When should you give up your toddler’s nap? Read a sleep expert’s insights and signs your toddler is ready to stop napping.
When my textbook sleeper began taking longer and longer and longer to fall asleep at nap time, I persisted with iron-clad determination.
She would sleep.
I had worked so hard to get my then 18-month-old and two-and-a-half-year-old to nap at the same time.
My toddlers’ nap time was my refuel time. I needed both toddlers to nap.
I could eat lunch uninterrupted, wash the floors, or nap with them. My son was a terrible sleeper and so I didn’t want to give up the only time I could get some R&R.
I remained hopeful that maybe there was research to suggest that kids needed to nap until at least grade school, if not longer…
Related reading: 15+ Calming Toddler Activities For When Your Child No Longer Naps
After way too long of desperately trying to get her to sleep, and after a few missed naps and a grouchy girl, I messaged one of my good friends. Chelsea is a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant. I messaged her in the hops that she could give me a few insightful tips to get my toddler’s naps back.
What I got back was that it was very clear at a few months shy of three, my little girl was ready to give them up. Nevertheless, I had to ask Chelsea, ‘If she’s ready, why is she so temperamental without one?’ Chelsea assured me this was normal, and to facilitate quiet downtime with a carb-rich snack such as fruit or bread to give her energy.
Related reading: Why you shouldn’t punish tantrums and what to do instead
So, When Should Your Toddler Stop Napping? A Sleep Consultant Weighs In
It’s a question I am asked often, ‘Is my toddler ready to stop napping?‘ I know they want to hear a ‘No’ from me. Many parents, myself included, enjoy the 2-hour break when their toddler snoozes away. They can get things done. But we can’t deny the signs that our toddler is ready to stop napping. – Chelsea, the sleep consultant
For more reading on parenting toddlers, check out:
- Front-loading, redirection and connection: 3 strategies for parenting a strong-willed toddler
- 15+ Calming Toddler Activities For When Your Child No Longer Naps
- 10+ Tips for Mitigating Difficult Toddler Behaviour
- How to Conquer Your Toddler’s Potty Training Regression
- This is How to Stop Your Toddler from Hitting
- Why You Shouldn’t Punish Tantrums and What to do Instead
- (Affiliate product) The Good Science Guides Sleep Series