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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Good morning. And welcome. Thank
you so much for tuning in to the kids sleep show. My name is Courtney Zentz, the founder of tiny transitions. And we are chatting today all about what age your child should drop the map. I think there are a lot of questions around when children are ready to really handle an entire day’s worth of activities and fun and learning and be able to do so successfully without turning into a toddler tornado, when they don’t sleep. I have some parents that come to me for private sleep consulting, and their children is just turned two years of age, and has been refusing that nap for a while. And I’ll tell you, that’s a really young age to actually drop the nap. Most kids at two can’t tolerate yet not taking a reset during the day, and getting the right amount of rest overall, to feel good to make it to bedtime and to not fall asleep over some chicken nuggets at dinner. So when I work with clients at about two years of age who are not napping, we do end up incorporating a nap back in as we shift through the sleep coaching for their baby and we get them going down independently sleeping through the night and taking a good consistent nap again, they feel better, and they’re more balanced in their demeanor. So I do often work naps back in with my private sleep coaching clients. But you know, really, it’s around, I would say three years of age that I would feel confident and comfortable in someone no longer taking a nap but often means that they are really hitting that pillow hard at about seven o’clock at night. And that, frankly, they’re sleeping through for about 12 hours and waking up roughly around seven o’clock in the morning, right? children from three through the age of five need about 10 to 13 hours of sleep. Right? So let me say that again. Children from three through five need 10 to 13 hours in total daytime sleep for optimal health. So what does that mean? It is still totally appropriate that a three year old naps but it’s also totally appropriate that they don’t. I was someone who always believed that I wanted my kids to rest in the day one, they were at daycare, everybody took naps on the mat. Their nap schedule as it is at most daycares was 1245 to three o’clock. So within that window, they would fall asleep and wake up. They were balanced. their demeanor was balanced. And frankly, they got that reboot that they needed because they’re busy. Their minds are growing. They’re a lot more active at the sate the summers here in Philly soon. And you know, the weather’s warming up and kids are outside running and doing things that you know they weren’t necessarily doing especially over the past year. So you always want to make sure that you’re balancing things like avoiding overtired and a toddler because if you drop the nap too early, and then they struggle to go down at night, and then they’re waking early, you have an overtired situation. So there’s not much you can do from a realm of control. If their route just flat out refusing the nap except for an earlier bedtime, and ensuring that that bedroom is pitch dark so that they can try to sleep in in the morning. But we know that you know between four and six in the morning is the earliest stages of sleep. So it’s also the easiest to arouse someone so if you know their body temperature is the coldest at 4am maybe they hear one of you getting up to take a shower for work or go to the gym or flush the toilet or do any of the things in the house right some we lived in an old house, our first house and you know if the heat kicked on, you would hear it because it was the old radiator pipes and all that stuff can be disturbing to kids. So just definitely making sure you’re mindful of bad but between three and five, you know you can drop that nap my kids napped basically till the day they got on the bus for kindergarten because they were more balanced frankly. They were a daycare so there was a bit of peer pressure but even on the weekends like they were tired man like and sometimes they wouldn’t go necessarily up to their room to sleep at that age. Sometimes they would just fall asleep on the couch or you know they would take a 20 minute 30 minute snooze in the car when we were on our way somewhere. I mean, I can tell you my kids still do it. We actually were at the beach this weekend and they both fell asleep on the way to the Ocean City boardwalk. They fell asleep coming home yesterday and it doesn’t mess anything up and they’re five and seven. Now. You know they just my son didn’t sleep but my daughter did who’s five and my son passed out on Saturday though on the way to the boardwalk, you know and that was early. During the day, like kids, you know, in their overall balance are going to totally fall asleep when their body needs it. And you know, it’s just making sure that you’re not dropping it too soon, that’s causing that overtired to trigger. And then that imbalance in the day, I use a lot of reward charts. And so I am going to share a reward chart in the show notes. So make sure you grab that link out on the website, because that can be a great way to incentivize kids, if you know you’re going to the park, right or you know, you’re going to grandma’s or you know, you’re going swimming, or you know, you’re doing something, right. Maybe they want ice cream or a popsicle, and they were gonna get it anyway. But you can incorporate that as a reward to say, look, you don’t have to sleep. But you have to lay