How to Handle Toddler Naptime Trouble

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Toddlers are an energetic bunch. They zip from one place to the next, always learning something. They’re curious, precocious, and a wonderful source of joy. At naptime, however, they can occasionally be frustrating.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can deal with toddler naptime trouble:

  • Realize what she’s up to. Just because your toddler doesn’t want to nap doesn’t mean she’s being obstinate or defiant. Something is keeping her awake. She might be interested in a new toy, or in a new skill she’s learned. She might just not be tired. In some cases, she’s just feeling mischievous. Remember that she’s not trying to misbehave; instead, identify what’s keeping her up and address that.
  • Know when it’s time to change your nap structure. Most children drop from two naps per day down to one at around the age of 12 to 18 months. Other children may take two naps well into the toddler years, and some may consolidate naps quicker. If your child is fussing during one nap and not the other, it could be time to knock one off the schedule.
  • Allow for temporary changes. Your child’s schedule is going to change when he starts preschool. Just because he’s now spending half a day at preschool doesn’t mean he’s going to be more ready to nap. In fact, your toddler may be reluctant to nap right after preschool for at least a while.
  • Identify the best time of day for your toddler’s nap. Your child is likely to get tired at the same time of day. Usually, that’s right about the time you’re getting tired, as well – after lunch, when you have a full belly. If you can schedule her naps around her body’s natural rhythms, you’ll have much better luck.
  • Create the right nap environment. You don’t want the room to be pitch black and entirely silent, like it is at night. Instead, consider leaving the door cracked and the hall light on. Allowing the child too much sleep will impact how well he sleeps at night.

Toddler naps don’t have to be a major source of frustration. Pay attention to your child’s needs and rhythms, and you’ll have greater naptime success.


photo by: thejbird

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This entry was posted in Toddlers.


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