What Parent's need to know about Naptime
As any parent knows, children's nap schedules change over time. Just when you thought you had your infant or toddler's routine down pat, it got turned upside down. Now, as your child is growing older, do you know what signs will tell you that your child would benefit from a change in nap schedule? How will you know if your child still needs a daily nap? How do you handle the transition?
Signs your child still needs a daily nap:
- responds in a positive way to naptime and falls asleep easily
- resists the idea of nap, but eventually sleeps an hour or longer
- cries more easily in the evening than early in the day
- has afternoon slump in energy
- shows tired signs in the afternoon such as yawning or rubbing eyes
Signs your child needs a nap on some days, but not all:
- on busy or active days, tends to become fussy in the evening
- can be overly grumpy or whiny on busy days
- seems to do alright missing one day's nap, but after a few days or missing starts to become whiny or cranky
Handling the transition from "Nap" to "No Nap"
- schedule naptime on busy, active days
- go with the flow from day to day
- watch your child's sleepy signs and arrange naps when needed
- keep your child's regular naptime every day, but don't require that he/she sleep, allow quiet rest instead
- on days when a nap is missed, move bedtime earlier by thirty minutes to an hour to get a longer night sleep and to shorten the span from morning to bedtime.