Q My 18-month-old refuses her nap after lunch, but then falls asleep around 5pm. How can I get her to nap properly?
At this age, mealtimes can be very emotional and involve power struggles, negotiations and tears, so your tot may be too hyped up to nap post-lunch. Try creating a calm, peaceful lunch environment – dim the lights, play a repetitive lullaby, and give her the freedom to eat as much or as little as she wants. She can always catch up with a post-nap snack!
Some foods can help lull your toddler towards sleep, too: try bananas, cherries, oats, and turkey. And set a fixed time for lunch as far as is possible, as this will mean her body clock knows when to produce the sleep hormone and slide into a nice snooze.