When Do Toddlers Stop Napping? 5 Telltale Signs To Look For!

Author Image By Paula McLaren BA (Hons) Early Years Development & Learning •  Updated: 03/16/23 •  Toddler » Toddler Sleep

Sleep is a delicate balancing act that plays a huge role in determining whether you have a lovely calm child or a little terror on the verge of a meltdown! Here’s everything you need to know about sleep transitions to finally answer the question: when do toddlers stop napping?

When Do Toddlers Stop Napping?

Signs Your Toddler Is Ready To Stop Napping

Moving on from the early signs that your toddler is getting ready to drop a daytime nap, there are another 5 definitive signs that it is time for you to help them drop their naps fully:

When Do Toddler Stop Napping 5 Telltale Signs

How Many Naps Should My Toddler Be Having?

On average, most toddlers start to show signs of dropping their morning nap by the time they are 15 months old to 18 months old.

After this, most children will still require one nap a day until they are between the ages of 3-5 years.

REMEMBER: Follow the sleep signs your toddler is giving you alongside knowing how much sleep they require in 24 hours to make a decision about whether they require a nap or not.

1 Year Old Nap Schedule

1-year-olds need 11-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period with 2 to 3 hours of this taken as daytime sleep split over 2 naps.

Between 1 and 2 years of age, your toddler will transition from 2 to 1 nap a day.

Further Reading:

2 Year Old Toddler Nap Schedule

Similar to 1-year-old toddlers… Most 2-year-olds need 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period with 1 to 2 hours of daytime sleep taken in one afternoon nap.

Read this post to learn more: 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule

3 Year Old Toddler Nap Schedule

3-year-olds need 10-12 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period with 1 to 3 hours of daytime sleep still being taken as an afternoon nap.

Read this post to learn more: 3 Year Old Sleep Schedule

REMEMBER: Occasionally your toddler will not require a nap, but I would always aim for a quiet time after lunch. Encouraging your little one to sit quietly in their bedroom looking at books or playing alone can be restorative for both of you.

4 Year Old Toddler Nap Schedule

And lastly, 4-year-olds need around 10-12 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period with up to 2 and a half hours of sleep taken as a nap (if needed).

Bear in mind that if your child is exhibiting any of the following signs, they are NOT ready to stop napping just yet:

REMEMBER: Once your little one has fully stopped napping, you can make the time after lunch the new quiet time you can spend together engaging in low-energy activities. This can become a wonderfully precious and bonding part of your daily routine before you embark on the afternoon’s outdoor activities.

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

Nap Transitions

Navigating nap transitions is a delicate balance which can make or break your sleep training plans.

Therefore, I’ve written a full post explaining when toddlers stop napping to give you all the information you need to get through this process with ease.

Check it out here.

Frequently Asked Questions About When Do Toddlers Stop Napping

Looking for more information about when do toddlers stop napping? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about nap transitions.

Is It OK If My 2 Year Old Doesn’t Nap?

Yes and no…

It is very normal for 2-year-olds to no longer need a morning nap… But stopping an afternoon nap is far less common at this age.

The occasional missed nap is fine, but most 2 year olds should still be having at least 1 nap a day.

Does Stopping Daytime Naps Affect A Toddler’s Sleep?

Daytime naps should NOT impact your toddlers’ nighttime sleep or bedtime routine.

The only case where naps affect nighttime sleep is when your toddler is having too much or too little sleep for their needs. If this happens, it can put their sleep routine completely out of whack.

REMEMBER: Too much sleep and they will struggle to fall asleep at bedtime and or start to wake earlier than normal in the mornings. Too little and they will become cranky and hyper towards the end of the day and be difficult to settle at bedtime.

My Toddler Doesn’t Seem Quite Ready To Drop Their Nap Fully… Are Missed Naps OK?

Dropping a nap is not like flicking a light switch… Your toddler’s nap transition will take 4-6 weeks on average. 

This is the amount of time it takes for your toddler’s body to adjust to the new sleep schedule. And as a result, sometimes your toddler will need a nap and on others, they won’t.

So yes… Missed naps are absolutely fine.

However, you should encourage your toddler to have quiet times in a calm corner when they’d usually have a nap as this gives them the opportunity to calm down and relax. Quiet time can include playing with crayons, and puzzles or looking at books.

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren - The founder of Teething to Tantrums has been in the childcare industry as a Norland Nanny and Childcare Expert since 1982. Her qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) plus the highly prestigious Norland Diploma, recognized as the best early years practitioner qualification in the world. During her 40+ years of experience, she has worked as a night nanny (specializing in solving sleep issues), run a very successful daycare center in London, and raised almost 100 children, including her son, to be kind, healthy, and happy individuals with her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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