Dealing with a Toddler Who Won’t Nap

Dealing with a Toddler Who Won’t Nap

Much to my disappointment, Oliver has always been a child who isn’t a big fan of napping.  We had no problems when he was small.  Like every baby he slept whenever and wherever.  However, once Oliver got a bit older and he was more aware of the world around him, his napping became a struggle.  He always struggled to switch off and fall asleep.  Even when he was absolutely exhausted.  Often I would find myself pretending to be asleep beside him to help him realise it was time for a nap.  His naps were short, often under an hour long, and I felt by the time I had actually started doing something he was awake again.

Then at the start of the year, a switch flipped and he suddenly went for these 2+ hour naps that I had only heard from other parents about.  The naps I had been dreaming of.  I finally had time to do things around the house.  I could write my blog or I could catch up on my favourite tv shows on Netflix.

But then I went back to work at the end of my maternity leave and the switch flipped again.  I don’t know whether it’s because he has a different routine every day, but he just won’t nap for me.  When I’m not working out day normally has the same sort of structure.  When I’m working he splits his days between my mum and our childminder.  When he’s at my mums, she often sends photos of him down for a nap at about 10am, with the childminder he goes down after lunch.

For me? Nope, the only time he will go to sleep is if we go for a walk and he falls asleep in the pushchair, or if we go out in the car.  The funny thing is, these were never tactics I used when he was younger to get him to sleep.  We never purposefully went for a drive or a walk just to get him to sleep.  On the days we are at home all day, he will be running around all day and even though he is absolutely knackered, he refuses to sleep.  If I put him in his cot he screams blue murder.  If I lie him on our bed he just climbs all over the place or points and shouts at the TV.  I have tried sitting on the sofa and having chill out time.  Hoping that will help him fall asleep (which is what he will do with my husband) but with me, nope.

I’ve tried putting him down at different times of the day, following his sleep cues, playing gentle music, curtains closed, curtains open, in the sleeping bag, under a blanket, the list is endless. But nothing seems to work.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong (or right, maybe I’m just too fun!) but I feel like I’ve had enough.  I’m tired too, I need that hour or two to relax, to get things done around the house, and I just can’t.

Have you had any experience in this?  Anything that worked for you? I would love to hear from you!

I wrote this last month for Meet Other Mums where I am a regular blogger.  Funnily enough, after writing this Oliver decided he will nap at home, those nice, long naps are back!


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  1. July 6, 2017 / 10:36 am

    I remember when Amelia was little and she would nap for 30 minutes! I knew exactly how long it would be each time and had to decide what i would want to get done in that half hour slot! Shower or chill?!

    As time has gone on her naps have changed from being really short, to a little longer and now she is down to one a day for a couple of hours. I never thought this would happen! Like you, it was what other mums talked about and i never thought i would see it.

    We just started to put her down about 3-4 hours after she had been awake that morning. It’s so hard though because every child is different. Feel like ive not given much advice at all but i hope it gets better for you. Netflix break is essential for us all!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  2. July 6, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    yikes, one of my big fears… too late to change my mind now! ood luck #dreamteam.

  3. July 9, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    With my eldest she would nap at roughly 2pm every day for about 40 mins to an hour. My youngest though is so erratic, his naps have never been consistent. Now his naps can be as early as 10am or as late as 3pm which is not great for the school run! I’ve never seen a 2 hr nap! x
    Thanks for joining #ForTheLoveofBLOG
    Helen @Talking_Mums recently posted…Being Beautifully DifferentMy Profile

  4. July 9, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    I could have written this a couple of years ago. I had major problems trying to get Little Man to sleep. I used to beat myself up that he wouldn’t nap in his cot. Like you, he would sleep in his pushchair for a walk so in the end I used that in the house. I would put him in it, lay him back, rock it gently so he had the motion with some lullabies and usually he would sleep. Now those days of nap times are a distant memory! Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!
    Jaki recently posted…Understanding Your Introverted ChildMy Profile

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