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Grandparenting

Dropping the nap.

(75 Posts)
teabagwoman Wed 09-Aug-17 08:04:28

My 3 year old dgd used to have a 2 hour nap in the afternoon and I thanked my lucky stars. Now she's dropped it completely with the result that she's tired and difficult all afternoon. I insist that she has a 'rest' on her bed for an hour but that does little to help. I'm hoping that you wise grannies will be able to suggest ways of keeping her occupied and calm in the afternoon. She's a very active child, so the morning is spent out and about, and she has no interest whatsoever in any type of craft activity (nursery can't get her interested either). Playing with dolls usually seems to end with them being thrown or beaten up. Needless to say I read to her and resort to DVDs but that only lasts so long. Any suggestions as to how to get through this phase would be gratefully received, I'm 71, love looking after her but am finding it a bit much at the moment.

MawBroon Wed 09-Aug-17 08:15:22

In my DCs' day it was "Bagpuss" or "Dogtanian" while cuddled up on the sofa after lunch which provided that "down time".
Wish I could be more helpful, I am sure others will be.

J52 Wed 09-Aug-17 08:30:06

It seems old to be having such a long nap. My own DCs stopped afternoon napping between the ages of 1 and 2.
My GCs certainly were not napping after the age of 2. The current, 3 year olds just have a quite 'downtime' after lunch, but not for very long.
Although it must be tiring for you, I think your GD has grown out of napping.

Grannyknot Wed 09-Aug-17 08:30:16

Other than extending the one hour rest, I don't know what you can do. That is good training though because from a very young age and throughout my childhood, we were taught that after lunch the grown-ups rest, and that time was sacred. We had to read or colour in or similar. Now I think that it was good that the emphasis was put on the adult needs smile. (My retired grandparents looked after 3 of us when my mother had to go back to work).

I had 2 children 18 months apart. When I was exhausted, I would "childproof" my bedroom, shut us all in there and put on a relaxation audio cassette of whale sounds (it was the 1970s!) I would tell them they had to be quiet whilst mommy listened to the tape. Sometimes I would doze a little bit (not sleeping). I remember still my youngest would get the giggles smile in her attempts to stay quiet.

Eglantine19 Wed 09-Aug-17 08:30:31

It might sound odd but have you tried bath time? A nice warm bath, some pots for pouring and filling, sit in the corner with a up of tea and don't interact much, just respond with the odd comment. Sometimes children need time without adult stimulus I think to enter their own world.

cornergran Wed 09-Aug-17 08:33:39

Having this issue with Littlest, sub titled the most stubborn child in the world. After lunch it's feet up on the sofa for us both with a book and then a calm DVD, nothing to encourage jumping around. We snuggle up and often he drops off for a little while, just doesn't realise he has smile. Usually get an hour with my feet up that way. It's not something he does every day, others have different routines, but he knows he does with me and now expects it.

Nanabilly Wed 09-Aug-17 09:12:20

I regularly have my 5 year old gs and I've had since he was a few months old when full-featured to work .When he dropped his long afternoon nap it was torture as I needed it too . Then I started "quiet time" we would have lunch ,have half hour active play ,outdoors if weather was good but racing round to tire him ready for quiet time. We would then read books. Sing songs ,watch an animal documentary ,he loved the monkey ones and a wolves one we saw. sometimes (Often) quiet time involved A bit of a snooze too which proved he still needed a nap.He rarely naps now though but when he does it Is for At least 2hours.

Luckygirl Wed 09-Aug-17 09:36:31

Smallest DGS is just at this stage - I can still sometimes get him to drop off by putting him in the pushchair and going for a walk - but sometimes it fails. He may not need a reast, but I do!

Luckygirl Wed 09-Aug-17 09:36:45

Reast?! - rest.

teabagwoman Wed 09-Aug-17 09:38:21

Thank you for your advice and I shall definitely try bath time. It's not so much getting her to rest, she's very good about having her hour with her books and soft toys but it's finding things to occupy a tired, restless and cross child for the rest of the afternoon. She's very stubborn and one of those children who gets more restless the more tired they are.

loopyloo Wed 09-Aug-17 09:58:49

I reached a point where I could not let my dgd sleep or she wouldn't sleep at night and that would make DD cross! So we had to watch tv while I had a rest. When she went to school, I did miss her.

silverlining48 Wed 09-Aug-17 10:04:09

I remember late afternoon was the time when my children were more difficult because of tiredness, and it is the same with the grandchildren. Difficult to deal especially if theres only one of you. The bath idea seems a good one, they all like that.
While our children seem to have cut out naps in the afternoon quite early, they are still the norm in other countries where its expected children have an afternoon sleep, at least up to the age of 5 or so. We saw this for ourselves in cuba recently. Lots of little beds in rows with children up to about 5 or 6 all asleep, windows open for all passers by to see. Not a sound...shhhhhh.

