A nap is a short sleep usually taken during the day. It is a resting time used to recharge so that the napper is up and alert for the rest of their day. For kids, a nap usually occurs in the midday (1-3 pm). This is a perfect time for a nap because it is past morning and it will not interfere with the regular bedtime. Kids of all ages need different hours of sleep. Let’s take a look at these hours.
- Newborns – For newborns between 0-3 months they should be sleeping 14-17 hours daily.
- Infants – For infants between 4-11 months they should be sleeping 12-15 hours daily.
- Toddlers – For toddlers between 1-2 years they should be sleeping 11-14 hours daily.
- Preschoolers – For preschoolers between 3-5 years they should be sleeping 10-13 hours daily.
- School-age children – For kids between the ages of 6-13 they should be sleeping 9-11 hours daily.
Now, when do kids stop napping? If your child is above the age of 7 and still needs naps daily then they might be suffering from a poor diet, a sleep disorder or they may not be sleeping well at night.
Naps are very beneficial for people of all ages.
- Napping supports the improvement of moods
- Napping can help you get a better memory
- Napping helps you understand better
- Napping helps you be more alert which helps in various ways
- Napping can reduce feelings of fatigue and lethargy
- Napping is a great form of relaxation
- Napping helps toddlers fall asleep easier at night
Napping is necessary for toddlers to recharge and rest however how do you know when they no longer need to nap? When do kids stop napping?
- Inconsistency – The naps become more inconsistent. If your toddler stops taking naps every day and begins to take them 2 or 3 times a week this is a sign that they may be transitioning away from a regularly scheduled naptime.
- Shorter Naps – If your toddler is napping for shorter periods then they may no longer need regular naps.
- Energetic – If they remain energetic at the times where they are meant to nap then they may no longer need regular naps.
- Nighttime – If they are waking up earlier in the morning then their naps may be interfering with their evening sleep which means they may no longer need regular naps.
- Sleeping Faster At Night – If they are falling asleep faster at night then they may no longer need regular naps.
It is not enough that they exhibit these behaviors once or twice. Watch them for a week or two and ensure that other factors like diet, change of scenery are not influencing the changes. Once you’re sure that it is happening naturally you may begin to help them take lesser naps through the following steps:
- Diet – Large amounts of food will put anyone to sleep. If your toddler is sleepy after meal time then the diet might be the issue. Opt for lighter and healthier lunches.
- Activities – Try and include fun activities during the regular naptime hour. This way they are not bored.
- Adjustments – Adjustments will have to be made when dropping naps. They may sleep earlier or wake up later for a few weeks however it should stabilize.
You mustn’t force a toddler to stop napping because this can lead to crankiness, irritation, and bad sleeping habits. For more information on sleeping habits for toddlers, you can read this article.