What Age Do Kids Start Napping And Why Does It Happen?

For an adult, napping is what we do when we didn’t get much sleep last night, and we try to sneak one in a while in the office or have to attend class early. For a toddler, napping is an essential part of their transition from babyhood to being more competent. 

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Infants sleep quite a bit. They can sleep for over 14 hours every day. This is because they need lots of sleep to keep them growing. When they hit the toddler stage, they don’t need to nap as much, but naps are still required to make the transition. But the question, what age do kids start napping?

How Many Naps? 

What age do kids start napping? A toddler needs to have about two or three hours of napping a day. Often, parents will divide it into one nap in the morning and another after lunch. 

As a toddler gets a little older, they only need one nap a day, sleeping in the afternoon for a bit of a bit loner. Eventually, they will drop the napping altogether.

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Why Napping Happens 

What age do kids start napping? While they don’t need to nap as much as an infant, toddlers still need lots of sleep. About 11-14 hours. When was the last time you slept that much in one sitting? Few people can do it, which is why the nap helps to supplement the missing amount of sleep. 

A toddler who doesn’t get the naps may end up crankier, have more tantrums, and not eat as much. They’ll be less energetic too. 

Troubleshooting Naps 

Some toddlers don’t nap as much, and you may wonder why that is. Here are a few reasons why. 

They’re Too Tired 

This sounds like a contradiction. If a toddler is too tired, you would think they would accept a nap with arms wide open. However, think about a time where you didn’t get much sleep, and when you tried to sleep, you felt energetic. Exhausted folks seem to get energy when they can’t sleep. 

Naps Can Be Boring 

If a child is still filled with energy, they would instead be having fun than taking a nap, which is a little bit understandable.

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The Internal Clock Is Too Strong 

Sometimes, the internal clock is just a little bit too strong for them. They’re used to sleeping when it’s dark and vice versa. Putting them in a dark room with blackout curtains may be an excellent solution to this problem that you face.

How To Let A Toddler Nap 

Sometimes, a toddler may resist naptime. When that happens, what can you do about it? There are a few solutions. Let’s look at them. 

They may not be tired enough. It’s essential to make sure they’re tired but not too tired when you’re dealing with sleepiness. Some toddlers are just naturally more energetic, and they may not need as much nap time. 

Keep the naptime consistent. Make sure that every day, you stick to a regular schedule. This can help your toddler adjust. If you want to adjust a toddler’s nap time, do it slowly so they can adapt. 

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You have to create a sleep ritual to help your toddler. Read them a nice little bedtime story, cuddle them, and play some white noise. Darken the room, and then they can fall asleep much faster.

If your toddler is old enough and is resisting a morning nap, they may be old enough to drop it. When a toddler gets older, they may no longer need two naps a day. This is an excellent way for them to transition, so make sure to take advantage of that. Adjust the naptimes until you have a one-afternoon nap. About halfway through the second year, your toddler will need less napping, which is always essential. If a toddler tells you they don’t want to nap, then perhaps you should listen and try to move to one nap instead. 

When you do a transition from one to two naps, it’s not going to be as easy as you would think. For example, your toddler will have to stay awake longer, and it may be hard for them to do so without being too cranky. It’s important that you keep an hour for your toddler to calm down and unwind. This can help the toddler keep their energy up. 

Changing lunchtime may be recommended while making the transition as well. 

However, it’s important you don’t transition things too radically. You may end up with a toddler who goes to bed earlier, thus waking you up way sooner than you’re used to. Try creating a schedule that satisfies both the toddler and the adult.  

Toddlers And Quitting Naps 

With that said, you may wonder when the toddler will give up their naps altogether. It all depends. Around the 3-4-year-old range is when the naps tend to stop. Then, they will have a sleep schedule that is more equal to that of you and me. However, some kids may nap a little longer. You can always tell whenever a toddler is more resistant to napping altogether. It may be time to drop the nap. 

If you think about it, napping isn’t that abnormal in humans. Our sleep used to be more broken up into naps, rather than dedicating a fixed period for rest. Perhaps the toddlers have it right, and we have it wrong. However, our busy life makes it a little harder for us to do so. 

Also, some toddlers may switch back and forth. Just like adults, there are some days where we feel tired despite sleeping well. There is no shame in a toddler having a nap, just as there is no shame if you’re having a nap as long as it’s not on company time or in your car.

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Conclusion

If you think about it, naptime is so fascinating, and raising a toddler can teach you the value of naptime. As a parent, you may sneak in a few naps yourself, and nap with your little one. 

 

FAQ

 

 

At what age do kids stop napping?

Toddlers need their nap time, at least twice a day—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Usually, kids one to two years old stop napping in the morning, but they need their nap in the afternoon.

Does a three-year-old need a nap?

A child will need less sleep as they grow older. Usually, toddlers up to four years old don’t nap in the morning but take a short sleep in the afternoon.

Does a two-year-old need a nap?

Yes, a 2-year-old needs his or her nap time in the afternoon. It is essential in the child’s development.

How long should a four-year-old nap?

Kids at this age are already sleeping a full cycle at night. And so, in the morning, a short one hour nap is suitable for a 4-year-old.

How do you know when your toddler is done with naps?

Your toddler is ready to forego the nap time if he or she is able to stay up all day without getting sleepy. Another sign is that when he or she increases nighttime sleep hours.

Is it OK for a two-year-old not to nap?

Kids at five years old give up their nap time, but for a 2-year-old, it is better to take one in the afternoon. It is for the toddler’s body and brain development.

When did your toddler drop their nap?

A toddler usually drops their morning nap when they reach 18 to 24 months. But they do have their afternoon nap time.

What time should toddlers wake up?

In a toddler’s afternoon nap, he or she should be sleeping for about an hour and two, max. Wake him or her up by 3 PM, though.

How much sleep does a five-year-old need?

A 5-year-old child drops his day time nap. At night, he needs as much sleep as he can get, at least a full 8 hours.

What do you do when your toddler doesn’t nap?

You just have to stick to the schedule and the regular sleep-wake routine. It is possible that your toddler will make a fuss about it, but you just have to go back to the cycle of napping.

Why is my two-year-old fighting sleep?

It is usual for a 2-year-old to fight sleep and try to stay awake for reasons like playing or watching TV. This is a very normal stage in a child’s development.

When should my four-year-old stop nap?

A child, when he or she reaches five years old, the nap time is eventually dropped. And so, for a 4-year-old, dropping the nap is normal. The morning nap is dropped first, before the afternoon nap.

What age do toddlers give up naps?

Toddlers usually give up their nap by the time they are 18 months old. They drop their morning nap, but some still have their afternoon nap time.

Do daytime naps affect night sleep for toddlers?

The daytime nap should typically not affect the night sleep of toddlers. But the afternoon nap time must not exceed 330 PM, or it will affect their night sleep.

Does a three-year-old need a nap?

Some 3-year-old kids need their nap in the afternoon, but normally, kids 24 months old and above, do drop their morning nap time.

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