Are Your Bedtime Battles Escalating?
If your toddler is between two and three years old it’s quite possible they no longer need a nap. The days of watching your favourite afternoon soap with no interruptions could be coming to an end ):
Over the years your toddler has transitioned from two naps, to one nap, and may now be approaching the no-nap stage, and boy what a barrel of fun this can be!
How do I know when my toddler is ready go lose their nap for good?
If your toddler is acting up at bedtime, bedtime shenanigans are at an all-time high, or sleep which used to come within ten minutes now takes an hour, then your child may be telling you that a change is needed. Your toddler may be getting too much daytime nap or he may not need a nap at all.
If your toddler is not sleeping at bedtime because of their shenanigans then they may not get enough sleep at night – and trust me, they will let you know the next day that they are tired!
Now you may think it would be a good idea to make that sleep up with a big nap, however, if you allow your toddler to make up that lost sleep with a big nap at lunch time, then expect those bedtime shenanigan’s to roll over and continue to escalate night after night.
If this is happening a transition is needed; less nap shifted over time with small adjustments will make for a smoother no-nap transition.
My toddler is so over tired and difficult by dinnertime if he misses his nap.
A napless child will show signs of tiredness around 4pm to bedtime. We call it the witching hour and yes it’s a long witching hour!
During this time, your toddler just can’t cope and nothing you do is right, and nothing you do can make them happy. It’s that kind of transition that requires patience at its best. (:
This is not the usual toddler shenanigans; it’s your toddler learning to cope without a nap. He is overtired, grumpy, and nothing you say or do can make it right.
How can I help with the transition?
The transition to one nap requires a slow moving of naps and bedtime sleep. Once you take away that final nap your toddler will need a much earlier bedtime. They may struggle through dinnertime to bedtime so try to serve dinner earlier for your toddler, and get them into bed no later than 6.30pm.
Sleep will come easier and faster once you find the right sleep window, but if you miss that sleep window, you will pay dearly!
I don’t get home until 5.30pm
If you’re not able to get bedtime as early as 6pm, try to make it as early as you possibly can by planning ahead. Cook extra food the night before then have it ready for dinner the next day. All you need to do is heat and serve. After dinner try a quick dip in the bath tub, story time, and then bed.
The new schedule for this transition doesn’t allow much family time, however these changes are short term. In time, your toddlers coping mechanism will kick in and they will learn to manage their day with no nap, no tears, no shenanigans!
There comes a time when your toddler may struggle to settle or sleep early and that may be an indication that you can now move bedtime a little later. Your toddler is now learning and coping with their daytime much better and doesn’t need the early bedtime any longer.
You can now move bedtime a little later allowing more family fun time!
Start with small steps of 15-30 mins increments.
Sleeping and children is always a struggle but if you can hit that sweet sleep time spot, you will have a happy healthy toddler and a less stressed you!