Helping Your Toddler and Preschooler Sleep In the Afternoon

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A new born baby sleeps 20-22 hours. As the baby grows older, his sleeping hours gradually decrease. At the toddler stage, the child will be sleeping for 14-15 hours and a preschooler sleeps for 12-13 hours. Unlike adults, who sleep for 7-8 hours continuously, the babies, toddlers and preschoolers cannot sleep continuously. They sleep in sessions. They will be sleeping for 4-5 hours, wake up, eat, play and then go to another sleep session after few hours. The babies, toddlers and preschoolers need sleep even during the day time.

If you are a parent of a baby, it might be easy for you to calm him down and make him sleep, however, if you are raising toddlers and preschoolers, making them sleep in the day time might be difficult. What should you do if your child does not want to sleep in the afternoons?

Health Benefits of Afternoon Sleep in Children

As a parent of toddler or preschooler, “how to make my baby sleep in the afternoons” might be your problem. You might be struggling to make your toddler and preschooler sleep in the afternoon not only in a few occasions but almost every day. Throughout the morning, you and your kid are best friends; you play together and have a wonderful collaboration. However, after lunch, something strange begins to occur, your child is anxious, he starts nagging, act weird or even begins to cry. You try hard, yet you cannot soothe your child. You feed him yet he is not satisfied, or perhaps refuses to eat. You give him toys and he refuses to play with his favorite toys. You let him watch rhymes, however, he is still agitated. These are the signs of sleepiness in your child. However, your child does not understand this. If you do not make your kid sleep, he will continue to trouble you for hours.

Afternoon nap is very healthy for human beings. It not only improves digestion and metabolism but also develops efficiency. For adults, afternoon nap might be a luxury, however, it is must for toddlers and preschoolers. Your child has to take afternoon naps for the development of mind and body. No matter how much your kid fights, you must make sure that your toddler and preschooler gets afternoon sleep. You should make afternoon sleep a part of your child’s daily routine. You should insist on making him sleep in the afternoon and never give up on his pleadings to avoid afternoon sleep.

How to Make Your Toddler and Preschooler Sleep in the Afternoons

Here are some tips and tricks to make your toddler or preschooler sleep in the afternoons.

Tell your child to lie on the bed and sit next to him. Pick up a story book and begin to read the story. Reading will soothe your child’s nerve and make him fall asleep. Reading is one of the most effective methods to make your child sleep, especially if he is a preschooler. If your child is a toddler, reading may not interest him. In that case tell a story. You can also place his favorite stuffed toys and build stories around his toys. They will love to hear stories around something they can identify.

If story telling is not your cup of tea, talk to him. Tell him his teddy needs sleep because he is tired. You can ask your child to hug the teddy tight and pat on his back. As the child pats on the teddy, you can also pat on your child and sing a lullaby. Singing and patting can help your child go to sleep within a few minutes.

When your child goes to sleep, you can take to your chores, however, make sure you keep the door open so that you can hear when your child wakes up. You should also visit the nursery time to time and check him. Children are scared of loneliness, therefore, when he wakes up you should always be by his side to comfort him.

Another effective way to make your child go to sleep is by promising him something that he likes very much. You can tell him when he wakes up you both can go to the children park and play with other children. Or, you will let him watch his favorite rhymes when he wakes up.

Don’t force your child, don’t use blackmail tactics. Let your child understand that afternoon sleep is not a punishment. Instead, make him understand that afternoon sleep is a reward. You can even tell him things like “if you sleep, you will become strong and healthy.”

In order to make your child sleep in the afternoon, try to follow a routine. Make sure you get him to sleep every day at the same hour. By making him sleep at the same time, your child will become accustomed to a routine. Let your child be familiar with the routine such as he has to sleep after he eats his lunch and when he wakes up he can go to play.


Afternoon sleep is very essential for your child because sleep will not only relax his mind and body but also improves his physical and mental strength. When your child goes to sleep, it will also benefit you. You will have time to do your chores or even relax yourself.

Author: Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy is a writer and publisher for Daddy Blog: Parenting Tips For Fathers. I'm a father of two girls and Educator for 20+ years. I love being a father, although it does have it's challenges. Let's help each other out!

35 thoughts on “Helping Your Toddler and Preschooler Sleep In the Afternoon

  1. Most of the kids behave like that when they are sleepy and I has seen this happen with almost all kids. Story telling is a very good Idea and works most of the time.

  2. Sleeping is best for all age groups and as you said, It is more important for toddlers as in a way sleep helps them to grow and have complete rest and give the opportunity to parents to relax in that time.

  3. Thank to share this ideas. Keep them sleep in afternoon may improve their health. Kids always love stories. Both improves his physical and mental strength

  4. Its very helpful one..
    it brings the positive response towards children. It is considered as the best idea to tell stories to the children.

  5. Its the best to read books to children, so they can learn to read from a book as well as early as possible not learning stupid nonsense in youtube or elsewhere.

  6. It was really helpful,Thanks for sharing such a important article.It is considered as the best idea to tell stories to the children.

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