When did your kid drop their nap?

Oh friends. Let us all get out our tiny violins, and join in a sad, melancholy tune: 

I think we’ve reached the end of the napping era.

IMG 4124

(Sigh. The best. So glad I’ve been savoring every second.)

I’ve alluded to this on the blog, but our sleep schedule has been off for a while. Liv has been sleeping late (wahoo!) but also going to bed extremely late. “Extremely late” as in I need something to hold my eyelids open by the end of the night… maybe 11:00 or 11:30pm. We start the bedtime ritual earlier, and have her in bed by 8:30 or 9 at the very latest, but she’s been coming out of her room multiple times (“I need another book to read” “I want water” “I’m scared” “Lie with me”), and we can hear her playing with her toys in bed when we walk down the hall. Naps have also been hit or miss. I’ll put her down between 1:30-2, she’ll either come out of her room a bunch of times before falling asleep (maybe around 4?) and is impossible to wake up until evening, which leads to a later bedtime. It’s a whole thing. 

So yesterday, we decided to ditch the nap in hopes that she might go to bed earlier. It worked out really well. (<— sarcasm)

I told her we would be doing quiet time instead, so she played happily in her room for about an hour before I came to get her. At 5:00, she crashed in the car on the way to the gym, and slept on the comfy beanbag chair in childcare during BODYPUMP.  We couldn’t wake her up when we left!

Today we’re going to try again, and see how it goes. I talked to my mom about it last night, and she said it’s going to be hard to keep her awake between 5:30-7 (so probably avoid car rides if we can) until she gets the hang of it. When she does, it will be an earlier bedtime, which sounds pretty amazing right now. 

From what I’ve read, kiddos tend to drop their nap anytime between 3-5 years. I remember being 4 and was so annoyed when mom made me rest for an hour or so in the afternoon. I’m thinking if Liv’s really tired and needs a nap, she’ll crash during quiet time. If not, we’ll just do a much earlier bedtime. 

So, tell me friends: when did your kiddo drop his/her nap? Any tips to make the transition easier? Anyone else with a 3.5 year old and trying to figure out the best routine? 

In other family news, my ultrasound to see if my placenta has moved is this Friday… and I’m nervous about it. Of all things to ask for, please send any placental migration vibes my way. 😉

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  1. Chelsea Anthony says:

    Sorry about the nap/bedtime battles. We still struggle with Pipers naps sometimes. She’ll never be one of those crazy marathon nappers. We actually hired a baby sleep consultant when Piper was 6.5-7.5 months and it helped a lot. Anyway, regarding naps, I remember she told us the average age to drop naps completely was age 3. I was talking to a friend of mine that other day who had a 2.5 year old and she said he has been fighting naps lately. If she forces it, he won’t take a nap. But if she does “quiet time”, she usually finds him asleep on the midst of his toys. But some days it’s hit or miss. Even though Piper is much younger than Liv, whenever she has a short afternoon nap, her bedtime shifts earlier on those days to help combat overtiredness. GOOD LUCK!! Naps have been are biggest struggle.

    Also, sending happy vibes your way for placenta migration! I was so relieved when mine moved!!

  2. Sending placenta migration vibes your way! I WISH my first napped until 3.5 years. He ditched most naps around 2.5, sometimes crashing in the car after an active morning. I was also 6 months pregnant with #2 then. I’m doing everything in my power to keep him napping longer! Good luck – I’m sure she’ll get the hang of her new sleep pattern soon!

  3. Same boat over here! My little guy will be 4 in October and sleep has been nutty for a while. Lately I’ve given him rest time from 2-3, quiet book time from 3-3:30, and then let him watch a 30 min show if he only comes out for the potty. About 1/2 the time he falls asleep during his rest time. If he does, I wake him by 4. Lately if he naps AT ALL he’s still chirping in his room at 10pm. But this solution still allows him to have a good chunk of down time whether or not he sleeps. I’ve heard limiting their naps to 45-60 min can help but I’ve never tried that. I’m thinking by age 4 he will be 99% done with naps. I have a 2 year and I’m pregnant with #3 so I’m playing my little violin nice and loud!

