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Naptime Wars: Your Guide to Less Stress, More Sleep

The rubbing of eyes, crying over a tumbled block, and more whining than usual… it’s nap time! Even when it is obvious your child is exhausted and in desperate need of a rest, sometimes they still kick, scream and fight when it’s time to go down for their nap. By two years old most children have transitioned into only needing one nap a day, typically in the afternoon. As they get older, 25% of children by the age of three will no longer need a daily nap. Another 50% of children will no longer require a nap by the age of four and the remaining 25% of children may still need a nap until the age of five or six.

Mayo Clinic in Minnesota recommends that toddlers get 12-14 hours of sleep, in a 24-hour period. If your child sleeps 10 hours at night, then aim for approximately a 2-hour nap. If your child sleeps 12 hours at night, they might not need an afternoon nap, or possibly just a short 30-45 minutes. These are just guidelines to think about while planning naps around what your child needs.