Close to turning two years old, many children start refusing to take that much needed nap in the afternoon. Why rest when there’s so much to do and discover? That’s not really how it goes: the intellectual, emotional, cognitive and physical developmental marathon at this age requires more rest to able to deal with all that evolution. Without adequate rest, the child can become cranky, with poor concentration and, even worse, alter their nighttime sleep schedule. If your child fights their afternoon nap, it’s worth trying some alternatives to get them to sleep. One way is to try to impose a change in the ritual: if they breastfeed and then want to go play, for example, feed them and then try to tell a story. Or, try playing a game that involves sleep, like putting their stuffed animal to “sleep”. Eliminating outside noises and trying to make the room darker can also help. If, even then, nothing else works, tell the child they can stay awake, but they must lay in their bed.

However, there’s no need to worry: refusing to sleep in the afternoon is a temporary thing and is part of development. After a couple of days, all this energy will lead to fatigue and the child will go back to napping like before.