Having trouble getting your toddler to nap? Maybe he doesn't need one. Ann Douglas explains.
Jack is 16 months old and a poor napper. I started putting him in the car to fall asleep. It worked great. I could take him out and put him right in the crib. Now I am trying to break his "car habit" and have quiet time (and sometimes he falls asleep in my arms) in his nursery...then in the crib he screams and cries. I have been trying to make the transition for seven days. He does not have a pacifier or bottle at naptime. He sleeps beautifully at night — drinks a bottle, goes in his crib awake and puts himself to sleep.
You may be better off trying to convince Jack to enjoy some quiet time during the day — perhaps reading stories together or watching a video together after lunch. That may be all he needs to recharge his batteries — and it will give you a bit of a break, too.
As for the falling asleep in the car technique for lulling your toddler to sleep — most of us can be lulled to sleep in the car, adults included! So the fact that Jack can be convinced to take a nap if you take a drive around town doesn't necessarily indicate that he still needs that nap.
It's important to bear in mind that toddlers require less sleep as they grow older. As I note in The Mother of All Toddler Books, an average one-year-old requires 14 hours of sleep each day, while an average three-year-old requires just 12. Of course, there are toddlers who require less sleep than this, so don't worry that there's something wrong with your child if he's not sleeping as much as the "average" toddler. Toddlers — like the rest of us — can show considerable variation when it comes to sleep patterns.
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