Nap times are needed by both parents and children when children are young. For the children, it helps with the growth emotionally, physically and mentally. For the parents, it is a time to get things done or to recover from a busy morning. Naps are a wonderful thing, but maybe your child has stopped taking them, and you are worried they still need them or maybe you are wondering at what age does a child stop napping.
When Will My Child Stop Napping?
On average, many children stop napping altogether when they are nearing 4 years old. This is certainly not an age that is set in stone, in fact, many kids 4 and over continue to take naps. There are signs that your child may be ready to give up their nap; these include:
- Restlessness and fidgeting at nap time.
- No afternoon meltdowns when a nap is missed.
- Consistent energy levels and attitudes.
- Too much napping makes it hard for them to sleep at bedtime.
- A consistent struggle to get your child down during the day.
If your child is at the stage of consistently showing the above signs, then nap time may be coming to an end.
How Much Should My Child Nap?
In general, your child likely needs the following amount of sleep during the day:
- 0-6 months: 3-4 naps with a total of 2-4 hours at a time
- 6-12 months: 2 naps a day with a total of 1-3 hours at a time
- 12-18 months: 1-2 naps a day with a total of 1-3 hours at a time
- 2- 3 years: 1 nap with a total of 1-3 hours
- 4-5 years: 1 nap with varying durations
If your child is constantly fighting nap time yet you still feel like they need a nap for their physical and emotional health, there are a few things you can do to make napping a little easier.
- Stick to a nap routine so your child knows when nap time is.
- Put your child down to nap before they are overtired.
- Keep the room quiet and dark – you may want to use a noise machine.
- As they get older, read together at the beginning of nap time.
- Don’t keep them up later at night thinking it will help with nap time – this can have the opposite effect.
If you feel your child is ready to give up their naps but you both still need a little down time, turn nap time into quiet time. Teach your child that it is time for reading or quiet play. This is a great transition and can allow you to have the time you need without fighting nap every day.
Here at Montessori Children’s House, we believe that children need downtime to be at their best. To learn more about Montessori education and the programs we offer, contact us today and schedule a tour.