My just turned 3 year old has been basically refusing naps most of the time for several months now. Maybe once every two weeks or so she will actually nap, the rest of the time we do “quiet time” in her crib. Since I have had to accept that even though she is obviously very tired and cranky, she won’t sleep, I have started leaving the curtains open or light on and give her a special toy to play with or books to look at. For a while, she would play or look at books for a while before fussing, but occasionally loses her mind crying. These are often the days before she finally naps again because the over tiredness catches up with her.

However, when she is crying and whining instead of playing quietly, we all lose. Instead of resting and recharging, she’s getting more upset and tired. And I don’t get any rest or recharge. I stay at home and quiet time for both kids is my only time to catch up on chores or rest or sometimes have a coffee to reenergize. The days she’s screaming I end up more stressed too. The 5 year old still does her quiet time generally well. We have had the same routine for a long time.

Clearly this isn’t working great, but the kids absolutely need a break from each other during the day and I absolutely need a break to catch up during the day.

Any suggestions? She’s still in her crib but has plenty of stuffed animals in there with her plus some special toys I give her during this time. I’m losing my mind with the tears. She is also going through something these days anyway- not sure if she’s a bit sick, or some developmental thing, or just being 3, but she cries and throw tantrums so much more than she used to. It’s a rough phase!