GoldenAge Wed 09-Aug-17 10:11:36

You could try counting up the number of calories your gd is being given on a regular basis. My experience with two and a half year old gd is that her overly-energetic and naughty behaviour (including unwillingness to sleep) is down to over-feeding. Too much food, and too many bottles of milk to try to calm her down - altogether a daily calorific intake of well over 2,000 calories - what an adult male requires. Young mums who do not breast feed seem to forget that the bottles of milk they give are food and not drinks. So I suggest you look at her lunch - keep it light and with no additives, and follow it with a glass of water not milk. Hope this helps.

PamelaJ1 Wed 09-Aug-17 10:11:55

Take her out in the car. Almost guaranteed. When she's dropped of, park somewhere and have a little 😴 Or read the paper.

GoldenAge Wed 09-Aug-17 10:11:58

You could try counting up the number of calories your gd is being given on a regular basis. My experience with two and a half year old gd is that her overly-energetic and naughty behaviour (including unwillingness to sleep) is down to over-feeding. Too much food, and too many bottles of milk to try to calm her down - altogether a daily calorific intake of well over 2,000 calories - what an adult male requires. Young mums who do not breast feed seem to forget that the bottles of milk they give are food and not drinks. So I suggest you look at her lunch - keep it light and with no additives, and follow it with a glass of water not milk. Hope this helps.

radicalnan Wed 09-Aug-17 10:15:12

I went to a wedding where the brother walked the bride down the aisle and step dad gave her away, while other brothers kept the congregation up to date with the test match scores............one had his transistor radio in the vestry as the vicar was also cricket mad, and signals were sent by means of a sort of waving by the intermediary brother, so that the radio did not clash with the service.

I was thinking how unconventional that all was, when a member of the congregation had a heart attack and the bride, a nurse, had to pick up her hooped petticoats and rush back down the aisle to give CPR.

Some weddings are more netertaining than others.

radicalnan Wed 09-Aug-17 10:18:15

Sorry posted on wrong page trying to multitask and failing.

TillyWhiz Wed 09-Aug-17 10:26:10

When my DGD dropped her nap we used to have activities in the morning - music, dancing, singing, going for a stroll, playing in the garden, like yours she would not do crafts here, then in the afternoon we would go out for a drive either with lunch or a snack and drinks - amazing how a cosy car would send her off to sleep! And sometimes we'd park up and have a nap with her!!

Saxifrage Wed 09-Aug-17 10:38:44

With a couple of our grandchildren bus rides were very popular. We could plan a circular route which even included a ride on the tube. Cost nothing as we have freedom passes and they were good as gold for an hour or so.

kircubbin2000 Wed 09-Aug-17 10:39:34

If possible invite another child to play.

beckywitch Wed 09-Aug-17 10:40:07

I know it may seem old fashioned but my grandkids, when quite young, liked playing simple board games.

Funnygran Wed 09-Aug-17 10:44:26

Two of my DGS's are only a few months apart in age at almost three. One dropped the sleep just after his second birthday and never stops all day and I know mum could do with the break. By teatime he is tired and also grumpy if he is hungry. But he does go to bed early. The other one is more placid and wants to fall asleep around 4pm. Then of course is also grumpy when he is woken up to eat. They are all different and I suppose it's a phase they go through. DH tells me he regularly fell asleep after his lunch when he first started school.

luluaugust Wed 09-Aug-17 10:45:57

I always found an old fashioned box of building bricks and a bag of Lego most useful in the afternoons, also games like Snap which are boisterous, and on hotter days a bowl of water in the garden with half my saucepan cupboard at least you can sit down!

Candelle Wed 09-Aug-17 11:41:34

A drive in the car?

My grandson would not have an afternoon nap much past the age of 18 months (much to our chagrin!). We would follow her advice and take him for a drive.

When she needed a rest, my daughter would strap him into his car seat, saying that they were 'going to Harefield' and would drive to a village a few miles away. The toddler would drop off to sleep with the motion of the car.

A year or two later, this grandson asked his mother, with some displeasure, why it was that he never experienced Harefield but thought that everyone else had....

Craftycat Wed 09-Aug-17 11:42:23

Duplo or Lego always worked for my lot at that age. I'm lucky as I am a Crafter & letting them choose something from 'Grandma's room' always kept them quiet- they are not allowed in alone ( guillotines etc!).
They have always loved being read to as well- which sometimes gets them to drop off for a bit!