Tips for a Better Naptime

sleeping toddler girl

Most children shift to two naps sometime in the first year and then down to one longer nap sometime between 18 months to 2 years old. Many children give up naps on their own between 3 to 5 years old.

Before they give up naps all together, many young children go through phases of not napping for a few days then napping again for weeks, not for a few days. This ebb and flow can go on for a long time. Having quiet time at the otherwise naptime is the best way for daily naps to return. In our house, quiet time was an hour in their bed playing quietly or looking at books. Children that are quiet and laying down will likely fall asleep if they need to. Respect the quiet time like you do the nap, same time every day and required. If quiet time is optional, only happening on days it fits the schedule then it becomes more of a fight and much more likely child will give up naps all together. Once they do give up naps, it is fine to keep a quiet time as long as you’d like.

It can be helpful for children to nap in the same place and at the same time every day. A consistent schedule will help children to fall asleep easier. It can also be helpful to have a brief naptime routine similar to part of your bedtime routine. This might be reading a story in the same chair you read bedtime stories or singing the same songs. If you pat backs for 5 minutes at bedtime, you might also do this at nap.  If your childnaps at daycare or preschool three or more days a week, it can be helpful to follow their schedule at home.

To learn more about naps and bedtime routines, sleep associations and ways to get children to sleep, join Dr. Rene for a workshop on Bedtime Routines and Sleep Issues on September 24 from 7:00-9:00pm.  For more information and to register, please visit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: