How to Get My Toddler to Nap Without Rocking Him: 4 Steps
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Your toddler can fall asleep without being rocked.

Getting your toddler to take a nap is a challenging, and often futile, task that may end up with you giving up and letting him stay awake. Don't give up rocking your toddler if you enjoy it; just don't rock him until he falls asleep. He needs to learn to fall asleep on his own, and a few new routines at nap time will help him ease into slumber and give you a few minutes to get household chores done. Or, take a nap yourself.


  1. 1
    Set consistent nap times during the day. Put your toddler down at these times everyday, and over time, he'll start to get drowsy on his own as nap time approaches. Create a routine too. Read a story or listen to soft music together. After a few days, your toddler will start to associate these activities with nap time and begin winding down on his own.
  2. 2
    Lay with your child for a few minutes after snuggling him in. Sing lullabies or tell him a calming story. Don't stay in his bed until he falls asleep though, or laying with him will start to replace rocking him. Instead, cuddle him for a few minutes until he's calm. Then leave the room and let him fall asleep on his own.
  3. 3
    Grab a book and sit next to your toddler's bed and read. He's likely to fall asleep if he has the security of knowing you're there. Every few days, move further from his bed until you're reading in the hallway outside of his bedroom door. By this time, your toddler is likely to fall asleep by himself and won't need you there anymore.
  4. 4
    Wear your toddler out in the hours before nap time. Let him play outside, ride his tricycle or go for a walk. The more tired and worn out he is, the more likely he'll be to fall asleep without rocking. Maybe even as soon as his head hits the pillow.


  • Let your toddler choose a comfort object that he can keep in his bed during naps. It can be something he already has or you can take him to the store and let him choose something new.


  • Make your toddler's bed a safe place to sleep. If he sleeps in a crib, remove extra bedding and toys because he can use them as footholds to climb out of his crib. Use bed rails if he sleeps in a bed. These will help prevent him from falling out.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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