Many parents know that putting their child down for a mid-day nap can be a struggle. Besides the tantrums, the other complications that ensue might make you miss the days of being an infant yourself and able to take two to three naps a day. In toddlerhood, even getting in one nap may be a tall task. Learn to ease your toddler into their afternoon nap in our brief guide below.
A youngster with heightened perceptual abilities may have trouble sleeping during the day as the bright sunshine could be distracting. Therefore, creating an environment that replicates the nighttime is the best strategy. While you can’t shield the sun completely, blackout curtains can greatly minimize its effect. The less sunlight that peeks through the window, the better the nap will be.
Creating a nighttime feel also includes the typical nighttime routine. Completing their bedtime routine—reading them a story, offering them a bottle, and letting them bond with their lovey before laying them down—should help them get in the sleeping mood.
You know how difficult it is to immediately go to bed after a long, grueling day if you have ever worked at a job at night. You need time to unwind and get tired before officially hitting the hay.
Similarly, your child might fight their nap if you put them to bed shortly after doing something they enjoy. Instituting a 15-minute quiet time encourages relaxation before they shut their eyes.
As an adult, you know how amazing a good massage feels. It’s almost as if you have no choice but to fall asleep when receiving a top-tier one. Your toddler may not appreciate the fine art of the massage; however, it should still provide the same benefits regarding feeling relaxed and supporting their sleep. The gentle touch of a loving caregiver can work wonders for your child’s comfort levels.
As your toddler ages, they may become more finicky and less inclined to take pleasure in their pre-nap routine like they used to. You may need to turn to positive reinforcement to help motivate them to curl up in their bed if this is the case.
Offering a reward for their good behavior shouldn’t be a problem, assuming you use it in a positive light and not as a threat. Children are more cooperative when they feel they have a say in the decision.
Knowing how to ease your toddler into their afternoon nap can save you the potential headache of dealing with a fussy child who refuses to do what’s best for them. Your little one should be fading into dreamland with minimal pushback after following these tips.