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I am DESPERATE for help!

I posted my question yesterday, but perhaps I need to reword it. I have a 3.5 year old whose sleep is a mess! He wakes at 6 or 7 am every morning, naps for two hours during the day, and then struggles until 10 pm to fall asleep. (This is regardless of when he naps- usually 12:30-2:30.) We have a solid bedtime routine that we have used since he was an infant, but even when we put him in bed at 8:30 pm, he lies up there until 10 pm. What is going on? 8 hours of nighttime sleep can't be enough for a 3 year old! I hate to drop his afternoon nap because I also have a 15 week old, and I like the break. At the same time, I have NO time with my hubby in the evenings, and our marriage is really suffering. HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR MY SON? Please help me!

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Asked by TRooney at 7:43 AM on Mar. 11, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Sounds like you need to drop the afternoon nap or cut it shorter like only 1 hour. It sucks but not nap and earlier bed time will help! You can do quiet time instead of nap time if needed.

    Answer by IMAMOM2-2KIDS at 7:50 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • I agree. Drop the nap. My son slept so much better at night once I did. I totally get the convenience factor of having them both nap for you in the afternoons, but you're paying the price at night. To me, I'd much rather have the convenience of a better nighttime routine. Good luck! :)

    Answer by deadheadjen at 8:04 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • Try going without the nap. With both my kids difficulty getting them to bed at night was the first sign naps were history. It took a few weeks for them to adjust during the day - but once we worked through that, they never looked back. You may find he's cranky or seeming tired late in the afternoon but you'll also find he'll be ready for bed at a more reasonable time. There are some kids that nap into their early school years. Others don't. Both mine gave up their naps around 2 1/2. And, like I said, difficulty with bedtime was the big clue.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 9:07 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • Just to elaborate on a point here - the fact a child takes a nap doesn't mean they NEED to have it. What they need is a total number of hours of sleep in a day. that is divided between night and naps. If the nap is satisfying some of what his body needs, he's going to not be as sleepy when you think it needs to be bedtime. The body is an amazing thing that can regulate itself when we listen to it. Try using "quiet time" instead of nap time for a bit. When we first gave up naps we required quiet time from the kids. They could watch a favorite program, read books with me, rest in their room with a quiet toy - something along those lines. IF they watched a show it meant laying down on the couch, favorite blanket or toy cuddled with them. It did wonders for them - some down time is a beautiful thing AND it gave me a break...and it did both without making bedtime a struggle.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 9:18 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • I wouldn't totally cut nap time out unless you think yur child can do well without. My three year old only skips naps if we are out and at the end of the evening she tends to be very fussy. Maybe cut it shorter and not too late in the day. As for the alone time--maybe get a baby-sitter once a month and go out on a date with hubby as well. :0)

    Answer by Gelijones at 10:38 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

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