Never Miss a Nap
The real deal: When your baby's cranky, there's usually no better cure, but it's perfectly okay -- and normal -- for your child to occasionally skip his siesta. Many kids go through phases of resisting their afternoon snooze for days or even weeks, experts say. A few toddlers give up naps completely at an early age, while most stop napping between ages 3 and 4. "Kids physiologically outgrow naps," says Parents adviser Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., author of Sleeping Through the Night. But your child expends a lot of energy during the day and will have more trouble with nighttime sleep if he's overtired, so continue to reserve space for naps in his daily routine. Some quiet time on the couch or bed will also give him a chance to relax and refuel, says Dr. Mindell. On days he doesn't nap, compensate by moving his bedtime up 30 to 60 minutes.