Transitioning out of naps can be a tricky time for toddlers.
Most children drop their daytime nap completely by 3 or 4 years old. Most children will still be very tired but don’t have the need to actually sleep, or commonly they may drop a nap a few times a week but need to sleep 2 days a week for example. This is when ‘calm or quiet time’ is a very useful activity.
A tip that works well is to have a quiet time box (shelf/drawer/bag whichever works for you) something that they only have access to during this quiet time. The box could contain things like bubble/glitter tubes, puzzles, colouring/drawing or writing books, reading and picture books, water pen book, stamps,dolls or puppets. It’s a good idea to rotate the items in the box so it keeps their interest.
Do explain to them what quiet time is for and what is consists of, for example, you could say they might be getting too big for a nap everyday but it’s important that we still have a rest during the day. You can let them know how long it will be, say 20/40mins whatever you feel they need. It is also a good idea if quiet time takes place in their bedroom, so there are less distractions. This also gives you a few minutes peace 👍
When the quiet time is up you could either just go into their room or if you want to give them a bit more autonomy you could set an alarm or a lamp with a timer to come on that way they can just potter on down to you. The quiet items are then packed away until next time.
Do you need some advice and help with your child’s sleep? Join our specific Baby & Child Sleep Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2198992897040705/ for more discussions or get in touch with Emma for a 1-1 sleep consultation.