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.
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?