How do you get your three or four year old child to nap after lunch?
Start by not giving sugary foods (or caffinated) at lunch. The lunch table should be calm and structured and not hurried. Then maybe a soft couch with mommy (or daddy), and a favorite book. Not necessairly a participatory read, more a paper lullaby.
The calm, secure setting, mommy in touch, and a full belly should do the trick.
Good Question! I'm interested in seeing some other opinions as I have a soon to be 4 year old who won't nap any more.
Make sure they are not already sleeping to much where they wouldn't need a nap after lunch.
Depending on what time in the morning they wake-up as well as the level of activity they have
durning the morning are all contributing factors. I think there are a lot of parents who would agree that this is the time when many children naturally don't need to nap anymore. That being said some '"quiet time" with a book or movie is still needed.
Of my two daughters, now both older, one would never take a nap. She may of had one or two afternoon naps her entire life. She is still a whirlwind of activity, loves her picture being taken, enjoys shows, live music, clubbing, in fact just about any activity that keeps her awake when the rest of us want to take a nap, nothing has changed.
My other daughter would sometimes take a nap if I did too. It would take me about 2 minutes to drop off. About half the time she would climb off the end of the bed and keep herself entertained playing quietly until I woke up. I was obviously tired, so she did not want to disturb me.
I am not sure that a single solution exists to your problem. I am sure that you know more about your child than any of us here.
Good luck, Agantum.
The truth is very few children continue to nap after about 2 1/2 to 3. They don't need the nap - we need them to nap! :-)
I would either lay down with them because who doesn't love a nap -except kids! Or you can not call it a nap and make it a quiet time on their bed or in their room and give them a special toy just for that time of day and a few books and they may or may not nap but the quiet time is good for everyone. Maybe about 30 minutes might be all you can get out of them - but it renews everyone.
Neither one of my kids napped after about 3 yrs. old.
We are lucky. In China all kids get to nap after lunch in kindergarten and even in primary school - so ours has the habit already. He sometimes needs a little persuasion; a short book usually works. The only time we have a real issue is when we have family around and he doesn't want to be left out.
The three- and four- year-olds I've known (and I've known a lot of them) usually have a lot of energy and don't take naps. Some may fall asleep in the car if they're in it long enough, but even then they may only fall asleep if they've had a particularly busy stretch of hours or slept less than usual the night before.
Children that age usually get up very early, stay up all day, and are then ready to fall asleep fairly early at night. If they happen to fall asleep for more than a few minutes in the car, and if they do that past early afternoon, there's a good chance they won't be ready to sleep at their normal bedtime.
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