Kids Give Up Naps When Ready, No Matter the Age
Q. Over the holidays, our 28-month-old daughter stopped napping. A couple of days we were so busy with Christmas that a nap simply was not possible. Now, we put her in her crib for her to nap, and she spends about 1 1/2 to two hours in there, wide awake, playing and talking to herself, and then we take her out. I know we cannot force her to sleep, but is there some way we can get her to want to sleep and take a nap again?
A. If there is, I've never come across it. It could just be that your daughter's need for a mid-day nap has run its course (until she's much, much older, that is). A child's need for sleep usually begins to diminish sometime between the second and third birthdays, and the nap is the first thing to go. That's just a general rule, however. Some 5-year-olds still need naps, and some 20-month-olds no longer do.
If your daughter is still content to be put in her crib for a nap, and she entertains herself creatively during that time, then I recommend that you continue putting her down and leaving her for an hour or two. If she should fall asleep, make sure you wake her at the same time you'd usually take her out of her crib, so her normal schedule isn't disrupted. This will all come out in the proverbial wash.
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