How To Get Your Child To Take Naps

By in Parenting on 12 April 2011

When your child openly declares that he’s already giving up his daytime nap, how do you think you’ll respond? For many toddlers and even preschoolers, the idea of a few minutes of rest during the day has become more of a nuisance to their already fun-filled day. And with your child already accustomed to asserting his independence, are your old strategies in getting him to nap still effective?

If you have been looking forward to those daily naps so you can also take a break, don’t give it up just yet. Naps are actually good for kids because it gives them that energy boost so they can last all day without being so grumpy. But getting an active and assertive kid to take a nap can be easier said than done.

Here are some ways on how you can get your child to nap without having to drag him to bed:

1.    Make it fun. If your child perceives naptime negatively, you can never expect happy compliance. Instead of imposing naptime as something that he has no choice with, make it fun so that he will end up looking forward to getting in bed each afternoon. Keep a collection of toys that will serve only as rewards for taking taps. Each time your child takes a nap, give him the privilege to play with those toys for some time. Never allow him to play with those “reward toys” at any other time so that he will still look forward to playtimes after naps. You may also put up a compliance chart. Award a star each time he takes a nap and present attractive rewards such as trips to the park or library in exchange of accumulated stars. In time, your child will get so used to the routine that he may no longer need any reward just to get him to sleep.

2.    Offer choices. If the bedroom is your child’s least favorite spot and you have to devise tactics just to get him inside for his nap, give up the fight and move the venue in another area in your home. Your child would love to get some autonomy especially if naps were concerned so allow him to choose on where he’d like to take a nap. You can even go fancy by setting up a small tent in a quiet corner in your home so he could take his afternoon nap, camping style! Make sure that you explain to him that this cool spot is only for naps and not for night time sleep.

3.    Set consistent naptimes. It will be more difficult to get your child to take a nap if you regularly disrupt the routine with unplanned activities. Having a schedule gives kids security because they will know what to expect during the day. When your child is used to his routine, he will no longer give you such a hard time because he knows precisely what activity is next.

Young kids may assert their independence and opt to say NO to most things. But with structure, consistency and persistence, you can get your kids to regularly take naps. And while it may be tempting to put off your child’s nap time for quick errands, keep the schedule because fatigue can easily result to tantrums later in the day.

How do you win the battle of getting your child to take naps? What strategies do you apply so he’d stick to his afternoon sleep schedule?

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Jennifer Bold says:

    How about rather than rewarding a child for every single thing they do during the course of a day you just follow the same routine everyday and tell them it will keep them healthy and happy to take naps. There is also nothing wrong with telling a child that you want them to nap because you need to rest yourself. If you start the cycle of reward for everyhting they will not internalize that sleeping is necessary for optimal health and functioning.

RELATED ARTICLES:


Is Your Child Getting The Right Amount Of Sleep?

Getting enough sleep is as important as taking in the right nutrients, essential in staying healthy. As parents, we may be pretty much aware of this fact. However, are we really making sure that our children are getting the right amount of sleep? We can get so busy during the day, that our kids can […]


5 Tips In Handling Bedtime Battles

Bedtime or even afternoon naps is always a struggle for my three year old daughter. At a young age, she has already concocted so many clever ideas so she can just avoid sleeping. From praying that the sun would show up sooner to slapping her face, and even to the extent of literally holding her […]


How To Get Your Child To Sleep Without A Fight

Parents who were able to surpass sleepless nights due to diaper changes and middle of the night feedings think that as the baby grows older, it is also the time to bid sleepless nights goodbye. However, putting your child to sleep in his own bed can be equally difficult. It can be hard to convince […]


How to Establish Good Sleeping Habits for Your Baby

Establishing good sleeping habits for your baby is important for both of you. It will benefit your baby as part of a regular daily schedule and set him or her up to continue these sleeping habits through life. It will also benefit you because it will give you a chance to get the much needed […]


How To Deal With Dawdling

As I help my daughter finish her breakfast, I can’t help but periodically check the clock for the time. Each bite that my daughter takes seems like an eternity. It is another school day morning and I am again rushing to get her to school on time. Of all the times that I ask her […]


Advertise Here