we swopped to a bed he dropped it completely. He turns into a cranky whingey hysterical monster by the end of the day and it all seems so silly! Do you encourage 'quiet time' or try to leave him alone or plonk him in front of the TV or what? I've managed to get him to nod off on cushions in front of the TV a couple of times, but now he's cottoned on and resists TV! He'll often nod off if we're driving in the car any time after 1ish too - but I'm not going to start driving round in circles every day just to get him to sleep! Any suggestions...? I assume it's natural for many of them to take time to adjust to this new long day, but can anyone advise just how long this adjustment takes?


throckenholt Wed 20-Jul-05 14:45:07

can you get him to lie down with you - maybe read a story and then just lie quietly - I did that with my ds1 and he often fell asleep.

Sometimes he resisted and he was so tired I had to hold a screaming monster for a while, then he would ive up and fall asleep.

Nothing worse than a grumpy overtired kid !

IlanaK Wed 20-Jul-05 15:04:09

My ds1 was one of those who kept up his daytime nap until a late age. This was aided by the fact he was in a cotbed with sides still up until he was 3. We had hoped he would naturally cut it out by himself, but that di dnot happen. We had to make the decision for it to go ourselves. The transition was hard for him. I would say it took a good couple of months for him to get used to it. And he had good days and bad days. During that time I would never schedule difficult activities for hte afternoon. Now, at 4 years old he is perfectly fine at coping with a full day and vigerous morning and afternoon activities so long as he has had a good nights sleep.

elliott Wed 20-Jul-05 15:24:42

We've also had difficulty trying to drop my 3.7 year old's nap. He doesn't nap at nursery (3 days a week) but when we tried dropping the nap totally a few months ago he became very overtired and his night time sleep deteriorated. So i reinstated it - basically I put him to bed after lunch as I have always done and usually he falls asleep pretty quickly.
I think he is nearly ready to try again.
If your ds really isn't coping, I'd try reinstating the nap properly - maybe lie down with him if it helps. Otherwise what about bringing his bedtime forward a bit?

suedonim Wed 20-Jul-05 18:44:25

When one of mine was at the dropping a nap stage I found she needed a nap just a couple of afternoons a week rather than every day. Having a 'quiet time' is a very good idea for both mum and child, which I used to take advantage of a lot!

Prufrock Wed 20-Jul-05 20:01:55

Tv/video with very strict instructions that he is not to fall asleep. Then bring bedtime forward by an hour. This will either result in earlier waking, which should mean he is more tird and will nap, or longer nighttime sleep which should mean he is less tired and grumpy in the day. My dd tried to drop all naps at 2, but then resumed them until about 2.8, since when she's only ever napped very occasionally on a Friday

marthamoo Wed 20-Jul-05 20:17:03

Ds2 (3.5) still has the odd daytime sleep (maybe once a fortnight). If he has woken early and is getting really horrid I stick him in the pushchair (we don't use it much otherwise) and take him for a walk as he refuses point blank to go to bed in the daytime. Only problem is that he's so tall now that when he falls asleep and his feet drop off the footrest they drag on the floor.

This Can't Quite Do Without A Sleep stage is a pain (I remember it with ds1 too) but it doesn't last forever: they do get the hang of staying awake without being grumpy eventuallly.

SamN Thu 21-Jul-05 02:26:11

My ds1(3y4m) is at this stage too, doesn't nap at nursery but comes home very tired on those days, sometimes wants to nap at home, sometimes doesn't. As ds2 has a nap after lunch and I could quite do with one myself, I take all of us upstairs and tell ds1 he can rest or he can play with his toys quietly. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he doesn't but on the days he doesn't I try to get him to bed earlier than usual. The advantage of the early bedtimes is that dp and I have longer than usual together!

We've also started using the buggy a lot more than previously. I almost thought he'd grown out of it before his brother came along, but it's quite useful on the days when he hasn't had a nap and I'm sure he's going to get tired and grumpy on the way back from somewhere. (Ds2 goes in the sling.)

kid Thu 21-Jul-05 07:08:23

Could you get him to lay on his bed and tell him you will come back in 5 minutes? If you do go back after 5 minutes he should be asleep!

Works all the time with my DS who is 3.3

PandaBear Thu 21-Jul-05 08:51:30

When we decided DD1 did not need her daytime nap anymore, we did the tv thing. She never falls asleep anywhere other than her bed, her carseat or the pushchair. I remember it took a good couple of months for her to get used to the day without sleep, but now it's fab. We put her down at 7 at night and she's asleep by five past!

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