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  1. #1
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    Default What do I do with an overtired toddler in the late afternoons?

    What do i do with my overtired toddler in the late afternoons? Ideally at home.

    He won't nap anymore & from about 3.30pm onwards its just constant screaming & tantrums. Literally about EVERYTHING. We are doing quiet time instead of a nap, but it's not making any difference to the late afternoons. We are also doing an earlier bedtime.

    Every activity I attempt or suggest is 'NO!!!!!!!!!!' or gets thrown across the room. That includes going outside. Even that time of the afternoon here sunscreen is still necessary & when he's overtired that battle is just an absolute NIGHTMARE.

    I don't want to put him in front of the tv for 3 hours, personally I'm really against screen time for that age, but it's looking like i don't have many other options. (Just to add here - the being against screen time is my choice for my family. Totally no judgement on those who allow their kids screen-time.)

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    When my LO is super tired and I'm trying to stretch, water play helps a lot. You might be able to get him distracted enough to get sunscreen on while he plays, or in times of desperation or rainy days I've also set a small waterplay table up in the shower (which is also great at containing mess!)

    Shower/bath is also great for other sensory play activities - bubbles, shaving cream, even cooked pasta to squish and squelch in.

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    I know you said in the house, but i find getting out of the house invaluable. Change of scenery does the world of good for my DS - eg the park. We try to go to a shaded one, but i realise that might not be an option for you.

    On the weekend, why don't you make it Daddy and DS time in the afternoon? 😉

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    This too shall pass! I promise this won't last forever. After my DD dropped her naps I went through a period of never leaving the house in the afternoons (otherwise she'd fall asleep in the car), giving her dinner at 5pm (always finger foods, kept her more engaged), bath at 5:30pm and bed at 6pm. There were still frequent meltdowns but we got through it.

    Remember you don't always have to decide/suggest what activity he does, or ask him what he wants. Obviously he needs your support to get through this time but he also needs to fit in with you too. Have the TV on if you feel comfortable with it, have some activities set up around the house, busy yourself with housework and let him figure it out to a certain extent. When DD is in one of those moods (which still happens at 4.5!) the worst thing I can do is get too involved. It's just asking for the no's and the throwing.

    And like I said, this is just another stage and will be over before you know it!

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    And now he's decided he's going to start falling asleep at 3.30pm, after refusing to nap all afternoon. 3.30pm is way too late, that is when we used to get him up from his nap. Will be up till midnight if we let him sleep then. ARGH!!!!!!!!! Why is everything so impossible?

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    I struggle with getting really frustrated with my kids' behaviour. I find it helpful to remind myself that it's not personal. They aren't "deciding" to whinge and complain and fight with me over everything, they are just reacting to the fact that they are kids who are trying to learn how to live in this world. It's not about me, it's just the way it is with kids sometimes.

    As for overtired afternoons: I'd dress him in long sleeves and a hat and head into the backyard for some water play. Don't do the sunscreen battle, it's not worth it. Let him get wet and dirty and have a lovely time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby_Tuesday15 View Post
    I struggle with getting really frustrated with my kids' behaviour. I find it helpful to remind myself that it's not personal. They aren't "deciding" to whinge and complain and fight with me over everything, they are just reacting to the fact that they are kids who are trying to learn how to live in this world. It's not about me, it's just the way it is with kids sometimes.

    As for overtired afternoons: I'd dress him in long sleeves and a hat and head into the backyard for some water play. Don't do the sunscreen battle, it's not worth it. Let him get wet and dirty and have a lovely time!
    I just get concerned about long sleeves & a hat not being enough. What about his legs & face? Eg the UV index here was 4.7 at 4pm. Anything above 3 needs slip slop slap apparently. So therefore his face etc will get burnt. I can set it up in the shade, but it's all of 5 mins before he's off onto his climbing frame in the full sun or something

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    When my son gets over tired some afternoons I find it easier to put him in the bath with a little bit of water and some toys, I sit on the floor next to him and if he wants me to play I'll happily join in, if not no worries, I'm content to sit quietly and observe and let him play. If you do it around 4pm, by the time he's played for half an hour and you've got him dressed it's time for dinner (something easy like sandwiches is quick if he starts moaning again) then stories and bed early.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allatsea View Post
    And now he's decided he's going to start falling asleep at 3.30pm, after refusing to nap all afternoon. 3.30pm is way too late, that is when we used to get him up from his nap. Will be up till midnight if we let him sleep then. ARGH!!!!!!!!! Why is everything so impossible?
    In that situation I'd wake after 10-15 minutes just let him have a quick power nap and push bedtime back half an hour if needed.
    My dd needs to get out of the house-yard. She goes stir crazy at home. She's similarly high energy, challenging and on the defiant side. We go out morning and afternoon. She's much happier when out of the house even if tired and being horrible at home. Even if it's just walking up the street or getting pushed in her trike around the block it's a circuit breaker.
    Hats are non-negotiable here. Get one with a decent press stud strap on it and just keep putting it back on. I swear sometimes I can tell my dd to do something/not do something 100 times in a week. And that's just for one thing. Frustrating absolutely. But I also praise her like crazy when she has snippets of doing things right like holding my hand (she hates it so whenever she does it voluntarily I tell her how wonderful she is great hand holding etc).
    It's not easy but with the high energy comes a hugely inquisitive mind, amazing curiosity, courage and spirit.

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    Default What do I do with an overtired toddler in the late afternoons?

    The latest activity my dd has been interested in is
    Sticking on pictures out of old mags to make collages
    I prepare tonnes of pictures out of mags before hand and also prepare sticky tape rolled around.

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