Child stops napping

When Your Child Stops Napping: Transitioning Away from Daytime Sleep

Posted on December 26, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips
Child stops napping

Some children are excellent nappers from day one, while others struggle with sleep. Regardless of their sleep habits, at some point, your child will no longer need daytime sleep. This transition might take place slowly, with naps shortening over time. Or it might happen abruptly, meaning that naps disappear seemingly overnight. Either way, a child’s movement away from naps often takes a parent by surprise and can leave you feeling uncertain. Where do you go from here? Today we will look at several considerations parents make as their child stops napping.

Take Each Day as It Comes

More than likely, your child’s new nap habits will be unpredictable for a while. One day, he may nap for 2-3 hours and the next he may refuse to nap at all. For this reason, it is important to take each day as it comes. Try not to depend too much on his naptime one way or the other. Instead, try to plan anything essential during other times of the day and be open to whatever happens. This may also require you to move other parts of your day, like mealtimes or snack time to help him through his fatigue. Be as fluid as possible with your routine until you find your child settling into a more regular rhythm.

Move Bedtime Accordingly

Many parents keep the same bedtime for their child from the time they are an infant until they begin school or even beyond. But when your child is changing her daytime sleep routine, you may find that she just can’t make it to her regular bedtime. Instead of trying to push her to stay up as late as she did before, try to give her an earlier bedtime on the days she doesn’t nap. Again, this will require flexibility that you might not always have. But if possible, follow her cues and put her to bed in the evening as soon as she seems especially tired. If you don’t, you run the risk of her becoming overtired and having a much harder time drifting off to sleep.

Institute a Quiet Time

Once a child stops napping, many parents institute an afternoon quiet time in its place. While your child may not sleep in the afternoons, you may choose to have him spend time in his room or on his bed. He may play with quiet toys like puzzles or blocks, look at picture books, or listen to music. This time gives him a chance to have some peaceful time to himself while allowing you the same. It also gives him a chance to fall asleep if he needs to without it being an official “nap time,” which some children resist. Just remember that a quiet time takes time to establish. At first, your child may call you often. However, if you are patient and firm, your child will grow accustomed to the idea of a household afternoon rest and may even begin to ask for it when he is tired or overwhelmed.

Remember This Is a Season

The parenting stages that include sleep changes are by far some of the most challenging. Everything feels like a guessing game and the wrong choice can lead to sleepless nights and grouchy days. It is important to remember that this tumultuous time is only a season. Soon your family will find a new normal and settle into a routine. You may even find a new freedom when your child stops napping since you don’t need to be home for a rest each afternoon.

Whether your child is two years old or about to begin kindergarten, it’s never easy to say goodbye to naps. Moving away from daytime sleep is a big transition and can be difficult for everyone involved. Still, with plenty of flexibility and good humor, you will all make it to the other side intact. Are you looking for childcare that will support you through this and other parenting transitions? Please consider Legacy Academy Satellite, where our staff is experienced and excited to help your child grow into the best person he or she can be.