Is my toddler ready to drop her nap?

I pose this question because it is one I am dealing with at the moment. Literally, at this very moment I can hear my little Evalee talking and singing to herself when she should be fast asleep. I put her down for her nap almost two hours ago. At this point, she should be getting up. Now what?

Nap time is precious time, not only for our toddlers but also for us as moms. It is not an easy thing to see go. I know there are some days where nap time is my only solace of the day. But, as our little ones grow and mature, so do their sleep habits.

So, being that I am grappling with this very issue myself, I thought I would share my research into the matter

I found this tid-bit on

By three, some children are ready to forfeit the afternoon nap and go for an earlier bedtime. This transition will take a while…several months of napping every other day, then napping once or twice a week.

Then, after scanning various forums about parenting and such I am left thinking that yet again, each is child is unique and there is no one size fits all answer to this question.

I found some parents with toddlers as young as 18 months dropping nap altogether all the way up to four years old and still napping. At this stage of development I think it is best to stay flexible and read your child as best you can. If she seems cranky or has that glazed look in her eye, time for a nap. But, if she is bright, pleasant and alert then today she may not need one.

Sleep is so important for all of us, no matter what age, but for children it is crucial to proper growth and development.

So taking all of this into consideration this is how I plan to handle this…

I will stick to our usual routine for now as this may be an isolated incident. Lunch will continue to be around 12 -12:30 with mellow/quite time afterward such as puzzles, coloring or playdough. Then, 2 O’clock rolls around, I will take her up, wash her face, hands and teeth and lay down.

We’ll read a book sing our songs and I will leave her be. If she sleeps, great. If she lays in their quietly playing with her bed buddies that’s fine too. At least she is having some downtime.

I would love to hear from those of you out there experiencing this right now. I think a nice thread of comments could be most helpful to fellow parents dealing with the very issue.

6 Responsesto “Is my toddler ready to drop her nap?”

  1. Suzette says:

    My mother watches my daughter during the day. Used to be, when she wasn’t able to get a nap during the day because of an outing, I could tell by her behavior during the evening/supper time. It would be TERRIBLE. Now, (4 1/2 years old) her behavior when going to bed is terrible if she had a nap. She just can’t go to sleep. So that is when I decided a few days ago that it might be time for her to stop napping.

  2. Wilma says:

    My son is going to be 3 on July. And I think he is ready to drop his nap. There was a few days I put him down for his normal nap time, he stayed up for almost an hour in his bedroom singing or talking to his stuff animal. And there was also a time that if he did fall sleep, took a while and late for his bedtime. And at night it was hard for him to settle down and go to sleep. So i just started giving him a downtime instead of a nap time. But I still tell him, nap time, you can read a book, or play with your stuff animal as long as quietly. And if you fall sleep that is good and if not just wait until mommy come and get you. But I’am still confused and want to make sure that I was not misreading the sign. I’am worried.

  3. Jess Ray says:


    You are so right! Thanks.

  4. Kit says:

    If your toddler , or even preschooler, is willing to lie down and take a hour or two of quiet time at ‘naptime’ then the ‘naptime’ continues for as long as that works!
    And to decide it’s not working, the kid should have protested for at least 3 days in a row, because every small child will have a bad day or two here or there.
    This time is invaluable not just to you, but to your child’s development.
    She’s learning that down time is a good thing, something she needs.
    She’s learning to amuse herself without your constant supervision.
    She’s learning patience and self control.
    NEVER give up naptime until you must!

  5. Nancy says:

    My son dropped his nap when he was about 2 – 2 1/2 yrs old. For awhile, he would play quietly in his room during that time. Sometimes while playing quietly he would go to sleep, sometimes not. That was fine with me. After my daughter was born, when he was almost 2 1/2, we got to the point where if he did nap, he would not be ready to go to sleep until midnight. He normally goes to bed about 9 or 10 pm, and sleeps til 9 or 10 am. (late bedtime, I know, but he seems to be a natural “night owl”, like both my husband and I would be if we could sleep in). For awhile,, I would try to keep up the quiet playtime in his room, but then as my daughter got a little bigger, and I was busy trying to get her to nap (still a challenge), I found it was just as easy to leave him to play in the living room while we were gone. After a few months of the transition of sometimes napping, we found that the evening fussies were no more. Still every now and then, if we are going to be out late and he will be up later than usual, and we need him not fussy, I will try to rock him to sleep, but it usually backfires by keeping him up TOO LATE.
    I do wish I had stuck with the routine of quiet playtime, but he got to where he would cry when I left, and say he wanted to rock some more. I couldn’t seem to convince him that I didn’t want him to nap, just play alone in his room for a little while.

  6. Christine says:

    My oldest is almost 5 and he still takes naps. I have found that if I keep him up all day, he is a BEAR thru dinner/bath/bedtime. We skip naps some days (long car rides where he has dozed off, for example) but ultimately I think it just depends on the individual kid.. Naptime is also just another way to get a break, too. My boy and his 2 y.o. sister nap anywhere from 45 mins to 2 1/2 hrs and in that time i can read, clean, or nap myself.. Its good for the soul! Anyway good luck which ever way you go!

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