Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh, Naptime! Why You Want to Leeeeeeeave Me?

I need to hear from someone whose child was trying desperately to drop his nap right around his third birthday but was able to be persuaded otherwise. My son still really needs his nap. He's waking up at the crack of dawn since we moved him to his big bed and of course now he doesn't want to nap. He is so tired by the afternoon and we all know that doesn't bring out the best in a little kid. We do make him stay in his bed when he doesn't sleep, but y'all know it's just not the same when you can still hear your child talking. Plus, he's not refreshed afterward. Y'all, my child is somewhat like a very wonderful and adorable Tasmanian devil and Mama needs some moments of stillness and quiet. I have tried to bribe him with getting chocolate milk after his nap if he actually sleeps, but that's no longer working. That may be awful but I feel no shame. I know someone has a success story she's dying to share.

84 comments:

R said...

my oldest daughter went through a brief phase right before her little sister arrived where she tried to drop her nap. but luckily it was a week or two phase.

i will be praying for you. this is not a good time with little sister jones on her way!

at the same time, my oldest will be about 3 1/2 when little brother arrives. wonder what that's going to do to her nap? i may need to start praying and planning for ME! :0)

Jennifer said...

Yep, we went through the same thing. We finally found that since we had taken away one of her comfort things (she had the little Fisher Price Bird thing that attached to her crib), that she just couldn't put herself to sleep. We gave that back to her and things got better. Also, for nap time I lay in her bed with her until she falls asleep. She knows that this can only happen at nap time, and not bed time. It also gives us a little time to cuddle which is hard to get from a 3 year old on the move!

Mitzi said...

Ok, this may be contriversial and I don't normally recommend it, but I had the same issue, right around age 3. We started letting him watch a Disney movie in mommy and daddy's bed. Then ten minutes later he would be asleep and I would turn off the movie. He just needed time to stop moving and once he did, he fell asleep. It also had to be a movie that was tried and true.... ie: it had to be interesting enough that he would focus on it, but not captivating enough that he fought sleep to watch it. He's 4 now and although he has finally outgrown his nap altogether (yuck) the trick still works if he is sick or really tired. Hope that helps.

Marla Taviano said...

Nina just turned 3 a couple weeks ago. Her big sisters have been home from school 4 days in a row, and she's DETERMINED not to take naps. I laid down with her this afternoon (I was soooo tired!), and she finally fell asleep after an hour.

If we do something to really wear her out after lunch, she'll take a good nap. Do you have a treadmill you could put him on? :)

Beki said...

Oh Amanda! I feel your pain. My 3 y/o is doing the same thing to me 2-3 times a week. I can't wait to hear the advice b/c my little one still needs a nap EVERYDAY as well. Sorry no real advice here-except I have promised him I would bring him to his Memaw's and that worked. But come on I can't do that everyday!!

Liz @ My Full Cup said...

I have the same issue with my almost 3 year old son. He needs a nap but just will not take one. The only time he will is of course right before dinner when he crashes and then won't wake up until bedtime (ugh). Sorry no advice here, I am just hoping someone else does have something that I can try that will work! I'm with ya! I'm calling for the naps to come back!

sheltonfamily said...

Hey... I have a 3 1/2 yr. old and almost 2 yr. old. My daughter did the same thing around 3. I continue to make her go in her room and I often disciplined her for not taking a nap. It also helped on the weekends if my husband put her down cause she has a little more "fear" of him than me. I can now say she is 3 1/2 and 4 days a week she takes a nap. The other two days we are at MDO so no nap. I now around 1:30 lay in bed with her and we read a few books then I scratch her back to help her fall asleep. Usually within 10 mins. or so she is out for about 1.5 hours. If I let her sleep longer than that she will not go to bed till like 10 at night. I am working on a new schedule of up at 7:30, nap at 1:30-3 and then bed at 8:00. I hope it goes well. I think the big thing is to not give up or even let him miss one day of quiet time/nap time. Good Luck!

Melody said...

I don't know if this will help, but I'm sure you're not too picky about suggestions : )

My son is turning 3 at the end of this week. We let him take his naps in our bed. It's a special treat for him, and he usually sleeps for 3 hours.

The down side is I can't take a quick snooze in my bed, but the couch works just fine for me!

Hope you get some good suggestions. Good luck!

Sara said...

If you hear any good advice, PLEASE let me know. I am in the EXACT same boat as you are!! (Caleb will be 3 on Feb. 13)

You're not alone! And I'm glad I'm not either! :)

Sara
Katy, TX

Lina said...

My son (who is now 27!) couldn't seem to stay in his bed all night. He'd fall asleep OK, but in the middle of the night he'd make his way to our room and crawl in on Daddy's side...Daddy, who was dead to the world and never knew he was there. I didn't know either, because Daddy was always in the habit of sleeping right next to me on my side of the bed...so of course, there was PLENTY of room on Daddy's side for our boy! Well anyway, I just couldn't handle it any more...so made a deal with my son (and he was around 3 or so at the time). We made a "mailbox" for his bedroom door--and if he woke up in his OWN bed in the morning, he'd find a surprise in his mailbox. If he woke up in our bed, well, he knew there'd be no mail in his mailbox. He loved little Matchbox cars, so I stocked up on them, but sometimes the prize was a fruit leather treat, or a sticker...this totally worked for him. You could implement this with your son by agreeing that he needed to sleep in order to find mail in his mailbox.
Wishing you the best with this! You both need your rest!

Fran said...

Ok...what about music or "noise"??
We were all about both of these things?? It put me right to sleep as I laid down with them. :)

I'm sorry girl. My 2nd had just turned 3 when Dylan came along. I got a few more months out of him. I know how bad momma needs a break!

Janeen said...

I just love your posts! Great topic today! I work full time so when they were toddlers I asked my babysitter what she did so I could continue to transition on the weekends and she said to just go with the adjustment. Yep, Me and My Man had to adjust, not the kids.

She was right too... my kids nap times changed through the years with their body clock and their activities during the day and I had to re-work my schedule around that. Easier said than done I know but there'a a LOT less frustration and tension when you realize you can't control it. The only thing we've remained strict about is bedtime is 8pm.

When little sister arrives, you'll be grateful for whatever time the precious boy goes down anyway. ha ha As everyone says, it all goes very quickly and pretty soon you'll be bloggin' about them both in elementary school and you'll have only 6 hours to get your stuff done. ha ha Enjoy!

Lauren Kelly said...

