Children have several milestones, and each one takes their own time to reach these milestones. The same holds true for Napping as well. If there’s one thing you would have noticed as a parent or caregiver, it is this — kids nap a lot (as they should). As babies, they tend to sleep most of the day, and as they grow older, the amount of time spent napping lessens a bit, but they still do nap, maybe twice or thrice a day. This might worry you a bit, particularly if you’re comparing your child with the other children.
So this probably brings you to a few critical questions — when will my kid stop napping? Should my kids be sleeping so much? Does it have anything to do with energy levels or nutrition? Let’s find out!
At What Age Do Kids Ideally Stop Napping?
It’s important to know that napping is a normal part of a child’s routine during the developmental years. A study was conducted to understand nap time on 172 children. It was observed that most babies who fell between the age group of nine to twelve months took around two naps per day. As they grew older, nap times decreased to just one a day, and this was somewhere around the ages of fifteen to twenty-four months. All in all, most children stop napping completely around the age of seven (1).
Signs That Your Child Doesn’t Need Nap Time Anymore
Napping is essential, but you don’t have to force a siesta on your toddler. You will know that your child does not require a daily nap time if you observe the following signs:
- If your child does not seem to be falling asleep during their nap time, the chances are that they’re simply not sleepy and are ready to forego their sleep during the day. You will see that they are fidgety, restless, and just not interested in sleeping when previously, they didn’t have an issue falling asleep.
- Another sign that they are ready to skip nap time is if they do fall asleep but wake up early. If your child usually wakes up after an hour or two but has now started waking up after thirty minutes or less, it could mean that your child doesn’t need to nap that much.
- Your child may not need nap time if they find it hard to fall asleep during bedtime. It is essential to ensure that your child gets ample sleep at night. To prevent delay during bedtime, try to schedule nap time in such a way that there is a period of four hours of wake time before they fall asleep at night.
Helping Your Child Do Away With Nap Time
If you know that your child is ready to forego nap time, then you could help your little one do away with it by following these tips:
- You could plan some other activity during the usual nap time, one that isn’t too tiring. For example, how about reading a book instead of napping? Or maybe you could make your little one practice some quiet time.
- Avoid long rides during nap time, as a long drive can make your little one feel drowsy. This way, your child won’t have to have a nap and can skip it instead.
- Take it easy in the beginning. You can’t expect your child to stop napping all of a sudden. Let it happen in its own time, and when your child is ready, you’ll see that nap time decreases on its own.
It’s important to be patient with your child. As we mentioned before, every child reaches their milestone on their own time. Some children stop napping earlier than most, while others do so later. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!