When your toddler won't nap - tricks of the trade

1. Tucker them out.
Kids sleep much better day or night if they have been running around, excited and engaged in fun. Make sure to get outside for a bit, get dirty or sweaty or wet, and if possible, play with a few other kids at the neighborhood park. It is healthy for toddlers to get physically tired (just like us grown ups too!).

2. Fill them up, Latin-style.
Try a trick of adjusting mealtimes to better reflect the big lunch + siesta tradition. This means offer the biggest meal of the day around 12:30 or so and then immediately head for nap zone. Who among us doesn't love a big mid-day meal and a nap?

3. Black out the space.
Blackout-style blinds in a bedroom can really help get and keep toddlers to sleep for naps. Day or night, the child learns that sleep is coming when you pull down the blinds.

4. Nurse down.
If your child is still nursing, lay down with them and enjoy a good cuddle. Why not let them climb up onto your belly or sling a leg over your hips before they fall asleep -  it's so precious. Just be sure you have taken the course "Untangle 101".

5. Keep warm.
We've all learned that warm babies tend to be sleepy babies. Even in the summer, add at least a light layer over the top of your toddler as you exit the nap space.

6. A slow re-entry.
Take your time to hang out with your child for a few minutes after each nap. Sing, look at a picture book. Sometimes they are still a bit in between worlds. This transition time is important, as if it helps create a cozy bookend that imparts confidence in the safety and security of nap time. 

If transitioning to a new nap environment at a daycare or preschool, see how the  Tot Cot 
nap mat can help with a toddler school transition. Click for more information