Does your toddler nap? My two year old didn’t take naps for a long time. When she didn’t nap, she was a hot mess by 6pm. Tantrums galore. Falling asleep on the ground hours before bedtime. I desperately craved a schedule that would work for her and once we found it, things got so much better!
Here are my top five tips on getting your toddler to nap:
Tip #1: Be consistent with nap TIME. We eat lunch at noon every day and start getting ready for nap time shortly after. Without fail, every day by 1pm, she’s passed out. On days we are out and about, you can tell she needs a nap by 1pm and starts getting really grumpy without her nap! (This tip also works for “younger” toddlers, my one year old naps at 11:30am on the dot.)
Tip #2: Be firm. Toddlers are exceptional debaters. No matter how convincing they can be that they “don’t want a nap,” they need one. Don’t give up. Even if they do that pouty lip that makes your heart break into a million pieces… you know the one.
Tip #3: Make it dark. Every morning when my toddler wakes up she says, “it’s a sunny day!” And when I put her down for a nap, she cries and says, “buuut it’s a sunny day…” So we started making sure her room wasn’t too bright during nap time and it really helped! Black out curtains are great for this.
Tip #4: If nap time fails, try quiet time. There will be days when your toddler simply refuses to nap and NOTHING WORKS. On these days, I still make my toddler lay in her bed for a least an hour. She can read a book, but she needs to be quiet. I’ve found that quiet time helps her rejuvenate and wind down the same way a nap would!
Tip #5: Keep their bums dry! Toddlers don’t like the feeling of a wet diaper and this can cause them to stay awake! After my toddler was potty trained, we started using Pull-Ups during naps (and at night time)! They don’t leak and keep her dry as can be!
(We also used a $2.00 off coupon for Pull-Ups at Walmart Neighborhood Market and saved some money! Yay!)