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Old 06-21-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

I think the saying is, "one nap is too much but no nap is not enough."

DS has been a very good sleeper and napper since he was about 1. He is 3 1/4 now. He previously would take 2-3 hour afternoon naps and go to bed around 8 pm, get up anywhere between 6 am-7 am. He is usually a pretty cheerful, agreeable boy.

For the past 6 months or so, he has been taking his usual long afternoon naps...but he can't fall asleep at night until 9...or 10...which is just too late to me.

I've tried several times to shorten the nap to 60 min, 90 min, or 2 hours, but he just ends up cranky from being woken up and still stays up late. I don't think he is just being difficult about going to bed at night, I really think he just isn't tired on the days he gets the nap.

I've also tried giving up the nap altogether, and it will be okay for a day or two, but he will eventually turn into one hot mess of a tired 3 year old. He will fall asleep closer to 8 pm at night, but is awake around 6 am which isn't quite enough sleep.

Any advice for this stage? Am I being silly to not like him up until 9:30 or 10 pm? Just wondering what other mamas have done at this transition point.

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Last edited by alaskamum; 06-21-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

have you tried moving his nap time a little earlier?

(and not silly at all, after 9pm is kind of my recooperation time (and to spend with DH alone, where we can watch an adult movie if we so choose, and can just focus on us or eat a snack we might not really want the kids to have. hah)
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

It can be a frustrating transition. When my kids started to outgrow naps I'd start my naping 2 days third day no nap. If still not tired at night I'd nap them every other day. Then it would be 2 days up third day nap. Then with my son at 5 he still needed a nap once a week. It worked for us. It wasn't a cut and dry no more naps but a very gradual transition.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

I'm in the same boat as you with a 3.5 year old. I would actually prefer to skip a nap and her to go to bed earlier but it doesn't work well for us either. What we have started doing is letting her look at books in her bed with the closet light on after we get her all tucked in at around 8. She can stay up for as long as she wants and is quiet. If she comes out or calls for us, it means she is ready for bed. She usually looks at books for 30 minutes to an hour and is asleep by 9.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:05 PM   #5
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

Quote:
Originally Posted by champatlife View Post
have you tried moving his nap time a little earlier?

(and not silly at all, after 9pm is kind of my recooperation time (and to spend with DH alone, where we can watch an adult movie if we so choose, and can just focus on us or eat a snack we might not really want the kids to have. hah)
I've got it as early as I can manage with our current schedule; lunch starts at 11 or 11:30 and is done around 12; dd goes down around 12:30, 1 at the latest; so ds goes down at 1 if all goes well with dd.

And yeah, I have no time to relax at night...,let alone talk to DH. I forgot to mention that dd is a hardcore 7 pm-5 am sleeper so I'm up early too; I've tried many times to gradually move her later so she could be 8pm-6am, but she seems hardwired to get up at 5. Maybe I'll try again though.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nursenmom View Post
I'm in the same boat as you with a 3.5 year old. I would actually prefer to skip a nap and her to go to bed earlier but it doesn't work well for us either. What we have started doing is letting her look at books in her bed with the closet light on after we get her all tucked in at around 8. She can stay up for as long as she wants and is quiet. If she comes out or calls for us, it means she is ready for bed. She usually looks at books for 30 minutes to an hour and is asleep by 9.
That is a good idea. We might try that.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #8
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

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Originally Posted by maple79vt View Post
It can be a frustrating transition. When my kids started to outgrow naps I'd start my naping 2 days third day no nap. If still not tired at night I'd nap them every other day. Then it would be 2 days up third day nap. Then with my son at 5 he still needed a nap once a week. It worked for us. It wasn't a cut and dry no more naps but a very gradual transition.
That's a good idea too. I will keep that in mind.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

Thanks ladies for the suggestions. My DS is 2 (will be 3 in August), and we're in a similar boat.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Re: Any advice for 3 year old on the verge of giving up naps but not quite...

We are there too mama:-( They are a mess without the nap, but they have been fighting it lately too:-(
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