There is a difference between a toddler who needs a nap and a toddler who would benfit from a nap. If your toddler falls in the ‘need’ category, then it’s worth ensuring he has his daily sleep.
- He responds in a positive or neutral way to naptime and falls asleep easily.
- He resists the idea of a nap but eventually falls asleep and sleeps an hour or longer. He wakes up in the morning in a good mood but gets whiny and cranky as the day progresses.
- He has more patience early in the day but is more easily aggravated later on.
- He cries more often or more easily in the evening than he does early in the day.
- He shows a deterioration in his coordination over the course of the day, for example he begins falling down more, can’t manage a puzzle as well or has trouble pulling up his trousers.
- He shows tired signs in the afternoon or early evening such as yawning, rubbing his eyes, a slump in energy, or looking slightly glazed.
- Late in the day, he becomes wired up or hyperactive and won’t settle down easily.
- He often falls asleep in the car or when watching a movie.
- When he misses his nap, the night’s sleep that follows is disrupted and he wakes up grumpy.