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Toddler Sleep Question

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lhhell posted 10/9/2013 12:44 PM

My delightful almost 3 year old twins have just started pre-school and are LOVING it.

The only issue - since they started, their afternoon naps have become a real challenge. It's not that they don't need an afternoon nap, they desperately need one! But they get in their beds and chat and flip and flop and won't go to sleep. If we didn't tell them that they had to stay in their beds, they'd be running around like lunatics during this time. The worst days are pre-school days. On the non-preschool days, they seem to be better at settling down.

My completely unfounded opinion is that their little brains are developing so much and working so hard in their new pre-school environment, that they are having trouble turning it off.

Has anyone else had this problem? If so, any thoughts on how to help them nap? As I said, they need the nap - they are total grumpy-pants on the days they don't.

Dreamboat posted 10/9/2013 12:53 PM

I am not expert by any means. But my thought is that they are still excited about pre school and so they both want to chat about it and the interaction with each other is just enough to keep them awake.

My 2 suggestions is to either insist upon total quiet during nap time (that is generally what they do at day care) or make them nap in separate rooms.

metamorphisis posted 10/9/2013 12:54 PM

I'm with you and your theory. A neighbour and I used to get our kids off the bus from JK at lunch. They would be all smiles. Those perfectly behaved awesome kids would be shrieking and having meltdowns by the time they got to their houses.
I really think they have a hard time decompressing and shutting it all off. I know when my son was exhausted he got more busy and antsy.. not less. I bet it has a lot to do with their central nervous system being immature. Anyway.. there was nothing wrong at school.. it was just new and a lot to process.
It took a few months before we weren't getting demon children off the bus. I remember it was about November before he took a rest without sobbing and screaming. Hang in there.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 12:54 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

Peaches2013 posted 10/9/2013 13:15 PM

I have a 2 and 3 year old. Sometimes, we just have to separate them in order to get them to nap (the 3 year old doesn't always nap).

The other thing we do is supervise. So, one of us will be in there with either our phone or iPad (something quiet, where we can "ignore" them so they don't try to interact with us), and sit. Usually 10-15 minutes of that and they fall asleep.

Nature_Girl posted 10/9/2013 13:58 PM

My kids gave up napping entirely when they were three years old. Full stop.

jrc1963 posted 10/9/2013 16:06 PM

I believe Inhell was referring to bedtime, not nap time.

I would say to develop a very structured bedtime routine.

Dinner, playtime, warm bath, one or two books and then lights out with the rule of stay in beds. If you want them to be able to chat a bit, then maybe set an audible timer for 10 mins and they can talk until it dings... then it's all quiet and sleep time.

Good Luck.

My DS had trouble sleeping after pre-school and required nap time... but since we only had one, we just let him stay up a bit later. For us, it wasn't a big issue as long as he got enough sleep.

ETA: Oh.. my bad... she was talking about naps. I guess I can't read today.

[This message edited by jrc1963 at 4:07 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 10/9/2013 18:36 PM

If you are referring to nap time it may take them some time to unwind from the stimulus of preschool.

I would recommend backing up nap time and having some quiet time before nap.

If its bedtime it may be time to separate them and let them know that they cant stsy in the same room if they are crazy at bedtime. Yes 3 year olds are able to understand thid. I was mikitant about bedtime ans naps. But my DD was all done with naps at 3.5 years old. It was a really really really really really sad day!!!!!

She did habe to go to her room and have quiet time. So mom could haveher nap .

lhhell posted 10/9/2013 18:43 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

We are currently pretty militant about naps and bedtime routines. I think from the feedback I'm getting that this is really a result of all the new stimulous. We've cut out any stimultating play before nap time - they get to play quietly and read books but no running around or TV.

So I think I'm just going to have to hold the course and hope they get through this. And hope they don't drop their naps!!! Nap time is such a wonderful time of day!!

StrongerOne posted 10/9/2013 20:06 PM

If they don't need to sleep at nap time, don't insist on it. You can require them to lie in bed quietly -- look at books, snuggle teddy bears, etc. My DS stopped taking afternoon naps at 15 months. He slept straight through the night, took no naps during the day. None. It was awful at daycare, because they made him lie down for over an hour. We finally moved his cot near the window, where he was allowed to look at books and not disturb anyone else. Thank goodness.

Some kids just do not need to nap.

Audrina posted 10/9/2013 21:16 PM

Maybe they are still adjusting to the new preschool routine.

I work in a preschool and encounter this every so often.
What I do is rub the child's back and that usually relaxes him/her until sleep takes over.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/9/2013 22:33 PM

Just be consistent. And tyrannical. (fyi--I'm known as the *sleep warden* in my house)

Make sure that they have some de-compress time to screw around after they get home from school and before their nap. Sending them off to nap within 30 minutes after arriving home from pre-school is a recipe for disaster.

I know that twins are a bit different, but 3 is usually a *cusp* time.....a transitional time between needing/not needing rest during the day.

If your twins are crabby....bump bedtime up by 15 or 30 minutes.

Missymomma posted 10/9/2013 22:37 PM

My twins gave up naps at 3. Actually the boy at 2.5 and the girl at 3.5. I am very strict about bedtime but the naps they were ready to give up. They were going to bed at 7:30 and getting up at 7:30 at that point. So 12 hours was enough for them. I totally understand that with twins, sleeping is essential for Mommy!

Jrazz posted 10/9/2013 22:40 PM

DD is 3. She will not nap if she comes home early from daycare. Something about the transition just keeps her up, even if she was running around like a crazy monkey with her friends!

In general we're at about 50% success rate for naps. I'm not phasing out the window... I'm just turning it into "quiet time." She will lie quietly with a book or a couple dolls. It's all I can ask at this point.

It is night and day for how she behaves around dinnertime, though. We don't go out anymore unless she's had a nap. We just deal with the grumpy-pants. I can't force her to physically sleep, and she's agreeable to rest. I think it's a losing battle to try an force it.

tushnurse posted 10/10/2013 08:33 AM

Jrazz - Why my DD no longer napped she was still made to go to her room, and be quiet, and stay in bed for the alloted nap time, usually about 90 minutes. She would quietly play with books, or dolls. The problem with her, is she is a singer, always has been, and she would start off quietly humming, and before you knew it, you were in the middle of a scene from Annie with her singing at the top of her lungs.

Quiet time is essential. It gives them a chance to break from stimulus, and reset their little brains, even if they don't sleep.

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