Naps. Wouldn't you like one about now? Why can't we just take them instead of our kids who clearly don't appreciate a good thing when they have it.
My son is 15 1/2 months old and still takes two naps. He seemed to be giving up the morning nap as he wouldn't sleep so we tried one afternoon nap but he was miserable. He doesn't always sleep a long time in the afternoon though and is very tired at night, even with the 2 naps. He used to fall right asleep at night but now he rolls around for awhile regardless of what time we put him in. He doesn't cry or get mad, but he takes a long time to fall asleep now.
Should we force the one nap? Is there something we should do in order for him to fall asleep faster? Or, is this nothing to worry about and he will transition on his own when he is ready?
From: Lynn, of Boston
Two things: (1) If you put a child down and he or she rolls around for an hour, the bedtime is too early. (2) At this age, a second nap is probably to blame for him not being able to fall asleep.
Pediatric sleep specialist Richard Ferber of Children’s Hospital Boston suggests going with your instinct and imposing a one- nap schedule, right after lunch.
But be patient. His body may need as much as two weeks to accommodate the new schedule and it’s only repetition and consistency of doing this a bunch of days in a row that will give his body the signal to redistribute the sleeping needs and hours.
“It’s like changing time zones, or having jet lag,” Ferber says. "It takes time to adjust to and there's a lot of irritability that goes with it."
By the way, the new edition of Ferber's "Solve your Child's Sleep Problems" has a whole chapter on naps.
I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with
some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.
The author is solely responsible for the content.