Getting Your Toddler to Nap

Naptime is a cherished gift appreciated by parents around the world. That short hour or so is a quiet time parents use to catch up on housework, cooking, or any other number of tasks forgotten during those hectic waking hours. Unfortunately, as much as you cherish naptime, sometimes your kids might decide to make naptime into a fight. This usually happens when your kids are extremely tired and grumpy, making naptime even more necessary than usual. If this sounds familiar, here are a few tips you can use to get your toddler to take a nap.

Follow a Routine

It’s amazing how kids thrive on routine. This is why parents complain about time change since their little ones still wake up at the same time, as if they have internal alarm clocks going off at the same time each morning. Use this need for routine to your advantage when it comes to naptime. Keep your toddler on a naptime routine so that they nap at the same time each day. You might still see your toddler fighting naps on occasion, but more than likely your toddler’s internal clock will kick in and they’ll quickly fall asleep.

Use Soothing Sounds

You can also use soothing sounds to help your toddler get sleepy fast. This can include anything from turning on a fan during naptime to playing a CD of soothing lullabies. Whichever soothing sound you decide to go with, be consistent and use the same sound each time your toddler goes to sleep. The earlier you start, the faster your child will associate this sound with sleeping. Pretty soon, your hyper toddler will be ready to crash and sleep as soon as you press play on the CD player or iPod.

No Sugar before Naptime

If your toddler is fighting naptime, you might want to take a closer look at their diet. If your toddler eats or drinks anything with sugar in it before naptime, this can cause a sugar rush that keeps your kid wide awake during naptime. Consequently, you also get the sugar crash after a few hours. Combined with the missed naptime, this can lead to a grumpy evening full of temper tantrums. To help prevent this, make a no sugar rule before naptime. This should include juice, candy, cookies, and even the natural sugars in fruit.

Forget Naps

As much as you might dread to hear this, you might need to forget naps. Children tend to wean themselves off of naptime on their own. For some children, this might not happen until they start Kindergarten. For others, this happens way too soon, making naps a thing of the past. There is hope, however. Even though your child refuses to take a nap, you can still keep a nap-like routine by scheduling in a quiet time. During this time, your toddler will need to stay in their room, either watching a movie or playing quietly. Even though your toddler isn’t sleeping, their body and mind is still getting a time to rest and rejuvenate, making both parent and child happy.

Naptime is definitely precious to parents and children alike. Toddlers need this time to rest so that their bodies are ready for an active afternoon, while parents need it as a time of peace and quiet.

What are some ways you get your toddler or other kids to take a nap?

Annmarie John


  1. Aw what some great ideas, I've never had to get a toddler to nap, but I've heard from friends it can be a bit of a nightmare.

  2. Naptime was never fun at our house and almost non existent. I am so glad that she'll take a nap on her own now if she wants one.

  3. I got my kiddos to keep napping by making them have a quiet time, whether they slept or not. It did help them nap when they were especially tired, even if they had mostly grown out of naps. And it helped get my youngest to nap when he didn't want to miss out on anything the big kids were doing.

  4. I was lucky with my oldest, he napped until he started kindergarten. My youngest on the other hand stopped napping at about 2 :( I miss those naps times!

  5. My son has never been a napper on a schedule. But when he's ready, we know!

  6. I agree that some people over push the naps - some kids take naps until 5, many do not. Forcing it may jut make you more crazy.

  7. I need a lot of help in this department! My toddler just refuses to nap every day!

  8. My toddler is a little turkey when it comes to naps. I will have to use some of these tips. Amber N

  9. What if toddler cries? Toddler may well cry, and beg, for you to do things the old way.

  10. Nap? What's that?! My niece is 3 and getting her to nap is like getting snow in the Caribbean.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (