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When to Give Up Naps

Mommy Dearest: When It's Time to Put a Cap on the Nap

Mommy Dearest,

When is it time to give up or cut down on a nap? My three-year-old son has always been a great snoozer and stills takes a two-to-three hour nap every day. My issue is that every evening he fights us so hard when it is time to go to bed that he ends up staying up well-past a reasonable bedtime. On the one or two occasions that we have had to skip his nap (due to birthday parties or the like) he is so overtired that he becomes a nightmare in the early evening hours. How would you handle this situation?

– Tired of Fighting About Sleep

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Tired of Fighting About Sleep,

While children's sleep habits are as individual as they themselves, it sounds like your lil one is giving you all of the signs that he might be ready to modify his schedule. If your son isn't ready to give up his nap completely, consider shortening it and putting some parameters around it. Try a one-and-a-half hour nap that can't start after a certain hour each day. In doing so, you will give him a longer stretch of awake time before night rolls around. On days you have to forgo the nap, try for an earlier bedtime to alleviate the moonlit meltdowns.

– Mommy Dearest

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Join The Conversation
nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 8 years
I too have to agree with the advice. My soon to be 5 year old still frequently needs naps (though it's harder and harder to force him to take one). But, it is obvious when he hasn't had a nap as his behavior gets erratic and he is hyper when he forgos the nap. My only other suggestion would be to make sure you have a good bedtime routine in place, that helps with bedtime issues greatly.
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