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Grandparenting

Dropping the nap.

(76 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.

Lyndie Wed 09-Aug-17 11:49:06

Could you look after her for half days? I am younger and I look after my granddaughter during the holiday days and she is 6 and I find it exhausting. In fact this week I have time off and gone straight into a nasty cold and horrendous cough! Look after yourself. 3 year old don't have a long concentration time. What does her mum suggest? I take my granddaughter out a lot. It's more interesting for me also. She does stay with me for a week at a time.

Lyndie Wed 09-Aug-17 11:53:22

Just to add. About an hour after she is gone I miss her so much . Although my mind wants her all the time my body needs to rest between times.

midgey Wed 09-Aug-17 11:56:46

How about some messy play.....if you can stand it! A washing up bowl with some cornflour and water mixed or a great favourite with my granddaughter shaving foam....smells nice and fairly easy to wash off in the bath!

Anya Wed 09-Aug-17 12:08:26

Change your routine and take her to activities in the morning and 'out and about' after lunch.

Activities might included Play & Stay sessions where she can meet other children and you can meet other adults (usually run by church groups), Tumble Tots, Story Time sessions, etc..It's amazing what's in offer.

And by out and about I mean outdoor activities such as parks, puddles, even shopping. My GC used to love visiting the local Garden Cente and pet shops where they could look at the pets (all for free)

There's always CBeebies 🤓

lesley4357 Wed 09-Aug-17 12:15:11

When my gd dropped her afternoon nap we would have 'quiet time' fir an hour instead. This involved drawing curtains, putting a DVD on low volume and no speaking. Very often she would doze off (as would I!)

SueDonim Wed 09-Aug-17 12:33:47

Would she nap on alternative days or maybe every third day? One of mine did that, needed to recharge her batteries every few days with a short afternoon nap.

But never after 3pm - I swear that for each minute mine slept after 3pm they were awake for an extra hour in the evening!

Barmyoldbat Wed 09-Aug-17 12:52:06

How about a trampoline, the little girl next door is the same age and full of energy and does not sleep for more than 20 mins during the day. Her mum has put up a trampoline with safety net and the little girl can be seen playing on it on and off all day. Even seen her her out in rain with coat on leaping about about and sleeps like a log at night at night.

Everthankful Wed 09-Aug-17 13:05:04

Having four children myself and umpteen grandchildren, I found it an absolute necessity to encourage afternoon naps up to age 3 and after , if they attended nursery on mornings. I've always found that they get too stressed and tired to go to bed at a decent time in the evenings if they don't have an afternoon nap and bedtime becomes a nightmare. It's a long day for a little one who has probably been up since 5-6am if they are not allowed to go to sleep around 7pm

Everthankful Wed 09-Aug-17 13:06:06

'Until 7pm'

nannal Wed 09-Aug-17 13:06:45

I think you have it the right way around, out & about in the morning & after lunch a quiet time with books as you are doing, I would then put on a dvd & snuggle with you & a blanket on the sofa, some times she will sleep sometimes not.

good luck

Jalima1108 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:10:17

If I let either DGD have a nap after about the age of 2 they couldn't get to sleep in the evening until about 9 pm, although I do know of some children of 2+ who could sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon then go to bed at 7pm.

So, a 'rest' with Peppa Pig or whatever after lunch then some fresh air in the afternoon - fresh air always wakes them up - the danger time is about 4 pm so a small piece of fruit, a cold drink may just give them the oomph to get through to early tea/dinner, bath and in bed by 6.30 or 7 at the latest.

Eglantine19 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:15:51

I've been trying to think what else I did with a two year old. A bowl of dough, some cutters, patty pans etc, cars that got lined up all along the landing (I guess playing traffic jams had to do with living in London!), a box of 16 little drawers and a bag of things to put in the drawers and take out again, and yes, as much outdoors as possible!

Eglantine19 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:16:20

Three year old. Sorry!

