Sleep is essential for the growth, development, and overall health of kids. Oftentimes, for these little ones, total sleep time includes both nighttime sleep and daytime naps. However, children need less sleep as they grow older. To ensure your child is getting the right amount of sleep, it is important to be attentive to your child's sleep needs. This will help you make the most of naps and know when to stop them. But exactly when should kids stop napping?
When Should Kids Stop Napping?
Every child is different. As such, the age for kids to stop napping varies greatly. This will depend on the individual kid, how active they are during the day, their energy level, and how much sleep they get at night.
Generally, the little ones should stop napping when they no longer need a daytime nap to keep up their energy throughout the day. Many children will naturally give up naps between ages three and five and nearly all children drop their naps by seven years of age.
How To Know When My Child Should Stop Napping
Paying attention to your child's napping behavior will go a long way in helping to determine if they are ready to stop napping. Here are some signs to look out for.
- Difficulty falling asleep at naptime: If your child is no longer tired during the day, they may play or sing instead of falling asleep during their scheduled naptime.
- Skipping naps: A kid who is ready to stop napping may skip their nap entirely without signs of sleepiness, crankiness, or exhaustion.
- Taking too long to fall asleep at their usual bedtime: If a child struggles to fall asleep at bedtime after taking an afternoon nap earlier, they may be ready to drop their naps.
- Waking up early: This may be a sign that the kid is getting enough sleep and is ready to stop taking regular naps.
- Irritability: Some kids may become moody and irritable when they do not want to take a nap but are being forced to.
When Do Kids Still Need Naps?
Most children need naps up until ages three to four. However, the amount of sleep that kids need varies by age. About 60 percent of kids still nap at age four while only 30 percent still nap at five years old.
Infants: Up until one year of age, infants will take one to four naps a day. Between zero and three months, they sleep on and off around the clock. However, sleep rhythms become more set from around four months of age.
Toddlers: Young toddlers could still take two naps but may need only one nap a day by 18 months.
Preschool: Between ages three and five, many preschoolers get enough sleep at night and start dropping their daytime naps.
How To Transition Kids Away From Naps
The process of transitioning a kid out of naps is often gradual. In addition to understanding the signs of when to stop napping, it is important to learn ways to help your kids during the transition. Below are tips to help you handle the transition from one nap to none.
- Once there are signs that your child is ready to give up naps, start reducing their naptime gradually.
- Replace naptime with quiet time. During this period, avoid loud activities. Encourage your child to engage in quiet activities such as reading, coloring, doing a puzzle, or looking at a picture book.
- Once you stop offering a nap, bring bedtime earlier to help your child adjust to the new setup.
- Lastly, manage your expectations. Remember to be flexible as your child adjusts to the change.
Looking for the perfect mattress for your child's bedroom? The trusted design team at Land of Sleep has you covered. Visit us online to browse our large selection of quality mattresses or stop by our convenient showroom locations to try one out for yourself today.