quietly in your room. And after a couple days, that not sleeping can lose its luster, right? Sometimes kids don’t nap, because you’re putting so much pressure on them to sleep. And no kid wants to go to bed really, right. Like they want to stay in play. So if you say, look, you don’t have to go to sleep, but you must lay quietly that can relieve some of the pressure off of them, and help them to actually settle better from a sleep standpoint, which it seems counterintuitive. But you know, between that type of reverse psychology after a couple of days, like it’s boring, sometimes you can also do things that make sleep fun, right? Add a sleeping bag into the mix, even if it’s right on top of their bed, or if they sleep in a crib, but they’re kind of old enough to sleep on, you know, outside of a crib for a nap, build them a little fort in their bedroom, but then fall asleep in the corner of the room. You know, I used to tack a sheet to the wall and then over to the bed, I’d throw some pillows and blankets in there, throw some books in there and be like, poof, you’ve got a fort, right? And my kids would love it. They’re like, we’re not taking a nap, you know, and they’d crawl in that fort, start reading and then they’d pass out. So sometimes you just have to be a little bit creative. And sometimes you do have to use consequences, right? We’re not going to grandma’s until you take a nap. That’s your choice, right? And you have to give them the choice not be a dictator. Right, it’s their choice to take the nap if they want the result. And it may only be a half hour nap. But it does give their body a chance to call and to pause. Okay, so really dropping that nap can happen anytime between about three and five years of age, what you want to balance is the duration of the nap, right? I have some clients that come to me with older children who, you know, at four or five, like they’re still taking a nap. But then their nighttime sleep sucks. They don’t go to bed till 10 o’clock, they’re up at six in the morning, right? Like, the timing is off. So as long as you’re within the optimal range, I was always somebody that wanted my kids in bed early. So my kids still go to bed at like 730. But they’re up early because they’re older. But I want some time for myself at night. So I didn’t care because I get up at 5am. So we’re an earlier family. There’s other people that are later families, my neighbor across the street, like their little one doesn’t go to bed till about nine o’clock, but sleeps until eight o’clock. And that works for them. Because they’re within the normal range. They’re just timing it differently, right? Every family is going to have a different structure and schedule into what works for you some still want the nap, some don’t. Sometimes you do need to drop it if it’s interfering with the overnight sleep at that point, you know, because it’s they’re waking and they’re settling easy, they’re waking appropriately, right. But they’re just still taking that nap and then screwing things up. As far as the timing goes, right, that’s going to be your signal to drop it. So let’s say they take a two hour nap. But then you lay them down at seven and they don’t settle till nine, you have to drop the nap, right or shorten the nap. Sometimes just giving it you know, 20 minutes of a reboot. And, you know waking them up, that can be helpful as well. So sometimes you can look at shortening the nap to I just don’t want people to be afraid of reintroducing a nap if their child has already dropped it, right? Again, that’s typically between two and three years of age when I see that happen. And I also don’t want you to be afraid to drop the nap too soon. It’s really around that balance of bedtime and waking up in the morning. Okay, so the answer to that question of when do I drop the nap for my child? or How can I ensure that my child sleeps through the night? How can I ensure that my child naps on a great schedule, right? Like all of these things are balanced sleep coaching and sleep consulting, as a profession means that we look at what is happening in your world and build balance for you based on your family’s goals. I have some parents that prefer to have a child who stays up later I have some parents that prefer to have a child who sleeps in. I have some that work off of a seven to seven type of sleep schedule.
There’s no right or wrong answer. You have to look at what works best for your family, what type of family style you want to have, what type of parenting you’re doing and really what works best for you. It’s never something that should feel intimidating, and if you do at all feel overwhelmed with your current nap situation. Things are a bit of it. dumpster fire, and you just need help to balance sleep. Join me out my facebook group. It’s called plumber Made Simple. There’s a lot of content we share out there every single week, things that you won’t find anywhere else. I also do live q&a is out there, really to just make sure that you’re set up for success. So if you’re struggling with this, and you need some pointers on the nap advice every Tuesday at 130, I jump in live, and I answer your questions right there. So be sure to jump in live and join us. I hope everybody has a beautiful week. Thank you so much for tuning in. Until next time, go enjoy some time with your family and leave the rest to us. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a value listener of the kids sleep show, I want to help you build a great sleep or not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.