No More Naps?!?!

I am slightly petrified that we are about to say goodbye to our daily nap ritual.  Let me explain.

Little MPB is no longer sleeping well at night – he has pretty much always been a good sleeper, so we know something is up..  He used to sleep from 7pm to 6:30am.  A few months ago we switched his schedule to 7:30pm to 6:30am.

But, in the last few weeks, he’s no longer going to sleep at 7:30pm when it’s bed time.  Instead, every night he lies in bed awake, sometimes talking, playing with his teddies, reading books, crying, etc.  In fact, he’s no going to sleep as late as 9:30pm or even 10pm.

We’ve started to notice on days where he has a good nap (i.e. 1.5 to 2 hours), he does not sleep at night.  As in, he just will not go to sleep.  And on the opposite side of that, when he has a bad nap (i.e. 30 minutes), he goes to sleep at night much easier.

And, when he has a short nap on weekends, it’s not like he’s overly grouchy in the afternoon.  He’s still pretty much his typical 2.5 year old self.

So, I decided to google “when do kids stop napping?”.  I learned that:

“By age 2, most toddlers have given up their morning nap but still need an afternoon snooze to see them through the day. About a quarter of kids stop napping altogether by the age of 3, another half between ages of 3 and 4, with the final quarter continuing to nap until they’re 5 or 6.”

– Baby Centre (source)

Then I decided to ask friends.  I was told “my almost 6 year old still needs a nap!”  I was also told “our oldest had naps until 4.5.  our youngest was done napping by 3”.  So anecdotally, this quote above seems to be fairly accurate.  And, let’s be honest, if there is anything I’ve learned as a part thus far, all kids are different, so hearing that some kids stop napping by 3 and some by 6, just seems to make sense.

So, we decided to talk to daycare about his nap schedule.  It turns out, in the last month he’s become a horrible sleeper there too.  We get a daily report and we’ve been able to see that his typical 1.5-2 hour nap is not happening any more, some days it’s 45 minutes and other days it’s 2 hours.  But, we also learned that he is a light sleeper who wakes up to even the quietest little sounds.  And, during nap time he prefers to talk to himself, and try to wake up his sleeping friends.  To try to let his toddler friends have better naps, they’ve actually had to move his bed over to the pre-school area, where the bigger kids don’t nap as long.

All of this reminds me of 2 years ago, when he dropped his second nap and started only napping once a day.  And so, I suspect we will see his nap vanish in the next month or so.

The plan with daycare is to try letting him sleep for a maximum of 1 hour during the day.  And, if that doesn’t result in an improved overall night-time sleep, then we’ll drop it to 30 minutes.  And from there, we’ll drop his nap entirely.  And on weekends, we’ll do the same thing.

Truthfully, part of me is dreading no weekend naps – that’s my 2 hours to get stuff done!  But, part of me is also very excited to no longer have a mandatory mid-day break. And another part of me is totally okay with dropping the nap, so long as the bedtime routine go back to evening stories and sleep in relatively short-order.

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18 Comments on “No More Naps?!?!

  1. Well, G still needs his nap and he is going to be 5! I say its good he is dropping the naps, because G struggles in school. he is active and playful, but the minute I pick him up , he is fast asleep in the car! He ends up having a power nap at 5:30 PM ( :(((( )

    A, he goes down,pretty consistently at 12:30 PM… and I am glad he does, I hear you on the 2 hour break to get things done…

    One qs – Have you check the molars? they are supposed to get the last set of molars at 3, they dont sleep well then too, when they are active, they forget the pain, but thwn they are lying down, it hurts.. maybe check that out as well..

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  2. My daughter stopped napping at about 2.5 too, for similar reasons. It kinda sucked to not have that break, but the easy bedtime made it worth it 🙂

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  3. T is 5 and hasn’t consistently fallen asleep for naps in at least 2.5 years. But I do still have him take a quiet time of playing in bed with his Legos etc. L is 3 and falls asleep about 25% of the time. I also have him lay down for a quiet time. I honestly don’t really think bedtime got back to normal once they stopped falling asleep during naps. Sadly!! They used to go to sleep quickly but now that they are older, the toss and turn and talk and come out to “pee” about 10x before they fall asleep. 😖

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  4. We popped in a video or a stack of books and enforced quiet time. It’s not the same, I know, but often, a nap, or at least a semi-slumber might ensue….

