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I drive around for over an hour every day while my toddler sleeps...

(20 Posts)
shoesontheglasslamp Mon 11-Feb-13 21:23:52

How do I stop?!

It started when he was showing real anxiety at being put in his cot for his lunchtime nap.
He has always gone to sleep in the evenings really calmly, but when he was upset about napping, this transferred to the evenings too.

He is 2 yrs 3 months, not very verbal so can't explain what the problem is. He totally needs the nap, is lovely when he has it and bedtime is fine.

I'm totally prepared to change to walking him in the buggy in the better weather, but its just not practical at the moment.

Ideally of course I'd like him to nap in his cot like he used to, but I've got no idea how to get back to that.

I'm not happy with CIO/CC, and previously gradual withdrawal has really upset him.

Can anyone suggest anything that might help us out?

grants1000 Mon 11-Feb-13 23:20:08

Instead of driving all the time, stop for a bit, leave the engine running, then turn it off, start weaning him off the car like that? I used to do this with my 2nd DS, a bugger for a afternoon nap, I used to drive round my village for a bit, then sit on the driveway, engine on, then got it to off eventually, whilst he still slept!

omama Tue 12-Feb-13 00:14:18

What time does he usually nap in the car? Often lo's will nap way earlier in the car than they would do in the cot - could it perhaps be that you were trying too early for a cot nap & this is why he got so upset??

My 2.5yo ds gets up around 7am & for the last few months has napped at around 1.30pm, now its approaching 2pm. If your ds gets up at similar time but naps earlier i'd give the later nap a try in the cot.

Or like pp says & stop the car, once he's in deep sleep. Must be costing you a fortune!

shoesontheglasslamp Tue 12-Feb-13 08:09:07


I have tried stopping the engine, but only once, and not gradually enough probably. That's one to try for sure.
He wakes around 7, and I start driving around 1.30, he drops off between then and 2, so I think the timing is ok.
It is costing a fortune, but do far worth it for the improvements in the rest of the day and evening...

Machadaynu Tue 12-Feb-13 08:22:19

I used to end up doing this sometimes, but usually managed to get the kid to sleep in the double bed with me next to her. Sometimes I escaped, sometimes we both slept. She never did like the cot - sometimes it took a long time, and once or twice we didn't get a nap sad

I also used to stop the engine. Works best if you have the radio on and stop the engine a little after you stop the car - and stop the car from a slow speed so the change in engine noise isn't too great. The radio masks almost all of it then so you hardly notice. Be ready to turn the radio down as it all of a sudden seems loud once you stop the engine.

hazeyjane Tue 12-Feb-13 08:30:12

Ds (2.7) is the same with naps - has to be moving. I don't drive so we go out in the buggy rain, snow or whatever the weather! At least in the buggy you can walk to a coffee shop and eat cake whilst they snooze!

poachedeggs Tue 12-Feb-13 08:32:32

At that age I'd move him to a bed and read him stories. The change will be exciting for him. Driving for an hour each day with a 2 year old is mad.

Also, why isn't it practical to walk? At least that's greener and you're benefiting too.

But lose the cot, really. He'll be fit to climb out soon anyway.

Woolfey Tue 12-Feb-13 08:46:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

megandraper Tue 12-Feb-13 08:47:28

It probably won't go on much longer. Both my DSs gave up their naps at about 2.6. I know some children go on much longer, but I think that's about average. You might only have a few more months left.

Iggly Tue 12-Feb-13 08:52:40

That nap looks quite late. I'd be trying to nap around 1. Did you try staying with him until he fell asleep or just leave him?

mewkins Tue 12-Feb-13 22:50:18

Same here in that there is no way dd will now nap in her cot and it's been that way since she turned 2. She simple isn't tired enough. she will ver occasionally drop off in the car if it's near 2pm but can only have 30mins or else won't fall asleep in the evening. I suspect that your ds is dropping his nap too...

Cakecrumbsinmybra Wed 13-Feb-13 13:01:31

How long has he been avoiding his cot?

