Although I wish we could all take daytime naps throughout our lives, there comes a point where your little one will be ready to go through a full day without having a snooze. How do you know when they’ve reached that milestone, and how do you implement the change? I’ve got some great tips for you in today’s video.
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Now, it really comes down to a matter of choice on your end. Some of my clients love that day time nap. I need it, I need that break, I need to get some things done, I have to work during nap time. Whatever the reason is, they really love that nap. If they love the nap more than they love the early bed time, then I would encourage them to keep the nap, and just adjust bedtime a little bit later, because what tends to happen with almost every toddler that I’ve worked with is that they’ll still happily take a nap. They seem tired, they sleep three hours, everything’s going great there, but bedtime now has become a problem, and there’s lots of shenanigans going on at bedtime, and she’s coming out or she’s calling, or she’s playing in there for hours on end before she falls asleep. Then she wakes up fatigued, because she didn’t get enough night time hours, and now needs a nap again, and so you get into a bit into a vicious cycle around that.
For me, 7:00 bedtimes were super important to me. I loved having some evening time to myself. It was a great time to spend with my partner. Given the choice, I would pick my early bedtime and I would pull the nap. Around two and a half, somewhere between two and a half and three is where I usually see the trouble start to creep in, and so I tended to pull my children’s naps about the two and a half mark so that I could keep that early bedtime.
Now, if you want to hang onto the nap, then I would say bedtime should be about 8:00, so that your child has enough time to build fatigue levels so that she can get to sleep peacefully and problem-free at bedtime. Those are kind of the two things you need to look for. Now, occasionally, I get emails from people who say, “My toddler’s not napping. Just all of a sudden out of the blue she’s stopped napping.” That’s pretty rare, and what I find is more often the case is that there’s a little bit of a developmental surge around the two, two and a half age group, where it’s all about language acquisition. There’s a lot of language that develops in that second year. I do find that when these little surges are occurring, it interferes often with nap time.
Baby gets into the crib, and she’s in there chatting and singing and babbling and walking around the crib, and that can go on for an hour or more before she finally conks out, or you pull the plug and get her out of there. Now that can last for about a week or two and then I find that the child goes back to napping well again. Don’t panic or don’t jump the gun if you’ve noticed your child’s having a little bit of a regression around nap. I like to give things at least two weeks before I make any kind of decision around that. It could just blow right over, and she goes back to napping well once the surge is over.
Again, the rundown is, you decide, do you want to keep the nap, would you like the early bedtime? Once you’ve committed to pulling nap time, stick with it. I know some days are going to feel a little bit hard. She’s going to have a bit of a meltdown at dinner or whatever the case may be. It takes about four weeks for a person’s body to adjust to this kind of a change, so don’t panic. It’ll come, you’ll get there, it’s a process. Her body needs time to adjust. I would suggest a little bit of quiet time somewhere in the day. Give her a bit of a breather to go quietly color by herself or play with her toys. I like to put the child in the bedroom, and either close the door, or really make it clear that this is your quiet time and I’m going to be over here doing something, so you have a bit of a breather from each other. That really does help.
All right. I hope that helps you here today, thanks for watching, and sleep well!
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