Once babies move from infant stage to toddlers, they become more curious about the world and start to refuse naps. Most children from age 18 months to 3 years old still require naps, however, the length of nap time may vary from child to child. If your child sleeps around 12 hours at night, they may require less sleep than children who sleep less at night.
Set Up a Routine (And Stick to It!)
Setting up a nap time routine can look very similar to bedtime. After lunch, begin winding your child down by closing blinds, reading a story, or turning on gentle music.
Napping at the same time in the same place helps your toddler learn that napping is part of their everyday routine. Pick a simple routine that allows your child to self-soothe.
Keep in mind that if you draw out the routine for naps like you do at night for bedtime, your child will become accustomed to it and will require it daily.
Nap Early in the Day
Late naps can throw off bedtime and keep your kids up later than you desire (thus defeating the purpose of the nap). Sometimes you have to trick them into sleeping.
Hey, I’m not above taking a short ride down the road or around the neighborhood if I know my kids are on the verge crazy town but refuse to sleep.
Allow Them to Nap With a Comfort Item
A comfort item could be a favorite blanket, stuffed animal or pillow. Using a comfort item helps your child to substitute the item for you-this will give you some free time to rest or accomplish some things around the house.
My kids love the Sleep Zzz pillow. If you’ve ever used a U-shape pillow while pregnant, you know how addictive these pillows can be (even after pregnancy). It’s large enough to cuddle with everywhere…on the bed, couch, or even the floor! And I’m proud to say that this is an item actually made in the U.S.
This summer we’ll be spending some time at the beach in a condo & you can bet the sleep zzz pillow is going with us!
Some toddlers just won’t nap despite your efforts–and that’s okay!
Instead of demanding that they sleep, encourage them to rest their bodies. Compromise by letting them read in bed or lay quietly for a designated amount of time.