Parents of toddlers often encounter this scenario where, out of the blue, their little one just stops taking naps. They’ll lie in their crib, play with their fingers, babble away to themselves, but just refuse to go to sleep.
So what gives? They’re obviously tired and still in need of a daytime nap, so why won’t they close their eyes and get some rest?
I’m happy to tell you that this situation is almost always temporary and fairly easy to get through with the right information, which I’ll provide for you in this week’s video.Rather read than watch? Click here.
What should you do if seemingly out of the blue your toddler stops napping? That’s a very popular question, and I have some really good news for you.
I know you’re probably thinking, uh-oh, are the days of napping over? Well, most likely not. And what tends to happen with toddlers, usually around the two to 2 1/2 age range, is that they’ll get into their crib or into their toddler bed, and they’re quite happy to go there, only they just don’t fall asleep.
Instead, they do things like chat to themselves or sing songs or walk around their crib. And this can go on for an hour or more. And they might not fall asleep at all, of if they do, it’s for a short period of time. And a lot of parents think, I guess she no longer needs daytime naps.
But the truth is that the reality of what’s happening has more to do with developmental milestones than anything else. Right around this age, and you’ll sort of see it show up periodically through the second and third year of life, is that there’s a little surge of language acquisition. And you’ll probably notice that your toddler’s doing a little more babbling or a little more communicating or a little more singing or playing.
And that’s great to see, ’cause that’s when they start talking, and that’s so much fun. But what happens when they get into their crib or their bed is they have all of this time, right? They have free time basically to let their mind wander. It’s almost like a developmental need to just keep practicing sounds and singing and babbling, and this can go on through the entire nap time.
Now, the good news in this is that it will phase out. So you’ll notice it for a week or two, maybe even into the 2 1/2 and three week range, and it’s okay, I don’t want you to panic. I want you to continue to give your child this space.
So you’re going to put them down like you normally would, tell ’em it’s nap time just like you normally would, and basically ignore the behavior. Once the little surge is over and the child’s sort of mastered a few new skill sets in the language world, then it’ll settle back down again and she will most likely go back to napping wonderfully like she always has.
If after three weeks though you don’t see any change in this, it’s just continuing to happen or you’re getting now some protest involved in the scenario as well, then you could consider, is it time to end this daytime nap? And I would say that’s gonna show up a little closer to the three, maybe into the 3 1/2 age range, but it wouldn’t be out of the question for her to no longer need that nap.
But what you’re going to need to do instead is move bedtime earlier. If she’s not napping at all, you’re gonna wanna move bedtime up. It should be hitting around the seven o’clock hour. Sometimes you’ll even need to go into the 6:30 just for a week or so to kinda compensate for this body clock change. And it’s a pretty significant one, so give it time. And then you can decide, is she ready to drop the nap or not?
But for now, just ride it out and see what happens. Give your toddler the time and the space and maybe you wanna record a little bit of it. You can play it at her wedding.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!