I have no experience when it comes to this Amanda, but just wanted to tell you to hang in there!!!

Heinzfeet said...

Oh my word, I am so thankful just to read the title of your post. I has been a TERRIBLE week or so as my 2 1/2 year old (and my 5 year old) have seemed to simply get over nap time. We did My Gym and a fun restaurant today thinking they would be utterly worn out and take a fabulous nap...what was I thinking? I only drive myself crazy by getting my hopes up and anticipating at least and hour or 2 of uninterrupted quietness in the house.

I am SO ready for Spring. They need fresh air and SO DO I! I think once they get out and play outside it might surely help...PLEASE LORD, GIVE US BACK OUR NAPPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

bethany said...

Yea-Jakson tried to do this for awhile too and I thought I was going to go insane!! For a few days, I had to sit in front of his open bedroom door (on the computer or something) and tell him "lay down" over and over again. Eventually he started taking naps again. Other than that, I really don't have any good solutions.

This story is why I am soooo scared to put him in a big boy bed. I NEED naptime to survive!! And frankly, so does he. GOOD LUCK-I totally feel your pain!!

Dori in Texas said...

Sometimes there is a silver lining. My oldest gave up his nap at 17 months, just two weeks before his baby brother was born. You may wonder about what possible silver lining there may be. He went to bed happily at 7 p.m. and slept for 12 hours. We had some really special alone time with our new baby that was heaven sent. (Our oldest who is an adult now, has never required much sleep.) It really all worked out quite well and were blessed with 4 children in all.

Lydia said...

My son turned 3 in August and started the same thing. We've had weeks where he doesn't sleep a wink during the day, but I've stuck with naptime and consistently enforce that he's in his bed for 2 hours every afternoon at the same time. He still doesn't nap every day (and has yet to sleep a single minute when he's at MDO) but he does actually nap 2-3 days a week now for atleast an hour, sometimes more than 2. And on the days when he doesn't take a nap, he goes to bed an hour early. He's attempted to do the early wake up times as well, but I strictly enforce 7:30 am as wake up time, so if he's up earlier than that, he has to stay in his room until it's time to get up. After a few weeks of waking at 6:30 (usually around time change, which I curse to all eternity), he will go back to sleeping a bit later since he knows he's not going to be able to get up anyway.
Good luck! I know it is such a challenge, but I think consistency is definitely the key. (And I also do everything at naptime the same as I do at bedtime, sometimes down to teeth brushing, but minus pj's.)

Kylie said...

I didn't read all the comments but did read through the first few. I have to agree with Mitzi... as controversial as it is, it is the only was my 3 year old boy will nap- He falls asleep watching a movie on my bed (since there is no TV is his room of course) It is the only way to get him to stop moving! He falls asleep nearly every day and sleeps for several hours. It's worth it to me! :)
My boy did do some weird things like try to give up his nap and suddenly hate the church nursery right before and right after his baby sister was born, too. Once life felt normal again, he went back to normal, too!

Karen said...

I'm pretty sure this doesn't count as a success story but I was 43 months pregnant with my son when my daughter was three. While she didn't think she needed a nap, her mom sure did. So, I put her in my bed with a bag of makeup and told her that mommy would close her eyes so she could "paint" mommy's eyelids. That way I could grab a few seconds of sleep here and there. And since we werem't going anywhere, I really didn't mind having a blue/brown face. (She might have missed my eyelid a time or two.) I tried this with a hairbrush as well but it didn't work out so well. She rolled the brush up so tightly in my hair that I thought I would have to cut it out.

3girlsmom said...

Oh girl. My 3 1/2 year old tried to drop her nap when she was 2. It was awful. She goes to MDO 2 days a week and "naps" there (she lays down, but won't sleep), so I don't worry about naps on those days. On the other days, I make her lay down in my bed (or a palate on the floor in the playroom - there're DVD players in both places) and watch a movie. The rule is, if she gets up, talks, plays, etc., she immediately has to go to her bed and sleep. If she stays laying down, she can watch the movie. It took a few instances of getting up and having to go to her bed for her to get it. But she got it. Then I noticed that she started falling asleep during the movie, which cured the nap issue. She needs the nap desperately. As for the morning getting out of bed issue, my oldest daughter (age 7) has a clock in her room and is told that she can't get out of bed (on Saturdays) until a certain time. My little two daughters (ages 3 & 2) have no concept of time, so if they get up too early, I tell them - from the bottom of the stairs - I don't go to their rooms - to get back in bed. Until they are about 4, I don't put ANY toys in their rooms. They all stay in the playroom. That way, they have nothing to entertain them so they most of the time will fall back asleep.
The main thing is to stay consistent. I truly believe that the "terrible two's" is a myth and it should actually be the "terrible three's". Three year olds are becoming kids- not babies - and are full of ideas and opinions and their very own way of doing things. Isn't this age WONDERFUL!?!?! And I'm meaning that seriously and sarcastically. :)

Jessica said...

My girls are 2.5 and 3.5 and are both trying to drop the nap. I asked my dr about it b/c it was making me crazy that they kept coming out of the room and I needed some down time. He advised to make them stay in their room and tell them that they didn't have to nap.. just rest, b/c you can't MAKE them sleep. I tried this, but b/c they share a room, they would just play. So, on the days when I know a nap won't happen in their room, I let them think they are winning by letting them lie quietly on the couch. They are not allowed to talk to or touch each other Usually, not always, they get bored and are asleep within 10 minutes.

Holly said...

I do have three success stories so far. I'm not necessarily dying to share them, because I have a feeling you are much gentler. And I can be sargeant major.

So, age three came around with Noah. Some days I may have spanked him in love and put him back in bed 20 times and prayed over him and gave him no other option than to take a nap. But over the long haul, my children believe me when I say do not come out here until you have had a nap.

Now with our older two (almost 11 and 9), they rest every afternoon they are home (like today) for about 2- 2 1/2 hours. I let them read, create, color, do legos, listen to Adventures in Odyssey on CD or something along those lines. I pray with them and tell them to enjoy their quiet time. And they do. Neither one complains, and honestly, I believe we all need some quiet built into our day--Amen? Tabor still naps on the afternoons he is home (he's 5).

OK, so my advice is to get out the spanking spoon, be consistent, loving and prayerfully walk it out according to what God is teaching you in raising your son. God will make it plain for you...and not everything could or should work across the board.

Much love and many prayers for you, Amanda, and for your family!
Holly

Gabby said...

