Along with the many growing pains of raising a toddler, establishing a successful nap routine can be quite the struggle. If your toddler won’t nap or if naptime is always chaotic, you aren’t alone.
While there is no guarantee that you will have consistently seamless nap times, there are some things you can take into consideration to make your toddler naptime routine easier.
Listen To Your Child
Some days all your toddler wants to do is sleep, and some days they are feeling extra active and it seems as if they will never sleep. Take these moods and energy levels into consideration when it comes to naptime. It’s okay if your child needs an extra nap one day or if they won’t nap when you want them to. The more you try to force them to stay awake or fall asleep, the more they will grow to resent naptime.
Change The Script
The exciting thing about your child growing into a toddler is that they are starting to learn and understand speech. Unfortunately, that may not bode well for naptime. As your child ages, they may begin to think the word nap is synonymous with baby. Try to use terminology that will make them feel more grown-up, such as simply telling your toddler they need to sleep. Also, try reinforcing the fact that parents and adults take naps too.
Think About Your Schedule
The more your child naps at the same time each day, the more likely they are to equate that time with relaxation. Try picking a timeframe each day during which you put your child down for a nap. While, as we mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t force your toddler to nap, keeping a consistent time for naps every day will trigger your child’s body and mind to go to sleep at a certain hour.
Substitute Sleep For Relaxation
Sometimes, no matter how tired your child may seem, they simply won’t nap. Just because they won’t nap, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still experience quiet time. Even if they aren’t snoozing, try reading a book or put on some calming music. While you would prefer they nap, some restorative downtime is better than no down time at all.
What are your tips for getting your toddler to embrace naptime? Let us know in the comments!