Ending NapsTags: sleep, toddlers
Eventually toddlers will outgrow their need for a daily nap. Typically, we switch them from a daily nap to napping every other afternoon, and then eventually we stop putting them down for naps altogether.
I recommend parents consider transitioning from “nap time” to “quiet time.” Make that afternoon nap time a regular routine time when the house gets quiet. It can be your family’s own “siesta time,” just like in cultures that live in hot climates. Everybody, mom included, can have an hour of rest. The toddler can choose to sleep or to play, but its “quiet time” and they are expected to amuse themselves in their rooms for a half hour or so.
You might give some suggestions for what they plan to play with quietly in their room today. You can put up a baby gate if there is a conflict getting the toddler to stay in his bedroom. But mom should nap or read too. Its’ easier for your toddler to play independently if they don’t feel they are missing out on things, so everyone enjoying the same quiet time is helpful.
So try whispering it: “Shhhhhh! It’s quiet time, the house is sleeping. It’s time for calm activities in our rooms. Mommy is going to re-group and rest too. See you in half an hour!”
One Response to “Ending Naps”
Jennifer A. Temple
Nap time was a none issue in our home. No one will believe this but from day one, I decided it was silly to make basic needs an issue. Tired people sleep, hungry people eat and no one enjoys wet pants. I never made my sons nap but one of my neighbors got very angry with me because her sons could see mine playing out while they had to nap. When the neighbor confronted me I suggested she tell her’s the truth,”I need you to have a nap.” (Or at least quiet time in their rooms) Mine napped if they felt like it. They also had no bed time. I would suggest my son get his PJs on right after dinner and that was the end of my “putting him to bed”. He would generally get sleepy about 8-8:30. I would sit by the bed and let him tell me about his day and then hugs, kisses and lights out. Both boys always slept through. I do think we make issues with our children where none need exist.