I have a 7 and 9 year old who still sleep around 10-12 hours a night, in their own bed, without anything but a prayer and a kiss at tuck in time.
All this to say, stick to your guns, my lady. Mine both napped until K-5.
You can not force him to sleep at nap time, but you must make him have nap time every day in order to maintain sanity. It really does end up working and they go back to napping. No toys, rocking, etc. Just make him have the scheduled time, and then get him up when he is happy.
It works. He will fall asleep again during naptime. You must persist, remember, a baby is coming... you gotta have some rest. You will need it. Mine are 18 months apart, and I SO needed a rest time everyday. It is a phase. The nicest thing you can do for your little Tasmanian is make sure he gets his rest! I hope this was helpful.
I know you can make it!

Danana Banana said...

My daughter is now four. But she gave up her naps totally right around her third birthday - not coincidentally the same time that she moved to a big bed. She spends some time in her room each afternoon for 'quiet play', but there is no sleeping going on. In the last year she has probably taken five naps total.

She also wakes up at 7:00 on the dot each morning, no matter what time she went to bed the night before. No sleeping in at our house!!

To help with her sleep deficit, we started putting her to bed earlier. She's in bed with the lights out by 7:00. We just started making an exception so that she could go to Awana on Wednesday nights. But until now we have really protected that bed time.

JenB said...

I'm THERE! My 3 1/2 yr old son gave up his naps around his 3rd birthday and it was a sad day. I started (and still do) making him take some books or his Leapster in his bed to rest and sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes not. You can't force them to fall asleep but you can make them stay in their rooms. And then I rest because I'll take what I can get! :)

The Brooks Family said...

Howdy!!

My daughter turned 3 in December, and surprise, surprise we're going through the same thing. (I also have a 1 y/o boy, so naptime is sacred!)

Here's what we're doing. She has always listened to Chris Tomlin to go to sleep. She now knows the rule is that she absolutely MUST stay in her bed for the duration of the CD. I gave her a couple of books to look at while she laid there(I learned if I didn't she would pull the curtains out of the wall--literally). If she is still awake when it is over she may come out of her room and go play quietly and INDEPENDENTLY in her playroom for an additional 20-30 minutes.

9 times out of 10 she falls asleep and the rest of the time she very willingly goes into the playroom...b/c she sure doesn't want to get back into bed. (praise you, Jesus!)

That's what we're doing right now and it's worked for about a month so far. We'll see how long it lasts.

Hope things get better!

Paige

Valerie said...

my husband usually tells our son he just needs to rest his actual eyeballs for 10 minutes, that his "eyeballs and eyelids" need a break, and that he'll come get him after 10 minutes. we all know that studying the back of your eyeballs for even a minute usually results in napping.

Momma-of-5 said...

I stopped calling it "nap time". It became "quiet time". That way, if Zoe WAS tired, she'd fall asleep. If not, she was quiet and somewhat rested...and I got peace for 45 minutes. =)

life with the wisners said...

oh friend. well, clearly loads of people have advice for you.

been there. done that. my son was just shy of 3 when my daughter was born. he had just transitioned into a big boy bed. we did room time for a while. and every once in a while he's still do it (he's 5+ now). but i started letting him take a nap on our bed. and he could bring a toy. which was some form of thomas something. he would play with it for about 10 minutes and then brother was out.

he stopped napping pretty early on. but even now, he knows when he's tired.

room time worked the best for us when i had a newborn. i needed a minute or 60 to myself. we bought him a CD player. i would either play soft music or put on a book on CD. i would tell him that he couldn't come out until i went and got him. sometimes, he didn't go to sleep. but i could function better once i had a few minutes alone. and then i knew i could put him down a little earlier.

hope this helps. but seriously...i will be praying for the transition in your house soon.

you're going to love two. i promise.

Megan said...

My son had trouble napping starting at 3. I started putting him down a little later for nap time and that seemed to help. He just turned 4 and he is still napping. He has had phases where he doesn't sleep at nap for a few weeks, but for the most part he sleeps. Hope your napptime returns soon!

Meredith said...

we recently went through the same stage (my daughter is 3 1/2 and my son is almost 6 months). shortly after he was born she started being resistant to naps (and had previously been a champion napper, i could count on 2 hours easily). anyway, my mommy's intuition told me that she still needed a nap and wasn't ready to give it up completely, so i just changed what we called it. it became "quiet time" or "book time" and i required her to stay quietly on her bed with 6 or 8 books. if she said "i'm not tired" etc, i just told her that she didn't have to sleep, she only had to stay quietly on her bed and she could read books because quiet time is important. it seems that giving her the freedom to not nap was all she needed to hear and she was quickly back to daily naps (although unfortunately they are not as long as they used to be....now they are between 1-1.5 hrs) she was only 3 at the time and i knew that she would be a wreck without some downtime and it sounds like jackson may be the same way...so i would encourage you to keep up some sort of rest time for him and be consistent. if his little body needs the sleep, he'll get back into the habit.

amy said...

Amanda,
Hi..my name's Amy...I've followed your blog for a year or so now and it seems it has taken me this long to post a comment. Your post topic is one that I could absolutely relate to a year ago. When my son had just turned 3. I stay at home with our children and those 2 hours (yes, I get a solid 2 hours...DAILY) of quiet time are so very refreshing and necessary to me. I am very productive with that time...I think we all need the quiet/alone time. Anyway...when Jacob started challenging this time, my husband and I stood our ground...we were very firm in reinforcing that he had to have quiet time in his room. We have a playroom, so thankfully, we don't need to store toys in his bedroom. He has books, stuffed animals, and a few quiet toys (Football guys are a hit in our home...www.kaskeykids.com).
He now sleeps about 50% of the time. He knows that he must stay in his room until 3:00. We taught him how to tell time (digital, of course) just for this purpose. I think that has helped ALOT! He takes ownership of his quiet time...knows what to expect....it's between him and the clock...it's not something mommy is having to enforce daily. The clock thing was also a HUGE lifesaver in the mornings. We taped a piece of paper over the "minutes" side of the clock and then wrote the number 7 on a piece of paper and taped it under the "hour" side. Once they matched up (ie after 7 AM), he was allowed to come out of his room. We would hear him wake up sometimes and talk to himself commenting on the lack of 7...then he'd drift back to sleep. He was so proud of himself when he'd see a 7 and would come bolting into our room. We no longer use the tape.
The nap thing reinforced itself when our younger daughter got on a regular sleep schedule (6-9 months-old). We always praise/encourage him for cooperating with our rules. However, Jacob understands that if he doesn't nap, then he goes to bed when sissy does (7:30). If he does fall asleep, then he gets to stay up until 8:30ish. That has been great! He thinks it's super fun to stay up a little later then sissy. However, we have been very mindful of not making the 7:30 time a punishment...just something that his body needs.
I just remembered...before our son could recognize the numbers on the clock...we plugged a nightlight (one with a switch, not a sensor) into a timer...it would turn on at 7 in the AM. We positioned it so that it wouldn't be in his face to wake him up, but if he was just lying in bed, he'd see it. That was great, too...he could come out when "the light came on!"
Okay...that was an essay...I hope it helps.
On a complete side note...I am starting my first-ever study by your mom tomorrow morning (Esther). I am so excited. I was looking through the workbook this evening and was struck by the kind words your mom wrote about you and your sister. What a gift!
May your home sleep well tomorrow!
-Amy

