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Do you wake your toddler up from naptime, or let them sleep as long as they want?

My DS is 2.5 and still at times will nap for 3 hours or more. I do not like to let him sleep that long, because it makes bedtime a little more difficult. Is waking him from his nap after 1-2 hours selfish of me- to make bedtime easier? Should I be allowing him to sleep as long as he wants because he needs it?


Asked by Sharell8710 at 3:33 PM on Nov. 3, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • You sooooooooooo get a bump for this one! To wake or not to wake...ya know, I think it depends on your schedule, mom. I'm a SAHM, but structure is super important for me. As much as I'd love to let my 2 y/o super busy boy nap the afternoon away, I gotta cut it no more than 2.5 hrs, unless he's sick, teething, missed his sleep previous night, etc, otherwise, at bedtime I shall be paying a steep price or awaking often throughout the night because he's restless. I admit...I am that selfish one that wakes up my lil guy. If he was in daycare, I know they wouldn't let him sleep the afternoon away. At this age, "they" say toddlers should be down to only 1 nap/day, no more than 2 hours, not past 3:00 pm...we all know our babies can't follow this exact dialogue, but his schedule works for my household :)

    Answer by Jam0418 at 4:48 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • If letting my little one nap for three hours every day means that she will be up until midnite, then I would wake her up, so she can get a better routine going. If this is just something that happens once in a while because she has a cold or is teething and not sleeping well at night, then I would let her nap during those exceptions, but try to generally keep her on schedule. Hope this helps!

    Answer by vamom21 at 3:40 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • Depends... If my girls take a late nap.. I won't let them sleep super long.. I have to wake them up for dinner and baths..

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 3:34 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I always let mine sleep...and still do. My 6 yo slept from the time she got out of school yesterday until a 3 hour nap. She still went to bed at 8 whether she liked it or not.

    Answer by ashisamom at 3:34 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I try to not let my Son sleep past 5:00 pm or else bedtime is rough. Otherwise I would let them sleep.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:35 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I just let him sleep.

    Answer by kiansmom0423 at 3:35 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • In your case, if a longer naptime is making bedtime harder, then I would suggest shortening his naptime. You want him to get a good sleep during the day so he's not cranky, but you also want him to go to bed at night. So in your case I would suggest waking him after 1/5-2 hours. As for my children, though, I let them sleep as long as they want. Even if that means pushing bedtime back a half hour, but that doesn't happen very often. They're really good about asking to go to bed when it's time, even after a long nap.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 3:37 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • I let him sleep, but the longest afternoon nap he's taken has been 3 1/2 hours and he still goes to sleep well at night. If he didn't, then I would probably wake him up, slowly and gently.

    Answer by missanc at 3:46 PM on Nov. 3, 2010

  • If he wakes up easily and is not a bear then do what works for you. My two were SO cranky if I woke them up, so I would just let them sleep and plan bedtime accordingly.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:01 PM on Nov. 3, 2010