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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Leanne says

    My daughter is 4 years old. She sleeps about 12 hours a night and typically has a nap as well 1-1.5 hours. The past week she hasn’t napped at all but has seemed tired like she needs one. But when we go up later to wake her she clearly hasn’t napped. We try to encourage a “rest” time if she doesn’t fall asleep. Then on days where she hasn’t had a nape we tried to go to bed about a 1/2 hour earlier as she clearly starts to show signs of being tired and cranky. My questions is if she isn’t napping how long should we encourage her to “rest” for?

    • Danielle says

      Hi Leanne,
      Thank you for visiting The Baby Sleep Site and for your comment! My daughter just dropped her nap in the past month, so I know how difficult this transition period can be! 🙂 She will be tired for a couple of weeks while she’s transitioning – it sounds like you’re doing a great job putting her to bed earlier on no-nap days. Don’t be afraid to go even earlier, temporarily, if needed, while she’s transitioning, to avoid overtiredness. For the rest period, we usually recommend about an hour. This will give her a good chance to fall asleep if she’s going to, but not be so long that she’ll get bored and annoyed having quiet time. You can certainly adjust that once you get a sense of what works for your family. I hope this helps!

  2. Katy says

    Hi- my 3.5 year old son has had months and months of sleeping through plus a daytime nap. He just started a new preschool, where they do not ‘do’ naps. So we’ve had to sort of force droppping it! While it has meant a quicker shorter bedtime (in hindsight they took hours before) he is now waking at night, and sometimes awake for an hour or so at about 2am. It seems the tireder he is the less able he is to sleep through.
    He is generally exhausted as seems to have lost 1.5-2.5 hours of his total sleep.! It’s been about 4 weeks since the nap was dropped and the new nightwakings show no sign of settling down. Help!!!!

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Katy –
      Thanks for writing, and I am sorry that you are struggling with your son’s night sleep now that the day sleep has changed! This is pretty common, and common to have night issues from being over-tired! Perhaps you can offer naps on non-preschool days, and an earlier bedtime on days where he does not nap. We can help with a schedule made just for him, and help with those night wakings too! Please consider a consultation package for one on one help from one of our wonderful sleep consultants!
      Hang in there, and contact us if you need help!

  3. Becky says

    My son is 2 years 4 months old. He was napping everyday for 2-3 hours from 12 to 3 ish. At Christmas the naps got later and later everyday due to my other children being off school. Last night he didn’t go to sleep till 12 at night. Woke a few times to be breastfed fed in the night got up at 8. No nap until 530 in the afternoon when he fell asleep in the car. He woke at 9 then so I will be up till 2 in the morning I am guessing. !!! I don’t know how to keep him awake to miss napping as either he falls asleep in car when I collect the kids at 3 or just passes out on the sofa. I am so tiered. Any advice please

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Becky – Thank you for writing, and I am sorry that sleep has become such a struggle with your little guy! His current schedule sounds exhausting, but we can help! With toddlers, as I am sure you know, it’s all about setting limits and being consistent. Have you checked out our free toddler sample schedules? Here is a link:
      https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/toddler-schedule/He likely still needs a nap every day, and you can use this schedule as a guide, to start working slowly on getting bedtime and naptime at better times for all of you.
      For additional help, I would recommend that you consider our e-Book, The 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. It is written specifically to help parents of toddlers with sleep issues. The book includes a number of detailed sample schedules, as well as an explanation of the various sleep coaching methods you can try at home, with your toddler. It also contains several sleep planning worksheets and sleep logs.

      You can find out more about this ebook here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/5-step-system-toddler

      Good luck Becky and I hope that this is helpful for you!

  4. Hawwa says

    My son is 18months and have started napping on alternate days and on the days that he does nap, bedtime is 10pm. If he doesn’t nap then he goes to bed at 7pm for 12-13 hours. He is also teething. Could this be teething related? Or is he ready to drop his (1.5-2hr) nap?He has only been napping once since he turned 1.

