Even though this is our job, all of the Little Dreams team’s children have had tricky nap days – so don’t worry. If your baby won’t nap, it can be caused by all sorts of things, over tiredness, teething, and even reasons that we will never know.
Little ones generally nap until they are between two and a half – three years old but, of course, every child is different so do bear that in mind! Also keep in mind that, often around the age of two years old, some little ones will have a couple of weeks where they refuse their nap. If this happens, continue offering sleep as usual and they will be back to napping before you know it!
How to get baby to nap on a tricky nap day
As we said earlier, difficult nap days happen to the best of us so don’t panic. If your little one won’t go for a nap at their usual time (and you are sure that there is nothing wrong and they are just having a tricky day) then take them out as a one off in the pushchair, pram or car to ensure that they at least have a little sleep.
You would then just get back on track at their next sleep opportunity but bear in mind that, if their tricky nap was short, they may need a slightly shorter awake window.
If you have been away or have had lots of naps on the go recently, this may be behind your tricky nap day. If this happens, just remind your little one of their independence sleep skills, the way that you originally did, and within a couple of days they will be napping like a superstar.
Nap refusal is something very different and I touched on it above. This can occur around the age of two and is a developmental stage that will last a couple of weeks. If you remain consistent with offering a nap your little one will be back to napping well in no time. If your little one starts to refuse their last nap of the day, or starts to find it tricky, this can signify that they are ready to transition naps so if it goes on for longer than a few days have a look at our blogs about transitioning naps or our YouTube channel!
The important thing to remember is a tricky nap day is just that. If it is a one off and things get back to normal the following day then put it down to experience and carry on. If, on the other hand, naps are constantly tricky, and impacting nights, then please do get in touch because we would love to help!