Hi there, I am a parent of a toddler who is around 2 years old. My child used to take naps regularly, but nowadays, she has started resisting naps. She used to take 2-3 naps a day earlier, but now she hardly takes one nap. Her resistance to taking a nap is frustrating for me as I am not able to get her to bed even at night. I have tried almost everything I could think of, like turning off the lights, playing soft music, and even reading stories to her. But nothing seems to work. Can someone please suggest some tips or advice on how to handle my toddler's resistance to taking a nap? I would really appreciate any help I can get. Thank you in advance.
Hello there, having raised a toddler myself, I know how exasperating it can be when your child won’t take a nap. One strategy that worked for us was making use of naptime songs. We would create a playlist of nursery rhymes that our child enjoyed listening to during the nap routine. We found that music turned naptime from a tedious activity to a pleasant experience.
Another helpful tip is being consistent with your nap time routine. Creating a schedule that incorporates naptime, snack time and playing time helps your child anticipate their naps. My child was proactive once he understood what time it was, and with the help of a routine it was a lot easier to convince him.
An additional strategy is helping your child understand the importance of napping. Create a positive narrative around naps, and relate it to how it helps them grow, helps in brain development and such. We emphasized how napping was essential and something adventurous for our child, which piqued their interest.
Flexibility is also essential. Sometimes our child would need a little extra time to get sleepy, or they would experience challenges nap time had to be pushed up or delayed; we were flexible in how we handled these unique scenarios.
If a child resists taking a nap, it could be because they are too tired, under-stimulated, overstimulated or experiencing anxiety. Parents need to monitor the types of games their kids play, what they are watching on TV or on their phone, etc. Sometimes it’s an easy fix like lowering the light, or giving them something soft to hug while getting ready to nap.
Lastly, exercise. Regular physical activity is an effective way to reduce resistance to nap time. Take your child outdoors for a play session or as simple as a walk around the block.
In conclusion, it takes time, patience and creativity to get your toddler to nap. But with a combination of the above suggestions or a combination of your own strategies, you should be able to find something that works for your child.