When to Drop the Nap

When to Drop the Nap

Oh no! Say it isn’t so. Those precious midday hours of quiet bliss might come to an end! Is your toddler ready to drop her nap, for good? Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

*Is your child 3 years old?

*Is your child waking throughout the night or waking super early?

*Does your child nap well on some days and bedtime is fine, but he wakes frequently throughout the night or wakes super early each morning?

These are all possible clues that your child is ready to shorten the nap (make sure it is at least an hour, as anything less is not restorative) or drop his nap. It is a tricky time, because all children still need down time in the middle of the day.

While you transition, there might be some days that your child will need a nap. That is okay! Try not to let them sleep longer than 1-1.5 hours, so you can still maintain an appropriate bedtime.

On the days that your child does not nap at all, remember to have a super early bedtime! This will help to prevent an overtired, cranky child. I often recommend putting your child to bed about 12 hours after he or she wakes (if they did not nap!), but when you are in the middle of this transition, bedtime can be even less than 12 hours after waking.

When you do drop the nap, begin it is a great idea to establish rest time. Allow your child to have some quiet, independent time in his room. He can look at books, play with quiet toys, or even listen to music or stories. Watching a show or using an iPad is not a good idea for rest time because these activities are actually too stimulating for the brain.

Hhhmm, rest time…that sounds pretty good…maybe I should institute the same for me!

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