Kristie said...

Yeah--Mr. Noah is trying to give it up, too...I'm just not ready for him to give it up, though...so:

1) We've let him stay up about half an hour later at night, unless he's just falling apart by 8:30.

2) We make sure he plays HARD in the mornings...I'm sure it's probably a challenge to get out there and play hard with him for VPG, but...but I try to make sure Noah gets a good dose of backyard time, and then, we do very quiet things (read books, color, etc.) between lunch and nap time.

3) If there is a day when I can stand for him to actually be up and miss a nap, I let him--knowing that he will definitely need one--and probably a long one--tomorrow if he misses today's.

4) And, while most parenting experts would probably not approve of starting this habit with a 3 year old...if all else fails, I shut down EVERYTHING (lights, T.V., phone, send big sister to another room w/ a DVD & headphones on my laptop), and I just crawl in bed with him and hold him close 'til he sacks out...big problem--I usually fall alsleep with him that way and then get NOTHING done during nap time.

5) And, the probably, the most simple solution for us--we moved his nap time from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and we just have to make sure we wake him up by 3:30 or 4 so he will sleep at night.

***The most difficult struggle for me w/ Noah giving up naps has been that his naptimes allow me to fudge a little and make up for the fact that my time management when he's awake is NOT what it should be. I've found a great Christian resource book, "Heaven at Home," by Ginger Plowman, that has really helped me gain perspective about the way I manage my time and just life in general as I stay home w/ my kids. I HIGHLY recommend it. :)

Lynn said...

My sister insisted on quiet time when her three year old started staying awake at nap time. She was not allowed to get out of bed. There was quiet music and she could look at books. After the novelty of it wore off - she would fall right to sleep. Good luck, Amanda. I have a cousin who is also VVPG - so I am praying for you both.

Sister Lynn

Ben and Kristen said...

I like the mailbox idea and they have some super cute little mailboxes in the dollar spot at Target right now!

debra said...

feeling for ya.

yankee mama said...

My boy's go through that off and on! Noah is four and Joshy is going to be three. I find that when they're going through this I have to stand at the door and when I hear them talk (they share a room ever since baby sister arrived) I go in there and tuck them back in. If there is a certain toy they're into I tell them I am going to put it in the attic if they keep getting up. That usually does it...I also feel no shame:) I also have a cd player in their room and I turn it on for them it helps them concentrate on that, relax and eventually fall asleep. I also threaten to turn that off...but me standing at the door and coming in a few times seems to do the trick. I have to be the mean mommy until they get the picture it sounds kinda harsh but for the most part they go down fairly easy.

When all else fails I will lay down with them until they fall asleep then i'll leave....or sometimes if i'm tired i'll just nap away with them.

Bonny said...

I wish I had a success story to share, but all I can say is EARLY BEDTIME! He still needs the sleep, and you need the break so put him to bed earlier. We try for6:30-7pm. It has been great. Also, still do quiet time in his room. Get him used to it b/c you will need it after baby girl arrives. You can do it!! Love you!

AugsburgDaisy said...

I'll pray for you!!! Been there! I'm with Holly - my son was being defiant about the nap time, so it did become a battle of wills. And as Dr. Dobson says, the parent must win. However, I also found, that my active boy often just needed some more Mommy time (my second was born when he was 2.5). It was touching to find that this rough and tumble guy had a tender heart. Spending some extra time in his room helping him to stay still long enough to fall asleep by rubbing his back and singing lullabies was precious time. And though at the time I had lists of things I needed to accomplish and I was exhausted (with an infant at home!!!), I look back and treasure those moments. And I do believe it built up our relationship. As he neared 4, it became quiet time. He's now 5 and could really use a nap still. Experts agree that children this age need 10 - 12 hours of sleep a day. But, since he's beyond that, he goes to bed at 6:30p and sleeps until 6:30a or 7:00a every day. I found that no matter what time he went to bed, he would wake up at 6:30 or 7:00pm. What a difference sleep makes! He's such a pleasure to be around and we have less need of dicipline because he has self control when he's had enough sleep.

Trisha said...

Hello Amanda! I read your blog quite a bit, but have never shared a comment before.

I have a 5 1/2 year old and a near 3 year old. I'm wondering if your nap time battle began around the same time that your son started waking up very early??

I know it sounds strange, but an overtired child often times will NOT sleep. I read a couple of books when my girls were young and the phrase "sleep begets sleep" has always stood out to me. The more rest a child gets, the better they sleep.

Here is my suggestion. First, get rid of the early wake up time. I know this is easier said than done. But it sounds like this early waking is making him overly exhausted by nap time. I would go about doing this by first making his bed time earlier...even if that means he goes down VERY early. This is the easiest way to get those precious 12 hours or so that you need out of him at this age. Even if he's waking up early, he should be refreshed from a long night of sleep w/ the new earlier bed time.

Once he gets used to this earlier bed time along w/ the early wake time, you can slowly start pushing him back. He should be much more likely to adjust to new bed/awake times if he's refreshed and not exhausted while you do so.

The goal in all this is to have him rested enough in the morning that he'll be tired at nap time but not overtired or overstimulated. Also, as you wait for all these adjustments to "kick in" you might consider making his nap time earlier as well. He might have more successful naps if he's not so exhausted when he tries to fall asleep.

I hope this works out for you. I know how important a nap is to the little ones (and Mommies).

