Toddler Naptime Guide for Parents

December 15, 2011

Many parents struggle when it comes to naptime with their toddlers. Knowing
what to do to get toddlers to even take their naps can be quite challenging, but there are a few tips to help parents with this issue.

Falling Asleep
Toddlers are old enough to fall asleep on their own, and parents shouldn’t have to stay with them or pat them to sleep. This can be tough, but the best way for parents to handle this is to talk to toddlers about the situation and leave the room. After a day or two of crying, the child will figure out that he is okay and fall asleep on his own. This can be tough for parents, but children must learn to put themselves to sleep. Parents can help toddlers go to sleep by themselves in a few ways. They can turn on soft music for the toddler to listen to, give the child a stuffed animal to hold, or even turn on a lamp to make the child comfortable at naptime.

Staying in the Bed
Some toddlers want to get up and play as soon as their parents leave the room instead of staying in the bed. The only way the toddler can fall asleep is if he stay in his bed. This can be a challenge, so try this idea. Start by giving the toddler three straws to hold when he gets into the bed for his nap. Tell him that every time he gets out of bed, he will lose a straw. If he can keep at least one straw, then he will earn a reward. Rewards can be stickers, cookies, or even small, inexpensive toys. After a few rewards, the toddler will learn what is expected of him, and rewards will no longer have to be used.

Staying on Schedule
A toddler’s naptime should be at the same time every day. Toddlers feel
comfortable when they have a routine to follow throughout the day. They thrive on routines. A toddler who is used to napping every single day right after lunch is more likely to go ahead and get his nap over with than a child who is unsure of when he gets to take his nap. If a toddler attends daycare, parents should follow the same naptime routine at home as the school does. This just makes it easier for the child to nap both at home and at school.

Toddlers Need Rest
Toddlers must have their rest, or they tend to get cranky and upset by the end of the day. Their bodies need this time and suffer when they don’t get it. Think about how active toddlers are throughout the day as they run, play, and learn. Their little bodies need a moment to rest before they start this process all over again. Therefore, parents must put their toddlers down for a nap. Parents must do this even when the child doesn’t seem tired. The key is not to stress if the child doesn’t actually go to sleep. Toddlers should be put down for a nap and expected to sleep or rest. If the toddler doesn’t fall asleep after an hour of quiet rest, he can get up and play again. Parent shouldn’t worry if naptime turns into rest time a couple of days a week.

Parents have the responsibility of making sure their toddlers get the recommended amount of sleep each day. Naptime is an important part of a toddler’s day that shouldn’t be ignored even when toddlers choose to assert their independence and fight naptime. These tips can make naptime easier.

This post was written as a guest blog post by mum’s mall – a specialist price comparison site for maternity products, toys, kids & baby clothes featuring over 50 online stores. Find mum’s mall on Facebook and Follow mum’s mall on Twitter.

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