How To Get a Toddler To Nap
Baby Toddler Safety

How To Get a Toddler To Nap

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How to get a toddler to nap is often a significant predicament in the parenting realm. 

While nighttime sleep plays a vital role in the well-being of a child’s health, naps also play a critical role in their physical and emotional development.

It’s almost impractical to set your kid to sleep during the day, given that they get the most from their nighttime sleep.

Still, all parents and caregivers must embrace the betterment of their little one’s physical health, mood, and concentration. 

We can’t elude all the benefits of ensuring your toddler naps a couple of hours every day. Well, not in this post.

Our top priority is to pinpoint practical and lifesaving tips that will go a long way in ensuring your toddler maximize their nap time.

And importantly, make your parenting journey seamless.

How To Get a Toddler To Nap

Infants or newborns might be easy going when it comes to napping. They spend the majority of their day and night, up to 18 hours, asleep.

But once your little angel hits toddlerhood, getting them to take an afternoon nap becomes an arduous task. 

Note that it’s essential for 2-3-year-olds to get 10-12 hours of sleep every night and an addition of 2 hours of sleep every day.

It’s typical for children aged 18 months and below to have even two naps a day or more.

Most kids start dropping the nap routine ( sleeping 4-5 times a day instead of daily ) by the age of 5.

It’s a progressive process that might start when they are three years old.

Primarily, this is a result of over-exhaustion from the day’s activity.

Also, distractions from noise, light, caffeine, and the television can make it challenging for toddlers to find sleep during the day.

Not to mention you might be cutting short their playtime or fun time to put them to sleep. So it’s reasonable for kids to resist such.

Not to worry. Getting toddlers for a nap time can be done, and here are some effective strategies:

1. Set a Constant Routine

A constant routine is the best bait for kids. As such, establish a consistent procedure every day that sets in at the exact time.

As a result, their body clocks will adjust to feel drowsy and fall asleep at the set time.

Also, you can make it a norm to read them a story and a little soothing every time they hop into bed.

This way, you will be sending cues and creating a routine that it’s time for a nap.

For kids that have begun their daycare, you might as well try incorporating the daycare’s practice during the weekends to help your little one rest well.

Routines are essential in all toddlers’ development. It makes their life predictable, consequently providing a sense of security and emotional stability. 

Read more in a related post: Baby Sleeps Face Down On Mattress

2. Have an Active Morning

Keeping your little one engaged and busy in the morning ensures they are tired by afternoon and will need a few hours of rest.

Nevertheless, please don’t overdo it. Toddlers who get energized early in the morning are likely to fall asleep promptly than those who don’t.  

For instance, you can practice some child-friendly exercises such as dancing, knee lunges, jumping jacks, walking around your block, and yoga.

Again keeping a routine of these practices will go a long way in ensuring your toddler gets their afternoon nap, falls asleep at night, and wakes up eager in the morning. 

3. Restrict Sugar and Screen Time

Screen time inhibits how quickly and how long children sleep. Ensure you limit your little one’s use of electronic devices a few hours before the afternoon nap.

Also, eradicate such devices from their rooms. Keep the rooms dark and silent. 

On the other hand, sugary snacks and juices increase toddler blood sugar levels, and after a short duration, the blood sugar levels drop significantly.

As a result, their underdeveloped bodies toil to stabilize regular blood sugar, consequently releasing adrenaline and causing toddlers to experience restlessness.

This might be impossible to identify within a short duration, but studies show kids are likely to improve their sleeping patterns if we expose them to less sugar.  


There are several tips on how to get a toddler to nap.

However, we have pinpointed the most practical and efficient to ensure kids keep their bodies and mind rested and recharged.

Additionally, keep the naps short and early in the afternoon to avoid interfering with their nighttime sleep. 

Also, if these strategies don’t seem to work and you think your little one isn’t getting enough sleep, it would be best to consult a pediatrician.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens When Toddlers Don’t Nap

Toddlers who don’t nap are likely to be more anxious, lose interest in several activities, have less fun, and make poor decisions.

Also, some children might have trouble sleeping at night since they will be overtired from the day’s activity, 

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs to Nap?

Sleepy kids tend to yawn and rub their eyes, and in general, they seem tired. Also, if they start acting out or coming up with weird behaviors, it might be a cue for their nap time. 

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Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!

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