  4. Sorry 2 year OLD and his book time is with the lights on and he can play too. Hope that makes sense!

  5. Gosh, I can’t even imagine being over naps!! My son’s on the verge of dropping to one and just thar has been rough!!

  6. Mschele says:

    My daughter now 10 although she never really napped she went to bed around 6 for the night for quite awhile. If your daughter is falling asleep around 5 or so maybe start making her bedtime really early if you can and see if she sleep through. You might be surprised!

    • Agree with the earlier bedtime. All of the sleep “experts” recommend putting kids 4 and younger to bed around 7ish – “sleep begets sleep.” My little guy just turned 3 and has been fighting naps for a few months now – he probably naps about 4 days/week – but we put him to bed around 7:30 every night (granted, he’s then up between 5:30 – 6 am, but he’s been like that since birth). Although he was randomly up until 9 pm last night, so maybe don’t listen to me. 😉

      • Fitnessista says:

        the “sleep begets sleep” thing is SO true. when we’re lacking over here, the house falls apart haha.

    • I agree with this, based on nannying/childcare experience. See if you can keep her awake until 6:30 or so (with dinner, etc.) and then have an early bedtime.

    • Stephanie says:

      My daughter is 2.5 and has mostly given up naps for a few months now. If she’s not down for a nap by 2-2:30 then it’s no nap for the day (she takes LONG naps). Late naps = late bedtimes over here and that doesn’t work for us ha-ha. Most nights she’s out for the count by 7 and wakes up anywhere between 5:30 and 7. So maybe try and earlier bedtime routine!? Best wishes!

  7. I feel you! Addison is 3.5 and I still put her down between 2-2:30 for nap (because her 1 year old brother naps then too so hallelujah when they nap at the same time!) Most days she’ll sleep til 4 or so but some days.. Like today, ahem, she will have quiet time and play with her toys for a while and then crash TOO LATE and I have to wake her now (5) and she’s a crabby mess. If she plays for an hour and is still awake then I allow quiet time to be over (she’ll often still choose to play in her room for a while) and then we push up bedtime to 8 instead of 8:30/9. She’ll tell me she’s tired and wants to nap on the way home from preschool and the gym but some days it happens and others it doesn’t! I have loads of quiet time activities too if I NEED to get something done. She loves puzzles, tannegrams (sp?!), magnetic spelling sets, stamps, etc. Good Luck!! A whole new round of figuring it out when #2 comes..

  8. Okay- childless woman here. BUT, I asked my mom when my brother and I stopped taking naps, and she helped me with this. I stopped taking naps before I reached pre-school, around two and a half, and she said it was totally fine. My brother kept naps going until about 3.5, the age Liv is. We always had earlier bed times though. My bed time was 8 PM until I reached 6th grade. Then it was 8:30 in middle school. Even in high school, my bed time was 9 PM, though by that time I was so accustomed to going to bed early that I enjoyed the sleep.

    When I am a mom myself, I am going to put priority on this as well, because I truly do this the schedule bed time all throughout my life has helped me across the board. I was never tired in class and always got a decent amount of sleep.

    Sorry for the rambling- especially considering none of this carries any weight as I am not a mom myself!

  9. My twins dropped it around the same time and I was 6 months pregnant and devastated. It is a tough few months because I felt like they were over tired all afternoon if they didn’t nap with more tantrums and harder to get them to eat properly. But if they did nap it was like party time at every bed time.

  10. The end of naps is mournful. Haha. That’s precious quiet time. So my second son dropped his nap at around age 4 1/2, I think. But my firstborn son (who is now 7!) still naps for about 2 1/2 hrs each afternoon. We homeschool so we can easily still stick to this schedule. He can push through if he is busy and occupied, but often I know he needs the rest so I encourage it. Then he still crashes for the night by 9:00pm or so. The boy loves his sleep. And he needs it. But to be honest, he has some imbalances that we are trying to correct and I know that is the biggest reason my 7 year old naps. He also goes 90 miles an hour during his waking hours. 🙂 Which might add to his 1pm exhaustion. So nearly every weekday between 1:30-4pm my oldest and youngest nap and my middle son reads books quietly in his room. It’s actually pretty nice for this momma. 🙂
    So have you announced the name of the sweet sister yet? Did I miss it?