Trisha

p.s. The books I mentioned before are "The Secrets of The Baby Whisperer" (which has a VERY helpful message board on their website) and "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Weissbluth. The Baby Whisperer book has great tips for helping a child get rest, and she even has a follow up book that tackles toddler issues. I've posted many questions on the message board and received great advice. Dr. Weissbluth's book is a WONDERFUL resource for learning about the importance of sleep, understanding the cycles, and how to make sleep happen from infancy on up to adolescence.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

My guys go in cycles with their naps. We'll have a few weeks (or month) where he resisted. I stuck to my guns and refused to allow him off the bed. Then after a few weeks (or a month+) of this he'd be back to taking good naps.

To this day my 5.5 year old has an hour long rest time where he lays quietly on the couch or bed. Sometimes he reads, sometimes not. The almost 4 yr old sleeps about 2-3 times a week and quietly plays on his bed the rest of the week.

I've noticed the 2.5 yr old girl is taking shorter naps these days. I fear my battle with her is approaching and know it will be a hard fought one.

I also have a 3 month old but he sleeps pretty well. =) Like you said MOMMA needs rest/nap time. All 4 of mine go down right after lunch. It's the only hour of quiet I get all day. I will fight to the death to keep it!!! = )

Those Crazy Clarks!!! said...

We have a nap rule in our house. A children must take naps until they are five. Our two oldest went to school. The younger of the two still napped at school in kindergarten! The teacher said he had to wake her up most of the time. My youngest just turned 5 and we are now homeschooling, so no naps anymore. I found that sometimes they just went through phases and I would think they were trying to outgrow the nap but given a week or two they would be back on schedule. Sometimes before a growth spurt they would go through a no sleeping phase as often as they would go through a sleeping more phase. Hang in there and DON'T GIVE IN!

eetomost said...

I am the odd "man" out so to speak. I've been a nanny for over 10 years and all the little ones I have ever kept slept with a small fan that makes noise or music to help them fall asleep. It helps too, if the room is dark.

I hope this helps:)

Leigh-NC

lavonda said...

Wow, thought provoking. Trying to remember....

Mine both definitely struggled with it at about that age. It was harder for my firstborn, because he was 3 1/2 when baby sister came along, and it wasn't always as 'quiet' during his naptime. When she was at that age, God bless me, he was at school and she had a quieter house to nap in.

I remember making them stay in their beds (agree with all the 'quiet time' comments - it's very necessary)...

I remember getting an extra soft mattress pad (down filled, whatever) on their beds and also a down comforter on top -- made them extra comfy and squishy and they LOVED it...

I remember laying down with them on the extra difficult days until they fell asleep (be careful not to make a habit or you'll have to always do it when baby girl gets here)...

but mostly, it was just being consistent, making them STAY in bed. This is the beginning really, of them testing their little independence, and of them also learning who's in charge. :) Some days they didn't fall asleep, but eventually they realized this is how it's gonna be, and started napping great again. They napped all the way through kindergarten.
Praise You Jesus!

Oh! PS... I just remembered also, I did play a worship cd a lot during baby girl's naptimes. Oh my gracious -- so peaceful. She would be asleep by the second song. It was Phil Driscoll's "In His Presence" cd. We were visiting family in Va one summer and my Aunt Nancy played it in the bedroom for Emily to try to nap (Gracious she needed one!) while we were all visiting, and that little girl was OUT with it. I used it the rest of the trip, and then bought one when I got home (had to special order it, for some reason they didn't have it in stock it was so old, I guess?)

To this day, if I have that cd playing, I get a warm feeling in my heart remembering those precious naptimes.

Mommy Dot Com said...

You could try doing an extra bath right before nap time. The play time may use up energy and after he gets out, gets dried and dressed, his body may pick up on the signal that it is time to rest. I would make the room dark as possible, which I think you already do. I use to play teaching tapes (I mean some preaching) softly in my children's room and it would put them to sleep in perfect peace.

There were times when I had a child fight naps and I had to decide if I was ready to go without naps or if I wanted to do the extra work required so they could continue. Consistency is key. And, yes, I've seen children who I thought would never again take a good nap return to sleepy land once again without struggle.

Andrea said...

Hey Amanda,

You've got some good suggestions here. I have 3 boys - 10, 8, and 3. No naps here... but one thing I tried to do with the olders (haven't been as diligent with the 3 yo) was having quiet time. So when naps went away, it was replaced with quiet time. They get an hour or so in the afternoon for reading or sleeping (remember to start early in case they fall asleep - then they won't ruin bedtime). Obviously, most 3yos aren't reading, so you might get a CD player and some stories on CD (give Jim Weiss @ Great Hall productions a try)and let him listen while he rests. And/or give him a big stack of favorite books to look at (maybe some that are set apart from all his other books just for this purpose). If he balks, you can set a timer and increase the time daily until he is trained to stay in his room the alotted amount of time. Kids need to learn to play independently and have some time on their own (if for no other reason than mom's sanity!).

Hope you find some suggestions you can use, Andrea

valerie said...

Oh, I can relate.
My son was only 19 mo. old when his "Baby Sista" was born. I remember that he might take a short nap, but she'd be awake and vice versa. I thought "Can't you both take a nap at the same time. I'm dying here!" I was SO tired for so many months...ok, years. ;)
Things do settle down, they really do, but for a while it's hard on a tired mom.
I'll keep you in my prayers Amanda.
Love,
Valerie

Heather said...

Ryan did this ... I needed him to take that nap as much as he needed to take that nap! I just told him that he needed to stay on his bed and he needed to at least rest. I gave him one book. We had a chart and at the end of the week if he obeyed he would get a special treat. 9 times out of 10 he would fall asleep. The challenge was just getting him to stay on his bed. That's why we did the chart. I laid down the "ground rules" with him and told him what I expected. He's very motivated by the chart system and loves putting up a sticker when he has had a good day so it motivated him to stay on the bed. Find out what Motivates him and run with it.

CPT Mom said...

Since 2 1/2 my girl has been fighting naps. Now that she is 3, she probably naps consistently about 4 times per week. I have stopped calling it nap and tell her she just needs to "rest". With the pressure off, she will usually give in and fall asleep. I have also found that if I can get her to stop moving, she will usually crash. So I say do what you have to do to get him to stop moving!

On the days I am desperate and just can't get through without her napping, I put her in the car and drive her around. That always works. (don't judge me, people.)

Marni said...

Benedryl

Okay, I'm kidding.

