Oh yes- I hear it a lot: My child won’t nap, but still needs one. It is that stage that we all go through, at some point. You skip their nap and they are a little bit grumpy all evening, but if you give them a nap, they are up all night? I think we’ve all been there (or will be there) with our kids at some point.
When kids won’t nap (even if they need it), you can solve it with some of these awesome solutions!
- Earlier bedtime. When children stop napping, they usually start going to bed a little earlier. This is a good opportunity to try a 7:00 bedtime. If they are tired sooner, try at 6:00 bedtime. You might be surprised at how they seem to still wake up at the same time that they did before they stopped napping.
- Remember that bedtime will run more smoothly if your child is tired from not taking a nap (thinking of the positive here ¦ glass half full)
- Have an early dinner to avoid the witching hour (those hours from 5:00-7:00 when kids start to get hungry and tired all at once.)
- Take a bath and read a book in the evening to help your child calm down. This is a great tip to try before dinner. After dinner, put them to bed on a full belly.
- Darkening blinds in the bedroom will help your child fall asleep faster and sleep later (or if you really need them to take a nap, it will help here, too!)
- Tell her she doesn’t need to nap, but it is just ‘body rest time’- for her bones. She needs to lay down and let them rest. ~ Barb Bandel-Sauter
- Take her for a drive at nap time and allow them to sleep for 30 minutes. Just short enough for a rest, but not long enough to disrupt evening sleep.
- Give lots of opportunities for outdoor play, especially in the early evening, to avoid meltdowns.
- Turn the old nap-time into a new bonding time. instead of insisting on napping, just insist on your child rests with you. Use this time to talk, read or sing songs together.
- When kids won’t nap, you can push back nap time by an hour and shorten nap time to 30 minutes. The extra hour awake might help them to fall asleep, and shortening the nap to 30 minutes will ensure that they still go to bed at night.
- Have a movie playing during rest time, to let her relax, but not fall asleep. This is a time to relax and might help her not to be exhausted at 6:00. ~Amy Bcs
- Find the time when your child starts to get crabby in the evening. Watch this for several days. Once you have found that time, put her to bed 30 minutes prior to that time to avoid her becoming overtired.
- I heard the best statement by far from a man on a cruise, desperately trying to get his 2-3-year-old to take a nap. He said to simply “rest your body“. It has worked for me with my grandchildren every time. Children think they are just relaxing ¦ they hate the word nap. ~Rebecca Covert.
- Let her sleep in her bed for her nap and crib for bedtime. It will make her feel like a “big girl” and coax her to fall asleep a little faster.
- Give your child books to read in bed (just looking at picture books keep them very entertained.) for 30 minutes. This will let her stay quiet, but not fall asleep.
- Tell her that her baby doll is sleepy and needs to be rocked to sleep. That works every time. ~Jodi Herndon
- Distract them with fun things like a bath or reading books until it’s time for bed.