  11. Genifer says:

    Just wanted to offer you a little bit of hope! If Liv can get quiet time “down” before baby comes you can then coordinate her quiet time with baby’s nap time and have a few moments of actual quiet! This is so much easier than trying to get them to nap at the same time!

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s good to know! thank you for the hope 🙂 thankfully, knock on wood, she’s great at quiet time. she likes to play with her dolls and read books

  12. kelly b says:

    Oh boy! My son just turned 4 and I am holding on tight to those naps, especially since my 20 month old is a pretty good napper. Most days he will sleep for an hour, but lately it has just been turning into quiet time in his room, hoping to keep this going through the summer! Keep up with the quiet time especially when the new baby comes, I look forward to nap to me daily!!!

  13. Lauren R says:

    Aww you poor thing!!! The end of nap is a hard reality. I work in early childhood care and it is usually the 4-5 year olds who boycott the nap. However, in our program rest time is not optional. Sleep isn’t mandatory cause duh you cant force someone to fall asleep… but laying down on your cot and “resting” is. Its a great lesson for kiddos that our bodies need time to rest and be calm. I have learned from some angry mamas that it is best to never let kids sleep past 3:30 or 4 cause then bedtime is a nightmare!

    • Fitnessista says:

      that is so, so true. i love the idea of rest or quiet time, though. if they are overstimulated throughout the day, it makes everyone cranky

  14. Courtney says:

    We are going through this now with our JUST TURNED 3 year old. His naps have been getting later and later–where before he’d be out around 12/1, now it’s more like 2/3…even if he wakes by 4, it’s like 10/11 before he’s asleep! Bah! Even if he sleeps “later” (like 8…he’s a pretty early riser so anytime I see a time past 7:30 I’m ecstatic) all that does is mean his nap will be later and the whole cycle repeats itself! Sigh. Good luck to you keeping her naps, and also at your appt Friday!

    • Fitnessista says:

      this is our exact situation. i’m sorry to hear you’re going through it too, but makes me feel better that it seems very common.
      thank you!!

  15. Natasha says:

    We dropped naps right before age 3, but it’s still a struggle…I can’t put her in the car anytime after 2pm or she will nap in the car and then the rest of the evening is on a downward spiral.

  16. I wish I got a few hours out of the day to rest!! They need adult nap time!

  17. With mine (I’m pregnant with my 5th), I’ve always moved bedtime WAY back when we dropped the nap. If they were napping from 1-3, and then going to bed at 8, we’d put them to bed at 530 or 6 when we cut the nap. Surprisingly, they’d sleep the whole night and still wake up around the same time in the mornings.
    My 1, 3 and 5 year old all go to bed at 630 or so right now (and my 6 year old follows about half an hour later) and I have to say, especially with a husband who is often deployed or away for training, it is VERY nice to have that time in the evenings after they go to bed. It’s also nice that whenever we hire a sitter and go out to dinner, the kids are already in bed — so we can go out pretty often without feeling like we’re missing out on time with them.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that seriously sounds like a dream right now. hopefully we’ll get there soon! (and 5?! you are amazing)

    • this sounds like a dream come true! My husband is in the military, works 12 hour night shift and I’m dreading having to put two kids to bed by myself when it’s a struggle to get one down now. I have until November to get this under control!

  18. Yes, when the naps drop it is so sad! After my son turned 3, it was just a few months when nap time became a struggle. He wouldn’t fall asleep until almost 4 then he would wake up groggy and very tired and I felt it was much too close to bedtime. Now he just turned 4 and it is hard for me now that he doesn’t nap since he’s not in school yet and it can be hard to get things done, but some good things are he may crash on the couch sometimes, probably when he is growing, and we can be out now and not have to rush home for a nap and it’s nice when you’re on vacation and can still be out and about:) I’ve read that a lot of kids skip a nap by agen3 and its ok, developmental wise. We put him to bed by 8-8:30 and there is never a fight and then he usually wakes up at 7. Hope this info helps! But yes, it stinks when nap time ends! It can be tiring! 🙂

  19. My 3yo still naps daily…she goes down between 2:30-3 will sometimes go straight to sleep and sometimes play. I think she would turn it into quiet time, but I tell her through the monitor to laY down and go to sleep which she usually does. My 11mo goes down for her afternoon nap around the same time, but always before her sister. They usually sleep till sometime between 4:45 – 6. Then bedtime for the baby is 7:30-8 and the 3yo is 8-8:30. She’ll usually get up a couple of times but is out typically by 9 and sleeps till morning. We did have a problem with her getting up too early but bought the ok to wake clock which solved that problem. Good luck! I’m dreading and will fight the end of nap time tooth and nail!

