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How long should I struggle with my 4 year old to take a nap?

As far as I know, it seems as though kids need a daily nap until around the age of 5 or so?? But, my son will be 4 in three weeks and all summer long he has given me sooo much trouble to take a nap! It's gotten down to me making threats of taking toys away, etc. and it still doesn't really work. I feel terrible fussing and struggling with this battle 7 days a week! I have basically had enough of struggling with him, so I have resorted to an hour of "quiet time" if he won't nap after trying for 15-20 minutes. But he has an awfully hard time keeping still! He starts preschool at our little mother's day out program in 2 days and they make the kids lay on napmats quietly, whether they nap or not. In the past years, when I pick him up at 2pm, I make him take a nap after school because he rarely ever took a nap there. Should I still do this or just put him to bed earlier without a nap? Any other suggestions welcome!

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Asked by survivor79 at 3:53 PM on Aug. 23, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (14 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I have a 4 year old, and I make him take naps. I lay down in bed with my son to let him know its nap time for both of us..after he is asleep i get up and do what i need to. I know its prob not the best way to do it, but it works for me right now.

    Answer by Brittney20 at 3:56 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • I sit down on the floor next to the bed, and do not let him get up. It is nap time, I do not talk to him, or scold, just put him back in bed. This usually does not last long, but they know that they can not win. If I have to do this for 2 hours- I will. and I have. They know better than to fuss about naps anymore. lol

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:57 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • seriously?? My son started refusing naps 3 months ago at 2-1/2.. I would LOVE it if he would nap.. but on the rare occasion that he does nap, he's up til 11 at night.. that doesn't wokr at our house.. I say if hes giving you that much trouble.. don't call it a nap and tell him he doesn't have to sleep, but he does need to lay in his bed and read or listen to music or rest somehow for at least 1-1/2 hours as their little bodies still need that unwind time.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:58 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • My oldest son stopped taking naps at 4ish even though I really wanted him to but there was no aurging with him. Some kids just don't need as much sleep I guess.

    Answer by Panopel at 3:58 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • THis is such a hard age for our little ones. They are beginning to realize the world doesn't stop when they go to sleep. He is probably afraid to miss something fun he thinks is happening while he naps. I think the quite time is a great idea. Maybe he sleeps sometimes and maybe he doesn't. At least he is getting some downtime to relax and unwind. Giving him attention by trying to make him sleep might be what he is going for. Try to have quiet time for you and him at the same time. be in a room together with soft music and the lights down. read quietly or meditate and don't make a deal out of sleeping at nap. If he is having rough evenings he could go to bed a little earlier to compensate.

    Answer by babyboyzz at 4:00 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • He may not need naps anymore. Mine stoppe naps shortly after turning 3. She gets through the entire day fine without them.

    Answer by KairisMama at 4:01 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • My oldest DD stopped napping at 3. My younger DD stopped at 4. My twin boys napped until just before 1st grade. Every kid differs in their needs. It's hard to make a body do what YOU want or need it to do. When it comes to pre-school, the teacher will deal with her students. You might be surprised what he will do in class with other students doing the same thing. Instead of napping, maybe you can tell him he needs to at least lay down for a set amount of time. It doesn't mean he has to sleep. But, rest and be quiet. Tell him it's practice for school. Sadly, many moms use naptime as THEIR time. And, I totally get that. But, kids do grow up and change. And, we have to be able to grow and change right along with them.

    Answer by specialwingz at 4:07 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • We gave up naps at a little over 2 and a half. It got hard to get them to sleep for nap and then bedtime was getting difficult. I cut out the naps and bedtime has been easy peasy since then. Sometimes if they are really tired they will fall asleep on the couch or something during the day for a nap but we don't do nap time anymore.

    Answer by mrspierce06 at 4:11 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • At two years my son gave up his nap,he went to bed earlier(7pm) and sept through the night till 8 in the morning, it was fine.

    Answer by kaje at 4:11 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

  • I would stick with the quiet time approach and let him read or play quietly in bed if he wants to. Maybe get him a timer or a clock and let him know when quiet time will be over so he knows there is an end in sight. And prepare him for the fact that he will have to rest at school, too, but I would just let the school deal wtih that if they need to. A lot of time kids put up less fuss when they see everyone else is doing it, and they are less likely to argue with a teacher- they like to save that for us Mama's LOL!

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:27 PM on Aug. 23, 2010

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