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Help me! two year old fighting daytime nap

(15 Posts)
thebecster Mon 15-Sep-08 15:53:34

DS (2yrs 3 mths) is driving me crazy about his afternoon nap. He's exhausted just after lunch, rubbing his eyes, but as soon as he lies down he fights sleep like mad and just acts up. But then he crashes out at about 4pm and is in a deep sleep when I wake him at 5pm - way too late as bedtime is 7pm. I know he's tired and needs to sleep - this morning he had nursery then swimming lesson before lunch and he was shattered, but he just wouldn't give in. I've tried lying down to sleep with him in my bed, but that was disastrous - he just played around and poked me in the eyes whispering 'wake up, wake up mummy'. I stuck with that one for a few months, god knows why... Now I'm trying to get him to sleep in his own bed for an hour after lunch, but he just whinges for 2 hours, by which time it's too late for him to be falling asleep, and then, just as I'm about to give in and get him up, he's asleep. AAAAAAARGH! If he's not going to sleep then he at least needs an afternoon rest, or he'll be unbearable by bedtime. But how? How? Help!!

MotherOfGirls Mon 15-Sep-08 16:00:54

I would suggest you bow to the inevitable. My DD1 refused to have an afternoon nap from the age of two, when we put her into a bed. She was tired and grumpy in the afternoons for a few months but would not sleep after lunch. We were living in Cyprus, it was ridiculously hot and my husband was in UK on a long course, so it wasn't fun! I worked hard to keep her awake late afternoon and she was in bed by 6.30pm.

It WILL get better!!!! smile

ChopsTheDuck Mon 15-Sep-08 16:01:09

Will he drop off if you take him for a walk or a drive?

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 16:01:40

Don't know what to say, just hit the same problem over the last two days. DS 22 months fell asleep today after lunch, put him to bed, he got up 15 mins later and climbed over the stairgate to escape from his room. He finally crashed out at 3pm and is still asleep so I'll be watching this with interest

good luck

ChopsTheDuck Mon 15-Sep-08 16:02:54

I do agree with motherofgirls, sometimes best just to drop it. NOne of mine really napped after 2 - only occassional falling asleep in the car or when really tired. They had a 6pm bedtime.

Seeline Mon 15-Sep-08 16:03:09

Lucky you - both mine flatly refused day time naps from the day they turned 18 months! You just have to accept that he will be a bit grumpy for a while - he may have a nap every other day for a while but it sounds like he has decided that sllep is for wimps!

thebecster Mon 15-Sep-08 16:06:33

Darn it, MotherOfGirls, you may well be right there (and god I hope you're right about it getting better!) I've been pondering whether he's ready to just give it up, but then usually just as I'm saying 'I think I won't bother putting him down tomorrow' I go in and find he's fast asleep. Maybe I should try just not putting him down. But then how do I stop myself strangling him halfway through the afternoon when he's being tired, cranky and unbearable wink??

I've heard some people's kids play quietly alone for an hour in the afternoon as 'quiet time' but can't imagine DS doing this - anyone have any tips for achieving it? The words 'quietly' and 'alone' are not big in DS's little world...

Don't have a car, ChopsTheDuck, and he doesn't use a pushchair anymore. Can't imagine him falling asleep in the Tube which is his preferred mode of transport - he's far too excited when on a train to sleep!

Romy7 Mon 15-Sep-08 16:08:24

drop it.
tv for quiet time.
stand him up to eat his dinner so that he doesn't suffocate.

sitdownpleasegeorge Mon 15-Sep-08 16:15:24

Could you drop the nap and bring bedtime forward to say 6.30. I find that a bit of "downtime" in front of cbeebies after lunch also helps them get through.

hattyyellow Mon 15-Sep-08 16:21:32

My two dropped the lunchtime nap at 2 years old. I also found that ceebeebies was a good way of giving them some quiet recharging time (and giving me a bit of a break, I think it's hard for the parent to adjust to not having that lunchtime free as well!)

I also tried to make sure they weren't doing too much in the day at that stage as they got so tired it was hellish, as they then weren't in the mood to eat their tea and were frantic by bathtime and hungry really early in the morning.

thebecster Mon 15-Sep-08 16:27:14

Consensus is definitely to drop it. Dammit! But thank you ladies for bringing some clarity to the situation. Okay. Here goes... CBeebies or DVD after lunch for an hour is a good shout. He likes TV, and he has even been known to sit still for ooooh, 30 seconds or so, while watching it.

Bringing bedtime forward will cause tears - from DH, as it will mean he won't see DS at all except at the weekend, and DH often has to work weekends. I'll try to tough it out until 7pm rather than put DS in bed before DH gets home every day. They're good friends DH and DS, shame to spoil their bathtime antics. (Covering their faces in foam 'beards' and both going 'ho ho ho!' like Santa Claus when I walked in with the towels last night. Maybe you had to be there, but it cracked me up...)

desperatelyseekingsleep Mon 15-Sep-08 16:37:31

DS1 did this at almost exactly aged 2. We dropped the afternoon nap and instigated quiet time in front of a DVD instead (try something that really grabs his attention like Finding Nemo - they seem to get obsessed by one particular film at this age). HTH and good luck!

Sycamoretree Mon 15-Sep-08 16:37:44

Give it up - the signs are all there. This happenend to me - but DD was barely 2! I was in mourning for that nap. But hey, look on the bright side, you'll probably get him to go to bed earlier and IME it won't make a difference to his wake time.

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 16:38:13

Found out why my lad is fighting his nap. He woke up and was sick all over me, his bed and his room...

MotherOfGirls Mon 15-Sep-08 17:18:19

If it's any consolation, I did find it quite liberating to be able to take DD out for lunch and not rush back in time for her nap - once I'd accepted she wasn't going to have one any more! It certainly made family weekends more fun and more flexible.

BTW, she is now 13 and sleeps as late as she possibly can in the mornings!!!!!!

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