ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Naptime a Necessity? How to Get the Most Persistent Child to Sleep

Updated on July 5, 2008

How to Get the Most Stubborn Child to Take a Nap

Here is an interesting story I wrote in my journal after I began my new role as a stay at home dad. Hidden in the humor is a very practical tool for overcoming a difficult situation. Maybe this will help you as well...

October 10, 2007

Naptime was a challenge my first week as fulltime dad. Well, not with Joe. That boy loves his sleep. He is only 15 months and sleep is still very important to him. Abby, however, is three now and beginning to resist naps more and more. My clever idea of letting Abby watch television for 15-30 minutes when I put her down for her nap turned out to be a big mistake. I would set the timer and it was understood that she was to "close her eyes and go to sleep" when her TV shut off. This worked well for a few weeks until one day I realized she had been in bed for about an hour and I could still hear her television. Quietly, I ascended the stairs to peek into her room without her knowledge. There she was, sitting on the edge of her bed watching Tom and Jerry, which happens to be her favorite cartoon.

Instead of reprimanding her for disobeying, I slipped back downstairs to see what she would do. As soon as the movie ended, she shut off her TV and came downstairs. I asked her, as I always do, "Did you have a good nap?"

She looked up at me with those innocent, big green eyes and said, "Of course I did dad." I suppressed a smile and tried to decide if she was brilliant or incredibly sneaky. After three or four days of my sweet little baby girl ‘secretly' turning her TV back on I devised a plan that has been working well ever since.

We no longer have naptime at our house. We now have "quiet time."

The first couple of days after naptime was abolished I was asked the same question, "Daddy, can I watch a lil' bit of TV when I take my nap?" I wish you could hear the sweetness in her voice. Only three years of age and already trying to work dear old dad with her charms. She is so cute!

"Oh no, baby girl," I say, "We don't have nap time any more, this is quiet time. If we turn on the TV it won't be quiet sweetie."

"But Daaad-dee, I just want to watch a little tiny bit of TV. Please daddy, please?"

After a few minutes of pleading, I could see there would be no easy concession this time, so I did the one thing I absolutely hate to do. I am almost ashamed to admit it; yes, reverse psychology.

"As soon as quiet time is over baby, I promise. Now you lay there, and don‘t you dare close those eyes! I mean it, just lay there and stay quiet! Don‘t you go to sleep!" (she is giggling now)

"I won't daddy!" she says giggling a little more. Ten minutes later she was out. Mission accomplished.

‘Quiet time' is still the way we handle naptime here. The length of the naps are not as great as they used to be, but they are still oh so necessary. My little princess is not so sweet when she hasn't had her nap!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanx for the tip, I'm definately going to try this. I've bren battling nap&bedtime for awhile now. Somtimes I want to give in, but I don't because I know how important the nap is.

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      jjrubio & Jerilee-

      I was just commenting to my wife this evening that my little girl, my baby, will be 5 in April. It doesn't seem possible.

      We are definitely cherishing these moments. I have thoroughly enjoyed each years' joys and frustrations. Thanks to both of you for reading and taking the time to comment... :)

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Very good suggestions, even though it comes 30 some years too late. My daughter would never take a nap. It got so bad at pre-school (because she was interferring with the other kids taking naps), that they moved her little cot into the hall. A few minutes later they went out to check on her. She had taken off all of her clothes and neatly folded them on the cot. She was happily flushing all of the paper cups down the toilet.

      They asked her what she thought she was doing and she explained, "My mommy always lets me sleep in my birthday suit." (Not true) Needless to say, I had a lot of explaining to do, both to her and the teachers. I also got to pay for the plumber to come.

      Like jjrubio said, "Cherish these years!"

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good hub! I remember those days when it was a struggle to get my youngest to nap. Thank goodness that has passed. And yet sometimes I am sad too, sad that my babies are all growing up and into new phases of life. They don't stay little long enough....CHERISH IT!

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      My best friend has employed your strategy as well. He does not make his son take a nap anymore (he is 3 months younger than my Abby) in hopes of getting him to bed earlier. It hasn't worked too well, but now he can't go back to nap time, etiher. My 4 year old and her 2 year old brother share a room. Even with their afternoon nap, bedtime is 8pm. I do allow her and her little brother to watch cartoons until it gets dark (darn day light savings time), but they have to stay in bed. They are normally asleep by 9:30. Like you, I don't mind if they play around a little at bed time, but I still think they need a good nap. And as always, every child's needs are different.

      Thanks for your insights and for reading my post... :)

    • profile image

      Cynergy Diva 

      10 years ago

      Interesting strategy. My Grandma used to go insane when my kids wouldn't go to sleep at nap time. When she asked me how I "handled" it, I just said, "I don't. For me, if they don't want to nap in the afternoon it meant it was that much earlier they went to sleep at night." I was huge on naps for myself though having never outgrown it from being "forced" in childhood. LOL So most of the time when I would go down, so would the kids. If they didn't though, they would just play quietly in their rooms

    • Stay at Home Dad profile imageAUTHOR

      Stay at Home Dad 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Necessity is the mother of invention! :) And for my little angel, naps are still a necessity. Thanks so much for reading...

    • dineane profile image


      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Very clever!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)