DS2 is 2.3 as well and hasn't been napping in the day since before Xmas, much to my disappointment at the time. I find that if he has a cold or a poor nights sleep, then he'll go down, but otherwise I don't even bother now. We had a couple of over tired bathtimes at the beginning, but this didn't last long. And he's out like a light at 7pm, which is the plus side.

If I were you, I would try just biting the bullet and continuing with your day without the nap. Have a little quiet time in front of the TV after lunch. Bring bedtime forward 30 mins if you have to for a couple of days. But nap times are nearly over for you, I'm afraid!

I remember driving round with DS1 when he first dropped his nap as he was just under 2 and we'd starting renovating so it was noisy. It was miserable driving around and I stopped. I found he went for a short nap on the 2 days he went to nursery, just lying on a mat next to another child. But at home, he would not sleep at all. I genuinely think most children can manage without a nap after 2.

shoesontheglasslamp Wed 13-Feb-13 19:29:57

Thanks everyone for your replies.

We did try no nap days before Christmas as we thought he might be dropping his nap. He started classic overtired signs of early waking, distressed bedtimes etc. I could give it another go though.

I also tried getting him to chill on the sofa after lunch, but he just bounced around and did his usual watching tv standing up! I didn't persevere, so maybe that's a thought too. He's never slept anywhere at home other than bed, so it might take some explaining...

He's been avoiding since mid Nov, but I feel that he really needs the sleep, or at least did when we last tried dropping the nap. I used to just settle him then leave him, as I still do in the evenings, when he's fine. He got confused with me staying with him or going back in but not getting him up again. He just didn't understand, and that confused and panicked him more.

He's a creature of habit - what has been will always be, and can be anxious, so I need to tread carefully.

I'll be quite happy when he's ready to drop his nap, as it means we can do/go whatever whenever, but know that he's not a happy chappie if overtired.

Thanks all for the food for thought.

poozlepants Wed 13-Feb-13 19:41:32

I used to do this for about 2 or 3 months before DS was 2. He was never a napper and would only sleep for 20 mins a day from he was 6 weeks old and only if I walked him in the buggy. Even nursery failed to get him to sleep.
Then he tried to drop his nap about 21 months but like your Ds became overtired.
So I used to drive around for 20 minutes before he fell asleep then drive back home and sit outside the house. The crucial bit is to work out when to switch the engine off without waking them. I discovered if I parked in the right place I could a wifi signal and used to do my shopping, bills etc whilst I was waiting.
Eventually around 23 months he stopped sleeping when I took him out and no more naps.
I doubt if you will have to do it for much longer but if it works for you now do it.

shoesontheglasslamp Wed 13-Feb-13 22:09:55

Thanks poozle you've confirmed what I thought - this too shall pass, and better a rested child than a rested car..!

Might just take out some shares in BP though.

melrose Thu 14-Feb-13 15:05:26

Why don't you take him for a walk in his buggy instead? All 3 of mine 9now 8, 5 and 1) ahve always selpt in their pram/buggy in the day, usually outside unless raining. Just put a snuggly coat/ hat and blanket on him! Much healthier for all of you than driving around i the car surely.

lazzaroo Thu 14-Feb-13 15:33:17

I used to take mine out in car when she felt she no longer needed nap & I disagreed! It was that difficult in between phase. Pushchair wouldn't work as she would fight going in or staying in if she thought I was trying to get her to sleep! Car was best option fr all. I just had to come up with reason for being in car at right time! I didn't have to keep driving though. Took a while to work out optimum time, but usually if I returned home 5-10 mis after se fell asleep I could transfer her to bed.

It wasn't long before she dropped nap entirely.

shoesontheglasslamp Sun 10-Mar-13 16:12:39

I'm back!
Due to DS being poorly, and not caring where he sleeps, we have (so far hmm) got him to nap in his cot.

The problem now is that he wakes after one sleep cycle of 45 mins, but wanting to be awake, really upset, but not able to go off again.

Any suggestions to help?

sleepdodger Sat 16-Mar-13 00:22:12

Buggy in place of car?
It's a pain but my non napping toddler has started to concede that a buggy can also be a comfy place to snooze!!

PoppyWearer Sat 16-Mar-13 00:24:20

I would start a new thread, TBH, because you will probably get new folks onto the thread only reading the original title as I did.

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