For small children, it is a very difficult and challenging process where they have to make the transition from naps to proper sleep. It is an even difficult task for parents, especially mothers to get them to do so. The things which you enjoy when your kids are growing up, for example, their first words, first walk stuff, the sleep transition also comes with certain obstacles, but the celebration makes it worth it. If your kid is also at the stage of this transition than get ready for a bumpy ride.
First, you need to know that it is something very normal, all kids go through it, and so there is absolutely nothing to worry about. According to a research, it is stated that almost 50% percent of the children stop taking naps around the age of four, and 70% percent are free from daytime sleep by the time they reach the age of 5 years. Of course, you will notice some signs which will tell you that your kids are now ready for getting ahead from naps, and get in the phase of proper sleeping patterns, like every other kid their age.
When is it time to say goodbye to naps?
Putting your toddler to nap is sometimes the only way out. It is the only time you have to your own self when you can check your emails, read a book or watch your favorite show and get done with other important tasks. It is generally seen that the toddlers who spend a lot of time napping, are relatively less cranky and irritable. But even this is true that they cannot just keep on napping forever, one time or another you have to change this habit of theirs, it is in their best interest.
Parents often ask when or what age is right for the transition from a nap to sleep. It is expected that your child will change from 5 to 6 naps a day to just, one in the morning and the other in the evening. Doing this requires a lot of work. Gradually the other one in the afternoon will also tend to vanish.
There is a difference between a child not wanting a nap and a kid no needing one. Kids require at least 12 to 14 hours of sleep, a day. If you notice that a child is rubbing his eyes constantly and is irritable, then it tells you that he/she needs a nap. Try reading a book to them before nap time. This will slowly change his habits of sleeping, and you will know when its time to say goodbye to those naps. By the time they reach the age of 4 to 5 they themselves will start showing signs that it’s to move from naps to sleep.
Helping your kid sleep well
- Try putting your child into bed while he is sleepy but rather awake. This will give your child a sign, and he/she will eventually learn how to sleep on their own, without making a fuss. Help them go back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of their sleep.
- You need to put a limit to the amount of food and drinks you give your kid before their bedtime because many of the clear beverages you give your kids contains caffeine which will affect the quality and quantity of their sleep.
- Do not keep on changing the bedtime and wake up timings of your kid and don’t even change the nap time. You need to make sure that it is not very late in the morning or very short. Otherwise, they will be unable to get a good night’s sleep. Keep the tools for sleeping well while travelling too.
- You have to keep one thing in check that their bedroom is quiet and not noisy, which is best for sleeping. A small and dim lamp would really help you in the process, and it is advised to play such music which is very soothing and relaxing to hear for the child, this will quickly put him to a very comfortable sleep.
But remember that it should not be a way to play music; it should be for sleeping purposes only. Some parents allow their children to have television in their rooms; it just seems to mess up even more with their sleeping habits. Therefore you need to say no to TVs in their rooms, in order to ensure a good sleep.
- The modern world is all about electronic gadgets, you can let your kids play with them but just don’t let them use it when it is their bedtime. It will cause them trouble sleeping. I pads, phones, and similar gadgets should not be present in the room where your kid is supposed to sleep. There should not be any distraction, which may keep him or you from falling asleep as electronics may stimulate you before bed and the baby too.
If your kid is a preschooler then there is a very high possibility that he/she has trouble sleeping at night and waking up early in the morning. It is absolutely fine if they require their parents to be there and tuck them in for sleep.
- But once the kid is asleep, parents should leave the room, and put around him some of his/her stuffed toys. This will make them feel at ease even if they wake up in the middle of the night. This way they will not leave their bed looking for Mom and Dad to help him fall back to sleep.
The process of transition from a nap to sleep does not always have to go according to your plan, or according to a time which is right for you. Some kids do not adapt well to changes, especially the ones related to their rest. Which is why it is possible that they may take their time accepting it, you don’t need to worry. There are no set rules for parents which will tell them what they need to do, all you have to do is wait and take signs from your kid. At last, you will know its time.