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Hawwa, thanks for writing to us. I’m sorry to hear your son is struggling with a late bedtime on the days he’s taking a nap! Most toddlers don’t drop the nap until between the age of 3-4, so personally I would recommend to hang on to it as long as you can! But of course the late bedtime is an issue and there’s always an exception to the rule. Without looking at a full sleep history of your son, I wouldn’t be able to say what the exact problem is, so here is a link to download our free guide with nap tips that may have some things you can look through to troubleshoot: https://www.babysleepsite.com/free-baby-nap-guide/
      If you find you need more help figuring out the schedule, we also have an ebook all about mastering naps and schedules you may be interested in: https://www.babysleepsite.com/mastering-naps/
      If you have more questions, let us know! We have a ton of resources so I would be sending the longest reply back ever if I sent them all to you. 😉 I hope this helps!

  5. Margie says

    Hi! My daughter is 3 years and 2 months. Around when she turned three, she switched to rest time on most weekend days, but her teachers tell me pretty much always stil takes a two hour nap at preschool.

    With this schedule, she doesn’t go to sleep at night till 9:30 or 10pm, and then gets up around 7:45am, or 9am on weekends. Whether we do bedtime at 7:30 or 8:30pm, she will just sit in the dark in her room “reading” books and having tea parties with her stuffed animals until around 9:30 or 10.

    Is it inherently bad for her to go to bed so late if she is getting 11-12 hours/day overall?


    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Margie –
      Thank you for writing! 11-12 hours overall is a good amount for her age and for her not generally napping! NO matter when she gets those hours, as long as she is well rested the actual timing for her night sleep should not matter, and you are free to make her schedule her own! Perhaps you are able to talk to the preschool about shortening her nap, a little? They may be willing to help! Good luck!

  6. Elizabeth says

    Hi! My 2 yr (2 months) daughter will nap well 1-3 on the weekends and at day care but we struggle to get her to go to bed. We start the routine around 7pm with bath and stories for a goal of 8pm. Sometimes it’s 8:30 before she falls asleep and wakes up at 5am (our normal wake time with our schedule). I’m confused as to why she’s able to fall right asleep during her nap but struggles at bedtime. My guess is that the wake time is longer in the morning so she’s more tired and ready for a nap. Should we try to limit her afternoon nap to 1 hour in the hopes that bedtime will go easier? I’m concerned she’s not getting enough sleep.

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Elizabeth,
      Thank you for writing, and we would love to help! With toddlers, it’s all about setting limits and being consistent. As backwards as it sounds, perhaps she needs an earlier bedtime to help encourage more night sleep? It would be hard for us to help without a full sleep history and having a sleep consultant look at the whole picture.
      For DIY schedule help, I would recommend that you consider our e-Book, The 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. It is written specifically to help parents of toddlers with sleep issues. The book includes detailed sample schedules, info about all of the common sleep issues at this age, detailed info for reaching your goals, sleep planning worksheets, sleep logs, and more.
      You can find out more about this ebook, and order the book directly online here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/5-step-system-toddler/
      We hope that this is helpful for you, and we wish you all the best!

  7. Caoime Moffatt says

    Hi there. Thanks for these 3 points. My daughter is nearly 15 months and showing signs of dropping her afternoon nap. She dropped her morning nap at 7 months so it sounds like she might be ready for dropping number 2. Do u think this is the case? This week she has sleep a good 13 hours at night so it makes sense shes not tired enough for a nap. If i shouldnt drop the nap should i make the nap shorter so that she gets a nap but its not too late that she wont sleep at night? Thank u in advance

    • Janelle Reid says

      @Caoime Moffatt, thank you for writing to us. I am sorry you’ve been struggling with your daughter’s naps recently. Most children do not drop their naps (to no nap) until between the ages of 3 and 4, although lots of hiccups can come and trick parents into thinking otherwise (we would often call these “regressions” where a child will start fighting a particular area of sleep). That said, I’d highly recommend keeping the nap around for a while. I know the timing can be tricky, so you may want to check out our sample schedules for toddlers (you’ll see there are a couple schedules based on the age of the toddler so just look for the one with 1 nap) to see if there are any changes you need to make to her normal day-to-day routine: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/toddler-schedule/
      And if you’re finding her naps are keeping her up late and the schedule is just fine, then you could certainly limit her nap as well.
      If you need any more help, feel free to send over more details of what’s going on and we can point you in the direction of more resources to get you the information you need. I hope this helps!

