The surefire signs your toddler is ready to give up their nap

To nap, or not to nap? That is the question.

The surefire signs your toddler is ready to give up their nap

Naps are an integral part of your child's day for the first few years of life. For many children, they physically cannot make it through the day without a nap. For others, going without a nap will affect their mood, behaviors and sleep habits at night.

So who says our kiddos should ever get rid of their nap? I mean, couldn't we all benefit from a little midday snooze?

And let's be honest—do we actually want our child to drop his nap? For many of us, this is the time of day we get stuff done, so it might actually be harder for parents to accept that it is time to move on without naptime.


The good news is—there is wiggle room throughout this process and you'll have plenty of time to make the adjustment.

While there are general recommendations around when your child should drop his nap, it does vary from child-to-child, and ultimately you will be the one who determines the appropriate time to make the transition.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there that instructs parents on when and how to drop the nap—leaving many parents feeling less than confident about how to take on this endeavor.

Truthfully, it is actually quite simple, your child will start to show a handful of shifts in his sleeping habits, along with changes in his schedule, that will be a sure indication it is time to start thinking about dropping his nap.

Here are five ways you will know your child is ready to graduate from nap-time:

1. He is able to make it through the day with minimal behavior changes or melt-downs.

This is usually a pretty easy one to read. Once your child seems generally happy throughout the day without a nap-this tells you that he doesn't necessarily need it for his emotional well-being. Sure-he still might throw a tantrum mid-day, but it may not be related to being over-tired. If there is a specific situation that contributes to a tantrum, chances are it isn't related to lack of sleep unless it is happening more often than normal.

2. Night-time sleep increases.

For example: your child all-of-the-sudden goes from an average of 10 hours of sleep per night, to 12 hours consistently, this is a sign that he is relying on night-time sleep to fuel him throughout the day. If your child isn't getting enough sleep at night, he will most likely need that mid-day siesta. But if he is getting solid sleep at night (11-12 hours +) you can feel confident that he is ok without a nap.

3. He doesn't actually fall asleep during a nap attempt.

Quiet time is encouraged for any age at some point in the day. But if your child rarely sleeps when you put him down for a nap, it can be a sign his body no longer needs it.

4. He is in an all day school program that doesn't schedule nap-time.

Sometimes nap-time no longer becomes an option because of school or day-care schedules. While it is recommended that children still nap until the age of at least three—their bodies can often adjust to new schedules if nap-time is no longer an option. Be cautious though—-if his behavior proves otherwise, you might need to consider an alternate school or program that allows for naps.

5. He keeps up energy throughout the day.

Energy levels are a pretty big indicator when it comes to your child's sleep. If your child is crashing (such as in the car), it is fairly obvious that he is not ready for no-nap days. If he is able to sustain adequate energy throughout the day, then that's a good sign! Something to keep in mind here is that you may have high activity days when your child may be worn out-thus a good idea to still have quiet time or a lay down in these situations.

Dropping the nap is meant to be a transition. There will be days that still call for a nap months or even years after making the transition. It is important to stay in-tune with your child's moods and behaviors and let that drive your decision to try for a nap or not.

Be prepared to adjust bedtime if needed to fit your child's new schedule. Even though your child might be ready to rid of naptime, he still might not be able to make it 12+ hours awake.

You know your child best, so follow your instincts on whether now is good time for your child to drop his nap or not.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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