Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

May 26, 2024

Mom Talk: How to Get Your Toddler to Nap

Toddlers can be bad nappers! Here's help plus a list of local sleep trainers.

Sleepless in Cincinnati? Not quite, but sometimes you can pull your hair out wondering how do I get my toddler to nap?! Toddlers need adequate sleep to rise to their challenges from controlling their temper to staying on top of their body function. We asked Cincinnati moms “How do you get a toddler to nap?” Here’s what they said:

How Do I Get My Toddler to Nap?

Cranky Could Mean Overstimulated

“I have a 3-year-old. He grew out of naps at 14 months. Once they grow out of naps it’s better to find them activities to keep them busy in the say so they are more tired at bedtime. Sleeping too much in the day can make it harder to wind down at bedtime or even get a good night’s sleep. If a child is too cranky in the day, they could be overstimulated, not necessarily tired. They could just have a little quiet time for themselves.” — C.J. Jennings

Make it Visit with ‘Lovey’ Time

“I finally figured it out with the third child. I got my child to leave his ‘lovey’ in bed (in the morning), with a wave or see you later. Then I made a big deal about seeing Lovey at nap time. I was surprised by how well that worked! No arguments or tantrums, just a visit with Lovey!” — Terri Tegenkamp-Beiter

Grab a Power Nap, Too

“Just lay there with them. I am happy to model napping for mine. He fights it, but once he sees that I’m not engaging, he usually goes to bed. Some days, I have to be more firm than others, but that is expected. Of course, I know that’s not an option for all families with different schedules, jobs, daycare, etc. But if you’re a SAHM, just take a nap with them. Set a timer for yourself and sneak out when it goes off. I love my 30-minute power naps!” — Jessica Stiver

Car Naps, Anyone?

“Car naps. And I LOVE early bedtimes. But that gets harder with older siblings having afternoon and evening activities … so car naps!”
— Nicola Qureshi

Just Quiet Time

“We did ‘quiet’ time. You don’t have to sleep, but you have to lay in your bed, look at books or even watch “Curious George” quietly. Many times he fell asleep. Sometimes he didn’t, but we got some time.” — Carrie Wheat

Just Don’t Nap. Make it up at bedtime.

“I don’t want my 2-year-old to nap. She wakes up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and take a two-hour nap midday and want to stay up until 10 or 11. Some nights it’s really hard to get her into bedtime mode.” — Nicole Gregory-Allen



Cradle Cincinnati

Little Ones
Certified Sleep Consultant Anna Clifford offers sleep solutions for babies and toddlers. Free consult available.

Live Love Sleep’s Short Naps Master Class
A brief course (available for $27) on how you can get your baby/toddler to take longer, more predictable daytime naps.

Pediatric Sleep Council
Located at, get free sleep advice from the Pediatric Sleep Council which is staffed by medical doctors and psychologists.

Sleep and Sensibility
Certified Sleep Consultant Karolyn Kritikos provides customized infant and child sleep plans. Free assessments available.

Well-Rested Mama
Certified Sleep Consultant Cara Walker provides sleep plans for babies and toddlers. Free consult available.


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About the Author

Susan Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief of Cincinnati Family Magazine and a mother of four.