One day you put your year old baby down for a nap and he or she does just about anything but go to sleep. They may play happily, scream the roof down or simply jabber to themselves for an hour, but they certainly aren’t resting. Does your baby no longer need a nap, or is he or she just being stubborn?
The truth is that it’s quite common for your baby to not want to nap at about twelve months. They will very likely just be resistant to taking a nap. Most children require some extra rest until they are three or four years old.
When they reach about twelve months, or one year, your baby is getting a burst of energy and language, along with other things. They are reaching certain milestones in their life. The baby recognizes things, places and people, and simply doesn’t want to slow down from this exciting life long enough to sleep. They do however still need the extra rest that a nap can provide to them.
What’s the key to getting your reticent baby to happily drift off to sleep when you lay them down for a nap? How to you make sure that your older baby is getting enough rest during the day to keep them healthy?
There are a few small tricks that you can try that may work for you in getting your child accustomed to sleeping again. Making sure that the environment is darkened and restful will help a lot in getting them back into the naptime routine. Set up quiet play just before nap time, rather than running or outdoors play.
Many babies between the ages of one and two will only require one nap a day as opposed to two naps. You may want to consider moving the morning nap to about one PM and eliminating the afternoon nap all together to help your baby be tired enough to want to rest.
Bear in mind too that every child is unique and while most children do require that nap, perhaps yours doesn’t. If he or she is sleeping 12 hours in a night they may not need a nap, as they are getting enough sleep during the night.
If you try every trick in the book and your baby just doesn’t want to sleep during the day, and don’t seem overly tired or grumpy let it go. They may be getting enough rest overnight to keep them healthy and happy. The bottom-line–don’t make nap time a battle ground.