My 5-year-old still naps. I know, right? Lucky me!
I read one source that said about 25% of children stop napping before age 3 and half give up naps between ages 3 and 4. The other 25% nap up to age 5 or 6 – basically until they start school.
I often wonder how often kids stop napping because they are truly ready versus how many stop because their resistance to naps is taken by parents as a sign of readiness when they actually still need the extra rest. There’s a difference there – not wanting to nap as opposed to not needing to nap.
Most preschoolers need a total of 10 to 14 hours of sleep each day, but the statistics only give us averages. There is a huge range and the numbers don’t tell us what our kids – individuals that they are – need. The challenge for parents can be figuring out how much sleep your child needs and when your kiddo is ready to give up the nap.
So I thought I’d tackle this topic and share how I know my 5-year-old still needs to nap (and trust me, he does!) along with how I have gotten him to keep sleeping even when he assures me that he absolutely, positively is not tired and most definitely does not want to nap!
Why Do So Many Little Ones Start Resisting Nap?
Some kids start to resist because they truly aren’t tired and no longer need the extra rest. If your child is still happy and well-rested and gets up easily in the morning, in spite of not napping, you may have one of these kiddos on your hands. Or maybe your child only naps for 20 or 30 minutes, suggesting naptime isn’t as crucial as it once was.
But some preschoolers who still need the rest start to resist because:
- they don’t want to miss out on whatever fun is happening while they sleep.
- playing is much more fun than napping.
- they are eager to be “big kids” and big kids don’t nap.
How Do I Know If My Child Still Needs to Nap?
Our Lil’ Trick