When Do Toddlers Stop Napping? A Thorough Guide
Toddler naps are without a doubt a blessing for parents. Running behind your little one all day, making sure he/she doesn’t chew on anything harmful and being on a lookout every few seconds can be quite challenging. Even more stressful and exhausting are the ill-timed calls for diaper change and carrying the baby room to room while cleaning to avoid the loud cries. Hence, these few hours of toddler naps in total serve as a form of leisure time for the parents that is either utilized doing household chores or napping beside the baby for an hour-long rest before continuing the tiring responsibilities of initial parenthood.
Moreover, the naps themselves are very important for the toddlers for a smooth mental and physical growth. Your child not napping properly may have negative long-term impacts which no parent would wish to encounter hence, the questions “When do children stop napping?” or “When to drop a nap?” are quite plausible.
So, are you by any chance facing an irritable baby during naptime? Or maybe forcing your toddler to fall asleep in the evening but finding no luck? Because, if that’s the case then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We are here to answer all the questions you may possibly have regarding your little one’s naps!!
What Age Do Toddlers Stop Napping?
From the infant’s birth to almost 18 months of age, the baby usually naps for three or four times a day. However, after this the nap dops to only once a day. Commonly children drop a nap completely within 3 to 5 years of age. This is because at this age they wish to explore and play with their surroundings more. Though less common however, some babies tend to stop napping at 2 years of age. In rare cases, some kids may still not drop their evening naps after 6 years of age.
Hence, there is no set standard of age of when do toddlers stop napping and this totally depends on the kids. Their napping habits may be impacted by the presence of older siblings, pre-school, or maturity. However, if even by the age of seven years, your child is still a peaceful napper then you should consider consulting a child specialist.
Signs Your Toddler Should Stop Napping
Has Difficulty falling asleep during nap time.
The obvious indicator of when should toddlers stop napping is when they have difficulty falling asleep during daytime. Now this could be of two types. Either your kid is not sleepy during nap time but instead two hours later or has started skipping evening sleep altogether for multiple days.
For the former scenario it’s always better to introduce quiet time for the toddler. This refers to keeping the baby engaged through playtime rather than letting him/her fall asleep two hours later. However, you should make sure that the quiet time maintains its tranquility and no loud noises are made that can make the drowsy baby irritable. Hence, quiet time either leads to children fixing their sleeping habits or dropping the nap entirely.
For the latter scenario, it is best for you to first observe the baby’s sleeping habits. You shouldn’t be worried if he/she skips a nap once every now and then. However, if the baby stops napping for multiple days in a week and this continues for a few weeks then it shows that the baby is ready to drop a nap! The consistency of the pattern becomes a huge indicator.
Toddler Having Difficulty Falling Asleep At Their Usual Bedtime
During this age, kids’ energy levels keep increasing. If previously they got tired after doing a single task, then months later doing the same task twice may not even wear them out. Hence, toddlers not being able to sleep during their bedtime indicates that they’re not tired enough as the evening nap worked as a recharge. Thus, in such circumstances it is better top push the bedtime for the toddler earlier while making them drop naps altogether. This will make them tired enough to fall asleep instantly during bed time.
Toddler Waking Up Early In The Morning
This indicates a similar situation as above hence, stopping toddlers from napping during the day is the best possible solution.
Toddler Is Not Cranky, Tired or Sleepy During Nap Time
Just because a baby is not napping does not mean he/she doesn’t need to. Most babies always give their parents a hard time when it comes to sleep so how do you tell whether the baby should fix his/her napping habits or drop the naps entirely? Simply put, it’s the mood that differentiates between them. If the toddler refuses to fall asleep but is cranky when awake during naptime, then the baby really needs sleep. Otherwise, if the toddler is joyful, satisfied and non-drowsy then he/she has finally hit the age of dropping naps. So, don’t forget to look out for the baby’s grumpy mood.
However, if for example, your two-year-old won’t nap but is tired then it is always best to make the bedtime an hour or two earlier while not letting the toddler fall asleep during the day by either through walks in the park or quiet time.
Toddler Gets Irritated When Told to Nap
An irritable mood may be similar to being cranky but the context in this case is very different. If your child appears irritable when told to sleep and he/she is especially happy and busy in some playtime or beating up curiosity, then that indicates you need to stop forcing them to nap. This is a growing age and changes are bound to occur so let your little ones enjoy the time of their lives till they start skipping naps consistently.
We hope that the signs listed above clarified most of your queries. As a parent, you’ll witness days when your child falls asleep instantly to days where they get irritated even by the sound of it. Because at the end of the day, it’s all a part of their growth and a realization of how far they’ve come from being tiny infants. Hence, it is important to make sure that your child gets the right amount of sleep every day and matures properly.