Yesterday, I was having coffee with my friend while our kids played. She told me that her 2 year old is fighting a nap. She said that sometimes her 2-year-old will talk or fake cry for 1-2 hours before she either falls asleep or her mom gives up and goes to get her out of bed. When she isn’t napping, she is so tired that she just becomes crabbier and crabbier.
I have been there… with each of four kids. Trying to teach them to stay in their bed for nap time can be a challenge and getting them to fall asleep when they need a nap is even more of a challenge, but there are ways to be sure that your child is getting enough sleep.
Here are a few ideas.
1. “You may need to cut out the nap and have an earlier bed time. My son has been having one nap a day since he was a year old. He often fights his naps so we do not give him one that day. He will just go to sleep earlier and stay asleep until the next day. Maybe all your child needs is some quiet time for an hour or two. Instead of forcing sleep they stay in their rooms for an hour or two in bed with the lights off or low and they can quietly look/ read books or play with quiet toys.” ~Lisa M
2. “Change the time. If she is still taking two naps each day, go down to one. When my son was two, I switched his nap to 10:30/11am because if we missed that window, he would do something similar. He would have a good sized snack and then eat lunch after getting up at about 1:00 pm.“ ~Sandra D
3. “At this age, she probably is ready to give up the nap, but that transition does not always go smoothly. Implementing an earlier bedtime will help with crankiness.” ~Sue B
4. “I tell my two year old son that it is rest time and in order to rest he needs to lay down in his bed. I then read him a page from a chapter book. He is usually asleep when I get three pages in.” ~Becca C
5. “She is probably getting out of the every day naps, maybe try ever other day.” ~ Linda P
6. “Get a 2 inch rest mat for her and lay her where she can watch TV. Then put the same exact calm movie on every single day. She will not realize she is having a nap, if you call it ‘matinee movie time’. She will get bored to sleep, or if not she will learn to have quiet time. Our movie was Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. The music is not too loud. I kept the volume very low.” ~Cindala K
7. “Try waking the child earlier in the morning, around 6:00 or 7:00 am and then going for a ride around lunchtime (after she has a full belly) and see if the ride will put her to sleep.” ~Becky H
8. “My oldest stopped napping around 2 1/2 and started having an earlier bedtime. We incorporated quiet time instead. Sometimes he would still fall asleep during this time. Even as a seven year old, this is a daily thing. ” ~Keri S
9. “My daughter quit taking naps at two. She also would get cranky so I moved bedtime up and she did not know any better. Even though I lost that quiet time I kept my sanity by not fighting it. ” ~Sherilynn T
10. “When my kids started fighting sleep longer then they should have been napping we changed it to quiet time, about 30-45 minutes and that seemed to help get them through to bedtime without the crankies. I would have them either play quietly or read and sometimes even just play games on their tablet. Anything that kept them sedentary so their bodies could rest” ~Kati S