Mother and Baby

When will my toddler stop needing a nap?

toddler napping

You probably don't even want to think about the day when your toddler no longer naps in the day, but when do they stop needing that precious midday nap?

Whatever you use your tots nap times for, whether it's to finish off some house work, catch up on work emails or even take a nap yourself, saying goodbye to those precious few hours can be difficult. 

When do they stop napping?

Every toddler is different, but you might find that your toddler cuts down the amount of time they nap for between one and two years old. Your toddler has a lot more energy to burn, so that midday nap is often the extra push they need to make it to bedroom with fewer tantrums, but sadly, by the age of four, your toddler will have probably stopped nap time altogether. 

How do you know when your toddler is done with nap time?

When you suggest your tot goes for a nap, they might already be telling you that they don't want one (even though they're fast asleep the moment their head touches the pillow), but this is the most obvious sign that your toddler really is done with their naps. 

If you find that your toddler copes just fine if they miss a nap and they don't seem grumpy or exhausted, it might be worth skipping your toddlers scheduled nap time to every other day.

Other signs that your toddler is ready to give up their nap time is when it takes them longer to fall asleep than they actually nap for, which also results in your tot not wanting to go to bed while late either - and nobody wants a toddler up hours after their bedtime! 

How do you manage without a nap?

When your toddler is awake from the crack of dawn until they finally give in at bedtime, it can cause tantrums, overtiredness and it can be difficult for your tot to adjust to their new routine. Here are 5 ways to help your little one (and you) make the day easier with no nap!

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1) Start your day earlier

Don't worry, we don't mean you have to get up an hour earlier than normal! Try and as much as you can earlier on in your day such as going to the shops or getting on with some housework. Your toddler may get a little grumpy in the afternoons if they aren't having a nap, (especially at first), which might make getting any jobs done a lot harder.
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2) Encourage quiet time

When your toddler would usually take a nap, try and encourage them to have a little rest by having some quiet time. This could be playing soothing music, having a cuddle on the sofa or reading a book - anything that doesn't involve a lot of energy or running around! A little rest, even if it's only for 20 minutes, will be good for the both of you, and refuel your tot for the rest of the day!
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3) Put on a film

Although we don't recommend letting your tot watch TV all day, putting their favourite film or show on for an hour is a great way to get them to take a break and chill out. You might be able to get a few house chores finished too! 
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4) Avoid sugary foods

When your tot has a sugar crash it can be challenging enough, but throw in tiredness as well from not having a nap and you've got a huge tantrum pending! Make sure your little one is having healthy foods throughout the day that will help boost his mood and concentration. Instead of reaching for the chocolate biscuits from the cupboards too, why not try some healthy snacks?
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5) Create an activity box

You might not always have time to do this, but each day put a new activity in a box, such as different craft supplies, puzzles or an activity that encourages your toddlers motor or sensory development. When you can see your tot getting a little restless, give them the box and let their imagination run wild! Let them build the tallest tower and paint a gallery of pictures.

Read more popular articles

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Toddler Sleep: Getting Her To Sleep In Her Own Bed (Not Yours!)

Baby nap chart: when do babies drop to one nap?


  • Author: Samantha Ball Samantha Ball
  • Job Title: Freelance writer

Samantha is a mum of one, in a house full of boys. Her hobbies are long hikes, coffee tasting, and being a bit of an *obsessive* cleaner.

She also runs a blog Student Mum Diaries about what it’s like to be a student mum. 


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