Tactics for Avoiding Toddlers Danger Napping in the Car

If you are a parent to a toddler, I’m sure you’ll know exactly what danger napping is. For the rest of you, it’s the risky situation where your little one falls asleep anytime after about 3pm thus jeopardising your entire bedtime routine and more than likely guaranteeing tantrums and tears from everyone.


As much as possible, I avoid driving in the late afternoon as my two are definitely prone to a quick power nap. Knowing the consequences, I find myself trying any method possible to keep them awake. These include the following:

My Tactics

1) Continually asking ‘are you awake?’. This get progressively louder and more desperate the longer it goes between responses. I’ll even try asking one if they can see if the other is awake.

2) Pretending there is something amazing to see out the window. In my most excited, enthusiastic voice I’ll be exclaiming  ‘look girls – can you see Peppa Pig over there?’

3) Cranking the windows fully open thereby creating a wind tunnel that would lift them out if their seats if they weren’t actually strapped down.

4) Blasting the radio so loud that passersby would presume I’m some sort of hooligan off to a rave. Not likely seeing as it’s normally local radio and so probably Adele or Lionel Richie blaring out.

5) Practically dislocating my arm at every set of traffic lights to ruffle hair and pock and prod them.

Does any of this work – nope.  It does normally delay the napping and so when we finally reach our destination and I discover two angelic dozing tots, at least I know they’ll have only had 10 minutes. If only that 10 minutes didn’t matter.

How do you stop them napping?


when you've got an afternoon drive planned, the last thing you want is little ones falling asleep on the journey home. Here's how to stop them.

5 thoughts on “Tactics for Avoiding Toddlers Danger Napping in the Car

  1. Hahaha. We don’t even try with our 8-month-old. He either falls asleep in the car or he doesn’t. I’ll be interested to know if you find the secret trick though. 🙂

    1. Like you say they are either going to sleep or not…. unfortunately I don’t think there is a secret trick

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