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My 3 1/2 year old refuses to nap, but still needs it! Help!

My son has is 3 1/2 and trying to give up his naps. We lay him down and he bounces and sings and plays for up to two hours sometimes before we finally give up. How do you make a kid who says he's not tired go to sleep??? We use 1 -2 -3 Magic with him, and have tried counting him to get him to lay quietly, but that doesn't seem to work either. He is now melting down every day round 4 pm in a raging temper tantrum (which is rarely has) for the slightest correction of behavior. I don't have time to lay with him each day to get him to rest. Any advice?

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Asked by mamacasey1 at 5:22 PM on Apr. 28, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • My kids both quit taking naps at that age, no matter what I tried, they wouldn't sleep. I never layed down with my kids, so that was never an issue, I just started putting them to bed earlier, and when they had melt downs, they were removed from where we were at, usually put in their rooms untill they stoped, or if we were at a friends house, they were put in a room away from us, best of luck, I know that I really mourned my childrens naps lol

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 5:24 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I agree with Zakysmommy, my daughter is 3 as well and doesn't take naps anymore! I just gave up trying to make her, in the end I prefer her to stay awake cuz she goes to bed easy due to no naps!!

    Answer by Deidra08 at 5:27 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • my daughter takes naps some days others no nap, depending on if i have to wake her early in the morning (before 9 shes a late sleeper) if i have to wake her she goes to her bedroom w/the door closed for quiet time. she has to lay in bed and read books or lay in bed and close her eyes, she usually ends up passing out after about 15 mins. i figure if shes tired she'll pass out, if not its at least some quiet time for her. maybe you can have him lay on the couch w/his blanket or whatever it is he has to have to sleep with and watch a movie and he can't get up til its over? that way he has some time during the day where he isn't running around, that may help prevent the meltdowns

    Answer by vabchmommy at 5:41 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I also do the quiet times with my 4 & 5 year old. My 5 year old is allowed to play quietly in his room while my youngest naps. My 4 year old goes back and forth with naps (depending on how hard she played) so I allow her to take one of her "quiet time" toys to bed with her (usually polly pockets) then if she falls asleep fine, if not at least I got my quiet time!

    Sometimes I do let me 5 year old watch a movie while the two younger kids sleep. For me it's more important that I get a quite time away from the kids, and that they spend time by themselves either sleeping or playing creatively by themselves.

    Answer by Addicted2photos at 7:34 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • Thanks to everyone for the great advice. I was afraid that the naps were history, but as "zakysmommy" has stated, I was mourning the loss. I put him in his room today after his 4 pm melt down, and he passed out, so I guess he needed it. We are all in a MUCH better mood now!

    Answer by mamacasey1 at 8:27 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

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