Giving up “the nap”!?
Is your toddler ready to give up “the nap”? Or maybe a better question would be are YOU ready to say goodbye to naptime??
While lots of parents are very hesitant to let go of their toddler’s precious nap, it does have its benefits. Not only will you no longer be tied to your house in the middle of the day, you will also notice that your child will happily skip naptime since he is now old enough and ready to do so.
That brings me to the next question- When is the right time to drop the nap?
A toddler shows signs of being ready to stop napping when it takes them longer than usual to fall asleep at their usual bedtime. ? They’re not really fighting going to bed, however it’s starting to take them much longer to get themselves to sleep, and bedtime starts getting later and later. If your child is between the ages of 2.5-3.5yrs, and has always fallen asleep very well come bedtime, this is one of the classic signs that the nap is becoming problematic. However if bedtime has been a problem for awhile, and your child is under 2.5 yrs, the nap isn’t likely to be the issue.
In order protect their most important sleep (nighttime deep restorative sleep), the nap first has to be shortened. Then if it’s still causing issues come bedtime, that’s how you’ll know it’s time to let it go.
Now how do I transition to no naps? Well there’s really no easy way but to just do it. Pick a day when you can provide your little one with additional support for a few days. I won’t lie, this change can be a bit tough on everyone for a few days. Your toddler’s body clock is set to have a nap everyday, so he may be grumpy and a bit more sensitive for a day or so.
He will need additional patience and support from you, which is why it’s better to do this when you’re available to help him with the transition. An hour of “quiet time” instead of the nap can also be very helpful to your toddler. This allows him to unwind, get some down time, and just get away from day to day stimulation.
Expect to have a much earlier bedtime for a few days. There’s nothing wrong with putting your toddler to bed aa early as 6-6:30pm. Then once you notice that they seem to be adjusting, you can start moving bedtime closer to 7pm again. This should also be the latest they go to bed for a long time. If they have a clock in their room, keep it at the same time for mornings. Remember, this change is a big one, and they won’t learn overnight how to sleep longer at night, but it won’t take long.
If you’re struggling with a nap transition, I can help! Whether it’s 3 naps to 2, 2 to 1, or dropping naps all together, I can guide you through it to make it a painless as possible. Schedule a free no obligation evaluation call with me today to find out more about your options! https://www.timetrade.com/book/WBVGH