It’s the day you’ve been dreading; the day your toddler drops their nap. Naptime was your precious time to get things done, maybe even have a little self-care and just some space to reset yourself for when they wake up. You now find yourself stuck between wanting to prolong their naps but also struggling to get them to sleep at night and getting them eventually ready for school.
Here are some tips for when they drop the nap
Dropping the nap isn’t easy for either of you, and your baby might be grumpy towards the end of the day. While your baby is active, try and get most of your errands done earlier in the day. Leaving time after lunch to bond with your baby when they’re less active is a good time for you both to do something together. Maybe going for a little walk or playing together.
Have a back up plan
When you’re really exhausted, having a back-up plan is a great way to deal with the drop of the nap. Having their favourite movie or TV-show at the ready can be a lifesaver when you’re not having a good day. It allows you to have time for yourself and relax while your baby is entertained.
Introducing ‘Quiet time’ is an excellent substitute for the nap, and allows you to get back some of that time you lost. Create a space for them to have some downtime. The living room or a playroom acts as the perfect space for them to have quiet play, read themselves a book or listen to an audiobook. Make the space comfy with blankets and beanbags, but make sure you tell your toddler that it is not sleeping time. A sibling activity could be great to do during quiet time, for example, having them paint.
While it may not seem like it right now, dropping the nap is a great thing for your baby because it means they’re growing up. Soon your baby will be ready for pre-school and will have all his energy saved up for a full day at school. Implementing a few of these tips will help you out in the long run, keep up the good parenting!