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Toddler Nap | Sweet Dreams | giggle Blogs

toddler nap

August 12, 2010

Rules for Toddler Naps

Whether you are eager for your child to be nap-free, or holding on for dear life, knowing when your child is truly ready to drop his or her nap can be tricky.  Here are some guiding principles to help you determine whether or not the timing is right and how to manage the nap.

1. Keep the nap at least until your child’s third birthday. If your child is under three-years-old, it is highly unlikely that he is ready to abandon the afternoon nap altogether.  Often, when children are shedding a nap, they will alternate between napping and not napping for a while.  Many children do drop their nap at 3-to-4 years-old, however some will hang on until age 5 or 6.

2. Grumpy kids need sleep! If your child seems to be crankier than usual, consider whether he is getting enough sleep – especially if you are in a nap transition.  Remember that sleep plays a big role in our mood and aside from hunger, most cranky behavior is the outcome of insufficient sleep.

3. Let your child nap until 3:30 p.m. Ideally a child should nap 1.5 – 3 hours daily.  The start time of the nap will depend largely on your child’s wake up time and age.  The end time should be the same – 3:30.  This means you will always have a consistent bedtime.

4. Quiet time rules. Don’t be fooled – just because your toddler says he isn’t tired or doesn’t need a nap doesn’t mean this is true.  Give your child quiet time every day in his room and when he does fall asleep you’ll know that he really needed it.