Being a parent is a tough job. Especially, when it comes to the bedtime routine of a toddler. When the toddler takes a nap during the daytime, it becomes quite easy for you to maintain their sleep schedule.
But how long to leave toddler in crib if not napping? It’s a common question among parents and concerns about their child’s wellbeing.
In this article, we will discuss how long to leave toddler in crib if not napping and other vital information you need to know about babies, napping, and cribs. I will be sharing my experience as a mom, coupled with other research I have done on this subject matter.
First, let’s understand the role of napping in a child’s life.
Understanding the Role of Naps in a Toddler’s Life
Napping isn’t just a way to give parents a break; it plays a crucial role in a toddler’s development. Scientifically, naps help in memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical rejuvenation.
As toddlers grow, their nap needs change. While a one-year-old might need two naps a day, by the age of three, many have transitioned to a single afternoon nap.
How Long To Leave Toddler In Crib If Not Napping?
As a mom, you must understand that every child is different, and there is no set time to leave a toddler in the crib if they are not napping.
However, the general rule of thumb is to let them be on their own for about 30-60 minutes. This time range is given to see if they can soothe themselves back to sleep or if they are entirely awake and need your attention.
It’s essential to create a bedtime routine for your toddler so they can follow it regularly. A nap time shouldn’t be too long or too short, and ideally, it can range from one to three hours.
But if your toddler is in the crib for a long time and is not sleeping, you should go and comfort them. It can be difficult to spot the signs of when your child is no longer trying to self-settle, so always make sure to keep a keen ear out for signs of distress or crying when checking in on your child.
Another thing worth considering is the disruption to a child’s nighttime sleep schedule if they spend too long in the crib without napping. Young children need plenty of sleep to grow, so it is essential to stick to a consistent sleep schedule to ensure they receive the adequate amount of sleep they need. Leaving them in the crib without napping can make bedtime difficult and nights restless for both the child and the parent.
Recommended: Beginners guide on how much weight can a crib hold.
Some Likely Reasons Your Baby Is Not Napping In The Crib
If your baby is not napping in a mini crib or a regular one, while it is good to know how long to leave him or her in the crib, it is also important to figure out the cause of of not napping.
There can be several likely reasons why a baby is not napping in the crib:
Association with Sleeping Elsewhere
If your baby has gotten used to falling asleep in a different place, such as being rocked to sleep or sleeping in your arms, they may have difficulty transitioning to napping in the crib.
Teething or Illness
Babies who are teething or feeling unwell may find it uncomfortable to lie down in the crib, making it difficult for them to nap.
When babies become overtired, they can have difficulty settling down and falling asleep, even in the crib. This can result from missed naps or extended periods of wakefulness.
Discomfort or Lack of Comfort
If the crib or the bedding in the crib is not comfortable or suitable for the baby, they may resist napping in it. It’s important to ensure that the crib is a cozy and safe sleeping environment.
Changes in the Environment
Any changes in the room environment, such as noise, lighting, or temperature, can affect a baby’s ability to nap peacefully in the crib.
Helping Your Child To Nap In The Crib
Helping your little one nap can be a challenge, but there are some strategies that may help. Check them out below:
Establish a Consistent Nap Routine
Create a calming and predictable routine before naptime. This could include activities such as reading a book, singing a lullaby, or dimming the lights. Consistency helps signal to your child that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Whether you have a white crib or a black crib, or any other color, make sure the nap environment is comfortable, quiet, and darkened. Use blackout curtains or blinds to block out any excess light. White noise machines or soft music can also help drown out distracting sounds.
Set the Right Temperature
Ensure the room is neither too hot nor too cold. A comfortable temperature can make it easier for your child to settle down and nap peacefully.
Encourage Wind-Down Time
Before naptime, engage in calming activities with your child. Avoid stimulating activities or screens close to naptime, as these can make it harder for them to relax.
Use Soothing Techniques
Implement soothing techniques that work for your child, such as gentle rocking, patting, or using a pacifier. Find what helps your child feel calm and secure, and incorporate those techniques into the naptime routine.
Be Mindful of Awake Times
Pay attention to your child’s awake times between naps. Overly long or short awake periods can affect their ability to fall asleep easily. Adjust the timing of naps based on your child’s age and individual needs.
Be Patient and Persistent
Some children take longer to establish a consistent nap routine. Be patient, stay consistent, and keep trying different approaches until you find what works best for your child.
Should I Put My Toddler To Bed Early If They Didn’t Nap?
Safety Measures To Take While Your Child Is Napping In A Crib
The amount of time to leave a toddler in the crib if not napping is subjective. However, it’s good to let them be for thirty to sixty minutes to determine if they can soothe themselves back to sleep.
Developing a consistent nap and nighttime sleep schedule for a toddler is crucial to ensure they receive the required sleep and grow healthy.
Lastly, always make sure to prioritize your child’s safety by keeping the crib safe and free of any objects that might cause harm. Embrace these tips, and you can be sure to make bedtime routines easier and successful.