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forcing naps or just going with the flow...


Our 14 month old used to take 2 naps consistently and is now on a weird schedule where some days she fights either a morning or the afternoon nap (usually the afternoon one). I follow her cues very closely but there are days when she just resists, which means she may have a very early bedtime, like 5:45 or 6 pm. On the days she takes a late afternoon nap, around 3:30'ish, should I wake her up after 45 minutes or an hour, to insure she has a decent bedtime, or do I just let her sleep. I've always hated the idea of waking a sleeping baby but I've also always heard that naps shouldn't go much beyond 4 or 4:30 so that they don't interfere with bedtime. Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:10 PM on Aug. 29, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (10)
  • I always say, you don't have to sleep but you do have to lay down and read a book or just rest for at least 10 min.... they pretty much always fall asleep, they're just afraid they're going to miss something

    Answer by elizabiza at 5:12 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • you should probably limit her to one nap. around 1ish

    Answer by SabrenaLeigh at 5:12 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • I would never cut a nap down to 45 minutes. That's too short. Why not let her nap an hour and a half, and push back her bedtime a bit if she's not tired then. 6pm is really early. Even 7:30 is a totally acceptable bed time.

    Answer by karamille at 5:13 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • forcing a nap is like forcing somone to "be" hungry or "need to go pee"... it doesn't work that way. They'll nap when they are tired and not before.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 5:29 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • This is what I have learned and it is a fact, "Sleep brings on sleep". The more they sleep, the more relaxed and easier it will be to get them to bed at night and sleep through the night quietly. I would encourage her to take a one nap no later than 2:00. Let her sleep until 3:30. Everyone will be happier including her. You could try the stroller trick. Put her in a small umbrella stroller in the house and close the blinds in the afternoon. Wheel her around quietly until she falls asleep. It worked for my Son in about 10 minutes. He went to bed at night without it. He's almost 4 and still naps 2 hours a day.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 7:21 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • I would say the days of 2 naps are over, try to keep her up til 1 or so like others said and that will probabyl be it - my son just over night stopped his 2nd nap and now most days won't take any naps but he is almost 3 so I am lucky I made it this far from what I hear -but boy I think the adjustment was harder on me with the less napping..:( GL!~

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 8:29 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • i hear ya. some days she does not nap in the morning and sometimes its just afternoon. but other times if we are out of the house its just in the car. but i wouldn;t worry about it. i would try to do it early naps so this way its one long nap instead of 2 naps. i think toddlers that age tend to cut down on the naps. good luck

    Answer by lambdarose at 8:57 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • My twins girls are 13 months and the often only take one nap a day. I think it depends on the kid. If they take one nap for a few hours and are otherwise not cranky then that's all they need.

    Answer by bjane01 at 8:58 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Even if my DD doesnt sleep i still have her lay down so she is on a schedule.

    Answer by Kenzismommy09 at 9:25 PM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • When my son was an infant he would take a morning nap and then an afternoon nap. When he was about the age of your daughter, we adjusted his schedule so now he takes one nap after lunch. It works very nicely because he understands that when he finishes his lunch, he then goes down for a nap. Because he knows what to expect, I rarely have to fight him on it.

    Answer by arouthier at 11:21 AM on Aug. 30, 2010

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