Naps are an important part of a child’s development. A newborn baby will nap and sleep throughout most of the day and evening. Then, after a baby is 4 months old, he or she will need two separate naps throughout the day. Your baby will need one nap in the morning and one nap in the afternoon.
Then when a baby grows to a toddler, he or she will need just one nap during the daytime. This nap is typically during the early afternoon and sometime after lunch. This nap can range anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Here are some tips for toddler naps to ensure your child sleeps peacefully:
4 Tips for Toddler Naps
Both newborns and toddlers respond very well to routines. Your best bet for a successful nap for your toddler every day is to put your son or daughter down for their nap at the same time each day.
You will find a time that works best for your schedule and for your child but we often find that sometime soon after lunch is a good time for a nap for a toddler.
You want the room and the bed or crib your toddler naps in to be the same room he or she sleeps in at night. This will help set the expectation that this is the time for quiet and sleep.
If necessary, run a white noise machine or a floor fan to drowned out noise from other rooms in the house and dim or turn off the lights in the room as well. If your toddler still needs a pacifier, he or she will probably want one for their naptime as well (Read: How to Take Away Your Toddler’s Pacifier).
THE FERBER METHOD
You have probably heard of the Ferber Method for helping children fall asleep. This method recommends that for both naptime and bedtime, a parent put their child in their crib or their bed when they are still awake. Don’t wait until your child has fallen asleep somewhere else and then move them to the crib.
This method does involve some patience on the part of parents as children might first cry when left in their bed or crib alone but over time the child will learn to soothe themselves to sleep and this will be better for everyone in the long run.
It is not recommended for a toddler to nap much longer than 2 hours in the afternoon. If a toddler naps well over 2 hours it could disrupt their schedule for the remainder of the day and it might also prevent them from falling asleep on time during the evening bedtime routine.
Cornerstone Academy daycare in Kenosha, WI offers a soothing environment for naptime for toddlers. We feel naps are an important part of a toddler’s routine and do our best to create a relaxing space for them at our location.