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2.5yr old + routine help needed

(13 Posts)
LouTheMac Tue 23-Feb-16 20:14:13

Hello all

I wonder those of you who have a 2.5/3 year old can help with nap vs sleep routines. DS had been hit & miss with naps for weeks now. Mostly he will only nap in the car and I tend to work my days around this. Once asleep in car he will transfer to the sofa and sleep there. And then he wants to sleep for hours & we have trouble waking him up followed by more trouble getting him to go to sleep that night.
At childminders (1 day a week) he goes down easily in the travel cot for 60-90 mins but sometimes 2 hours.
However if at home or Grandparents ( 2 days a week after preschool which finishes at midday) he won't nap unless we take him in the car so mostly at GP he doesn't nap at all as they don't take him in the car for this purpose.
On these days he is exhausted and tired beyond belief by dinner (5pm). Even putting him down at 6pm he's so exhausted he goes into hyper overdrive followed by screaming so tonight its been two hours.
Clearly he needs the nap?
He used to have a wonderful routine from a very early age he fell into routine & i feel like he's badly nissing one now. There were tricky phases when dropping from 3 to 2 naps and 2 to 1 but this feels worse/harder.
So for those of you with napping pre-schoolers what is your routine or like us is everyday different and do you feel like you are muddling through ?!!
Many thanks!

Iguessyourestuckwithme Tue 23-Feb-16 20:18:37

I have a 2.4 year old who still sleeps most days. Generally our routine is

7.30 wake and breakfast
9 out the house and off to an activity group
12 home for lunch
a 2 hour nap anytime between 12 -3 [has younger sibling so if they fall asleep at 12 then she will nap 12-2 and have lunch when she gets up etc]
5.30 dinner
6 bath time
7.30 bedtime.

Hopelass Tue 23-Feb-16 20:28:45

I have a 2.4 yo DS and can completely sympathise with you. I also seem to be muddling through recently. Last week he completely refused his usual 2 hour midday nap which destroyed me (I'm v early preg with no 2 and was hoping he'd keep his nap for much longer so I can rest too!). He's varying now between 30 mins to 2 or more hours when I have to wake him or he won't settle at night. The only advice I can give is if you want him to nap, physically wear him out in the morning. I took DS to the park this morning and we walked loads and he had his nap just like he used to and settled fine this evening at 7.15. I'm afraid I've not nothing apart from that so I'll be watching your thread with interest. I know the time is coming when he will drop it completely <sob> but hopefully then he'll sleep better and for longer at night. Sorry for the epic post!

LouTheMac Tue 23-Feb-16 21:35:47

Iguess your routine mirrors ours before he started dropping/refusing nap, miss those days!

Hopelass glad I am not the only one!! it's a muddle as he is more tired when collected from preschool (9-12) but they are days my parents struggle to get him down. I think he's wired with being at preschool followed by being at fun time GPs house. They feel bad handing me a wreck of a toddler at 5pm and I spend all evening picking up the pieces! But to be fair I cant get him to sleep either on my days off unless in the car.

I am interested to hear from anyone whose toddler manages a later nap i.e 2-3 as most days this is when he gets tired but it does affect bedtime.

minipie Tue 23-Feb-16 22:51:33

Oh god we had an awful time at 2.5, DD started refusing her nap and we thought she was ready to drop it altogether. Big mistake and horribly and horrible overtired DD.

DD would not nap in her cot but would conk out in the car or buggy. The key was to figure out the time of day when DD was tired but not yet hyper and get her in the buggy then. Could GPs take your DS out in the buggy? It's a pain but hopefully this phase won't last too long. DD is now 3.3 and still naps about half the days, and will now nap in her bed.

thefutureisOrange Tue 23-Feb-16 22:56:22

My DS stopped napping at 1 year 10 months. It wasn't great. My older ones stopped napping in bed at around 2 but would at least sleep in the car or buggy.
I don't honestly think there is a good solution (sorry) - just do what works.

Jw35 Tue 23-Feb-16 23:00:57

I don't have a 2 year old but I do have a 14 month old. I was thinking why don't you just put him to bed and say it's nap time?! I know it sounds a bit simple but maybe you need to take a bit of a tougher line?