    • SOrrry, one more thing…try pushing her nap time back to 3:00 which would give her more active time out and about…I found this to be extremely helpful to get her to sleep and still keep a good bedtime.

    • Fitnessista says:

      she broke her “ok to wake” clock (threw it… yeah…) so i’m debating getting a new one because it really does work

  20. Cassie p says:

    I don’t have my own kiddos but I nanny for a family that has a 4 year old who has been having the same night time issues and they have started having her take a melatonin supplement about 30 mins before bedtime and it has worked wonders!

  21. Michelle says:

    My daughter stopped napping at 2 1/2 years old. 5:00 to 7:00 was hard to keep her awake and so I agree with the no car rides during those hours. She adapted pretty quick and that was the end of naps.

  22. I’ve been thinking how lucky you are to still get a nap at her age but when you’ve mentioned the crazy bed battles I was wondering how many more you had 🙂 we dropped the nap soon after the 2nd birthday for the same reason. Yes it can make for a long afternoon, and she will occasionally sleep in the car, but it’s so worth it for a civilised bed time and she gets a solid 12-13 hours over night which really helps. But I still mourn it, we dropped it when I was pregnant too and oh how I needed that break! We do movie time after lunch instead now.

  23. Christy L. says:

    I taught 4 year old preschool for several years, and our naptime was technically from 12:30-1:30, although they usually were down by 12:15. 95% of the kids napped, and we woke them up at 1:30 regardless. In the three year old class, they slept until 2:00.

    My son is just 20 months, but if I put him down that late he would never go to sleep. I try to religiously put him down at 12:00. He usually wakes up at 2:00, goes to bed at 8:00, and wakes up for the day at around 8:00. Every kid is different, but just be sure to be super consistent with whatever works for you guys.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s a great idea. we used to have a really solid routine, but since naps have been off, it’s shaken everything up

      • Christy L. says:

        I know! We just got back from a three week stretch of work travel, grandparents visiting, and house-hunting leave, and his schedule was all messed it up. We’ve been working on the schedule reset for three days now, and his mood improves each day that we are back on his routine. Someone said above that sleep begets sleep and it’s so true. He always sleeps way better when he’s had plenty of sleep.

  24. Stephanie says:

    I work at a preschool (2-5 year olds) and we do not have nap time. Some parents who come to check out the school don’t like this idea, but honestly most kids get used to it!! I’m sure it’s in part due to excitement of being at school, but we do “Quiet book time” after lunch where they sit on the carpet and read books. They are allowed to whisper and get a new book, but that’s it. A few kids crash the first few days but it’s honestly never been a problem. If she can get used to it it will most certainly be an earlier bedtime! Good luck!!

    • Wow, no nap for pre-schoolers? I actually have not heard of this…but i guess it exists:= My son is in preschool (3.5), and he has just started to ‘not nap’ at school, maybe 50% of the time, and boy can i tell when he doesn’t, mr. crankster! So, my point is, i know he still NEEDS a nap, but i think at this age they are too concerned about missing out. When he is home with me, we are out and about so i don’t ‘put’ him down for a nap, but he will always fall asleep in the car/stroller.

      I think quiet time is a great alternative though, because these kids are still so young and it is a LONG day if they aren’t getting any sort of rest throughout it.

