Sleep for 2.5 year old

Hi all, hoping someone can help! I have a beautiful 2.5 year old little girl who is refusing her naps. Normally 1.30pm. She has recently been refusing them. I did used to drive her around in the car to get her to sleep but can no longer do this. Some days she is fine but other days she starts to fall asleep & misbehaves as she is tired. Other times she is falling asleep by 1.30pm and other days she fights till 5pm & then falls asleep at 5pm when its too late for her to nap! Any ideas?!

4 Replies

  • We are going through a similar thing. But this is the age when they start to stop napping during the day. Our LO is about the same age as yours. LO is more often awake all day but will then sleep early (between 5pm and 6pm) which did result in missing out on dinner, then obviously waking as they were hungry! We now make sure there is an option to have dinner earlier in case LO does not nap. We then find LO will stay awake a little longer then go to sleep at a decent time and sleep through.

    On the days LO does nap like yourself it will often too late in the day to nap (5pm-6pm). But if they are tired they need to sleep. So we let LO even if it means we have a disturbed night. But now we have changed mealtimes this does not happen. LO will sometimes nap at 3pm-4pm and will nap for a couple of hours. This means a later bedtime. You just need to find what her new routine is and work out what's best. If they are not tired they won't sleep and it stresses you and them out.

    I too have naughty episodes due to tiredness. I try to distract with other activities but does not always work. we like our toddlers are irritable if tired, I know it's hard but just gotta try and be patient while they find there new routine!

    Some people may not agree with our approach but it works for us and is what we feel is best for our LO. I don't know if my experience will help you but at least you know you are not the only one going through this with your toddler.

  • When my oldest (he's now 9) went through this stage we put a stop to naps but would cuddle up together on the sofa around 3:30 to watch the Tweenies and he always fell asleep on my lap. I think the laid back approach really helped him rather than it being a constant battle and the quite time we had together was lovely. My second didn't nap once he passed the baby stage but he had his big brother to bounce off. take it at her pace, the more laid back you are about nap time the more likely you'll will be to fall into a new routine

  • Hi Steffi, I completely agree. Every child is different and so the laid back approach works better as sometimes being rigid can create a lot more problems than needed.

  • It sounds very frustrating for you!! I would say that for 2-3yr olds they should probably still be napping in the day.

    Just out of interest how long has she been resisting her naps for? If it's only been a few days it could just be a phase and she'll go back to her naps soon enough.

    Alternatively perhaps she only needs a nap every other day as she may not be able to drop her nap everyday ongoing. It sounds as if this maybe a transitional phase?

    I think if I were you I would continue to try her with a nap at 1.30pm - if she's not tired don't force the issue, maybe try her an hour later. If she has one day without a nap I would try and ensure you offer a nap the next day a bit earlier than 1.30pm.

    Ultimately, perhaps a bit of flexibility here and there and bear in mind if she's overtired she probably will resist the naps so offer her the chance to nap often and earlier if poss.

    I always used to get really irate when my son didn't want to nap when I thought he should until I relaxed and just told myself that's ok, I'll just try you again in a little while and not deny him a nap altogether.

    Hope that helps - sorry if I've sat on the fence bit 😊.

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