Puppymouse Tue 23-Feb-16 23:01:46

I have a 2.4 year old. She wakes up usually between 7 and 8 and on the days she's with me and/or DH goes back to bed for a nap at about 10.45/11. She will usually sleep for a couple of hours. Then she's up all afternoon until 6.45 bedtime when she's usually hyper and exhausted.

She rarely naps at nursery - if she does it's barely 30 mins but we focus on her catching up on her sleep on the days she doesn't go and it seems to work. I have always let her behaviour tell me what her routine should be as she desperately struggles when sleep deprived (as do I she's a monster).

LouTheMac Tue 23-Feb-16 23:27:19

Minipie that's helpful as for awhile I was thing he was ready to drop but now I don't think we can have a happy life and do this lol. It's the time of day for nap I can't work out as every day is different now depending on whether or not he naps ! I we are in a vicious circle of later nap leading to later bedtime followed by earlier longer (too long) nap the next day to catch up.

Thanks Orange it's good to hear it may just be how things are for awhile.

Jw35 i can't force him to sleep though can I? He has always gone for a nap no problem now he wrecks havoc when left in his room! One of the reasons I think he goes down easier at the child minders is that it's in a travel cot so easier for him to switch off as only so much he can get up to. My mum tried him in a travel cot today but he wasn't having it! But she will persevere.

Puppymouse that's good you seem to be able to flex her routine like that! I think I need to maybe fix routine on the preschool followed by grandparents days as these are the worst/most tired/ least likely to nap days. By the time mine he's got to monster stage it's the point of no return.

minipie Tue 23-Feb-16 23:51:02

If you collect him from pre school in th buggy would he drop off on the way back (might need to take a few laps round the block if it's close by)? This has worked well for DD. Won't work if he genuinely isn't tired till 2pm though.

Late naps (2pm or later) are tricky yes. We are kind of at this point with DD now. You could try an approach where if he doesn't seem tired till 2pm or later then you try to push on through without a nap (or he has a 15 min zizz in the car if you happen to be out) and he has an early bedtime instead. But if he hasn't napped that day he absolutely will need a nap the next day, and he will probably be tired fairly early in the day eg straight after pre school (and if the nap is early then it can be quite long without impacting so much on bedtime). So early nap days alternate with no nap but early bedtime days iyswim - avoids the late nap problem.

Puppymouse Wed 24-Feb-16 20:22:59

Out of interest what does he do when put to bed and left for a while? I have this "discussion" with my Mum regularly where she tells me DD "didn't want to nap" and what she actually means is she asked her if she wanted a sleep, DD said no (duuuhh) and she tried to leave her for a few minutes but "after 5 she was still mucking about."

We're meaner and put her down even if she says no which is every time and leave her as quiet time even if she doesn't sleep, which is actually pretty rare.

I just try and keep her to her normal routine as much as possible and prioritise her need for sleep over activities sometimes if I know she needs it. My family think it's a bit odd but are very complimentary about her behaviour and I suspect one is helping the other!!

LouTheMac Thu 25-Feb-16 22:18:31

So my mum persevered with the nap in travel cot yesterday and he did go to sleep after an hour of getting in and out of it.
Today I couldn't get him down until almost 3! And that was with preschool 9-1 and a walk after. By 3 he was really tired & grumpy. He wouldn't go to bed tonight until about 9.30.
Such a hard transition this one, we're all over the place! Would love a routine but I don't think it's going to happen..

Does anyone know if I did cut the nap would it be horrendous for a few days and then he would just go longer at night to make up for it?

huhpuh Thu 25-Feb-16 22:29:45

My dd is 2.8 and dropped her nap a couple of months ago, as have quite a few of her friends. However, she doesn't have pre-school so doesn't get as worn out. She has activities most mornings and if I see she is tired, then an hour of quiet time (TV or similar) takes the place of a nap in the early afternoon as naps are stoutly refused. She does nap in the car if we're out but it tends to be a 15-30 min cat nap. I find if she does have longer than 30 mins or its after 3pm, she's a pain to get to sleep that night. She generally sleeps 19.30-07.00.

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