      You got great advice here Gina, good luck! Remember, everything is as ‘phase’, and this too shall pass….:)

  25. Sherrie says:

    You and I had baby girls around the exact time and we are in the same place kind of. She does go to bed at 8 but is very cranky in the afternoon like your mom said between 5-7 so what I did was mover her nap up. She typically wakes up between 630 and 7am so I enforce quiet time around 11 which usually leads to sleep and I don’t let her sleep longer than and hour and she is still ready for bed by 8. Hope it works out for you. She is such a cutie

    • Fitnessista says:

      oh i like that you do quiet time even earlier. maybe i’ll try moving that up to see how it goes!

  26. Sleep battles are the WORST. We’ve battled with our oldest and finally did the quiet time routine. And now that the new baby has come even that became a battle. Then the other day I read most kids drop their naps between 2 1/2-3. (boooooo- she’s 4 last week). So we’ve officially given up. Sometimes she will say she wants to nap and bam. She’s down and out. I still have her lay and have “rest” time then “big girl quiet time” (where she can come out and “in theorY” she can’t talk to me and has to play quietly on her own). It works okay… but I still miss the nap! My husband napped until he was 5 but I also remember distinctly hating to nap and being so annoyed when people tried to make me so.. the apple didn’t fall far. 😉

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s what i was thinking; if she’s super tired, she’ll probably crash. and same thing about the apple… i used to hate naps. i regret that now of course

  27. Both my kids dropped naps right at 3 years old. I would try to not be driving in the car in the late afternoon as much as possible, because it would be a late bedtime if they fell asleep. I put them down for bed really early- 6:30 pm and they slept solidly until 7 am. Was a great routine! Good luck

    • Fitnessista says:

      that’s good to know! one of my friends was saying today that her daughter goes to bed at 6:30. i can’t even imagine!! hopefully we will get there

  28. I have no words of wisdom but loved seeing this today when one of my 3.5 years olds boycotted nap. You and I had the same due date, but I ended up with twins and delievered at 38 weeks. On the days my guys don’t nap, they go to bed earlier. Their wake up time does not seem to ever really change unless we have several days in a row of going to bed late (e.g. Vacation, etc). I figure over the next couple of months they will only nap a few times a week instead of everyday and I need to get used to that idea (sad trombone).

  29. My second child napped til 3. Although towards end was hit and miss. Older one was about 3.5. It was hard change but enjoyed earlier bedtime.

  30. christine says:

    My kiddo dropped her nap about 5 months ago (she’ll be 3 in November). We’ve never had her crash out anywhere but she does tend to get grumpy around dinner time. Before she dropped her nap, she was sleeping 730-630 overnight with a nap between 1130-130. Now, she sleeps 630-630 overnight. We can get her to have rest times during the day though, and I time them with her little brother’s naps, since we’re home anyway.

  31. Erin Miller says:

    All 3 of my kids dropped their naps right before they turned 3. My children would go to bed at 7pm and sleep until 7am, then nap from 12:30 to 3pm. Right before they turned 3, we started having some of the problems you have described. Dropping the nap is hard at first, but they get used to it. Once we dropped the nap, they just slept from 7-7. I really miss those days.

    • Fitnessista says:

      7-7 sounds amazing. that’s the same schedule she was on as a baby (plus the two naps in there!)

  32. We are unfortunately going through the same thing over here. My daughter (who will be 4 in September) is just now starting to fight her naps. We run into problems because at 5:30pm when we pick her up from grandma’s and head home, she is usually passed out in the car within 5 minutes and is nearly impossible to wake once we get home. Because of all this, she is staying up super late….10-10:30pm.
    However, on the weekends when she skips her nap and we don’t have to worry about being in the car in the evenings…she stays up and will be in bed and asleep by 8:30 which is amazing!
    We also have my son who just turned 2 that recently (a week ago) learned how to crawl out of his crib…..which is a whole other story.
    Needless to say….my husband and I are in desperate need of a full night of sleep over here!

