How Much Sleep Does Your Toddler Need?
Children will also eventually drop their afternoon nap. While some children nap until they are five, others stop napping at two or three years old. You can expect the same transitional phase and necessary accommodations when your child drops his afternoon nap.
Establish a consistent 15-30 minute bedtime routine of reading or listening to soft music to help your toddler relax and get ready to sleep.
If your child doesn't nap, have a half hour of quiet time instead. Read to him or let him read to himself or play quietly. This quiet time allows your child to refuel for the afternoon. Children also often end up falling asleep during quiet time. When your child stops napping, try to make sure he gets at least 11 hours of sleep at night.
Many toddlers only get about 10 hours of sleep a day, which falls short of the 12-14 hours they require. Many toddlers resist going to bed or wake up frequently during the night due to separation anxiety, the ability to get out of bed, teething, and the development of imagination and resulting nighttime fears and nightmares.
Night waking is also common because their drive for independence and the increase in motor, cognitive, and social abilities can interfere with sleep. Inadequate sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness and behavior problems. While adults become sluggish and tired without adequate sleep, toddlers can become overactive when they are overtired.
When your child stops napping, try to make sure he gets at least 11 hours of sleep at night.
This mistakenly leads some parents to believe that their children are sleeping enough when they are not. Parents sometimes try to prevent toddlers from napping to make them sleepy for bedtime. This is counterproductive because children have a harder time sleeping when they are overtired.
The best way to ensure your child is getting enough sleep is to encourage regular bedtimes and nap times. Establish a consistent 15-30 minute bedtime routine of reading or listening to soft music to help your toddler relax and get ready to sleep.