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how do you enforce the naptime rule?

my two year old throws a huge fit every time i say its naptime. he'll kick,scream and cry and if i make him stay in bed he'll cry himself to sleep sometimes other times he never falls asleep then come 5ish he's exhausted and cranky what do i do to get him to nap on time?


Asked by sharonrosen3 at 2:28 PM on Jan. 10, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (10)
  • My son never had a problem with naps until around 21 months, and then started getting upset about it like your son.  I actually realized that I was waiting too long.  Instead of waiting until he seemed tired (rubbing eyes, yawning, balance issues), I started earlier in the day and we do the bedtime routine twice a day, lol.  The nap routine starts at 11:30 a.m. now, instead of 1:30-2 p.m.  There are several things he loves- cuddling in my lap, milk, and stories.  All I have to say is let's go have milk and stories and he follows me into his room or I can carry him without a fuss.  I spend about 15 minutes rocking him and reading the sleepytime stories he picks out.  Then I tell him to get in his bed and sing him three lullabies and kiss him goodnight.


    Answer by FreeHomeBiz at 3:55 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • Don't force the nap....maybe try the nap a little later in the day like instead of a noon nap try a 2 or 3 o clock nap....He may just not be ready for a earlier nap of luck!

    Answer by MayMommy07 at 2:30 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • You have two choices (imo)
    1. enforce nap time and start putting in his room a little a head of time. When he won't nap he has quite time in his room playing by himself
    2. get rid of nap time and move bed time up. Deal with the evil toddler until he adjust to the new sleep schedule

    With DS choice two was the road we had to take, he adjusted well, but the evil toddler part was very true for awhile. Some days were very long!
    Good Luck!

    Answer by PeytonNBella at 2:34 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • I started just spending our whole day outside of the house. Soon I found that they were always falling asleep around the same time - 11am, so we stopped going out around 11 and that became naptime. Some days my 2yo throws fits, but mostly as long as I keep our morning schedule the same she will go down just fine.

    Answer by avpriddis at 2:38 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • I have two year old twins so nap time is ESSENTIAL in this house if mommy is going to keep her sanity!

    I've followed the methods from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child since the boys were 6 mos old so that works for us. Occasionally I get some resistance from one of the boys but he usually settles himself down after a bit. We haven't transitioned to beds yet so I'm sure things will get interesting around here for a while when we do make the switch. For now they wake around 6:30, go down for a nap at 1 and we start our pre-bed routine at 7p.m. and lights are out by 7:15 ish.

    Perhaps if you tried to incorporate part of your night time routine into the nap routine it'd help. Give him lunch, let him play a bit while you clean up then say "ok, time to get clean pants and go night night" then take him into his room, change his diaper, put him in bed, read him a story and then lights out.

    Good luck!

    Answer by twinclubmom at 2:40 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • I dont enforce it. My dd is the young and almost 4 so she really doesnt nap anymore. I go with the flow and pick my battles. My kids missing a nap isnt the end of the world and anyway it just means theyll go to bed earlier without much fuss.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:41 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • thank you for the help i was thinking that naptime might becoming to an end (sad) but kinda wanted to keep it cause this is when my daughter goes down too she's 16 months it was a bit of a break for me to get stuff done

    Answer by sharonrosen3 at 2:52 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • Change it to rest time, he must stay on his bed with only books and what got my son and numerous children at the daycare I used to work at to stop fighting it was that I said "You don't have to sleep, just rest and read" most days he would fall asleep but if he didn't at least he had a bit of down time and I had a bit to quiet time too.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 3:16 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • continued ... He is two years old now and it has been amazing. The new nap routine created a wonderful snowball effect.  The shift I made meant that my son napped earlier, and the duration of that nap suddenly doubled! He wasn't overtired, so he got better quality sleep for 90 minutes instead of 45 minutes like before. When he woke up, it was still earlier than his old nap started, so another bonus ... earlier bedtime.


    Answer by FreeHomeBiz at 3:56 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

  • continued .... Instead of bedtime taking hours and being lucky to get him down before 10:30 p.m., we started at 6:30 p.m. and he was asleep by 7 p.m. It gets even better! He wakes up at 7 a.m. just like he always did! I am never dealing with an overtired toddler. He doesn't have meltdowns or tantrums anymore. He is like a different child and have to give the credit to Supernanny techniques.


    Answer by FreeHomeBiz at 3:57 PM on Jan. 10, 2009