  33. I love reading all the other comments and advice and I’m also happy to know that I’m not alone. If we try nap time too late it just doesn’t happen. Our “golden” hour is between 12-1pm. Sometimes I can get her to sleep until 3:30 or 4pm. If it’s any later than 1pm it’s a struggle. I work full-time and she’s in daycare so she gets a nap there. Whether she’s sleeping or not I’m not sure. But I do what they do. I read her a story, play soft music after and I will rock her for 10 minutes max. After the 10 minutes are up I will lay her down. Sometimes she’s fallen asleep (depending on how active our morning is) sometimes she will say “mommy lay with me”. To which I say, “You have to go to sleep like a big girl” and then she’ll say leave the door open and I do and she will toss and turn but eventually falls asleep. We pretty much follow the same routine at night. Bedtime starts around 7:30. Except I tell her if she falls asleep like a big girl and stays in her bed we can listen to taylor swift on the way to school the next morning. LOL! most of the time it works and on nights it doesn’t, I don’t have to listen to shake it off in the morning 🙂 Sometimes I will reward her staying in bed with her pick of anything from the $1 section at target. She’s only gotten out of bed a handful of times and when she does, I tell her if she gets out of bed one more time I will close the door (she falls asleep with the door open) and that usually does the trick. Find something that she wants or doesn’t want taken away from her. That might help. I’m all about the reward system 🙂

    • Fitnessista says:

      i love the taylor swift incentive. liv LOVES taylor swift too haha!
      we’re all about the reward system over here too. i still bribe her to go potty with chocolate chips, and it totally works

  34. Aw good luck with the napping… it’s a tricky transition for sure but didn’t take my kids too long. Since I have 4 kids, the older 2 would have quiet time with me while the younger 2 napped and I really enjoyed the quiet time with them almost more than when they took naps!

    Sending prayers for your ultrasound!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you, friend!
      that’s what i’m thinking, too. the quiet time will be nice, and i hope we can keep it up even when she’s older and in school. it’s so great to have a little bit of down time in the afternoon

  35. not sure i have anything new to say but ill chime in in any case.

    my daughter is 3.25 and i have a 6 month old (both girls..!) anyway i work during nap time so i need my older kid to sleep or rest midday as per usual and the baby was either small enough to be awake and allow me to work while she slept, or like now, is sleeping around that time as well (shes at 3 naps a day). my older kid wakes at 530/6 and bedtime has always been around 7 though the past id say 6-9 months she is harder to get to relax and sleep at night and sleep time is usually 8.

    i decided a few weeks ago that we should move to quiet time instead of nap time both so i could put my older down when my baby went to sleep (since that time sometimes varies) and i could maximize my working/alone time. i was a bit nervous because my daughter is not a problem to get down for naps so i didn’t think she was necessarily ready to drop it but thought she might just do the quiet time and then pass out thing. i have always woken her no later than 3pm from her naps anyway to make sure she’s tired enough for bed time.

    well quiet time was a bust. a few times she did konk out on her own and then it was the same thing for bedtime- 8pm and full of energy, etc. but the days she didn’t nap she was a monster and it was annoying, though getting her down for bedtime wasn’t challenging. none of this changed her waking time either, so if she got down earlier she got 1 more hour of sleep but that was in exchange of a 2 hour nap.

    i dont know. it sounds like liv needs a nap but maybe try to cut it down time wise. make it earlier than normal and then wake her by x time so she is ready for bed at night? i dont let my daughter sleep past 3 like i said, but the past few weeks ive been waking her no later than 230 and that seems to help slightly in getting to bed. she is still up until 8 but i can go in at 745 and say ok time to stop singing/playing, etc in bed and she is ok wtih that and rolls over and within 10 min is asleep.

    just trust your gut. life will becrazy and unscheduled when the baby comes for the first few months anyway, the baby can sleep with / on you, on the go, etc so just focus a bit on liv and waht she needs and that shes getting the proper rest she needs (however that looks) because its an adjustment with the baby and hopefully things will fall into place with her in time for the baby to be around 4-6 months and ready for more structure/schedule in terms of sleep time. dont worry…pretty soon this will be moot, she will be too old to nap and you’ll be dealing with #2 and nap times 😉

    • Fitnessista says:

      haha that is so true. it’s a good idea to get this *kind of* under control until the baby comes. today we’re doing rest time, so we’ll see if she makes it to 6:30 bed…

  36. Christianne Warlick says:


    She might be able to help. She specializes in childhood sleep!

