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to go "cold turkey" on daytime naps for 19 month old?

44 replies

TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 20:35

19 month DD would typically get up around half 7, have about an hour nap after lunch around 1pm, then go down at half 7pm, settle straight away and sleep through the night.

Sometime recently she stopped going down "nicely" at 7:30pm and started various shenanigans including taking off her pj trousers, standing there and crying/complaining loudly and generally raising merry hell till about half 8, 9pm on a really bad night.

She would then want to sleep till 9am or well after 8am which was bad for school run - it was suddenly all messed up.

My son had dropped daytime naps by this age - I remember him doing it after my 1st trimester of pregnancy with DD and I had to stop having a nap myself Grin - and had been half expecting her to just stop having one at some point but instead her night time sleep is getting all messed up.

This morning she slept till about 8:15am after not settling last night till nearly 9 and DH and I agreed that we would keep her up instead of let her have a nap. We did. We put her in bed at 7:30pm. She slept.

Am I unreasonable?

I suppose I'm asking because there may be times where she is visibly tired and flagging or falls asleep in the car on the school run (I propose that I would just wake her when we arrive either there or home) so really the question is, is that so bad if it means she's not distressed at night, or is daytime tiredness worse than nighttime distress...

Did anyone else do this? Or are you of the "never wake a sleeping baby" or baby-led to the extent that if she's not tired at half 7 then keep her up...let her sleep in in the morning school of thought?

OP posts:

tinierclanger · 22/05/2011 20:40

I think that's quite young to give up naps altogether. Without wanting to state the obvious, have you tried just putting her to bed later? 8pm bedtime?


NickNacks · 22/05/2011 20:42

I think it's more likely that the lighter evenings have upset her usual routine rather than her not being tired.

Most children are still having a daytime nap until around 2.5 yrs (I'm a CM so have a range of experience on it).

I'm also a believer than sleep breeds sleep so cutting out her nap may actually make it more difficult together down at night time due to being ovetired.

I am of the 'never wake a sleeping baby' schoolof thought and always let them sleep when they need to.


babybythesea · 22/05/2011 20:42

Try it and see. My dd was 2 in Jan and still needs a nap most days or she's ratty and horrible by bedtime. She sleeps fine, although we can sometimes hear her talking to herself at 9.00. She doesn't need us to go in though, so I don't mind, and she wakes at roughyl 7.00am every day regardless. Some days (especially if we've not done much) she can cope without a nap. Some days she can't, so I try and make time for a nap each day just in case. Then if she doesn't sleep, we have some quiet time drawing or something instead.
It's not set in stone, each child is different. My sister napped in the afternoon right up until she went to school!
I think you have to judge your child and the situation, maybe try something new and be prepared to have to change again if it doesn't work. Maybe if napping for an hour doesn't work, and you try no nap and that doesn't work either, try waking her after half an hour?


compo · 22/05/2011 20:45

My dd gave up her nap at 18 months
every child is different
go with what works for you


TragicallyHip · 22/05/2011 20:45

I guess every child is different but I didn't think they drop the lunch nap till after 2yo. Ds is 22 months and has 2-2.5 hours at lunch, maybe I'm just lucky Grin

What about waking her up at 7.30am and putting down 7.30/8pm?


TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 20:46

"Without wanting to state the obvious, have you tried just putting her to bed later? 8pm bedtime"

The trouble with that really is that she then sleeps in in the morning and cuts into the school run - or wants to - so you end up "waking a sleeping baby" anyway, but it feels much worse and you are sort of getting the worst of both worlds because your evening gets later and later.

OP posts:

CarGirl · 22/05/2011 20:46

It is very early to give up day time naps but you say your ds did at that age.

If she goes to sleep late I would still get her up early/usually time and then put her down for her nap a little early and wake up strictly after 45 mins and see if that cracks it before giving up her nap altogether.


TragicallyHip · 22/05/2011 20:48

How dark is her room? As someone else said maybe it's because it's lighter in the evening.


TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 20:49

"It is very early to give up day time naps but you say your ds did at that age.

If she goes to sleep late I would still get her up early/usually time and then put her down for her nap a little early and wake up strictly after 45 mins and see if that cracks it before giving up her nap altogether"

Fair enough - why though?

If the overall sleep ends up being the same, and you end up waking her twice in the day when she is otherwise asleep, what is the rationale?

Not disagreeing so much as just trying to work out what the benefit to her would be...

OP posts:

mtw · 22/05/2011 20:49

mine is 4 .5 and still needs a nap, her younger brother would happily do without, ALL are different


tinierclanger · 22/05/2011 20:50

To be honest, it sounds like she's where DS (nearly 3) is too - getting ready to give it up. So some days he naps, we have to put him to bed later, some days he doesn't, and has to go to bed even earlier than usual, some days he just cat naps for 10 minutes - we're all over the show but I'm starting to get the hang of a floating bedtime, and just accepting the loss of some adult time some evenings. I find if we push bedtime back about half an hour on nap days, he goes to sleep ok- if we don't, it takes about an hour and a half to settle him, so it seems to work out better that way!


TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 20:50

Her room is pitch black but the lighter evenings theory does make some sense in that I think melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) is released at dusk. I dont think its just that though, as its a fairly recent thing whereas light nights have been here for a while - feels like ages since it was dark before her bedtime...

OP posts:

TragicallyHip · 22/05/2011 20:51

Oh I hope Ds still has naps at 4.5! Grin


TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 20:53

Not to dripfeed but there has been the odd day where she just hasn't gone down at nap time and I've given up and she's made it to bedtime fine and just slept well that night, so I do feel in my gut she's pretty much ready to give it up and certainly able to get by without it.

You might wonder why I'm asking at all but I knew people would offer various alteratives which are nice to know particularly if it doesn't work out, and fun to discuss (always great to hear why people feel differently etc)

OP posts:

TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 20:54

"Oh I hope Ds still has naps at 4.5!"

Do you though? Do you not find it a bind sometimes trying to factor it in so they dont have it on a short car journey then wake up too soon, or during the school run, and in fact, at 4.5 would he perhaps actually be at school? (depends when he was born)...

OP posts:

NickNacks · 22/05/2011 20:57

45 mins theory is probably because that is one full sleep cycle for a baby. Although I agree with you, OP I don't see the point in waking the up unless you need to go out.


TragicallyHip · 22/05/2011 20:58

Um yeah I was kind of joking!

I don't worry about his nap, if he has half hour in the car he is fine. If we are out and he has no nap he is fine. It's just nice to have a couple of hours peace in the day sometimes!


TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 21:05

"It's just nice to have a couple of hours peace in the day sometimes"

Bloody oath. That's why I'm pondering it I guess...apart from her needs, its a toss up between having a nice peaceful hour or so in the middle of the day but then having at least an hour of bedlam distress at night plus waking up at the wrong time (unless woken) or simply getting her bedtime and wake time right and getting rid of the nap.

I suppose another option would be to get her up quite early in the morning (half 6 or 7am) so she's tired enough to have a nap and go to bed around half 7. But that's just silly. I've been blessed with a couple of really great sleepers who will happily sleep till half 7 if not 8, and sure during the week there is the school run and all of that but the weekend is much nicer for having a slightly later start.

I guess that's why the most obvious solution is if she can do without it, to have her do without it.

It might not work of course - sure it worked today but she might get some "cumulative tiredness" which spanners it...

OP posts:

OhCobblers · 22/05/2011 21:06

Tatty you might find that she only needs an afternoon nap every few days - my eldest was like that.
Youngest DC2 is now 25 months and i've cut her afternoon nap back to one hour. There are are some days (generally on the weekend if we're out) when she won't sleep at all or will catch 20 mins and that will be fine. Thankfully even when i put her down for the night (between 6.30pm - 7pm) and she'll chat or look at a book.


Iggly · 22/05/2011 21:11


There's alot of funny developmental leaps at this age which make young ones a bit off at bedtime. If she's tired in the day she needs it. Can you give more physical activity to help?


cerealqueen · 22/05/2011 21:11

It sounds to me that she doesn't need the nap. My DD gave up her nap at 2, (she protested so much and just did not sleep) if she did sleep, say in the buggy or car in the day the night time put down was hell.

I missed the quiet time a lot, ohhh yes.... but you get used to it.
I know friends who have dropped the nap for the very same reasons you have described. Go for it.


ballstoit · 22/05/2011 21:13

DD2 is 23 months. She has a 20 minute nap at about 12.30, I wake her up for lunch. This seems to work nicely. She manages til bedtime without becoming a cling on, but she goes to sleep quickly and painlessly. Perhaps experimenting with the length of nap is the way forward first?


Iggly · 22/05/2011 21:13

If I were you I'd give her the chance to nap - pushchair/car or at home at around the time she would normally. So she can use it as downtime at the very least?


TragicallyHip · 22/05/2011 21:17

Yes the peace is welcome Grin

I think I would try and get her up at 7.30am and maybe a 45min nap? Or play it by ear and come nap time only put her down if she seems tired.

You might have to try a few things to find out what works.


TattyDevine · 22/05/2011 21:22

I'm all for a bit of quiet time in the middle of the day.

I guess what I can't get my head around is putting her down for a nap, having her protest for quite a while (this doesn't always mean crying but often she will fart about for AGES before going down) only to wake her 20 minutes after she finally goes down...

I guess the real test of whether she "needs" the sleep is the school run. Its long enough in the car that if she is tired, she will sleep. I do believe that if a child does not fall asleep on a reasonably sized car journey, they are not tired. And that if a child falls asleep every time they get in a car, they are overtired, if that makes sense.

Perhaps the answer is to let her have the duration of the school run asleep in the car if she wants it, but not to actively encourage her to sleep in her cot at home (unless she is ill and "demands" it) - bear in mind its been something I've been having to almost cajole her to do, so perhaps this is more child-led than it seems...

OP posts:
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