When your Toddler Refuses to Nap

Cute, isn’t he? Well, don’t be fooled. When this kid doesn’t nap, he turns into a demon, birthed from the bowels of hell.

Granted, I birthed him. While I assume my uterus is a squishy, cozy oasis, perhaps it’s filled with lava, with wicked winged creatures roaming about.

It begins with an unassuming eye rub, followed by the toss of a toy, maybe a refusal of his favorite snack. All signs point to the coveted, NAP TIME.

Godsend for parents. End of the world for toddlers.

Why is nap time such a struggle? Why does said toddler assume you are sending them to the stocks; rotten tomatoes tossed at their face, phlegmy spit, sour milk?

Consequences of your toddler refusing to nap:

Whining, screaming, tantrums…outright disobedience.

Tantruming toddler…not mine

As I lay here with his six-month-old brother, I beg this tiny, perfect angel not to turn out like his demon older sibling.

I would hold back tears, provided my body had enough emotional energy to produce them.


“What’s there to be tired about?”, asks my hardworking hubby, who gets up early and comes home late, providing food and shelter for this chaos.

It’s a question I struggle to answer. Why AM I so tired? What have I done today, other than chase this tiny human, who seems to leave nothing but destruction in his wake.

I move around my house in circles, cleaning mess after mess, never making progress. Just trying to keep things on par.

The second I slack, even for twenty-minutes, it appears (to the outsider) that I parked my lazy butt on the couch all day.

Our kitten, Ash, not helping at all

How do I let my partner know how much work I actually did? And how something as seemingly insignificant as the toddler not taking a nap has thrown me off course and out of my ever lovin’ mind?

“You must understand, love of my life, greatest thing that ever happened to me, this is in your best interest. You will awake happier, and Mommy might actually get some sh*t done!”

There was a time when I would just pick him up, plant a kiss on that soft cheek, carry him to his crib, lay him down, whilst describing just how much he is loved, and he would slip into a delightful slumber.

Now, if he gets even the slightest inkling that I’m putting him to bed, he screams like I’m shoving bamboo shoots up his fingernails.


I can feel the virtual high-fives from all of you who have experienced this…which is basically anyone who has ever cared for a toddler.

I relate, and I salute you.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering…how did I tackle this?

Wish I had the answers, but as it turns out, only Daddy can tame the beast. As soon as his father comes home (after some snuggles and playtime), he says, “Time for a nap!”

Daddy and his boys

And goshdangit, that flippin’ kid happily marches to his room, tucks under the covers, and drifts off to dreamland, ever-so-peacefully.


I birthed this babe. I nurture, love, play, console, assure, reward, commend, discipline, feed, etc this babe…all day, EVERY DAY.


Is that the natural order of things, Mommy taking the emotional brunt? I don’t blame Daddy, at all. But, I am jealous. Why is it so darn easy for him? Does my boy just respect him more?

Am I venting? …perhaps.

Do I feel better? …absolutely!

To wrap things up, nothing is resolved. He is still a toddler, with highs and lows. Regardless, I love my boy more than life itself. I wouldn’t change these moments for anything in the world, because I know that someday, I will look at my teenager and WISH I was battling him for something as simple as nap time.

5 thoughts on “When your Toddler Refuses to Nap

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  1. I cherish the memories of cuddling with your child, my first male grandchild A warm bottle with him laying on my chest and me singing him his favorite nursery rhymes while he drifted off to sleep. So cute and so precious, just like my two daughters. And then came two (years that is). Someone must have doused Charlie with water since your sleepy angel morphed into a gremlin, the ever-ready bunny, the terror toddler, the Tasmanian devil. Call it what you will. Now, even trying to get the little straight-armed octopus to relax or to stop the soprano audition for the New York philharmonic is exhausting. Is it a boy vs girl thing? I don’t know. Now, we go for walks. Down the road to the trail to forest bathe, to the stepping stones, to the jumping log and to the musical bridge. He runs with Timber the dog. Up hill and down hill. Back and forth. I do my best to chase after him and to keep up. Then, as if by some miracle, he dumps to the ground, sniffling, done. He just wants to get in the stroller. Sometimes he sleeps; sometimes not. Doesn’t matter. We’ve bonded (that’s a male thing) and his mama got some time to do her thing. PRICELESS!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting, seeing this from your point of view. You’ve hit all the markers, hilariously so! I have heard it is a “boy thing”. They’re harder to deal with as youngsters, but easier teenagers…that’s what I’ve heard, anyway. I’m sure many moms of teenage boys may beg to differ. But that’s what I’m holding onto right now…it’s all I got lol!! At least he’s cute, right?! Thank you for the comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My little grandson lays down for his nap here with Nan no problems. Bed time — it’s an all out war. An hour or so later I am exhausted and I think — Momma and Daddy do this every night? Why is nap time easy and bed time hard? He’s just a bundle of energy it seems and doesn’t want to slow down. Good luck; let’s hope someday you the double win of both napping at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miraculously, they do nap at the same time now! As does Mommy and Daddy 🙂 Bed time has worked itself out as well. The baby cries for a bit, but the toddler just stays patient in his bed and waits it out. We feel very fortunate


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