  8. Kate says

    My 2 year old stopped napping around 27 months. I thought it was the sleep regression and kept putting him in his crib. At first it was simply a struggle to get him down, but after a couple weeks of that, he went from taking 3 hour naps nearly every day to a 3 hour nap about once a week. He sleeps great at night (7pm-8am). Now I know it is not the regression, but I still let him rest in his crib for a couple hours to play and sing to himself. My big struggle now is how to handle potty training; he is in diapers during “nap” time in case he falls asleep, but I feel like the only way I can stay consistent with potty training is if I stop giving him these times to rest as he does not go to the bathroom himself. Any suggestions are appreciated!

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Kate, thanks for writing to us! My son slowly transitioned out of a nap starting around that age too and I did the same – was offering naps (or rest times) which were good for both him and me! With potty training it does get tricky so you may need to try a few things. We don’t have a specific answer here so I’ll just answer you as a mom (rather than a part of the Baby Sleep Site team!) – the method I went with for potty training she mentioned that you really can’t “nap train” you just kind of have to go for it. Take them potty before the nap and then hope for the best. To be honest this was a big struggle for us as my son is a very hard sleeper, and we still had accidents during his nap until he totally stopped taking them (he’s 4 now) and we still have bed wetting issues at night. I’m sorry I can’t be more help, but hopefully some other moms on here will see your comment and chime in for tips for them! The only other thing I can think of is if you have a monitor to tell your son to yell for you if he needs to go potty, and just hope he doesn’t start tricking you to get out of his nap time a bunch. 😉 I personally tried to take a deep breath and chill during potty training and not freak if they had an accident, because it’s just bound to happen. But at the same time, I know how annoying it is to do a load of sheets once a day! I hope you find what works for you guys!

  9. Inga says

    My kids are now 3 and 2 and my go-to guide for all sleep questions is the Baby Sleep site. I’m so very grateful it is an available resource for tired parents! I had just been pulling my hair out as to why my almost four year old was pitching fits and not napping when it dawned on me to check BSS. And here was my answer, she has all 3 markers if a toddler ready to drop her nap. Now I know what’s going on and what steps to take to handle it. Hooray!

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Inga! Thank you for writing and for using The Baby Sleep Site as a reference for these last few years! We hope that our information continues to be very helpful!

  10. Jenna says

    My daughter is 2.5 months away from turning 3. Recently, she has been resisting afternoon naps. She used to go down at 12 or 1230 very easily – sometimes even falling asleep in her high chair but now I cant get her to nap before 200. Usually, though, she goes down fairly easy at this point. She used to nap for 2-2.5 hrs. She can still nap for 2 hours now, easily. Problem is, come bedtime, she is running around like an energetic maniac! Bouncing on the beds, wanting 1000 stories, running all over the place despite our attempts to keep things low key. Even though i can tell she must be tired because her eyes are red. And when we finally insist on her going to sleep, she kicks up a fuss and starts crying. Or sometimes, she pretends to go to bed, but actually plays around or tosses and turns for a long time before finally falling asleep. It’s a painful process to watch her roll from side to side for an hour after I’ve put her to bed, not knowing when/if she will start to complain and call for me…..and bedtime isnt early! Usually I cant accomplish this before 9pm pm or later and she will wake up by 7 or 730.
    Is this a sign I should transition away from naps?

    • Neosha says

      @Jenna – Thank you for reading and for sharing. This can definitely be a super tough time for toddler sleep as 2 year olds start requiring more wake time and hit a regression, too. These can definitely be signs your toddler is ready to stop napping but could indicate a scheduling or developmental issue too. Check out this article, if you haven’t come across it already – https://www.babysleepsite.com/toddlers/5-things-about-2-year-old-toddler-sleep/ If you find you need more help in getting her to sleep, don’t hesitate to let us know – we’d welcome the opportunity to work with you all. Hang in there!