  37. Jen in SC says:

    I’ll chime in as another advocate of the early bedtime. My girls are 6 and 3. Granted, they have to be up at 6:30 am (and we are out the door by 7) – so that forced consistency with the early mornings helps. But the 6 year old goes to bed around 7 pm (sometimes a bit earlier when tired out/grumpy, and sometimes I let her stay up later to read a book, like 7:15/7:30). The 3 year old’s bedtime is typically between 6:30-7 pm depending on the day and the nap situation. She still naps daily but again, it is much earlier. Daycare puts them down around 11:30 am and then they are up by about 2 pm (usually she only naps between 45 mins and 1.5 hours there). At home on the weekend she will still nap about 2 hours usually.
    So I guess they are big sleepers, which is partly luck – BUT, I also believe that the steady, consistent, early-to-bed and early-to-rise routine really helps as well. I make very few exceptions for staying up late when they are little – and I feel like it pays off in a lot of ways.
    I’m rambling now 😉 Sleep is kinda my “thing” with kids. I feel a lot of kids are under-rested as a result of our 24/7 social-media culture and the pressure to do everything and be in activities and not miss out. Etc. Like sometimes it’s almost a (subconscious) badge of honor to be as busy and involved as possible. But to me, none of that matters if they’re grumpy and exhausted and just plain worn out. Their little bodies and brains need that restorative time so, so much.
    I’m done now 🙂 Wishing you well in getting on a sleep schedule that works for all of you!

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Commenting because we JUST went through this (my daughter is about the same age as Liv).

    First of all – I dreaded this for so long, but I just want to say, it’s actually not so bad. In fact, I think I like it…better?

    Like Liv, my daughter Riley was turning into a HOT MESS at nap and bedtimes, coming out multiple times, crashing LATE, taking hours to fall asleep. But I knew she wasn’t ready to drop naps completely, so here is what we did:

    Now she naps EVERY OTHER day, and I’m telling you it is GENIUS! She has always napped the best for our Nanny, who comes 2-3 days per week, depending on my work schedule, and so on those days (plus one weekend day, whichever is better in our schedule) she naps 1:30 – 3 (which coincidentally, is the same time my 9 month old takes nap #2). On the other days she has “rest time” 1:30 – 2, where she has to stay tucked in her bed, but can bring a stack of books to read and then from 2:00 – 3 she has “quiet time” where she has to stay in her room, but can play quietly doing whatever she wants. We told her, if you come out, or we have to come in because we can hear you, we’ll turn the lights off and you have to nap. So far, it has been MAGICAL. (Also, it is SO fun to watch her on the baby monitor while she plays dress up, reads to her dolls, has tea parties, etc.)

    Nap days, she goes to bed at 8, falls asleep within 15 minutes, and is out until 7AM. No nap days, she goes to bed at 7:30 and falls asleep almost instantly, still sleeps until 7AM.

    We also used to have the OK to wake clock – she hated it – so we just put a simple timer (got on Amazon for like $10) on her existing IKEA night light, and it turns on from 1:30 – 3 and at 7:30 every night. She knows when the light is on, she needs to be in her room, so even on no nap days, she knows when she can come out. And on nap days, she thinks it is SO COOL that she gets to stay up past her “bedtime” because she napped that day.

    We had a little adjustment period, it took a couple weeks to get used to the new routine, but now it is hard to remember what it used to be like 🙂

    No more bed struggles, no more tossing and turning, no more naps until 4 or 5PM (which are IMPOSSIBLE to wake them from). But even best of all – sometimes I will take her on a fun ‘adventure’ (nails, Disney store, fro-yo) on a no-nap day and it is SO much fun for her to get that one-on-one time (especially important, now that we have a baby in the mix).

    Sorry for the long comment, but just wanted to throw a compromise option into the mix!

    Good luck and just know that, like everything, you’ll both adapt quickly and it will be over before you know it!

  39. My little guy just turned 2 last month and takes about an hour to two hour nap. At night, he puts himself to bed after some quiet time. I needed to start this, as we have a 3 month old who goes to bed earlier and juggling both kids in the evening routines is difficult (dad is deployed). Figure out what works best for you guys. Maybe put a baby gate on her door to keep her from coming out all the time? Let her know that mommy loves her but needs her rest too? I have no idea! Sorry…

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