How many naps your toddler needs, for how long and when to stop will depend on how much they sleep at night...
How many naps your toddler needs, for how long and when to stop will depend on how much they sleep at night.
The NHS recommends that at two years old, your little one should have 11.5 hours sleep at night and one and a half hours of sleep in the day. The daytime napping recommendation reduces to 45 minutes when your toddler is three years old and by the age of four, it’s recommended that they should no longer need daytime naps.
How do I get my toddler to nap in the daytime?
As your little one gets older, daytime naps are likely to get trickier as they become more and more interested in what’s going on around them. Your toddler may give you all the signs that they’re ready for a sleep, but when it comes to taking them to their bed or cot, it all changes.
Here are our tips to help you win the naptime battle…
- Create a sleepy environment: Portable black out blinds are great for when it is still too light to say “night-night”. They attach to the window in your little one’s room using suction cups to block the light out and encourage them to snooze.
- Keep naptime consistent: From the time that you take them to bed to the number of books you read. It’s quite common for parents to put their little one down after lunch or a snack so that they associate the end of a meal with naptime.
- Use a sleep gadget: You might like to use a Groclock sleep trainer to help teach your little one when they should be in bed and when it’s OK to wake up. Using fun images of the stars and sun for daytime and night-time sleep, your toddler will know when to rise and shine.
How do I decide my toddler doesn’t need a daytime nap?
If your toddler takes a long time to get to sleep or doesn’t really seem tired at nap time, they may be ready to start skipping their daytime naps. Alternatively, if they seem too active at bedtime it might be time to skip any sleep during the day completely or slowly phase them out of your routine.
How should I go about phasing out daytime naps for my toddler?
All little ones are unique, so remember that it all very much depends on your toddler. Some will stop napping very happily on the first day, others will need the change to happen more gradually.
It can help to have a rest time instead of an actual nap, some down time to play with toys or read a book, and while you’re transitioning away from daytime naps, your little one might need to go to bed a little earlier – this is quite normal and will give you more time to chill our on an evening.
Top tips for dropping daytime naps from our Twitter audience
- “We’ve now stopped afternoon naps and found organising fun activities or trips out during usual nap times was a good way to keep her awake and wanting to be active in the afternoons, fighting off any tiredness.” @TattooedTeaLady
- “We are attempting to just go cold turkey, some days it works other days it doesn’t.” @MummyCatNotes
- “My daughter always fought napping anyway. But when she started to not go to bed the naps had to go! I just gave up trying to get her to nap and we have quiet time instead.” @Santillatron