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What to do When Your Toddler Stops Napping?

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Is your toddler not sleeping? Are you worried about your toddler's napping schedule?



Have you ever heard, that good things somehow always end soon? Same is the case with your child’s napping. Here is a guide to read, what to do when your toddler stops napping.

How your toddler's napping time stops

Suppose you’re driving and it’s a beautiful sunny afternoon while your country-side drive soothes your mind with some light romantic music on the system and then suddenly you hear a scream from the back seat of your car, while you’re about to hold your spouse’s hand, your toddler murmurs, “I don’t want to sleep anymore,” shakes his head and repeats his mantra. He knew that if he sat back and relaxed, he’d fall asleep. And he thinks that there was just too much interesting stuff going on around him to let that happen.

Your child gives you all the possible signals of being exhausted and requiring a nap but is less likely to go to sleep. He is yawning, rubbing his eyes, burst out of frustration, but still won’t be ready to go down for a nap. The reason is simple: he is just too much interested in the things going around. Many toddlers cut down to their nap times from two to three naps to just one per day. And now here comes the question where you wonder what to do when your kid stops napping?

What to do if your toddler stops napping?

Here are the guidelines you must follow.

Allow him to rest instead nap

Nap transitions can be tricky. Your toddler may be able to stop napping from day one, and will almost never need another afternoon nap. If your toddler genuinely does not seem tired at nap-time, then don’t try to force a nap. Give him a ‘rest time.’ Put him in bed with some books and small toys, and have him play quietly for an hour. This is a win for everyone: it gives you a break, it allows your toddler to entertain himself and rest, and, if your little one is tired, he has the quiet and relaxed environment he needs to lie down and sleep.

Cut down your expectations

Your toddler takes a long time to fall asleep at nap-time and generally does not seem tired when nap-time rolls in. This is a sign that your toddler may be starting to transition away from his nap-timings. Remember, as your toddler grows, he can gradually handle more and more awake time during the day. For example, let’s say your toddler normally wakes up at 7 a.m. and is ready for a nap at around 11.00, and then again at 3.00 pm, as he grows, he will be able to stay awake for longer times. This results in cutting down your “me time” gradually so you have to plan your day as per your toddler’s nap-time.

Be consistent with the nap times from day one

Your child requires consistency or routine to feel secure. If he goes through all the same things each day, he is more likely to follow a routine easily. For example, if you read a bedtime story to him before tucking him in, don’t skip the activity. Listening to the story will assure him that now is the time to sleep. 

Do not change his bed too often

This would discomfort him while taking a nap. Make sure you place all the related stuff beside him, like teddy bear or book, which he is likely to keep along while sleeping. 

Keep your child busy during daytime

Establish healthy sleep habits in your toddler. Keep in mind, your child needs to be tired before he goes to sleep. Involve him in physical activities to get him tired, so he asks himself to make him sleep. Once he develops the habit of sleeping on his own at night, the same he would follow in the daytime.

Stay calm

Do not fret if your child doesn’t go for a nap. Do not make a naptime a battleground, instead tell him he looks tired. He needs some rest and you too. Let’s have some “us time” in bed together. Make the room perfect for sleep like dim the lights, no sound or light music of lullabies. This will help him get on to sleep. 

Napping habits may vary from one child to the next. The number and duration of naps your child requires depend mostly on his temperament. For instance, an easy going child will usually nap for a longer stretch of time, while high-strung children tend to take shorter, more frequent naps. In general, infants need a one-hour morning nap and a one-to-two-hour afternoon nap.

On the other side, toddlers drop the morning nap but still need a one- to two-hour afternoon snooze. By 2 to 3 years old, your child will need just a one-hour afternoon nap, and by 3 to 4 years of age, he will drop the afternoon siesta altogether.

As a rule, nap-time should be a pleasant oasis in the middle of a busy day and not a time when you have to struggle with your child to get him to fall asleep.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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