Every child is different and has different sleep needs. Some children take several small naps, while other children take one long nap. The National Sleep Foundation reports that at 2 years of age, 80 percent of children nap, while at 3 years of age, 50 percent of children still nap.
Parents often want to know when their child should cut down on the number of naps or stop them completely. I advise parents to be in tune with their child’s behavior. Their child will signal when he or she is ready to give up napping. Some signals that a child may be ready to skip napping include:
- Child has age-appropriate behaviors all day, even without a nap.
- Child wakes up on his or her own in the morning and seems well rested.
- Child falls asleep easily at night and sleeps about 10 hours a night.
“Quiet time” is another way parents can slowly wean their child from napping. Allow your child to sit quietly in bed with books or nonstimulating toys. He or she will relax and may even catch a few extra winks of sleep.
I am proud of this national ranking because I know our specialists listen carefully to families and get parents actively involved in planning their child’s care. We understand that nobody knows your child better than you.
- Lynn D’Andrea, MD, medical director, Sleep Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
The Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the only sleep center in the state dedicated solely to the care of children and teens. The center has two locations (Milwaukee and New Berlin) both accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and staffed by four board-certified pediatric sleep specialists.