Got a toddler who refuses to nap....
Updated: May 22
I was an at home mom with three children 20 months apart and they began to refuse taking a nap which was terrible...sound familiar? I just wanted a little time to myself to get some other things done around the house. Maybe some cleaning up.. washing multiple loads of stinky clothes or simply preparing dinner, it didn't really matter I just wanted some time alone!
I happened to remember what my mother had done to get myself and my three siblings to take a nap. I often thought about her and I don't know how she did it with four.
As toddlers begin to get bigger and want to explore, they don't want to miss anything that is happening, so they often have a temper tantrum when you say it's time to take a nap. When we give in and let them stay up, the result is a very unpleasant late afternoon because they have played and played without any rest, which means they are worn out. Nobody can have a pleasant afternoon when that happens, much less getting everybody fed for dinner!
You may think that structure is not something that's important, but it is actually a really important skill to teach our toddlers. By allowing them to create their own schedule, we are preventing them from learning that at one point when they go to preschool, and somebody else will be calling the shots and not them. That is often a rude awakening and a difficult process for a toddler to except. It is our job as a parent to help raise them up so that they are ready for preschool and all of the structure that comes with it!
A routine is an important strategy for toddlers to learn. Preschool has a routine and when you create one in your home, your child will understand a routine in preschool. Just another step to guide them into the next phase of their little life.
So, be brave and stick to your schedule. Tell your toddler in the morning the structure of the day. They will get used to the routine that you create. YOU ARE IN CHARGE!