Copyright © Well Rested Baby, 2018
Copyright © Well Rested Baby, 2018
I have some bad news: someday your child will no longer need a nap. I know – boo, hiss! Horror of horrors! Is this the end of what little free time you had? How will your little angel remain an angel all the way to bedtime with no nap? The good news is (and yes there is some) they will still be in need of some alone, quiet time and with the lack of that nap, bedtime will need to be earlier (buying you some extra “you” time and insuring your child is still their lovable self when you tuck them in). So how do you know when you child is ready for a “rest time” in lieu of a nap? And how on earth are you going to get him to agree to play quietly in his room for an hour? Read on my friends…
First, lets look at some statistics thanks to our favorite sleep guy Dr. Marc Weissbluth:
So what does that mean? It means that those children who are napping may be kids who need more sleep, but they definitely have parents who have decided that napping is still important and have made it a part of the everyday routine.
Next, recent research shows that naps provide preschoolers with powerful ammunition to be at their best both emotionally and intellectually.
Before you decide that your child no longer needs a mid-day snooze, make sure you have exhausted all attempts at them taking one.
Give it To Me Straight
If your two-year-old is going through naptime woes, it is NOT because he is ready to drop his nap. He is either going through a behavioral or developmental period or his schedule has slipped too late. The best thing you can do is to make sure naptime is at the correct time and then stick with your usual routine and do not change anything. Do not allow him to break any rules or push the boundaries, as two year olds tend to do. In short, stick to your guns and the nap will come back. If your child is 3 or older keep reading.
Experiencing Nap Time Resistance From Your 3 or 4 Year Old?
Before you decide that your child is part of the minority who no longer needs to nap, follow these steps:
Rest Time It Is
You’ve done everything listed above to keep a nap and promote good sleep hygiene and your child still isn’t napping. Now what? If your child is 3.5-4 years old, don’t sweat it. While we would like them to nap so they can be at their best, as long as they have some down time and an early enough bedtime, they will be just fine.
This article originally appeared in Macaroni Kid National. Click here to view article.
Amy Lage is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Family Sleep Institute certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant. She is founder of Well Rested Baby. She offers a host of services including in person, phone, email and Skype/FaceTime consultations that can be tailored to meet any family’s needs and schedule. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. Be sure to follow WRB on Facebook and Twitter too for more great sleep tips!
Is your climbing toddler ready for the leap to a big kid bed? It’s a question that I receive regularly from parents whose kids have recently started escaping their crib. Safety is our number one priority and it is our goal to make sure your children’s sleep environment is as safe as possible. If your child is climbing out of his crib, a change is definitely needed. Our second priority….making sure your child and you get the sleep you need! My first suggestion is to make sure your child is 100% ready for this transition. This one is a big deal as it affects your child emotionally, physically and mentally. My advice is to keep your toddler in a crib as long as possible (we recommend waiting until your child is as close to 3 years old as possible). So before you take the leap to a big kid bed, you want to make sure that your child is really ready for this transition. If they are not quite there yet,we want to see if we can safely modify their sleep environment to keep them in their crib until they are ready.
How do you know if your child is ready?
If your child is not quite ready – check out these changes to see if you can delay the move:
If your child cannot stay in their crib safely or you feel that they are ready for the big move, here’s what you do:
Here are some additional tips:
Good luck with this transition, please email email@example.com for further information about infant and toddler sleep.
The Third Nap – a “bonus” nap which is simply used to keep your baby rested until bedtime. It is the only nap that doesn’t serve an actual biological purpose or occur during a circadian rhythm. Naps one and two occur during one of your baby’s biological sleep waves and actually serve two different biological purposes: nap one is mentally restorative for your baby and nap two is physically restorative. We know this fun fact from studying what the brain is doing during these naps. According my favorite pediatrician Dr. Marc Weissbluth, this occurrence is evidenced by the fact that “there is more REM sleep in the morning nap compared to the afternoon nap.” And we know from research that REM sleep is directly related to brain maturation and restoration and that non-REM sleep is replenishing for the body. So while these two naps are hard at work on developmental growth – the third nap is simply a crutch to get us to bedtime without becoming woefully overtired.
Amy Lage is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Family Sleep Institute certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant. She is founder of Well Rested Baby (www.wellrestedbaby.com). She offers a host of services including in person, phone, email and Skype/FaceTime consultations that can be tailored to meet any family’s needs and schedule. Amy, her husband Jeff, their 4 year old Stella, their 22 month old Harley, and their two dogs Jackson and Cody live in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Be sure to follow WRB on Facebook too more great sleep tips!