Both of mine tried to drop naps around 3 years old, but they still needed them, so I did what Mitzi does. I let them watch a Disney or Veggie Tale movie so they'd be still enough to go to sleep. Ten minutes tops, and they'd be out like a light.

One is in high school now and the other is in elementary and they seem well adjusted and sleep fine, so, for me at least, this tip worked :)

Erica said...

I definitely went though the same thing...it was not a fun season. I know this is not the "Super Nanny" way, but I have found that if I lay down with Brea for just 5-10 minutes she falls asleep (when she is really tired). I don't like doing it, but I figure it is worth the 2 hour break and the happy little girl that results.

Jen said...

The transition to the big boy created some wake up issues for us, as well. It's a very common thing. Our son dropped his nap when he transitioned. They definitely question why they get a "big boy bed" yet still need a nap like a baby.

As for morning wake ups, we ended up putting a lamp on a timer in his room. We set the timer for 7:30am. We explained that he cannot come out of his room until that light was turned on, and if he did, he would be escorted right back. It worked like a charm from day one, and he's 4 1/2 yrs. now and we still use it. We manipulate the time according to our sleep needs (school days it comes on at 7:15am, weekends at 7:45am).

The Henrie Family said...

I can relate all too well! I had to take out every distraction in the room (stuffed animals, etc...). She is told to be quite no talking and she must lay there quitely. And even so it takes her one hour to fall asleep most days. I ocassionally turn on lullabye music to help her quite down. Hope this is helpful. I wish you restful naps!

Janelle and Ella said...

So I am getting that the overall theme is that most all kids go through this about this time. That makes me feel better but also makes me feel worse. I so hope this isn't the end. I treasure those couple of hours too so much and I am NOT ready to say goodbye. I liked Gabby's encouragement and how hers napped until Kindergarten. I like that!

Tara G. said...

Amanda,
We added a third child to the family in May. In the weeks leading up to her birth, our son (just a couple months older than Jackson) really struggled. His love language is touch, and so it was hard for him to not be able to sit on mama's lap or just simply having a mama without much energy. Throw a cross country move into the mix, and we struggled as parents, too! There were days I would just ask God if there was ONE thing He would let this perfectionist control and preferably, let it be my son! My point is that there are a lot of dynamics going on in your family right now and perhaps Jackson simply can't verbalize it or even process it all, but he knows something is up and it probably makes him feel a bit insecure. And "normal" behaviors may not be consistent or even present until things calm down. My suggestion is that you sit down with Curtis and see if there are any areas you're being inconsistent in (because you're VVPG and naturally tired!), and refocus, rein in, etc. so that Jackson can test and find out that they do indeed still exist. RE; sleeping- we found that after time, he got comfortable again and went back to naps. There are days now that he does not take them, so maybe it's unrealistic to expect them daily at this age- I'm still working on that. With our oldest daughter, we began a quiet time which others have mentioned and she was required to sit on her bed quietly and look at books until told she could get up. I could give you more specifics of what we've done re: sleep but won't take up space here- feel free to e-mail me if you wish. Just wanted to encourage you that these final weeks and the first weeks with baby girl will be a little out of normal range and that life will settle down again sooner than later!

Emily said...

My sister recommends "rest time." Set up a baby gate in the doorway of his room so that he can't get out. In your own words, explain to him that it's his time (by himself) to play quietly with his toys, color, look at books, etc. Most of the time her son fell asleep, and on those days he didn't SHE got the rest.

Be consistent and make it part of your EVERYDAY routine. He may start to look forward it and go on his own.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I had/have this problem with all three of my girls. I have found that often the fight isn't worth the battle to be won! Instead what I started doing was letting them watch a video on the couch.....a long one, which they normally would fall asleep too. I know it's not the best way to get housework done while they are in the midst of everything but, it really has worked for me!

Heather said...

My little boy (3 1/2) did the same thing right after he turned three and it was DEVASTATING! It only lasted a couple of weeks, but then this last month (since we took away the pacifier) he has only taken 2 naps in 3 weeks! One thing we have done that has helped is let him listen to music in his bed at naptime and bedtime. He loves the "Seeds" CD's that play praise music. (It is actually scripture put to music) and we let him listen to those and a lot of times it helps him to sleep. E-mail me if you want to the link for the CD's!
Good luck!!! I am praying for you guys- Baby girl is getting close!!

Robin said...

We went through the same thing, Amanda. I was about 3 weeks from my due date with #2 when #1 decided she was done. I could've pulled my hair out. If EVER I needed her to nap, it was NOW and in the months ahead!! It did prove to be a 2 or 3 week phase, and once all the excitement of a new sister arrived, she was once again exhausted and ready to nap. Hang in there!

Jill said...

Just went through this last year. My then 3 year old needed a nap really bad. No go. So we started a rountine during the school year when the other kids were in school. Right after lunch we would play a board game and I would yawn a lot. Then we go up to her room and with the shades drawn and lights out lay together on her bed and read a really long book with few pictures.
It worked so well that she would have to be awaken later that day so as not to disturb night sleep.
We could even do it the summer after some time at the pool.
Don't give up.
She's 4.5 and still takes a nap a few days a week and always takes a rest in her room with books, quiet play etc.

~ Laurie said...

I have been thru that also! With two children. I resorted to standing (or laying) in the bedroom with them and saying "close your eyes" "don't move" until they go to sleep. It is worth it. It is VERY worth it. This one also has worked "You don't HAVE to sleep, but you must lay still in your bed, with your eyes closed" So far no one has stayed awake thru that! LOL! There have been a few occasions with our son where I have held his eyelids shut. Yes I am THAT mother.

Sitesx6 said...

My twins napped until they were 6...about age 3, they started doing what Jackson is doing. Just stay consistent, keep putting him down at the same time daily, and keep him in there for the same time. Even if he wakes up early, have him stay in bed and look at books quietly. This probably will only last a few days or a week (the waking up early from nap thing) if you just hang with it...he will fall back to sleep, or not wake up at all. Don't let him get up, no matter what....he may wake up early a few naps a week, but overall, will probably sleep most of the time. I really feel 3 year olds BADLY still need naps.

Hang in there! God bless you.
Kelly in Michigan

Kimbirz said...

Sorry, this girl has NO HELP!
My daughter did the same thing.
I also made her stay in bed and look at books and she had to be very quiet. She did fine, but yes, still un-rested.
But sometimes you will have a child who does this and just grows into no nap time. IT'S hard on us moms, I was desperate for down time but as I learned, it just comes with the territory.
I hope another mom has a better story for you.
Hang in there sis.

