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to impose a nap schedule or not

Hi mommies,

Our young toddler was taking one, 2 or 2.5 hour nap in the morning for a couple of months...just as I was debating how to get her to take that nap in the afternoon instead of the morning, she surprised us and switched to two in the morning and one in the afternoon. That lasted for a week and now she's taking one morning nap for about 90 minutes. Of course, we try to get her to take the afternoon nap but it's very difficult...sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't. Would it be really cruel to just distract her, take a walk, go out, etc, and try to avoid the morning nap altogether? If she's only going to take one nap, I certainly don't want it to be from 8 to 9:30 am...and then have her be up the entire rest of the day, and be in bed by 6 pm. At the same time, I don't want to fight her natural biology and I assume in the coming months this will all work itself out. Thanks.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:20 AM on Nov. 30, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • That's what I would always do with my daughter.. find fun and entertaining things to do during the time she usually takes her first nap of the day. Sometimes she was SUPER crabby until she got her nap in but it worked well for a while. Now she is 3 and refuses to nap AT ALL.. so I kind of miss it lol

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 9:23 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • I don't think it will be cruel to distract her so she won't take a morning nap. I started doing that when I wanted to have my dd start to take 1 afternoon nap. Good luck with your decision.

    Answer by sweetpea1217 at 9:25 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • When my son was younger he stopped taking his afternoon nap if he slept in the morning, so instead of putting him down for his nap we started having "book time" around 9:30. If he fell asleep I let him sleep for 1/2 hour and then woke him up. This rest/short nap gave him enough fuel to keep going until his naptime at 1. Eventually he stopped needing that 1/2 hour nap, but we still rest/read around that time.

    Answer by missanc at 9:31 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • That wouldn't be cruel at all! I say go for it.... I have to do that with my DS sometimes.....

    Answer by momof2redhedz at 10:50 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • I just did this with the little one I take care of. His mom wanted to push his one nap later in the day so we delayed it for 30 minutes for a few days, then another 30 for a few days, and so on. He now goes down after lunch for his one nap.

    Answer by elizabr at 11:01 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • I would slowly try to push nap time back. So if she naps at 8:00 don't try and keep her awake until 1:00 but maybe try to push that morning nap to 9:00 and then push bed time a little later, then after a few days try to push it to 9:30 and so on until you get it closer to the time you want her to be napping. You'll know if this totally does not mesh with her internal clock because she'll be miserable and in turn you will be miserable. But it's worth a try. Good luck.

    Answer by MaryMW at 12:44 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

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