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Thread: Afternoon Nap

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  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    Afternoon Nap

    How important is an afternoon nap for a toddler? I have a two year old son and he is very healthy and active. I've noticed lately that he is skipping he's afternoon nap. He plays a lot until his usual time for his nap in the afternoon. He cries when I tell him that it's nap time already. There are times that I have to force him to sleep which I feel bad about because he cries until he falls asleep. Does my son really need to have an afternoon nap?

  2. #2
    Dear mom me,

    Thank you for your question.

    It is actually the total amount of sleep that a child gets in a 24 hour period which is important. A two year old should get 13 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Whilst some 2 year olds still have a nap many get all of their sleep at night-time.

    From what you describe, it sounds like your son is ready to transition to dropping his daytime nap. I would be led by him. As long as he is getting approximately 13 hours of sleep at night-time you don't need to worry. Forcing him to have a nap when he does not feel tired could make him feel negatively about going to sleep so I would not advocate following this approach. Instead, listen to what he is saying/ follow the signs he is showing you and allow him to miss a nap on days he does not seem he needs one. You may start to find that on these days he sleeps a bit longer at night-time.

    You may also find that some days he wants a nap and other days he doesn't; again this is fine. Eventually he will stop having a nap altogether but I would follow your child's lead and look out for sleepy signs in the daytime to help you know if he needs a nap that day.

    Warm wishes,

    LJ

  3. #3
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    Jan 2014
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    Dear LJ,

    Thank you so much for your reply! This is very informative. I noticed that he sleeps early at night when he doesn't get a nap in the daytime. He sleeps for 10 to 12 hours. I think it's possible that he'll soon drop the daytime nap. It's good to know that it's fine and it's normal to happen.

    Right now, I'm watching out for signs when he wants a nap or if he feels like being up and just sleep at night time. The other day, he had his nap and it feels good because I did not force him. I noticed that he slept a bit late in the evening that day. I just have to take note of the total number of hours of sleep he's getting.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful reply LJ! You're a great help.

    Mom Me

  4. #4
    Dear mom me,

    I'm so pleased that this information was helpful for you.

    It sounds like your son is starting to show you that some days he doesn't need his nap. As you say, it is likely that he will go to bed earlier on these days and so sleep more at night-time. Gradually he will transition to no nap so that he is going to bed at a similar time every day.

    Sleep is so important at this age. I applaud you for wanting to make sure your son is getting enough sleep. Many children can become chronically over-tired but your son sounds like he is getting the sleep he needs.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

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