We often see children skipping naps around two years old. Some families stop offering them at that point, but I say keep going! They might skip naps for one or two weeks, and in some cases a little longer, but they will start to nap again.
Around three or four years old, the skipped naps become more common, and a lot of kids do stop the nap during this time. So how do you know if they are done naps for good? If you offer your child’s regular naptime for two or more weeks, and he is not taking the nap, chances are he is done with naps.
“What do I do when my child stops napping?”
You have determined that your little one isn’t going to take naps anymore… what do you do now?
Continue to offer quiet time:
He still needs a break in the day, a little quiet time. Continue to offer the time you would have for his nap, but you can leave the curtain open or light on and let him play quietly.
Create a “quiet time box“:
This can be a lot of fun to put together! Grab a box and a few toys or books that your child has never seen, or hasn’t played with for a while. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be something that he doesn’t play with every day. At quiet time, give him the box and let him know that he can play with the toys or read the books in his room until you tell him it is time to get up. When you get him up, everything goes back in the box.
Plan an activity to do together:
Some days my son has quiet time on his own, and some days I join him. If you have younger kids who are still napping, then it can be a great way to have some one on one time with your older child. Read books in bed, colour, build lego etc.
Make bedtime earlier:
For the first few weeks, I would suggest making bedtime a little earlier to make up for the missed naps. It will be a bit of a transition to zero naps, but over time you will be able to push back out to your regular bedtime.