”It takes me all afternoon to get my toddler to take her second nap. By the time she settles down it’s usually close to 5 0’clock. When she wakes up close to 8, she is raring to go for hours, so we cant manage a reasonable bedtime”-A Mother’s Challenge.
Late naps are not generally popular with parents, for a couple of reasons. For one, late afternoon nappers often skip the evening meal (substituting a snack when they finally wake)or eat so late that it fuels hours of energy when parents last appreciate it. For another, late afternoon nappers, as you have noticed, tend to be late -to – bedders; their stay-up-till-all hours often leave parents with evening time to themselves.
The steps you’ll need to take in order to adjust your toddler’s schedule- so that her nap and her bedtime fall at more convenient times – will depend on the kind of sleep pattern she’s fallen into:
- Is this evening sleep her only nap ? The average toddler at eighteen months needs about one -and -half or two hours nap a day, but it should come earlier in the day so as not to interfere with her nights rest. So try to get your toddler to nap earlier. Begin a calming pre-nap ritual ten or fifteen minutes earlier than she usually beds down in the afternoon. After a few days, when she seems accustomed to the earlier slot, move nap time back another fifteen minutes. Continue this process until she is napping at a reasonable hour. But wake her up after every two hours; if she sleeps longer.
- Are two naps too many? Most toddlers need only one at this age. Try weaning from her morning snooze by pushing it later and later, until it becomes an early afternoon nap. This will probably eliminate her need for the late nap.
- Is one nap too many ? The occasional eighteen month old can zoom through the entire day without stopping for single Z. If this is the case with yours, she may be better off conking out for the day than sleeping the early evening hours away and then burning the midnight oil.
- Is she sleeping late in the morning? Late risers tend to have late napping schedule. To change this, begin waking her ten or fifteen minutes earlier each morning until she’s getting up at what you consider a reasonable time. As you do this, her nap and evening bedtime should start to move towards an earlier schedule.
- Is she sleeping for two or three hours in the morning? Such a long morning nap would almost certainly interfere with her need for an early afternoon siesta. So wake your toddler fifteen minutes earlier from each morning nap until she is sleeping no more than an hour in the morning.
In some times, the late nap is a boon to a a family’s schedule. If both parents get home late from work, for example they can have a quiet meal together as their toddler sleeps, and can then spend time with her before she is off to bed. If that’s the case in your family, leave things the way they are for the moment.
If not able to move ahead alone I am here, I am your accomplishment partner. Glad to support you and your child and make sure your family is taking deep rest. I care:-)