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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Kendra says:

    Lauren, obviously I’m in the same boat as you, and my son was never able to climb out of his crib before we transitioned him to a toddler bed. But I just had a quick suggestion. We had such great luck using a Sleep Rules poster. That made it clear to him that he would be positively rewarded for staying in his bed. Your son might be just so excited that he can climb out of his bed, that he’s not inclined to lay still and relax, and thus he skips his nap. Perhaps if you motivated him to stay in his bed by promising him a treat (we used a chocolate chip) when he wakes, he would do it.

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ Kendra — thanks for sharing this tip with Lauren! Love it when moms collaborate with other moms. 🙂

  2. Lauren says:

    So we are still dealing with this also! His nap has been getting later and later. last week he had three days in a row where he tried to nap strike. so then he either falls asleep super late – sometimes as late as 3:30 – or if I need to go out later in the day he falls asleep in the car. or just skips it all together!! I’m not ready for this!! 🙂 Today he climbed out of the crib so now we have that as an issue. If I try to stay in there he will just play and engage me, but now if I leave he will try to climb out. He seems tired but its almost like the second he gets in the crib he gets a second wind. I’m not sure what us going on – of its a regression how long should I expect it to last as its been going on for over a month now. He gets up every day around 7/7:30 and I put him down between 1/1:30 and wake him by 4. Bedtime is 8:30. Am I doing something wrong? And how do I deal with the crib escaping?
    Thanks!

    • Emily DeJeu says:

      @ Lauren – Sounds tough. 🙁 Sorry you’re dealing with this! I will say that this isn’t abnormal or anything, so no worries about that. As for how to deal with the crib escaping – here’s an article to help: https://www.babysleepsite.com/toddlers/toddler-climbing-out-of-crib-tips/

      If your son is 2.5 or so (not sure, since you don’t mention his age), then I’d suggest transitioning to a bed. Usually, when a toddler is old enough to consistently climb out of the crib, it’s time to make the switch. This won’t make him nap any better, of course. I’d suggest dealing with his nap strikes by simply rolling with them. On the days he won’t nap, try leaving him in his bed with some toys and books, and letting him play for a bit. Then, bump up bedtime on the days he doesn’t nap.

      Hope this helps, Lauren! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Kendra — Anytime! Thanks again for reaching out. 🙂

  4. Kendra says:

    Actually Emily, that is very helpful – thank you! Especially knowing what to prioritize as far as whether to protect his sleep tank or let him get a little overtired – so thank you for that confirmation. He averages about 11.5 hours in a 24 overall. I do try daily to get that number up, just in case we could squeeze in a little more sleep and hedge off overtiredness, but that just seems to be his number. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to continue to try 🙂 Thanks for caring and letting me know I’m not alone!

  5. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Kendra — admittedly, this is tricky. This probably won’t help you feel any better, but I am STILL figuring this out with my almost 5 year old! He can go days without napping, but after maybe a week of no naps, he has a day where he just falls apart by mid-afternoon. Then, he takes a nap, and ends up not falling asleep until 9:30 or 10 p.m. that night. Not a great situation! So just know that I haven’t exactly figured this out, either 😉

    Here’s what I’d suggest: on the days when he doesn’t nap, be willing to move bedtime earlier. You don’t necessarily have to move it earlier, but watch his cues carefully; if he seems sleepy before bedtime, then make bedtime earlier. Yes, as you say, this will mean more nighttime sleep, which will probably mean no nap the next day, which will just perpetuate the cycle…but I do think this is preferable to letting him get overtired. That would no doubt cause even bigger problems for you both.

    In the meantime, keep putting him down for a nap, but set things up so that if he doesn’t nap, that’s okay, too — leave some toys and books in his bed, for instance, and let him know that if he doesn’t feel like sleeping, he can play quietly in his bed. This way, you get a (semi) break in the afternoon, and if your little guy does need a nap, he’s set up to get one.

    Does this help? I really don’t think there’s an easy solution to this; odds are he’ll continue to nap on some days and not on others. If it helps, my 6.5 year old son is totally past this now; he doesn’t nap anymore unless he’s sick. He probably made the transition to not needing naps at all when he was about 5.5. So I’m crossing my fingers that the same will prove true for my almost 5 year old son. We’ll see!

    Thanks for commenting, Kendra! Feel free to ask follow-up questions via the comments, too, and to keep us posted on your son’s progress! 🙂

  6. Kendra says:

    I have a question regarding my almost 2.25 year old. We’ve had a fairly consistent schedule now for about a month with wakeup around 7:15am, 1-1.5 hour Nap around 1 (gradually been later, around 1:30 these past 2 weeks) and bedtime at 8. Some days he simply doesn’t nap (he only napped 4 out of 7 days last week). Of course he is cranky in the afternoons, and it’s easy (and tempting) for me to put him down at 6:30 on those days. But then the next morning he has almost 13 hours of sleep under his belt and I feel like it perpetuates the no-nap problem. We’re kind of in a yo-yo, despite my best efforts to even it out. So my question is, on the days that he does not nap, How much earlier should his bedtime be? And should I consider bumping his naptime later in an effort to at least try to insure he takes one?

  7. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Camille – I hear you, on the lack of downtime! Rest time has provided a little of that for me, but it’s not the same as a nap. My latest issue with a lack of downtime has been happening at night. I’m finding that my 6.5 year old really only needs about 9-9.5 hours of sleep at night, so lately, he’s been falling asleep around 9 p.m. And since I head to bed around 9:30 or 10:00, I’m getting almost no time alone with my husband! Still trying to figure that one out…

    Thanks for commenting, Camille! 🙂

  8. Camille says:

    My 28 month old daughter has been napping on and off lately. This week, when she has napped, she’s been in her room at bedtime talking and playing around in her crib until 9:30pm or 10pm at night! This is after a 2 hr nap from 2pm-4pm. I think this is way too late for a toddler to be up at night. She’ll still wake up at 7am the next morning.
    If she doesn’t nap, she’s asleep by 6:30pm and up at 7am the next morning. Although she’s definitely exhausted on the no nap days, I’m wondering if that’s actually better than her being up so late at night. It’s difficult for us parents to have any “down time” when we’re listening and worrying about her falling asleep. It’s also difficult to not have any adult “down time” during the day when she doesn’t nap. Bah!!

  9. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Sarah – I’d say that the vast majority of 18 month olds still need an afternoon nap, in order to get all the sleep they need. But a small percentage of 18 month olds probably can shift away from the nap and be okay.

    Here’s what I’d do – I’d treat this as a sleep regression. There’s one that happens around 18 months (https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-patterns/why-18-month-sleep-regression-can-be-hardest/) It’s likely that this is what’s causing the sudden ‘nap strike’ your little guy is going through. Keep offering that nap, and see if things change in the next few weeks.

    Hope this helps, Sarah! Thanks for reaching out 🙂

  10. Sarah says:

    My son has only just gone 18 months. Over the last week or so he has been fighting those afternoon sleeps. My son has always been a pretty good sleeper, sleeping a full nights sleep and 2.5hrs sleeps during his lunch time nap. Then those lunch time naps turned from 2.5 hrs to 1hr and then just 20mins over the last month and now he just wont go down unless we have had a big morning of running around at a play gym or something.. Is this a problem? should my 18 month old still be sleeping during the day?? he goes to be between 7 and 7:30 at night and will sleep till about 7:30 just about every morning. In fact today he slept till 8:10am..

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