Introducing Rest Time in Place of the Day Nap

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I know it’s hard to hear but all good things come to an end and your toddlers day nap is one of them. Somewhere between the ages of 2 to 4 years old it is common for toddlers to drop their day nap. Sleep needs, sleep pressure, family life and individual circadian rhthym all contribute to how much sleep each individual toddler will have in a 24hr period and when they will find that sleep. This means some will drop that day nap earlier and some much later. This also means some will get through the day without a hitch and others may be melting down from 3pm onwards trying to make it across the line to bedtime.

When it comes to that time of the day that they have been used to resting their bodies and you have been used to having a little breather yourself you can aim to offer a rest time in place of the nap.

A rest time can look different in every family but the main goal is to quiet the stimulus from the daily buzz of life.

You can offer:

* Quiet time in their cot or bed
* Quiet time in their room
* Quiet play in a lounge area or even gentle pottering outside
* A warm bath
* A few books
* A few soft toys
* A few safe toys such a duplo or animal figurines
* Audio books
* Gentle music

You can set them up on their own and communicate clearly with a visual indication of time how long they will rest for. You could also join them for their rest time, it really is completely upto you and what works best for you and your family. We don’t want this period to become a battle ground. We want to welcome them to tune into their bodies and ‘rest’ can look different to different toddler temperaments.

The discussion you can have with toddler can be around learning to rest their body in ways that help them feel refreshed and refueled for the rest of the day.  That way they can tune into the times their body is saying rest and recharge and it can be a great life long lesson. We can support you with your toddlers sleep changes in our Raise Toddlers Membership, join now!

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About the author

Mandy Richardson is a qualified Early Childhood Educator and also holds a Masters in Childhood Studies. She is currently completing her PhD in Respectful Parenting Methods. She is passionate about promoting a positive parent-child relationship and a natural, slow paced, peaceful and fulfilling childhood.

Past Posts

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Toddler Temperaments 101

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Saying Goodbye to the Dummy

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Adjusting to the juggle of life with a new baby and a toddler

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