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My 3 year old doesn't want to nap anymore.....

My daughter turned 3 in March. She has been a very good napper most of her life. She also sleeps well at night, usually 11-12 hours. She now seems to think that she doesn't need a nap in the afternoon. I would be OK with that, except for the fact that she is a whiny, miserable mess from about 3-7pm if she doesn't get in a nap. She has now resorted to pulling clothes out of her drawers, trying on different pairs of shoes, anything to fill the time since she's bored and not sleeping. I've tried "quiet time" and let her lay on the couch and watch TV but the she gets excited and is even more tired later. What should I do?? Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!!!

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Asked by chloesmomrocks at 7:49 PM on Jul. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • my almost 4 year old stapped taking naps after 12 months

    Answer by looovemybabies at 8:07 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • If she just stopped napping it could take a week for her to adjust. My oldest stopped napping about that time as well. Try putting her to bed early or if she will her sleep in. We moved mine's bed time up an hour and she did better. We also do quiet time in her room for an hour a day, she doesn't sleep, but the alone time seems to help her temper.

    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 8:24 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • When my daughter started preschool she refused to take naps anymore, she was almost 3 at the time. It was very hard when we got home every night around 5, she was whiny and very tired. We started eating dinner at 5-5.30, she would have her bath, and be in bed by 6 pm. In the beginning I was worried that she might wake up in the middle of the night, but she never did. As she got older, I moved her bedtime to 6.30, then 7 and so on.
    You might want to try that for a little while to see if it works. She might just be done with naps. GL

    Answer by LilyandEmmasMom at 8:24 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • I would shift her evening schedule, if possible. Without a nap, my 2 1/2-year-old will actually go to bed and sleep all night at 5:30 p.m. It's not that unusual for a preschooler to go to bed at 6 or 6:30 p.m. if they don't nap. Give her dinner by 5 p.m. and then a bath to keep her calm. Try putting her to bed at 6 p.m. Also, enforce the quiet time when she used to nap. I still have a rocking chair in my son's room because we really needed it when he switched to a toddler bed. If I am sitting in that chair, he will not get up because he tried that once and I put him right back in his bed 50 times (SuperNanny-style, lol). You could also try a little reverse psychology with the quiet time and tell her that she's much too big to sleep like a baby, but needs a big girl rest. Tell her not to fall asleep though, because it's not a nap. That works for some kids.

    Answer by DeTora_Family at 10:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • My ds stopped taking naps at 18 months. I agree with the pp, try moving up her bed time. We moved ds' up an hour. He was never to whiny. Good luck!

    Answer by sadira29 at 10:30 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • my dd is almost 3 and more times than not, she doesnt take a nap. at first she was cranky like that but i think she was just getting used to the change of not having naps anymore, i started doing a craft with my dd, it was relaxing and gave her attention and made her feel like a big girl. we've done magnetic picture frames (just put stickers on the frames and put a pic. in it and stick it to the fridge) in the craft isle at walmart. we've decorated paper tiaras (we got from a book store) it has stickers and a bunch of girly stuff to glue on. we've made paper fans (just color pictures on comp. paper or construction paper and fold it back and forth like a fan and tape one end and fan it out. (can put ribbon around the taped end to make it prettier too) so there's some craft ideas...if the craft thing doesnt work, maybe try to go for a walk or go to the park to get you both out of the house & into fresh air before the fit starts

    Answer by lilysmommy23 at 11:00 PM on Jul. 6, 2009

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