It can be hard to spot the signs your toddler is ready to ditch their nap.
If they have started refusing to have a daytime snooze it’s difficult to tell if this is just toddler stubbornness or a genuine move to a new stage in their development.
Toddlers have no idea how gutting this stage of development is to parents.
Naptime is a precious little break from a day of playing, feeding and general exhausting activity for mums.
For this reason it can be difficult to accept that the daytime nap is over.
I know this because my eldest daughter ditched her nap just weeks after her younger sister was born. This was a time when I needed her to rest more than ever, because I was so desperate for a rest!
She was refusing to nap at nursery first and then at home. I thought she had picked up a bad habit from the nursery, but actually she was just ready to leave nap time behind.
So how can you tell if your toddler is ready to ditch the nap? Here are five signs:
1. They play/cry/tantrum whenever you try to put them down
If nap time has become an epic battle then you need to start questioning what are you fighting for.
A tired child who needs a snooze will nod off eventually.
When my eldest dropped her nap it started with her taking longer and longer to fall asleep at nap time. Sometimes she was still in her bedroom chatting away to herself after an hour.
2. They have refused to nap for several days a week for more than two weeks
A one-off nap strike does not mean that your toddler is ready to drop their nap.
However if they are refusing to nap or just playing in the bed most nap times over the course of a few weeks, then you may need to accept that there will be no more daytime sleep!
3. Bedtime is particularly difficult when they have had a nap
If your toddler is struggling to get to sleep at bedtime after having a snooze in the day, then it may be that they just don’t need those extra daytime hours.
Look for signs your toddler isn’t sleepy at bedtime, such as no longer rubbing their eyes, or refusing to settle down for a story.
You may also notice they lengthen they nighttime sleep, as they start to refuse to sleep during the day. This isn’t always the case however.
4. They stay energetic all day
They may have not had that two-hour snooze that they used to indulge in every day, but it makes no difference. They’re still running around, playing and full of beans.
If your toddler is playing as normal all day without the daytime nap, then they’re doing just fine without it.
5. After skipping a nap they are not overtired or in meltdown by bedtime
This is probably the most important sign. If your child is coping OK without a daytime nap and not spending all afternoon in total meltdown every single day, then they don’t need that extra sleep.
Has your toddler dropped their daytime nap? What were the signs?