As a parent, one of the milestones you may face when to say goodbye to naps. It can be a bittersweet moment, not just loosing that hour that you have to yourself, or to spend with another child but also a signal that your little one is growing up. However, it can also free up your whole day without needing to consider a nap. Those day trips to the zoo (our personal favorite is Colchester Zoo!) may finally feel easier! But how do you know when your child is ready to give up their afternoon nap?
Signs to look out for before you say goodbye to naps
First, consider your child’s age. Most children between the ages of 2.5 and 4 (but sometimes older) start to outgrow their need for a daily nap. However, don’t just rely on age alone. Signs that your child may be ready to stop napping include:
- Consistently fighting naptime
- Shorter naps
- Taking longer to fall asleep at night
- Having energy throughout the day without a nap.
- Early mornings
It’s important to remember that every child is different, and some may still benefit from a nap even past the age of 5.
How to make the nap transition
If you do decide to transition away from naps, establish a quiet time instead where your child can rest, read, or engage in calm activities. This can be enough to keep them going until bedtime.
There may be days where they still need a nap, but this may only be every few days. It is also common for them to stop napping at nursery, but still nap at home (or vice-versa!) It can take up to 6 weeks for them to fully adapt to no nap. Don’t rush it or expect it to happen overnight.
Make sure they are getting plenty of outside time, as well as the quiet time. You may also need to bring bedtime forwards for a little bit to ensure they aren’t getting overtired.
Ultimately, trust your instincts as a parent and do what feels right for your child, not what everyone else around you is doing!
If you aren’t sure if your child’s tricky sleep is due to the nap needing to go, or something else, book a free 15 minute call to find out more about how I can help.