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What should I do if my toddler refuses to nap?

My toddler refuses to sleep or nap unless someone is rubbing her back. What's going on?
Submitted by Team

What's happening is that you've turned into your child's personal masseuse and allowed her to rely on the warm, fuzzy feelings this affection produces to fall asleep. As hard as it is (snuggling with our kids can be so blissful, we know) you're going to have to stop the back rubbing. Start at bedtime first. Go through your whole bedtime routine up until the back rub and then say goodnight and leave the room. If she protests, explain that she's a big girl who can fall asleep on her own (your confidence in her will go a long way). For a while she'll probably call for you and cry, but you should continue to comfort her with your voice and nothing more. Eventually (after about a week) she should catch on and fall asleep independently. And once she can put herself to sleep alone at bedtime, she'll also be able to fall asleep at naptime and fall back asleep on her own in the middle of the night.

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The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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i have the same situation, my twin boys are 20 months, and i have to cuddle them every night, they refuse to nap during daytime now, but go to sleep earlier in the evening. i dont know what to do, ii cant handle the cring, its so hard with the twins, anny suggestions?
Submitted by asulok4u
I was in the same boat as you except I was rocking my guy to sleep every night. I had tried to break the habit before but could never handle the crying. I finally decided that it was "the time" and let him cry for about a week. Luckily each night was better than the one before and we finally made a breakthrough. I still rock him every night while we read but he always goes to his bed awake and things are much better! I did have a little help in the process by a plush friend known as "bunny."
Submitted by abpete001