April said...

Well I am not a mom but a nanny for a 3 yr old. She doesn't take naps for her parents on the weekends but during the week she will sleep about 3 hrs for me.
I am a bit tougher, than they are. I don't allow talking, so I tell her if her "friends" (her stuffed animals) are keeping her awake I will have to take them out of her bed. And if I do that and she is still chatting and playing, I tell her I will have to take, her most favorite teddy away. And she hates that so it is extremely rare that, he gets taken away.

I think it is mostly a matter of having them actually be still and quiet for a few minutes. She always goes right to sleep.
I will pray for God's leading to what is right for your family.

Elizabeth said...

Please let me know if you figure out what works!! My almost 3 year old has been doing the exact same thing for the last week and a half. Gets up, turns his light on and has a good ole time. Going in and putting him back in bed is not working. I am praying it is a phase and "this too shall pass".

Michele Helms said...

Is he actually lying down? I have 5 children and I know the importance of having nap time!! I would ask a couple of questions....Could he have "rest time" and bump his bed time way up? If not I have sat in the doorway as another blogger suggested just to make sure that the child lies still. Usually if they are quiet and still and tired they will fall off to sleep. I would spend that time doing my bible study or writing my grocery list ect. Hope this helps!

shalana said...

I have 3 kids under 5 and they each need varying amounts of sleep. My oldest definitely needs more sleep than my middle child. He will be 5 in March and will still take a nap most days. He lays down in my bed (for naps only). If I do not lay down with him then he does not take a nap. If I do, he is out within 10 minutes. My 3 yr. old also still needs (and takes) a nap most days. He is in his own room and bed and is allowed to take a few books with him. (He will not fall alseep if someone lays down with him.) He's going through a shredding phase right now though....but anyway...the best book recommended to me was "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weisbluth. It covers sleep needs through the teen years and in a much gentler approach than some of the other books out there on the subject of naps and schedules. Basically, try moving the nap time up or down by 30 min. There is a golden window for naps and if you miss it, it just isn't gonna happen. The book also discusses total amount of sleep recommended by age. So, changing the bedtime or wake time could help you adjust the naptime. Lest you think we've got the sleep thing nailed at this house I have to mention my almost 18 mo. old that will still wake up in the middle of the night and takes less of a nap than the older two! Good luck!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Uh, leaving this up to the professionals:)...

katiegfromtennessee

Kristie said...

oh--and the BIGGEST way we've found to get Noah to sleep in the afternoons...

We've just re-joined our local YMCA, which has an indoor heated pool. In our tight times, I can't afford the extra expense of paying for a nursery card so my kids can stay in childcare while we workout. So--instead of doing the cardio and strength training equipment, I bring the kids with me to the pool, strap the floatie packs on them, and put them in my lane. I swim maybe 8 or 10 laps (all I can do at this point) while they play and follow me up and down the lane. When we get home, Noah has just enough time for lunch before he CRASHES! It's a beautiful thing--he gets a good nap, and I get my exercise in. :) We've also gone in the evenings and doen the same thing--then I shower the kids in the ladies' locker room and put them in PJ's...they go straight in the bed when we get home.

Kristie said...

OH--and one more...this helps my kids go to bed at night and at nap time. My mom--"Grammy"...recorded some CD's of her voice just talking to the kids...sometimes, singing ABC's to them, sometimes telling them why they are so special to her, sometimes talking about favorite things she likes to do with them (making pancakes or going to Chick-fil-A for ice cream), once for each of them talking about what an exciting day it was for her to get go to the hospital and meet each of them for the first time, sometimes saying or singing simple memory verses in rhythm, sometimes nursery rhymes, often a simple version of one of her favorite Bible stories. My kids ONLY get to listen to these while they are lying quietly in bed...so, you may wanna make some for Jackson, or enlist Bibby's help--my guess is that she'd be thrilled to help! :)

Sarah: said...

My son recently did the same thing. I just realized he is a day older than your son.

I put my son to bed earlier in the night, say 7pm, and he still slept in until 7am. One time I put him to bed at 6:30 pm! I found I got my quiet time in the evening. (he has had no nap today and will be in bed shortly)

I have also tried making him stay in his room and play quietly for half an hour, so I could have a break in the middle of the day.
I told him Mommy needed a quiet time, went in my room and shut the door.

I hate loosing the nap. I used to get 2 hours to myself in the afternoon. My daughter who is 4 would stay in her room and look at books and play quietly while my son napped.

I hope this helps!

olivia and henry said...

oh no! well, olivia napped regularly until just a couple of months ago...she will be 5 in may. henry is almost 2 1/2 and he naps every day and i pray he does not stop until he's 4!! the only thing i can say that has worked with both kids is having naptime at the same time every day. we don't ever skip a day. olivia will still rest a couple of times a week, but only when needed. oh, i FEEL for you!!! my little henry is VERY MUCH a "very wonderful and adorable Tasmanian devil", and i cannot imagine how tough it would be if he didn't nap!!!! i really hope you find a solution!! ;)

puzzlepiecesista said...

Dear Sweet Amanda, the little dude definately still needs his naps and all the more since little sis' will be arriving soon!! I have one secret I'll share that I used on all three of my boys (now aged 11, 14 & 16)so they survived it! hee!! hee!!

I always kept a number of long handled wood spoons around and on the back side of the spoon was "Mr. Sad Face - :(" and on the front side "Ms. Happy Face - :)" (Drawn in with a black permanant marker!) When one of the boys would try to sneak out of nap time or not take it at all I would pull out "Mr. Sad Face :(" and say "Now honey it will make Mr. Sad Face so upset if HE has so come visit your bottom, HE really doesn't want to do that, so, if you go back and take your nap, when you wake-up Ms. Happy Face :) will be waiting to give you a little "special" treat. I would have a whole basket full of different things they could choose from. Most of the time it really, really worked and I was the better mother for it!! (I always took it with me when we went shopping too and that worked REALLY well!!)

I'm just awful aren't I!?!?!! We lol about it now!! So NO permanent damage was done!!

Good Luck!
Angela in Redmond, Wa

Teri~Facedown said...

I don't have any nappy advise for you, but I love your title! Love me some Big Fat Greek Wedding! I say that phrase often!

Amber said...

Friend!
I will say I did NOT read all 71 comments...so if I am repeating what everyone else said...i am sorry.

