Nap Strikes: What they are and how to get past them!

Jul 29, 2020 | Key Sleep Tips, Naps, Sleep Regressions

Previously-perfect napper seem to be on strike? A “nap strike” is what we refer to when a child who was previously napping well suddenly fights naptime. This most commonly occurs when a child is getting close to the age to drop a nap, making his parents think he is ready to do so before he actually is – little trickster! Don’t be fooled, Moms and Dads! It’s very likely your child still needs that nap, but is going through something developmentally and it’s just a matter of time (and patience and consistency) before that snooze gets back on track.

Here are some tips for managing the nap strike:

1. Don’t panic and don’t immediately make a hundred changes! Nap strikes are common. If your child is under 3 years old, (and definitely if under 2.5 years) he most certainly still needs to nap, but is for one or more reasons currently refusing to fall asleep. Keep offering the nap and be patient and consistent with how you would normally manage any protest at naptime, and the nap strike should pass.

2. Examine your child’s schedule. Is your little one sleeping when he should be during the day, and is he getting enough sleep and enough awake time? If he isn’t sleeping at the right times during the day or getting enough sleep at night, then either under tiredness or overtiredness could be causing difficulty with naps.

3. Lastly, consider whether this truly is a brief “strike” or if your child is ready to drop a nap. If a child is 7.5-8 months, for example, and is refusing the third nap of the day, it’s very possible that he’s now ready to drop that third nap and move to a 2 nap schedule. If a child’s third birthday is next month and for the last two weeks he’s been refusing his mid-day snooze, another good sign that the nap may be a thing of the past!

But, again, as a first step, don’t panic and drop the nap right away after only a few days of “striking.” This too, shall very likely pass.

Erin Junker is a Professional Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, and owner of The Happy Sleep Company, working closely with tired parents to help them help their little ones get the healthy, restful sleep they need. Follow The Happy Sleep Company on Instagram and Facebook – let’s get your family the healthy, happy sleep you deserve!

Disclaimer: I only provide reviews and recommendations for products when I feel they are of great quality. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am a member of several affiliate marketing programs and, as such, I do receive a commission for purchases made through some product links on this website.

The advice provided by The Happy Sleep Company is not a substitute for medical advice. The advice on this website is provided solely for informational purposes in connection with common early childhood sleep issues that are wholly unrelated to medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health practitioner with questions regarding medical conditions or the health or welfare of your child. 

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