3 Signs Your Child Has Outgrown Naps

Is your toddler or preschooler refusing to take a nap? It’s probably the first of 3 signs that your little one no longer needs the extra sleep.

Most toddlers and many preschoolers have at least one nap a day, down from the two or more they have as infants. But there’s always the exception to the norm, with some kids needing more or less daytime sleep. Is there a standard amount of naptime a child needs?

Pediatrician and author of Say Ahhh, Dr. Mickey Lester says that each child’s sleep requirement is as different as the child himself. “The idea that infants must have a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon is simply a myth. Some of my patients will have several naps a day, whereas others will have none; these are kids ranging from just a couple of weeks to four years old.”

But how do you know when your child is ready to give up naptime?

1. Your child will refuse to go to sleep.

He’ll tell you he doesn’t want to sleep. He’ll say “no” or he will play longer, or be more reluctant to go into the crib or bed at certain periods of time.

2.  The naps will get shorter and less regular.

Your child knows how much sleep he or she wants, and as he gets older naptimes will get shorter.  And even if naptime is missed, they might make up for it later by crashing on the couch late in the day, or even make it up the next day.

3. You’ll find your child playing instead of sleeping.

And this isn’t a bad idea! When your child does out grow naptime, replacing it with a little quiet time of 30 or so minutes to look at a picture book, cuddle with a blanket or teddy, or color gives kids and parents a break to relax, unwind and collect their thoughts before resuming their busy lives.

Check out these related stories:

Bedtime Battles!

The Link Between Children’s Personality & Sleep

The Best Bedtime Routines for Kids

Why Teddy Bears Help Kids Sleep

Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.


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