There is hope, Titus is 4 1/2 and still takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. Now, that said, he doesnt always fall asleep but it is mandetory for his sanity that he atleast rests. When he was almost three and started trying to not take a nap, we finally just started making it an Obedience issue. He knows that he is to Obey the first time and that Mommy and Daddy love him and wants whats best and knows whats best for him. Sooo if he got up out of his bed, he was disobeying which called for discipline. He got the picture pretty quick...and went back to napping. A couple months later he started again with the no napping, and this time since he knew his numbers we got him a digital clock. He knew he was to lay in bed until the 4 was in front of the : He LOVED this. So he could sit and stare at the clock and sooner or later he would fall asleep. This is also how we got him to not wake up until 7am (before he would consistently get up right at 6) We just told him he was not allowed to get out of his bed until the 7 unless there was an emergency or he had to potty.

We did try, watching a dvd and he NEVER fell asleep and listening to story cd's...no sleep...he is a sucker for a good story so he was wide awake. He has to be bored to tears before he falls asleep so the number clock worked!

Hope you find something friend!

Love you miss yoU!

amber

Honeycutt Family said...

Hang in there, Amanda. It is just a phase. Grace did this last summer when she was 2 1/2. It lasted about a month or so where she would nap one day out of 5. Not fun, but several of my friends' kids did the same thing. Keep being consistent and he'll get back on track.
Sometimes the bribing worked for us too, so don't feel bad. Keep saying to yourself, "IT IS JUST A PHASE. IT IS JUST A PHASE."

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Um, Ava tried to do this too a few weeks ago...I just dug my heels in, and promised her fun things ONLY IF SHE TOOK A NAP, and it worked! She and Clara both took a nap at the same time today. That's essential.

Ms. Elaine said...

I just linked to your blog from others and do not know you but what worked for my boys years ago for naptime was a good book. I would give them a stack of books and tell them they did not have to go to sleep but they needed to rest and they could "read" while resting. It would not take but a book or two and off they would go to sleep! Of course they were not reading but looking at those books. We had the nighttime ritual of reading a book before bed but they "read" their own at naps. Other times I would set the kitchen timer and tell them they neede to rest and when it went off they could get up. Most of the time when it went off they were fast asleep.

Deedra said...

I have an almost 3 year old and he does pretty well with a nap so far. I am pretty rigid with the time, but I let him nap in my bed. I lay down with him and turn on HGTV. He is out within 5 minutes. Probably bored to sleep, but whatever it works! I will also tell you that my 9 month old lays down with us and when they snuggle together they sleep for 2+ hours every day...sometimes 3 hours!! I just keep the video baby monitor close by so I can keep an eye on them!

Good Luck! I'm sure you are getting exhausted by now! Not too much longer!!!!

Karen said...

My son is 11 now, but SLEEP has always been a challenge for him. And his amount of sleep is in direct proportion to his obedience! He will never 'sleep in'. He's got a little body clock like his dad...7:00, up and at 'em. So, I need to make sure he gets to bed at night at a decent hour.

He didn't want to take naps either when he was a toddler. But then he'd crash right around supper time. And I'd be so desperate to have him sleep (plus it was soooo quiet and peaceful!!) that I'd allow him to sleep as long as I though his body needed. WRONG! I learned that if I allowed him to sleep longer than 20 minutes, that he wouldn't go to bed at night. Then he'd be crabby and defiant the next day. So, as hard as it was, I'd let him take a 15-20 minute catnap, and then he slept so well at night.

All to say: Sometimes us moms need our kids to take naps more than THEY need to take a nap.

Enjoy this time with him...soon all these problems and challenges will fade away, and you'll long for these days (really!!!). I really miss the toddler stage. So, I get my fix and volunteer in the church nursery!

Blessings to you and your family, Amanda!!

Debbie said...

That's the age. My son went through it and I remember being jealous (haha) over my friends who had tots who would still take naps.

When I was pregnant with number two I would go into his room and lay on the bed with him (with his bedroom door closed because eh couldn't open it) hoping he would fall asleep, but it never failed that when I woke up he was always quietly playing on the floor. I was refreshed, but he wasn't.

Maybe things will change when he sees his little sister sleeping a lot:).

asplashofsunshine said...

I feel like i am reading about my son. I could not give up nap time for the sake of quietness during the day. For a month, I allowed him to lay on the living room floor all cozied up with his own bedding. The TV was on, but was soooo low he got bored and fell asleep every day. He knew that if he whined or got up during rest time he would end up in his crib again.

Once a month or so passed, I put him back in his room for nap time (he hated it), but I gave a lollipop bribe the first day, and he is back to his crib for nap time. It has been about 6 months since I started the crib again, and all is well.

In the end, every child is different. Do what works for you. If you try to follow what somebody else did, it may stress you out more. Ok, maybe I am just speaking for myself. :) GOOD LUCK!

ABeatty said...

Oh, this will pass, I promise!! There's something about moving them to a big bed that somehow makes them think they have a choice as to whether or not they will sleep. I went through it with both of mine, but I was just adamant that they still took naps. Once the newness of the bed wears off, he will go back to his old sleep habits! I know it's so hard though because they're so cranky in the meantime! Goodluck! :)

Christy said...

Ok I know 83 comments later and since I'm too lazy to read them I'll share my experience!

When my oldest son turned 3, I had a 5 month old and a husband who'd just deployed to Iraq for the first time! He all of a sudden decided too that he did not need/want a nap. I was DESPERATE...hear me...DESPERATE for nap time every single day!

I was talking to my friend who I turn to for all mommy questions (Mother of 7!) and told her my nightmare. She said "just make him lay in bed then, he doesn't have to sleep, but make him understand he must stay IN bed until you come get him...he'll start taking naps again, trust me".

Now I trusted her, but also knew for a week now he had not been napping and I was wearing out FAST.

So that day I told him he had to lay down and he didn't have to fall asleep if he didn't want to, but he was not allowed out of bed until Mommy came to get him. The first day, he layed in there quietly (oh that was the other stipulation, he had to be quiet). He stayed there for one hour and I went and let him out. It was just what I needed! The next day, he layed in there for about 30 minutes awake and then he fell asleep! There was no turning back after that! The boy took naps until he was well into his 5th year of life and I was soooooo grateful!

So that's my suggestion...even if he doesn't want to sleep...make him lay in bed and rest. You make the rules whether he's allowed to do quiet activities of reading/looking at books, coloring..or just has to lay there doing nothing! (I opted for nothing).

Hope something works for you two!!!!