Usually my little boy who is one goes down for a nap just fine at 10.30am but this week he has decided that he no longer wants to nap at this time and will have a full blown tantrum in the hallway outside his bedroom. I had a few days this week where he didn’t nap at all in the day so his mood was awful (awful is probably a bit of an understatement).
We all know that if toddlers nap it improves their mood, they are usually less fussy after a nap, and crying, whinging and tantrums are usually reduced after a good nap in the day. Some studies have also shown that if toddlers nap, they get ill less often, grow taller and are less likely to be obese. Naps can also enhance attention span and brain development.
So here are a few tips to help you get your toddler back to napping in the day.
Have they outgrown their current nap routine? The best way to solve this is to watch your toddler for signs of tiredness between naps, you may need to adjust the time they go down for a nap. So my little boy was going down for a nap at 10.30am but this week he did not want to go at that time so over this weekend I have tried putting him in his bed half an hour to forty minutes later and this has made all the difference, he goes straight down, so he obviously needed that extra bit of time playing to wear himself out.
Does your toddlers naps meet their biological clock? This means making sure nap times are at reasonable times in the day, so if they go to bed at 7pm don’t let them nap past 3pm. Are their naps in a logical order? For example, breakfast, play, snack and a drink, cuddle and then a nap. Also try an avoid those micro naps, these are the ones your child might have on a short car journey, one day is not going to make a difference to your child’s nap routine but if it is happening everyday you may need to look into this. Also ensure that you are being consistent with nap times and only adjust them a bit at a time, and watch out for over-tiredness at nap times because if this occurs tantrums are likely to occur.
Does your toddler have any health problems such as, asthma, allergies, colic, reflux, ear infection or teething troubles. Health problems can affect sleep, and especially their quality of sleep. For example, my youngest (15 weeks old) has reflux and this will cause here to wake in the middle of the night crying, we give her infacol to soothe her tummy. If you think your little one has a health issue, that could be affecting their sleep it is best to go and speak to your doctor.