Baby Sleep 101: When a Toddler Will Drop the Nap

Hello, fellow Mamas!

I’ve been thinking about toddler sleep a lot lately, because my 4-year-old daughter just recently gave up her afternoon nap. I had been seeing the signs that she was ready for this transition, and we finally made the leap. But we experienced a few bumps along the way…Baby Sleep 101: When a Toddler Will Drop the NapPin for later!

When do Toddlers Stop Napping?

This really depends on the child. In this video I am answering the question “How much sleep do kids need?”, and talking about how to know when your tot is ready to stop napping, and what can make this process easier. Hope all of this information helps you and your child make a smooth transition!

Helping Your Toddler Drop the Nap:

  • Shift to an earlier bedtime.
  • Alternate days with naps and days with no naps.
  • Offer a short 45 minute to 1 hour nap. Make sure to wake your child by 3 p.m.
  • Give child a quiet, restful time during nap time, even if they don’t sleep.

How did you know your toddler was ready to drop the nap?  Tell me in the comments.

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Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo

  • contactdesign

    One of my sons stopped napping (cold turkey one day, his choice) at 3. My other son was 4.

  • Alicia summe

    He stop napping and just took loner nap

  • Susan

    My daughter gave up her nap when we weaned her from her pacifier. She was about 2 and 3 months. We weren’t ready but she was. We did 6 months of “quiet time” in her room where she laid in bed and read books. About once a week she took a nap. The rest of the time, she was standing at her gate after 5-30 minutes asking to come out. Sometimes we would lay with her and read books. Now that’s she’s almost 3, we read books on the couch, or she watches a movie for quiet time. She gets about 11-12 hours of sleep at night.

  • angelita

    My now 8 yr old didn’t stop napping until age 6 …. My now 11 month old whom I thought was. Trying to give up his late afternoon nap (530 to 730) was experiencing night terrors because of being so over tired at bedtime (9pm) … we have changed his mid morning nap (11 to 130) to 11 to 1230 and he seems to be adjusting fine … I say don’t let them just give up napping … they are very stimulated during the day and need to nap … keep your eyes and ears open 🙂

  • Melanie1

    My children and grandchildren never stopped taking naps.. My six year old grandson still takes a nap, when not in school.

    My children always took a nap until they were in school. I think it really depends on the child.

    If your child is in daycare, they take naps.

    Most kids get up so early,so their parents can get to work.

    • Hi Melanie!! You are the winner of our contest! I just tried to email you at the email provided with your registration but it got sent back. Could you please email me your full name, address, and email to so that I can get you your gift? Many thanks!! Melissa

  • Jenn B

    I am doing a combination of all her tips, alternate days, quiet time, short nap on nap days. My son is 4 and a slow transition seems to be working for us.

  • Lori S

    We are going through this right now. My 4-year-old really fights taking naps, but when he does settle down and go to sleep, he sleeps for 2 hours. I will sometimes let him skip a nap but then put him to bed an hour early to help make up for it, but a lot of times when he doesn’t get a nap, he will end up falling asleep during dinner or when we are in the car going somewhere.

  • anne b

    I’m trying to figure out how to determine if my 1 year old is ready to drop one nap. She currently gets about 11 hours at night and anywhere from 1-3 hrs in naps.

    • Anna b, I have another video with signs taht your baby is ready to make the transition to one nap. YOu might find that she isn’t sleeping during the morning nap, or that she is staying awake too long at night. Why do you think she seems ready to drop one of her naps? xo Melissa

  • JamieMoore

    My fifteen month old has dropped his afternoon nap. He sleeps about eleven to twelve hours at night, and has since he was two months old. He takes his morning nap and it will be anywhere from two hours to four hours. However, he stopped taking his afternoon nap around twelve months old. He goes to bed pretty early, between six and six thirty. Some days I do put him down in the afternoon, for about an hour. He usually doesn’t sleep but will lie in his crib and talk to himself or just play quietly.

  • Rhapsody

    My 2yr 2mo old still takes his afternoon naps. He sleeps 1 1/2-3 hours during his naps and 11-12 hours at night. Last month I thought he was getting ready to give up his naps as he was fighting them more and not napping at all some days. This lasted around 3 weeks and he is now back to his regular schedule, thankfully. I also have a 10mo and I am so grateful to have them on the same sleep schedule. I’ll miss it when that finally ends.

  • Elizabeth Crabtree

    My 2 year old son hasn’t stopped napping (thank God!). But my younger cousins who are now 6-14 all took naps until they started pre-k at age 4. But they used to get up at 6 am every morning and go to bed at 10 every night, so they were probably worn out by noon and needed a rest.

  • kathy dickens

    THANK YOU!!!

    i love all your ideas! we went through a month of no naps with our 3 year old and it was awful. she was getting at most 9 hours of sleep at night. we tried everything. i am happy to say that she is taking naps again. i am not sure what worked. we kept with it though. she wants to take a nap at 300 which is really hard! she will sleep till 630 but if we don’t let her take a nap she was in bed at 630 which was worse. and then there were the days that she didn’t nap and she was too tired that she just couldn;t go to sleep.
    we rub her back and belly and this seems to be the trick. i have her stay in her bed for at least an hour even if she doesn’t go to sleep. her body is resting and mommy needs time to get some stuff done. i am hoping my daughter isn’t ready to give up naps yet

    With my oldest, when he wen to mother’s day out (he was 4) and that is what stopped his naps. They didn’t take naps..he would take a nap (at first) every 2 days, he was very CRANKY when he didn’t nap and I hated for him not to get one but . then he just stopped., but every once in a while he would just crash. He would go to bed at 730 to make up for the no nap
    I think every child is different ( i know some 8yr olds who still need naps lol and speak for myself I wish I could get a nap everyday lol)

  • HI everyone — thank you so much for commenting!!! We have picked our winner — please register with our site for our newsletter and follow us on FB to stay in touch for more great gifts from Plum and others!! Thanks — xoxoxo Melissa

  • anna rice

    Hi. Melissa Lawrence. What about a high school student? I take naps during my school days during my classes usually even though I don’t mean to. I am also 18years old and will be 19 next year.