As our babies grow and develop, you quickly realize how important sleep is in their daily routines. Typically, little ones are early to bed and early to rise – and it’s no secret that nap time is essential for kiddos to get the correct amount of rest necessary throughout their day.
However, the tricky part about nap time is knowing when your child is ready to phase out naps or when does napping stop altogether – and how to best do that as a parent. Throughout this blog are some tips and tricks that we suggest to help you and your kiddo phase out nap time slowly and efficiently.
When Does Napping Stop?
Most toddlers typically transition from two naps to one around 18 months. The length of nap times will slowly dwindle throughout the next few years, and eventually, around the age of five, most children are transitioning out of routine nap time completely. Before your kiddo heads off to kindergarten, you should ideally try for short to no nap time throughout their day.
The Process Of Phasing Out Naps
Phasing out nap time will look different for everyone, as every child is different and has their own needs. However, here are some things to look for in your child’s behavior that hint they may be ready to begin phasing out nap time and how to work your way through them.
Take Your Time
Often, parents tend to rush their children into phasing out nap time. Unfortunately, this can lead to a confused, cranky, and upset kiddo – which is the exact opposite of what this process is trying to achieve.
One way to make their transition as easy as possible is by taking your time with the process. Begin with monitoring how your child behaves after moving from two naps a day to one. Are they cranky? Easily irritable? Are they having fits more often? These signs may indicate your child’s routine still has room for naps or downtime.
Expect The Unexpected
As you begin to slowly ease up the amount of nap time your child is taking, expect there to be some pushback. At first, your kiddo may be ecstatic they get to play more throughout the day or spend more time with their family, but they may also begin to fight back on nap time in general. Be sure your kiddo is still getting the amount of rest needed throughout the day, even if they claim they don’t need it.
Adjust The Schedule As Needed
As you start the transition, be ready for some weeks of multiple naps and others with just a few. It’s important to remember not to be rigid with a schedule and to try your best to understand your child’s needs day by day. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to help your child transition, so understanding their specific needs will help guide you and your kiddo in the right direction.
Replace Naps With Quiet Time
Rest throughout a child’s day is extremely important – whether that rest is a nap, reading a book together, or watching a movie. As your little one begins to transition out of nap time, try replacing that time with quiet time. Emphasize this as a time to relax with an activity that allows their minds to rest.
Phasing out nap time is different for every family, as each child and family has different schedules and needs. Always remember to: take your time, be understanding, and adjust to your child’s needs to make the process seamless. You’ve got this!