Is your child about to experience a school required early nap transition? Your child takes two naps, but the schools schedule only has one? Your child still naps but is in an afternoon program?
We are approaching a new year in school, preschool and daycare. With this comes new classrooms and new nap schedules. Many schools drop naps a bit earlier than some of our kids are ready. This can wreak havoc on a little one’s sleep.
Dropping a nap early and too abruptly can cause night wakings, early mornings and shorter naps. See, more sleep equals more sleep and less sleep equals (you guessed it), less sleep.
The thing is though, we as parents do not often have much control over the school’s sleep schedule. We can though help our kids stay well rested when they are home with us.
How much sleep does my child need?
Our kiddos need more sleep that one might think. Below are recommended hours of sleep, based off of findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When might school take away a nap too soon?
Often daycares and schools will drop the morning nap around the 12 month stage. Most toddlers will hang on to their morning nap until about 15-18 months. This is the one where I have seen most challenges arise.
Also, most kids will hang onto their last nap until about 3-5 years of age, or even later. This can present a struggle when our kids go into afternoon Pre-Kindergarten or into full day Kindergarten.
However, despite the lack of nap during the week, you can still keep your child well rested.
How can you help your child stay well rested?
During the week, if you can, get your child to bed early. In fact, an earlier bedtime is so powerful! Just think about the type of sleep you get at night vs. the type of sleep that you get for a nap. Night sleep is just better, right? Believe in an earlier bedtime, it will help!
On the weekends, honor the number of naps that your child needs. Don’t worry that it is a different schedule than school. Your child will get used to it and frankly needs it. You might also consider a slightly earlier bedtime on the weekends.
The earlier bedtime will help to balance your child’s sleep back out to keep them well rested.
What can working parents do?
If both parents are working, I know the balance can be tough. I have worked with many families who, after picking their kids up after daycare / school, do not get home until their ideal bedtime. This though, does not mean that you are bound for a child who is not well rested. If you are a working parent, struggling to keep your child well rested, I have a separate blog just for you.
All in all, the school required early nap transition, thus the move to less sleep can be tough when it is done early or even when it is done when your child is ready for less sleep. Always keep in mind, getting to bed early during the week (and maybe even on the weekends) AND keep your child on an age appropriate schedule when not in school until they are truly ready to drop that nap.
Of course, if you struggle, the Good Night Sleep Site team is here to help you through!
Certified Sleep Consultant
Good Night Sleep Site Florida