The first thing I want to say is that everybody has bad nap days.
Even though this is our job, all of the Little Dreams team children have had tricky nap days. They can be caused by all sorts of things, over tiredness, teething, and even reasons that we will never know.
Little ones generally nap until they are between 2 ½ – 3 years old but, of course, every child is different! Ensure little ones are sleeping independently at this age before considering moving them to a bed! If you are considering this transition read our previous blog to see how to do it with as little disruption as possible!
Tricky nap day
The important thing is not to panic. If your little one won’t go for a nap at their usual time (and you are sure that they are totally fine and just having a tricky day) then take them out as a one off in the pushchair, pram or car to ensure that they at least have a little sleep, then just get back on track. Make sure that you consider their awake windows for the next nap too, if their tricky nap was short, they may need a slightly shorter awake window. This will mean that they are not overtired at the next sleep situation and will make the rest of your day much easier.
If you have been away or have had lots of naps on the go recently this may be behind your tricky nap day. If this happens, just remind your little one of their independence sleep skills, the way that you originally did, and within a couple of days they will be napping like a superstar.
Nap refusal is something very different. This can occur around the age of two and is a developmental stage that will last a couple of weeks. If you remain consistent with offering a nap your little one will be back to napping well in no time. If your little one starts to refuse their last nap of the day, or starts to find it tricky, this can signify that they are ready to transition naps so if it goes on for longer than a few days have a look at our blogs about transitioning naps or our YouTube channel!
The important thing to remember is a tricky nap day is just that. If it is a one off and things get back to normal the following day then put it down to experience and carry on. If, on the other hand, naps are constantly tricky, and impacting nights, then please do get in touch because we would love to help!