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Encouraging Naptime

Girl pouting

By now, you've probably grown so accustomed to your child's daily nap and the private time it affords you that you're not ready to give it up. But many 3-year-olds are. That doesn't mean you can't -- or shouldn't -- schedule a rest period every day, however. A half-hour or 45-minute break can be very refreshing for both parent and child. Just don't expect it to always go smoothly.

Since 3-year-olds often believe that big kids don't need naps, you should call this period something else: quiet time, rest time, or private time, for instance. Explain to her that you need it as much as she does; that will make her feel more grown up.

Also explain that she doesn't have to go to sleep but that she must stay in her room and play quietly for a set period. (Use a timer to provide your child with a concrete gauge of time.)

For an extremely active or resistant child, offer special toys -- books, puzzles, dolls -- that he is allowed to play with only during this quiet time of day. Or allow your child to choose his own toys. A daily ritual of selecting playthings or winding down with a story can help ease the switch to relaxation.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.