When My 2.5 Year Old Stopped Napping

So Graham, my 2.5 year old sweet little babe no longer naps.

Yes, you read that right.

No more naps {and he JUST turned 2.5 – like this week}

R.I.P. #NapLife

Seriously, it’s like I’m mourning the loss of the 1-3 hours I had to myself each afternoon. But then I remember Brooks hasn’t napped in a year, so I never really had any time to myself anyways.

But I digress.

I have been posting on my Instagram a little bit about our nap struggles + bedtime drama and I’ve had a bunch of questions about how it all went down, so I thought it might be helpful to put together a little post sharing our experience of loosing the nap, at what I believe to be a young age.

We’ve had bedtime issues for a little while now – it’s a whole other beast of a post for another day that when I eventually {fingers crossed} figure it out, I’ll let you know! But getting Graham to bed + to stay in bed was getting harder and harder each night. He has been climbing out of his crib for a few months now – like a monkey, no worries there – but just fighting sleep. He would be up until 8, 9, 10pm {!!!} some nights and then miserable the next day. He and Brooks share a room and Brooks would be sleeping away while Graham was just trolling the hallway.

It wasn’t great.

And then, to add to the fun, at least one – usually both – boys would end up in our bed or our room at some point in the night.

Because everyone was already sleeping so little, why not sleep a little less.

This basically resulting in all the coffee and me feeling like a zombie all day, erry day.

No bueno.

I finally decided that Graham wasn’t going to sleep at night because he was napping too much during the day. I did a few days of cutting the nap + powering through the day, and he was passed out in my arms, mid-story at 7:05pm, no drama.

Got to love that.

So after a few days of peaceful put-downs, it was clear that Graham no longer needed a nap, unless we wanted him partying all night with us until 10pm.

Which I don’t.

The problem now is that he was going down at 7 – 7:30pm easily {the magic hour!} but he’s still waking up either in the middle of the night, freaking out or super early in the morning – usually 4:45am, on the dot.

At least he’s consistent.

And then he would be miserable all day, without a nap.

Which has resulted in more car naps, stroller naps and even passing out in the Target shopping cart.


To add to the fun of not sleeping, we took Grahams pacifier away from him a few weeks ago – figured we needed to do it sometime soon, Brooks stopped with his around this same time and no one was sleeping anyways, so might as well just do it.

Rip the bandaid!

The actual loss of the pacifier wasn’t so bad at all, except I think he’s replaced ME with his “bubba,” as we called the pacifier. So now he’s been very clingy, attached and wanting me to always be in sight, along with suddenly needed me to rock him to sleep at night. It’s not something I mind doing, and I’m certain it’s a phase with the loss of the nap, the loss of his pacifier and just growing up a little.

In other news – when we said goodbye to the pacifier, we took him to Build a Bear and he got to put his pacifier into his new bear’s chest with the heart you add in before they sew the toy up. He did it all on his own, so that was pretty neat.

Highly recommend.

Back to the nap!

So we had our 2.5 year doctors appointment this week and I was telling our doctor how Graham no longer naps. She said thats great, but he needs to go to bed earlier – which again, made so much sense.

I had thought about putting him down sooner, because at the end of a busy day he’s just SPENT – and keeping him up until 7-7:30 was getting a little crazy. But he and Brooks share a room – so putting them down at different times seemed crazy. And my husband doesn’t get home until 6:30ish and the boys like to see dad a bit before bed. But them doing bedtime at the same time, gets them both rowdy and they feed off each others energy – separating it a bit for more chill time before bed might make sense.

I decided to try it out this week and wouldn’t you know it, doctors orders WORKED!

I’ve been doing dinner a bit earlier for Graham, sometimes Brooks waits and eats with my husband and I when he gets home, bath time + into PJs around 5:30. Then I send Brooks downstairs to watch a show quietly, while I read a few books to Graham and get him ready for bed.

The past few nights, Graham has been passed out, snoring by 6:15pm.


And I feel so good about that because he clearly needs it.

The first day or two he woke up at his regular time – around 5am – but I didn’t feel so bad about it because he got an extra 1.5 hours of sleep going to bed early the night before.

And last night he slept in until 6:45am – SO I’m crossing my fingers we are onto something, folks!

Without a nap, the days seem to go by so much faster! We can jam pack so much fun + so many things to do into each day now that they are so tired at the end, happily ready for bed. And I sort of like having to not stop my day and plan around a huge chunk of the afternoon where he may or may not nap.

Now we go full steam ahead into the day, and if the boys catch some Zzz’s in the car for 15 minutes or so, that’s cool and that hasn’t affected anything {so far!} But I don’t let them sleep much longer than that, because its way more worth it to me to have a comfortable + quiet bedtime than an hour to myself during the day. I’d rather them get the rest they need, so we can have all the fun during the day.

And of course, I’d love to hear from you:

When did your child give up the nap? How did it go?

Please share!



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  • Reply Patty March 16, 2018 at 6:51 am

    So happy for you that the nap drama is coming together – another rite of passage for your little man and you! Hope you had a good night solo last night!

  • Reply Ani March 16, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Our 3.5 y/o boy was never a “napper”. He was more of a cat nap kid until he started school and somehow they get them to nap there. Win! He did stop sleeping in the crib at age 2 and 1 day. We spent a month trying everything except having him in our bed. We finally caved and got him a big boy bed and he sleeps in it with ALL of the stuffed animals. The only down side … someone has to stay with him until he is asleep and if he wakes up someone has to go back till he’s asleep. ‍♀️

  • Reply Ani March 16, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Not sure why the “hand on head” emoji came up as something different above. Sorry about that. Eek!

  • Reply Heather October 1, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    My two year old is going through a crazy sleep regression right now. He is only 2 and some odd days, but won’t nap. Freaks if he is put down in a crib, and has stayed up until 10pm before falling asleep on his carpet…we have our two year dr appointment tomorrow so I will see what they suggest, but I was wondering how the rest of your journey went more than a year later!!? Thanks!

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