Is your child ready to stop napping?
I asked myself the same question the other day.
Alexa just turned three and I know the time is coming.
God knows I’m not ready, but is she?
I looked around and asked for advice and this is what I’ve found.
If you’re wondering if your child is ready to stop napping read this guide and find out below.
Is Your Child Ready To Stop Napping?
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What Age Do Children Stop Napping?
Figuring out if your child is ready to stop napping is tricky because all children drop the afternoon nap at different ages.
I’ve heard horror stories of toddlers giving up the afternoon nap at two years old. Poor parents.
But there are a lucky few with good nappers who don’t give it up until age five.
So to answer your question, children may stop napping between age 2-5 years old.
Thats a pretty big gap and doesn’t help us much so read the following signs below to tell if you child is ready to stop napping.
5 Signs Your Child Is Ready To Stop Napping
There are five tell-tale signs that clue parents in that their child is ready to stop napping.
Your child may not need to nap if..
They Aren’t Tired At Nap Time
If your child isn’t tired at nap time they may be ready to give up the nap.
But, begging you not to make them take a nap because they’re “not tired” and really being not tired are different.
If it takes your kiddo longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep then they probably don’t need that nap.
They Don’t Fall Asleep At Nap Time
If your child just doesn’t fall asleep at nap time all together then that’s your most obvious tip that your child is ready to stop napping.
They Make It To Bed Time Without Getting Cranky
If your child can skip their nap and make it to bedtime without getting overtired and cranky then they may be ready to stop napping.
They Have Trouble Falling Asleep At Bedtime
If your child does take an afternoon nap are they having trouble falling asleep at bedtime?
They may be getting too much sleep because of their nap so they can’t fall asleep easily at night.
If this happens your child may be ready to drop their afternoon nap.
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3 Signs Your Child Isn’t Ready To Drop The Nap
Your child may be giving you some signs that they’re ready to stop napping.
But they may not be entirely ready if the distribute these signs below.
Children are notorious for behaving badly if they haven’t gotten enough sleep.
If your child starts skipping their nap and then become cranky and fussy all the time then they most likely aren’t ready.
Can’t Make It Until Bed Time
Your child might be able to skip their nap but not make it until bedtime.
This might result in them taking a short nap late in the day which can really mess up bedtime.
Falling Asleep Randomly
If your child can skip their nap but they start dozing off in the car or while playing toys then they just aren’t ready to drop the nap completely.
How To Easily Transition When Dropping The Nap
Follow Your Child’s Cues
If you believe your child is ready to drop their afternoon nap you may be right.
But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to stop napping cold turkey.
Follow your child’s cues. If they seem more tired some days they may still need a nap and visa versa.
Encourage Short Naps Until They’re Ready
While your child is transitioning into no longer napping, but can’t make it until bed time they may just need a shorter nap.
This way they get just enough sleep to not be cranky but they won’t have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
My daughter tends to take a shorter nap if I put her down for nap an hour earlier than usually.
That, or we’ll go for an outing around nap time and she’ll get a short nap in the car.
Move Bedtime Up Earlier
If you believe your child is ready to stop napping you’ll want to move bedtime an hour earlier.
This will help them make it to bedtime without getting cranky and overtired.
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What To Do Instead Of Nap Time To Keep Your Sanity
If you think your child is ready to stop napping, like me you’re probably a little heart broken.
I don’t want to give up that hour or two of peace and quiet. It’s my most productive time of the day.
But the day will inevitably come and when it does you can replace nap time with quiet time.
Send your child to their room for an hour to look at books, draw, rest or play quietly.
You’ll both benefit greatly from that quiet time.
If you need inspiration for quiet time activities for your child look here.
What troubles do you face when your child is ready to stop napping? Let us know in the comments below!