Nap is most parents favorite time of the day. It's a time for quiet and relaxation, if you don't have a million chores to do! Preserving the afternoon nap as long as possible is a main concern of a lot of parents. But how do you know when it's time to drop it? Here are some signs to look for:
1) Your child is between the ages of 3 and 4, especially closer to 4. This is the appropriate age when a child can drop their nap and still be able to function throughout their day without getting too fussy or emotional. If your child is under the age of 3, you should do everything that you can to keep up a consistent nap schedule.
2) A child that was consistently napping daily, has not fallen asleep during their scheduled nap for at least a week straight. And by not falling asleep, I mean that they are happily playing in their crib without getting upset. If the child is protesting nap, it does not mean that they are ready to drop it, it could be more of a behavioral issue to deal with. If on day 4 your child falls asleep for nap, you will start your week count of no nap all over again.
3) Your child is still napping but bedtime has started to become a problem. Your easy to put down child has suddenly become very difficult to put to sleep or does not settle until way past their normal bedtime. This is due to too much day sleep which is causing an interruption with night sleep. Consider dropping the nap at this time and opting for a much earlier bedtime, and see if their is a difference in your child's ease of going to sleep.
If your child is exhibiting some of these signs, it may be time for them to drop their nap. When a child drops their nap you can expect them to be a bit more clingy or fussy until their bodies adjust. Like I mentioned above, a much earlier bedtime should be put into place. Times and schedule shifts should be done gradually and according to your child's age.