Nap times are perhaps the best times of the day. And who doesn’t like seeing their kids enjoying a wholesome sleep? But a time does come when your child may not be sleeping like before. Which leads you to the question, “When do kids stop napping?”. Well, grab a pillow as we take you onto the journey of sleep and slumber!
How Much Sleep Is Good Sleep?
Toddlers are amazingly energetic species. As they are ever-growing and learning, exploring the world through their tiny eyes! As much as you love their adventures, you may want to admit they look adorable when they doze off. Their nap is a good time for them, and for you as well, to recharge.
Which is why you may feel a bit resistant when your child refuses to take those refreshing midday naps anymore. But the plus point here is your child is actually learning a new milestone, so you should actually be celebrating it.
Before moving on to the topic, “When do kids stop napping?”, you may want to know how much sleep is needed by your baby at what age.
Most toddlers need, at least about 12 hours of sleep per day. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), only 50% of kids still take naps by 4 years of age. And by 5 years of age, this drops to 30%.
Also Read: When Can Babies Sleep With a Pillow?
Napping, Less Napping, No Napping?
Growing up is all about going through different changes. And your child’s slumber timing is no exception! There may be a time when your baby may have slept most of the time during the day. And let’s agree, those were simpler times.
Yup, you may be a bit terrified of moving from those simpler, sleepier times to a busier baby and you! So, the question you would be asking here is, “When do kids stop napping?”.
As your child grows older, there is a transition from 5-6 naps throughout the day to only 2-3. This quick change occurs during the first year of life. Only in a 12 months period time!
From there onwards, the sleep transition period varies among different children. So, don’t get worried if your child is still napping or napping less often than other kids their age.
The journey from 2-3 naps per day to only one in a day occurs somewhere around 15-18 months of age. Then, the last step, which is from 1 to no naps usually happens at 4-5 years of age.
Also Read: When Can Babies Sleep With a Blanket?
Is Your Child Ready to Stop Napping?
So, in response to the question, ‘’When do kids stop napping?”, we have figured it out to be around 5 years of age. Now you may be wondering, ‘’How to know if my child is ready to stop napping?’’.
Well, you may want to keep an eye on your kid to see if they are showing the following signs.
Difficulty in Napping
One of the common things you may come across is your toddler experiencing difficulty in napping. So, if nap time normally starts around 1 pm, you may still find them awake by 2 pm. One thing to keep in mind here is that your child is now growing up. And can handle more of the awake time.
Hard Time Sleeping at Night
This sign normally follows the above-mentioned one. When your toddler has a hard time sleeping during the afternoon, that ultimately reflects during their night time slumber too. If your child managed to fall asleep by 3 pm in the afternoon, instead of 1 pm, they would definitely not feel tired enough to sleep by 7 or 8 pm.
No Nap at All!
Afternoon naptime is now nonexistent. Your toddler misses out on napping in the afternoon, entirely. And guess what? No fussiness, no tantrums, no tiredness and they are sleeping well during the night. This is one of the surest signs that your child is ready to wean off afternoon napping.
Catching Up on Rest!
Sleep transition is not easy for your toddler. And even if they don’t nap during the daytime anymore, it does not mean they are okay without rest.
If your toddler has omitted daytime dozing from their schedule, it may be a good time to start a ‘rest time’ routine. Whether at home, daycare, or preschool, the rest period would enable your child’s body and mind to relax and catch up.
During the rest or quiet time, you can put your toddler in their cot or bed with some toys or books. And allow them to rest with no surrounding noise. If they feel like sleeping, they may take a short nap. If not, don’t force them to do so. This quiet period is a refreshing break for your toddler.
Lending a Helping Hand
The answer to your question, ‘When do kids stop napping?’, as we saw above, was around 5 years of age. But what if your kid is already 5 and still finding it hard to go without their daytime slumber?
This may be the right time for you to jump in and lend a helping hand. You can do so by dropping a nap. But you may want to take it slowly. So, if they were previously taking two naps per day, you can reduce that to one. You can also shorten the duration of each nap, say from 2 hours to 1.
Also, you can prevent activities that lead to daytime lethargy. Long periods of inactivity, a heavy lunch, and long drives all lead to tiredness and your child would surely be searching for their pillow after these.
Also Read: Fun Things To Do With Toddlers
You may also want to reschedule their nighttime sleep so that they can cover up all the needed slumber during the night. Also, you can make their sleeping environment comfier, so that they go early to sleep. And have a sound, undisturbed slumber.
If despite all these measures, you still have concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor. To stay on the safe side and rule out any medical disorder, that is leading to a disturbed sleeping pattern.
To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question! And as far as your question, that is, “When do kids stop napping?’’ is concerned, rest assured, it’s safely answered.