My son stopped napping when he was just shy of turning two years old. Even though that is when he *officially* ended his afternoon snooze, he had been fighting naps for many months. Some days he would get them, other days he would not.
By the time he gave them up completely we were already dealing with the crabbiness of an over-tired toddler. That is the really difficult part about kids who stop napping: tiredness=crankiness.
How to Keep Your Sanity When Your Kids Stop Napping
1. Let it go. My first and foremost piece of advice is to take a deep breath and relax. Don’t try to “fix” it. If they are consistently refusing naps and are making it clear to you that they are done, don’t force them. It’s just going to increase your level of stress and it isn’t going to work anyway. Trust me.
2. Sneak in sleep. What I felt was most important was the total number of hours a day my kiddo was sleeping. You can look here to see what an appropriate amount of sleep is for your child at their age. You may realize they are already getting the amount they need. If not, you may be able to tweak their schedule to allow them a bit more sleep by going to bed earlier or letting them sleep later in the morning.
3. Quiet time. Replacing naps with quiet time is another great option. Sometimes, it’s your only option. What worked really well for us was having a time in the afternoon where the toys got put away, the shades were drawn and the noise level was brought down. Kids really need that time to recharge. You can designate a certain place to go that works best for your little one to sit quietly and look at books or color.
Here are some of our favorite quiet time activities for little ones who won’t take a nap:
Affiliate links are included below to support Kids Activities Blog.
Quiet Time Boxes from Teaching Mama
Play Mats from Inner Child Fun
My Quiet Time Book from Pockets of Learning
DIY Calm Down Bottle from Still Playing School
My Animal Train Book from Pockets of Learning
Tips for Transitioning From the Afternoon Nap to Quiet Time from The Sleep Lady
There are tons of great tips and advice from other moms who have been there over on our Facebook page. If you’re looking for more stories and solutions, try looking there!