By the age of 3 most children will be ready to drop their day nap. Some children will stop napping earlier but for most children if they continue to have a sleep after the age of 3 it can impact on their night sleep.
How Will I know when to drop the nap?
Your child will show a few signs when they are ready to stop having a nap. If your little one is not tired at bed time. They will not want to go to bed or they will lay in bed for an extend time awake before falling asleep. Another indicator is they have broken night sleep. They may wake during the night for a log period not upset just awake or wanting to play. One other sign is that they will refuse the day nap they just aren’t tired enough to nap at nap time.
How do I actually do it?
When you start to drop your little one day sleep you may need to move bed time forward to as early as 6pm to help them adjust. This will also help prevent them becoming overtired. Your toddler may still need a day sleep every 2 or 3 days. This is another way of helping them to adjust.
How will it impact their night sleep?
If your toddler continues to have a day sleep for too long it can cause broken night sleep or a late bed time. Broken night sleep can upset your child’s behaviour. If they are not getting the consolidated night sleep they need. It can also become a cycle where you think they are tired so they need a day sleep but this is causing broken night sleep. You need to break the cycle. You may have a tired child for a day but you will notice a huge difference in them when they start have a good night’s sleep. If your child has a late bed time due to their day sleep they will be missing out on a big part of their most consolidated night sleep. A late bed time can also cause early morning wake ups. This has a huge impact on your child behaviour and temperament.
Can they have quiet time still?
Yes, yes , yes. I recommend that children have quiet time after lunch. This can be doing quite activities such as puzzles, drawing, looking a books or watching a movie. This is a great way to help your child to recharge for the rest of the day.
If you have any questions on your little ones day naps please contact me.