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2.5 yr old won't sleep till 9.45 pm

(12 Posts)
systemsaddict Tue 04-Jan-11 14:25:17

Any ideas on whether I can reset my daughter's body clock?

She learned to climb out of her cot a few months ago and since then, if we put her to bed at bedtime (which is normally 8 o'clock) she will just climb out of her cot and wander around the house for the next couple of hours.

When we return her to her cot with little attention, she just keeps climbing out again until 9.30 - 10ish.

If I sit next to her I can keep her in her cot and eventually she goes to sleep (normally after me blush), but if I try and leave she gets distressed and follows me out.

She still naps during the afternoon; if we try and stop her napping, her behaviour gets completely impossible, screaming crying scratching, and / or she crashes out on the sofa at 4.30 - 5 and then won't sleep till after 10pm, even if we wake her after a few minutes.

So if anyone has any ideas I would be very happy to hear them, as having no evening time is driving me completely berserk!

Orissiah Tue 04-Jan-11 14:49:11

Can you try cutting out the nap and then take her out for a walk or get down on the floor and do some intensive playing with her (or if you are cooking supper then keep her in the kitchen with you with toys or painting on the table etc) - anything that keeps her distracted and away from the sofa where she will try and fall asleep? It will be hell for a few weeks and then she'll adjust.

My DD dropped her nap at 2.3yrs and we replaced it with quiet time after lunch for 30 mins (CBeebies) then lots of distracting activities. It meant she completely crashed out at 7pm (her usual bedtime then) - often falling asleep during stories!

She's now 2.5yrs old and has completely adjusted to no naps - very few tantrums etc around late afternoon.

systemsaddict Tue 04-Jan-11 14:59:23

OK, so maybe it's just a question of getting through the 'hell for a few weeks' stage. This is all new to me, my son napped until he started school, he'd sleep 3.5 hours in the afternoon and still go down for 8pm! So I don't fully understand this whole 'dropping the nap' process grin hearing other people's experiences is very helpful.

strandednomore Tue 04-Jan-11 15:03:19

You really do need to drop the nap. It's horrible and a difficult time but you just have to go through it. I have a friend with a son coming up to 3 and she's been going through the same thing as you - he also naps (sometimes for 2 hours!) and then won't sleep; on the other hand if she doesn't let him nap he is very difficult and/or falls asleep in the afternoon. I have told her if she wants her evening back she just has to do it!

Anyway distraction is definitely the way to go - does she like baths? Could you put her in the bath with lots of toys and bubbles at about 4pm, then tea at 5, some Tv and books before bed time?

She will adjust, I promise.

strandednomore Tue 04-Jan-11 15:06:18

How long does she nap for? With dd2 I just cut the nap time down gradually so eventually she was having about half an hour 1-1.30pm, which seemed to be enough to keep her going until bedtime. This was when she was about 2.5yrs, when she dropped it altogether. She was still cranky in the afternoon, but bearable.

systemsaddict Tue 04-Jan-11 15:10:20

She naps normally between 1 and 2 hours. I need ammunition too - dp looks after her 2 days a week and is convinced she 'needs' the nap (more like he does!) - but he isn't losing his evenings the way I am ... (I work FT and I think there's a bit of missing mummy - separation anxiety going on too, if it's him sat next to her and not me she howls).

strandednomore Tue 04-Jan-11 15:12:36

I remember dreading the day when dd1 dropped her afternoon nap. It was great to get that time to myself.

I couldn't wait with dd2 - it makes life so much easier not to have to fit everything round her nap!

ShowOfHands Tue 04-Jan-11 15:12:41

DD dropped all naps at 12 months. She's 3.8 now.

She goes to bed at 10pm without fail. She just doesn't need sleep. I hope this isn't the same with your dd!

systemsaddict Tue 04-Jan-11 15:17:11

Erk SOH that's a bit scary!! My fear is that she's inherited dp's body clock, he was up until 3am the other night - lost track of time ... How do you manage to stay sane without getting any evening time?

ShowOfHands Tue 04-Jan-11 15:37:26

I quite like it. smile She plays quite happily, does jigsaws, draws etc. I read my book/write/draw and we chat about the day. I'm just used to it.

I stay up late too. She just takes after me I think. She goes to bed at 10pm but I stay up till 1am or later.

systemsaddict Tue 04-Jan-11 15:46:10

Ah OK - I would go to bed at 10 or earlier given the chance! Maybe I need to insist on them both getting used to dp settling her; he would still get his 'me time' afterwards, as he isn't in bed till 1 most nights.

mum295 Fri 07-Jan-11 09:30:14

If it helps, my DD's nursery phases out naps by letting a child have them on alternate days only. Might also allow you to compare routines, see what works best for her.

DD is almost 2.5 and we were phasing out her naps before Christmas, but she was ill over Christmas and has seemed to need them again. If we let her nap, she won't go to sleep before 8.30pm, so am looking forward to getting back to an earlier bedtime!

Are you moving her to a bed soon? It does disrupt them at first, but if things are already this bad, you may as well get it all over and done with at the same time?

We have recently stopped DD's bedtime milk, as she was relying on it to go to sleep, and that has helped. Also, if I rub her back a little bit, she goes to sleep much faster.

Good luck!

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