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2.4 year old won't nap but needs it. What to do?

(5 Posts)
baltimore97 Sat 18-Oct-08 14:05:40

DD1 has always been a champion sleep resistor. Up until a week ago she would have a lunchtime nap, even if it took half an hour of faffing around for her to go off to sleep. She would still willingly go to sleep at 7.30pm for the night. In the last week, however, she has refused to go to sleep. She throws tantrums or sits in her bed and just chats and plays for an hour or so before shouting that she wants out.

At first, I thought that she was probably doing this because she didn't need a sleep any more. However, she is always so tired by the time we go out in the afternoon (3.30ish after DD2 has woken from her nap and had a feed) that she immediately falls asleep in the buggy.

The lack of sleep/fact of having too late a sleep has had an impact on her night time sleep. She will go to bed at the normal time without issue, but wakes up at 6.15/6.30am. Today, after days of early wakings, I have finally managed to get her to have a nap at lunchtime, after a 45min tantrum of epic proportions. She has spent all morning complaining of being tired - and has said she is tired often over the last few days too. She is also grumpy.

What have others in this situation done? Did you just give up the fight and ride out the early mornings and grumpiness until your DC got over the transitional period and was able to make it through the day napless? Or did you persist in getting them to sleep?

I should say that going out in the buggy at regular nap time (1ish) is not an option as DD2 (6mths) is sleeping in her bed - she does not sleep well in the buggy. I have also tried getting DD1 to lie on the sofa with CBeebies on to see if she will drop off, but she watches telly and refuses to sleep.

Any ideas? I'm getting really fed up of my grumpy and tired child.

Flum Sat 18-Oct-08 14:10:56

My dd2 who was 2 in June is just dropping lunchtime nap too. Am gutted as 3rd baby due this week and she used to sleep 2 hours. I have started to put her up there a bit earlier as have to pick up dd1 from school at 2.45 so need her up then.

Anyway she just doesn't go to sleep, just plays and looks at books. I don't really mind as I get a bit of peace anyway. She does fall asleep later if I take the buggy to school - notif she walks though - obviously!

baltimore97 Sat 18-Oct-08 14:24:10

SO are you just going with it Flum? Am I being too uptight? Is your DD grumpy as a result?

ches Sat 18-Oct-08 15:24:09

Tantrums at this age are often about testing their boundaries. It's not a "bad" thing for her to have a tantrum so much as how you deal with it so she learns the right lesson. If you feel that sleep is non-negotiable, then you need to stay calm and win the battle, which it sounds like you did. If she's taking ages to go to sleep, start earlier. If she takes an hour to get off and you want her asleep by noon, start at 11.

pushchair Mon 20-Oct-08 13:29:43

DD3 is 25months and stopped having naps about six weeks ago. We decided to stop them because she too would often not go to sleep in the day if put into her bed and she was taking ages to go to sleep at night if she did have a nap after lunch. At the moment if she doesnt sleep at all during the day she does get incredibly ratty by 4.30 ish and then has a second wind after dinner. She goes down to sleep really well at night now though. Sometimes she naps in her pushchair. This is fine and does not affect her nighttime sleep if its in the morning but any sleep after lunchtime badly affects bedtime. Its a difficult transition time imo and i guess its up to you to decide if its worth the hassle of naps or the stress of overtired child later. We try and avoid pushchair trips after lunch to avoid naps then.

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