As infants it often seems like any time your child is sleeping you could not be happier. Then as toddlers you watch as napping becomes more and more a distant memory until finally they are napping no more. This transition can be difficult for you and your preschooler. Some days your child will want to nap, but then when bed time roles around they are not the slightest bit tired and attempting to put them to bed is torture for the both of you. Other days your child has been wide awake the whole day and the usual nap seemed unnecessary or even impossible but you discover that your child cannot stay awake until bedtime. He or she then goes to bed super early only to wake up super early the next day, which again is just torture for the both of you. There are ways to avoid these odd days so that everyone in the house gets the right amount of sleep.
If you are finding that your child is not tired at bedtime and still napping then eliminate or shorten the nap. If they are not napping and still not tired at bedtime then consider getting them up earlier in the morning. You may find that some children respond poorly to early mornings, as their bodies desire more sleep, but stick with it because in a couple of days you will find that their bodies have adjusted and they do not mind getting up early because they have gone to bed on time the night before. Occasionally, you will find that your child has gotten up so early that they will require a short nap otherwise they will never be able to stay awake until bedtime. You will get a feel for how long they need to nap on such days, but do not be afraid to keep naps short. Some children sleep better at night if they are able to nap for 20 or 30 minutes early on in the day. You can do more than just getting them up a certain time and reducing or eliminating their naps.
In addition to making sure that your child is not sleeping too much with naps and sleeping in late, it is equally important to make sure that your child is active enough. Make sure that they are playing outside for at least an hour a day if the weather permits it and make sure that activities that are non-conducive to using energy are limited. A child will not expense the same amount of energy watching television or playing video or computer games as he or she will quietly playing toys or looking at books. As bedtime nears make sure that you encourage playtime that is mellow and consider working in a bath before bedtime. A nice soothing bath can calm your child down and help reinforce a bedtime routine. It will take some time but eventually both you and your preschooler will happily say good bye to naps and find a good bedtime, good time to get up, and a good amount of activity during the day routine.