Your kid's past needing a full-on nap, but she still needs quiet time. Here's how to get her down – without a meltdown.
The dropping of the afternoon nap isn't always greeted with the huzzahs that other toddler milestones earn. The reason: Kids this age often still need some "quiet time" to keep from getting cranky – but good luck selling that plan to your kid. Noelle Cochran and Lele Diamond, child-development experts at Symbio, a San Francisco-based parenting resource, have tricks that can convince:
- Play Name Games: Just saying "rest" can be a cue for kids to resist. Consider "break time" or "downtime," or ask your child for naming ideas.
- Set Reasonable Expectations: "It's hard for kids to comply with rules like 'Stay in bed,'" says Diamond. Consider letting her draw quietly, listen to a book on tape, or "read". If you like, offer options and let her choose.
- Build Up to It: Begin with 20 minutes. "Start low so kids can succeed," explains Cochran. Work up to an hour from there.