View Full Version : Naptime????
04-03-2008, 01:03 PM
So... my son is 3, and I never know whether to make him take a nap or not. I know a lot of parents make their kids take a nap every day. The only time that I make him take a nap is if he's having a difficult day. You know the constant whining and disobeying. But otherwise if he is just playing and content I don't insist that he have a nap. If he gets tired he will go lay down on the couch and fall asleep, but somedays he just go, goes until bedtime. Personally I would love it if he did take a nap because it would give me a break. But I would also feel bad if I made him lay down and he wasn't tired. What do you moms do?
04-03-2008, 03:36 PM
Every child is different, BUT there is a reason why even in preschools and kindergartens children have a mandatory "rest time" / "nap time". No matter how much he may seem on some days that he doesn't need a nap, he does. Most pediatricians recommend that most children until age 4 (sometimes even 5) need at least an hour of downtime or naptime in the middle of the day. Imagine all the new things he's learning at that age! All the things he's doing. It's exhausting. My daughter outgrew naps when she was almost 5, but because it had always been a part of her routine, she still takes a rest time after school (she is now 6 and in the first grade). Maybe if you start to make it a routine out of it, he will follow your cue. Consistency is key though. I remember my daughter seemed completely thrown off track if I tried to put her down later or earlier because of an appointment or that we just weren't home at her normal naptime! Try telling him that he can look at a book or color, anything he wants to do as long he can do it quietly, in his bed - odds are, if you turn the lights down low, say no t.v. but give him options, he'll fall asleep. Good Luck!
04-04-2008, 10:52 AM
I agree with autymsmommy. There are lots of times I put my almost 18mo old down for her nap and she doesn't seem tired. There are lots of times she doesn't WANT to take a nap, but since she is a child she doesn't need to know what she needs. I'm the parent, and I am the one that needs to know her needs. She takes a nap at the same time every day, although we have adjusted it over time to fit her development. Our pediatrician told me to expect her to need at least an hour until she is 4-5 yrs old. She sleeps 2 hrs a day right now.
We have a consistent routine for nap time and bed time, so even when she thinks she doesn't need a nap once we start the routine it gets her into that sleepy time mode. And the naptime is the same every single day (11a-1p to match up with the daycare schedule). I do not wait for her to show signs of being sleepy, because then she is too tired to cooperate usually and it turns into a fight. I tell her when she's sleepy. :) There are times she screams or cries when she first goes into her crib, but like I said - I know better than she does. And I don't waver or back down ever (unless she is ill). If it is naptime, it is naptime, and until she goes to sleep she is staying in her room. If she only sleeps for 30 minutes so be it, at least she got some rest. Only when I was first getting her used to this and when I was breaking the binky habit did she put up a really long fight. Now days, it is so ingrained, she is asleep within minutes.
Not to mention how nice it is to have that time every day to do some things without the little one! Nice downtime for mommy and/or daddy!!
04-04-2008, 12:49 PM
I think every child is different and at some point there is only so much sleeping or resting they will do.
I have a friend that puts her son (age 2 1/12) to bed very early and is still trying to get 2 naps out of him. It's just too much. She either needs to give him a later bed time or cut out one or maybe both of the naps.
You just have to see what works for your child. To the OP, I think you are doing the right thing by playing it by ear, but it wouldn't hurt to try to give your son some rest time in the pm and see if he'll rest. I wouldn't "make" him, if he really resists it. My daughter got to a point that she just was not tired during the day, but she'd go to bed early.
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