Jalima1108 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:17:01

When you say she doesn't like craft, I wondered what type of craft. Have you tried painting outside (I found an easel in the charity shop) or those large chalks so that she can draw all over the paving slabs (it feels a bit 'naughty grin but washes off in the rain).
The DGD loved Fisher Price people and house rather than dolls and would make up stories and talk to themselves as they played.

Jalima1108 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:18:24

Playdough with some cutters and/or paper cake cases and cake candles

Jalima1108 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:19:12

why is she 'beating up' dollies? Does she have a new little sibling and is she suffering from jealousy?

fluttERBY123 Wed 09-Aug-17 13:22:58

I would stay stay out in the am as long as poss - spin it out. Important to have a routine. Mine was - out in the morning, child has lunch, child watches tv while I have my lunch. Leave tv on as long as poss.

After that you are both basically waiting for them to be collected! They can help with washing up or dusting or mucking about in the odds and ends drawer - sometimes I used to put the whole thing on the table and let them get on with it.

Best option is to get them together with another child. 2 children are half as much work as one, as long as they get on reasonably well. Play dates once or twice a week make a huge difference.

As much as possible leave them to their own devices. If they get absorbed in something go on tiptoe, leave them to it. Once their concentration is broken they will usually not go back to what they were doing.

Once everything tidied away at end of afternoon (they help!) a tape of children's activity songs is good - as long as you can persuade them to do it as a concert for you so you don't have to stand up and join in!

luluaugust Wed 09-Aug-17 13:54:30

Just slightly older DGD's spent hours making rose petals into perfume, mud into cakes and held tea parties for the teds. I could sit and watch and 'enjoy' a cup of very odd tea.

goldengirl Wed 09-Aug-17 13:58:39

Like others the 4 year old has a quiet time - sometimes he falls asleep but usually not. We watch the odd Peppa Pig or even Ninja Turtles and have a story so that I can have some sort of a rest at least!!! I notice that as I get older I'm getting less energetic with them unlike when the first one was born 13 years ago!!!

Norah Wed 09-Aug-17 14:23:26

My dgc napped until they were 4-5 (my ac did same). I am not as pleased by early bedtimes. Mine went to bed at 9p to visit their father after his long work and drive. Would that work better?

Apricity Wed 09-Aug-17 14:25:49

I don't think many 3 year olds still have afternoon naps. If morning is indoors I find you need to get them outside in the afternoon for a walk, park, playground, whatever is around in your area. Some fresh air and outdoor activities. Run 'em ragged as they say so they are tired and ready for bed at a reasonable hour.

Sheilasue Wed 09-Aug-17 14:52:08

When mine were little I would take them to our bedroom and have a nap. Usually after lunch, we would all snuggle up and drift off. If they were a bit figity I would read or make up stories.

trisher Wed 09-Aug-17 15:08:42

DGS is 2+ and still naps (thank goodness) I've said when he stops napping I'm not doing full days! I need the break! I do think tiredness can vary according to if they go to nursery on the days you don't have them, what time they get up and what time they went to sleep the night before. You could try games like "Sleeping Lions"

teabagwoman Wed 09-Aug-17 16:51:09

I knew you wonderful gransnetters would come up with suggestions. Can't think why I hadn't thought of taking her out for a long drive and I will look at local bus routes. Will try putting her in the bath and have found a "recipe" for shaving foam paint that she can use on the tiles and I can wash off. Will be out searching for a box of drawers Eglantine, she loves 'filing' things. It's definitely not over feeding GoldenAge, that's a whole other story. One thing I have thought is that it might work better if I do some crafting rather than present it as something for her to do and see if she wants to join in. This may be interesting as I'm a very fumble fingered nana. Maybe I should start a new thread - Ideas for easy craft activities for fumble fingered nanas?

Jalima1108 Wed 09-Aug-17 17:46:13

Norah do you live somewhere where they don't start school until older than 4? I know in some countries they don't start until 6.

I do think it's a good idea to get them out of the habit of a day-time nap well before they start school because they won't be able to nap at school - and an unbroken (if possible) 11 hours sleep at night when they do start school - ie 7pm until 6am is, I think, essential. When they start school at 4+, staying up until 9pm is not a good idea.