    Good luck!

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  5. Oh boy, I wish you luck. If it will help his sleep, it probably would be best.

    I am glad my daughter still takes naps, she sleeps pretty well at night too.

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  6. There seems to be a lot of individual variation in when kids give up afternoon naps. One of my twin sons stopped consistently napping (and would rarely nap on weekends) around the same age your son is now. His twin brother would’ve continued to nap until nearly age 4, left wholly to his own devices.

    It’s hard when your toddler gives up naps because, if you’re like most moms, nap time used to be your alone time and time to get things done that can’t be easily accomplished with a toddler (or two) in tow. But at the same time, it does free up your afternoons for activities that used to be difficult/impossible, for fear of upsetting the nap schedule. 😉

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  7. Oh wow, no more naps?! Well it sounds like little MPB is doing ok with the less sleep and that’s all that matters! I look forward to not having a huge interruption in the middle of the day as well, who knows where that will be! Good luck with the transition

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  8. MPB! I freaking thought you auit writing since you weren’t popping up in my newsfeed anymore but lo and behold I unwittingly “unfollowed” you accidentally and have missed a bunch of posts! So glad you are still writing! XOXO

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  9. I missed the nap when M stopped, it was the best time to get things done or watch something not kid friendly 😉. But it is nice not to be on such a schedule. I feel the same about E dreading the loss of that nap, but glad not to plan things around an afternoon nap.

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  10. My 2 year old (he turned 2 a fortnight ago) has been on maximum 1 hour naps for about a month and I will drop it back down to 45 minutes after Christmas. I forsee he will be mostly done napping by 2.5. We have the odd no nap day even now when he has slept in or had a catnap in the car.

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  11. H still naps at daycare but for only about 40 minutes or so. But on weekends, unless we go for a car ride, he won’t nap at home. He hasn’t for months now. I’ve started implementing some quiet time where we hang out on our bed and he can watch some cartoons and usually I drift in and out a little. He typically doesn’t fall asleep but I’m at least getting a little break. He’s always been a horrible napper so I’ve never been able to rely on that time for getting anything done. Totally sucks because pretty much all my friends with kids would rave about having 2-3 hour breaks from their kids every afternoon and would get so much done. Here I was sprinting through the shower and speed emptying the dishwasher and that was all I could get done before he woke up! Anyway. Over the weekend I decided to try to move his bedtime to earlier and attempt to skip the afternoon driving nap I’ve come to rely on. It seemed to work and not only that, he seemed to break through the insanely early wake ups he’s been having lately. So that’s a win! Kids + sleep = not a lot of fun sometimes!

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  12. Charlotte dropped the nap sometime over the summer—shortly before she turned 3, I think. We only force the issue if we know she’s seriously overtired. It really is nice not to have to schedule life around nap time. Plus, it’s made bedtime dramatically easier overall.

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  13. Holly is dropping hers too! She still naps every few days and daycare let her sleep too long despite me asking them not to which drives me mad. I don’t mind giving up the daytime nap if it makes bedtime easier as right now it’s painful and never ending!!!!! So I totally feel you on the late sleep time at night.

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  14. As you know we’ve been going through the nap transition too. I don’t even know what to wish for at nap time anymore. Are you still doing a quite time? We have and that’s helped tremendously. I think this age is so hard because they do need some sort of nap but any sleep delays their nighttime sleep. I’ve always been told if they are still falling asleep on their own that is key and it sounds like little MPB is doing just that! Luke is currently back on the nap (since my parents have been in town to wear him out) but he’s falling asleep later and later and waking up before 6:00. Blahhhh!

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  15. I never realised I’d be so obsessed with naps, but they really do dictate everything. Just when we seem to get a routine something changes. Some days I look forward to not having them, but I would miss that middle of the day cup of tea in peace

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  16. Eva stopped napping at the end of the summer (she was not quite 3.5) and I was devastated. I so miss my daily 2-3 hours to get things done. The only perks are that we no longer have to schedule our days around napping, and she goes to bed at 6:30. Least favorite developmental milestone, lol.

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