tips for dropping afternoon naps

Tips For Dropping Afternoon Naps

As parents, we look forward to seeing our little ones grow up, but we also feel a little bit sad about the fact that they have to get bigger and grow out of the beautiful baby stage. Part of our little ones growing up is the unavoidable ‘nap dropping’ stage. So, as your bubs grow from babies to toddlers, then toddlers to pre-schoolers and pre-schoolers to school-aged children, you need to prepare yourself for these changes. Check out these tips for dropping afternoon naps to find out the whens, hows, and whys of this developmental leap your bub is eventually going to experience.

When do toddlers drop afternoon naps?

You can generally expect your little one to be ready to drop their afternoon nap by around 4 years old. This doesn’t mean that all children will fit that particular mould though. Some children may reach age 4 and still feel the need for an afternoon nap. There’s nothing wrong with this as every child is different. It’s not uncommon for children to have a little trouble transitioning from afternoon naps to dropping that time of rest, so what I suggest is a little secret strategy called “quiet time”.

What is quiet time?

Quiet time is essentially a period of time in the afternoon that would generally be used for napping. It’s the time that your little one would generally nod off for between 45mins – 2 hours of sleep, but suddenly, it’s time for them to drop a nap and they don’t know what to do with themselves. Well, the answer is to introduce a little bit of time for quiet activities and the option for a short nap IF they are really showing signs of being tired out. By adding quiet time to the schedule, you’re still giving your little one that time out that they need from a busy toddler day, while starting the nap dropping process.

Quiet time is also a great way to introduce independent play to your toddler. By having them play quietly on their own, they start broadening their imaginations and independent thinking skills. It also allows time for parents to get some alone time in before things ramp up again near dinner time.

Best tips for dropping afternoon naps

  • Introduce a few quiet time activities like playing with blocks, reading or drawing.
  • Try to keep the daily routine as similar as possible to the former routine that included nap time while transitioning.
  • Incorporate independent play into quiet time.
  • Rotate activities in quiet time – don’t offer the same things every day to ensure a range of learning opportunities.

I hope this has helped prepare you for when your little ones are ready for dropping afternoon naps 🙂

As always, sleep sweetly and deeply my dears! x

Find a few toddler quiet time activity suggestions here!