>Nap Issues

>Dear Dr. Rene,

My 2 year old still takes an afternoon nap for 1 to 3 hours each afternoon. I’ve noticed if the afternoon nap is long or if he naps later in the afternoon, he has trouble going to sleep at the regular 8:00pm bedtime or wakes up during the night. If he skips nap or naps for a short time, he is cranky by 5:00pm. Any suggestions?


Lee, Mother of One

Dear Lee,

One thing that might help is being more consistent with your naptime routine. Naps benefit from being at the same time, in the same place everyday. It may also be helpful to build in a short naptime routine to aid the transition. If long naps seem to interfere with nighttime sleep, the idea is to gradually make naps shorter. Think about waking them up 15 minutes earlier each week. If they have been a 3 hour naps, for this wake them at 2 hours and 45 minutes consistently. The next week, 2 hours and 30 minutes until it seems to be the right amount of nap and not impact nighttime sleep. Also, be sure nap starts by 1:00pm at the latest so they might be back up is around 3:00pm. This will avoid bumping into bedtime.


Dr. Rene



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