When do Kids Stop Napping - The Ultimate Napping Guide for Kids

A napping child is a free moment to savor, you can grab a coffee, sit in your favorite chair, and take a breather. Naptime gives you a little break from your full of beans toddler but as your child grows, the required naps become fewer and fewer. Let’s discover what signs tell you your child is ready to stop napping and how you can deal with the transition. 

Your toddlers nap time is determined by their energy levels and routine throughout the day  

When do Kids Stop Napping?

Your toddlers nap time is determined by their energy levels and routine throughout the day. Every child is unique with some needing more nap time than others. Toddlers need around 12 hours of sleep every day with the majority of their sleep time being at night. If your child has a had night’s sleep, they may need a longer nap during the day. 

3 Signs Your Kid is Ready to Stop Napping   

Taking too Long to Fall Asleep at Naptime

If your toddler’s regular nap time is met with tantrums rather than sleep or it takes them much longer to fall asleep, it could be a sign they are ready to stop napping. As your little one grows nap length will lessen or stop entirely. 

Taking too Long to Fall Asleep at Bedtime

If your toddler is not sleepy when it’s their bedtime or you’re struggling to get them to fall asleep at night, it may be time to drop the day nap times. If your toddler refuses to nap during the day or naps later in the day, this can be disastrous for their nighttime routine. As your toddler grows they will be able to handle more wake time hours playing and having fun. 

Skipping Naps Entirely  

A toddler nap strike is when your little one forgoes their nap and goes to bed at night with no issues. They are awake all day without feeling sleepy or cranky. There may be days here and there when they are not interested in napping, but, If this is occurring over a prolonged period of time, your child could be ready to cut the naps out.     

For a growing toddler, sleep aids their development

3 Signs Your Kid is NOT Ready to Stop Napping 

Your Child is Sticking With Their Daytime Nap Routine 

If there are no toddler napping issues and your little one enjoys their nap times and falls asleep easily during the day, they still need their extra sleep. Also, If you try to wake them up and they get cranky and fussy, then they still need their nap times during the day. 

Your Child’s Attitude Changes due to Lack of Sleep 

A lack of sleep affects us all, we get irritable, lose focus, and become short tempered. It’s the same for your toddler, if they’re prevented from taking their nap they can become difficult to handle and a little bundle of grouch. If your child doesn’t nap and becomes irritable sometime before bedtime, they may need to continue with their day nap times.

Your Child Shows Signs of Sleepiness  

If your toddler is yawning throughout the day, rubbing their eyes sleepily, and seem less energetic, they are not ready to drop the naps.  

Benefits of Nap Time for Your Children

Sleep is essential to your physical health and mental wellbeing. For a growing toddler, sleep aids their development and along with a healthy diet, helps them to grow big and strong. A 20-minute nap can help an adult focus and learn a new skill and has equal effects on toddlers. Helping them to learn through play. 

Toddlers nap time help them to:

  • Stay fit 
  • Increase learning ability 
  • Feel happy and in a good mood

Tips for Nap Transitioning 

Toddlers dropping naps can be a gradual process. Nap transition happens quickly in the first year of your child’s life, going from 6 naps to 2 naps and at 15 months could drop to 1 nap. 

To adjust your toddlers nap time:

  • Make the transition gradually 
  • Adjust their bedtime
  • Allow wind down time before bed

Tips for Getting Kids to Sleep at Night 

  • Be aware of how much sleep your child should be getting
  • Create (and stick to) a bedtime routine that includes winding down
  • Create an ideal sleeping environment that is mostly dark and cozy
  • Switch off all electronic devices and don’t allow cell phones or tablets in bed
  • Ensure they are getting regular exercise and playtime 
  • Avoid meals and drinks before bedtime

A power nap of 20 minutes increases alertness and cognitive function in adults and has equal positive benefits for children

Age

Hours of Sleep Needed Per Day (Aprox)

1-4 weeks

17 hours 

1-4 months

16-17 hours 

4 months to 1 year 

14-15 hours 

1-3 years 

12-14 hours

3-6 years 

11-12 hours 

7-12 years 

10-12 hours 

13-18 years 

8-10 hours 

How Long Should a nap be?

A power nap of 20 minutes increases alertness and cognitive function in adults and has equal positive benefits for children. 

  • 2 year old naps for 2 hours during the early afternoon
  • 3 year old naps for 1 hour or not at all
  • 4 year old naps are rare as they have grown out of them by this stage 

Check out our nap length guide, here

Recommended Nap Schedule per age Group 

Age

Recommended Hours of Sleep

Minimum Sleep Requirements   

Inadvisable 

0-3 months

14-17 hours 

11 hours 

Less than 11 hours 

4-11 months 

12-15 hours 

10 hours 

Less than 10 hours 

1-2 yes

11-14 hours 

9 hours 

Less than 9 hours 

3-5 years 

10-13 hours 

8 hours 

Less than 8 hours 

6-13 years 

9-11 hours 

7 hours 

Less than 7 hours 

14-17 years 

8-10 hours 

7 hours 

Less than 7 hours 

Conclusion 

If your toddler is feeling a little crabby during the day it’s advisable to let them take a nap for up to 2 hours. If your 2 year old won't nap on consecutive days over a prolonged period, they may be ready to drop the nap times. This is a natural sign that your little one is growing up, although you’ll miss those treasured hours of silence, you’ll enjoy more playtime, watching their little cheeky personalities blossoming.     

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When do Kids Stop Napping?

By 18 months, your little one should transition from 2 naps to 1. By 5 years old your child will no longer need regular naps. Although the occasional nap will be needed when they are ill or have had a bad night’s sleep, or have been traveling and their typical sleep schedule is interrupted.   

How Long Should Toddlers Nap? 

A toddler needs 11-13 hours of sleep per night and an afternoon nap of 1-3 hours per day. Some toddlers may need 1-2 naps per day, depending on their energy and activity levels. Naps should be in the early afternoon, late naps can interrupt your toddlers night time routine, making them cranky and preventing nighttime sleep.  

How to get your Toddler to Nap? 

Put your toddler to nap in their bed where they sleep at night, use the same sleep hygiene techniques as you use for their bedtime. Read them a short story, take a short drive, or offer a little reward for napping. You could soothe them with quiet time that will help them wind down for their nap. 

How to get rid of Naps?

For babies and toddlers, naps are essential to their development and mood. Just as naps improve focus and creativity in adults, babies and toddlers need naps to help them grow and learn. Watch your toddler’s moods, if they are cranky in the afternoon, they may need a nap. If full of energy all day, they may no longer need naps.  

Do Preschoolers Need Naps?

Most preschoolers will have one afternoon nap per day for up to two hours. If your child is full of energy all day, they don’t get cranky or act like they’re overtired, they could be one of the many toddlers dropping naps. But, a little toddler quit time every day is still beneficial for their development. 

How Long Should a Nap be? 

An adult will benefit greatly from a 20-minute power nap during the day, with improved focus, learning ability, and creativity. For children, a 1-3 hour nap during the early afternoon aids their development, mood, and learning abilities. Take a nap to boost creativity, learning, focus, and elevated good mood at any age.