If you have small children, it should come as no surprise that the words nap time strikes fear in them, they are likely to be crying and pitching a fit over something that is normal on a routine basis. How can you cope and deal with a difficult child who wants nothing to do with their nap? Here are some tips and suggestions to turn naptime battles into naptime victories without a huge struggle.
Tip #1. No Televisions in their bedroom. This may seem like common sense; however, it is something many parents are guilty of, myself included in this. I have allowed both of my children to have a television in their room; however, I have no problems taking the television out of their rooms if they would rather watch television than take their nap. If your child is used to having their television in their room all the time, they will fight and resist heavily the idea of losing their television, however it is generally best to remove it.
Tip #2. Set a schedule and stick with it. Therefore, if it is best for everyone if a schedule is worked out and stuck to. This means schedule everything in your day around the naptime. Work out errands so that they can be done in either the morning or the afternoon so that naps are not interrupted. If your child attends daycare or pre-school where naps are still involved, find out the nap schedule of the school so that you are not undoing the work that your child’s teachers are doing.
Tip #3. Story time is your friend. Take this time to help your child wind down so they are able to fall asleep peacefully. It might take one story, or it might take four stories, but it helps give a chance for you and your child to bond, as well as your child calm down, and unwind from the day’s activities.
Tip #4. Do not use nap time as a battle. If your child views nap time as a battle then they are more likely to fight and resist going to sleep when you need them to. Instead, they will view naptime as a battle over who is in charge, and they will try to win, this will do nothing more than create hassle and headache. While there are times where your child will get in trouble before naps, make sure it is clear, nap time is not a punishment, but a daily activity that occurs regardless of whether they are in trouble or not.
Tip #5. No toys in bed. I come into my 4 year olds bedroom often during her naps and wonder where exactly my child is. I finally find her buried under dozens of toys that I have to remove from the bed, other times I must remove the toys from her bed before she will even go to sleep. This is with having the no toy in bed rule; you can imagine how difficult naptime would be without this rule.
While children will always fight and argue about naps and bedtime, you want to make it clear that you are the adult, and they are the child. Rules and boundaries must be established and communicated clearly or your child will be confused. Set the limits and do not be afraid to enforce those limits. Your child will learn to respect you for taking care of them, including making sure they have plenty of rest.