Child needs enough rest to be fresh and healthy. Sleeping is an important aspect of their daily routine. When the kids are young, they get tired easily and need to rest from time to time. If they don’t get that rest then they get cranky and teary.
A newborn child would spend most of its time sleeping and the amount of sleep would reduce as they grow up. By the time they are eighteen months, they would need one long afternoon nap to keep them going rest of the day. Parents should ensure that the afternoon nap is scheduled in a way that it doesn’t affect the night sleep. They must keep up to the schedule in spite of any changes that go around the child. Fox example: When the child moves from crib to a normal bed, there is that excitement of being treated as a grown up.
Many times parents would find that the kids are happily jumping in and out of bed and playing when they were supposed to be quietly in bed for a nap.
Here are few ideas that might help to counter the challenges in getting the child to have an afternoon nap.
Establish a daily nap routine
The parents must fix the time for the child to take a nap and ensure that stick to it. The child could be put in bed and read a story or sing a lullaby or give a stuffed toy to cuddle just as it’s done at bed time at night. This would mentally prepare the child for the nap and bring down the energy levels.
Insist on nap at bed only
The parents must insist that child sleeps in bed only and nod off in front of the television as it will only stimulate the child. Also, taking the child for a drive to sleep is not a good habit as they child might wake up when transferred to bed.
No sugary drinks or snacks before sleep time
It’s good to avoid giving sugar candy or fizzy drinks and any thing with caffeine to children before sleep time. Sugar and caffeine stimulate the energy levels and keep them awake.
Ensure the child is in bed
Many times the parents may assume the child is in bed but they may be playing. If they get out of bed during naptime, they should be put back to sleep again till they complete the requisite amount of time.
When the children become 4 years, they slowly come out of the afternoon nap. The signs that child has outgrown the afternoon sleep is when the child stays awake and happy throughout the day. Sometimes they may appear to outgrow but sleep very early in the night and skip dinner as well. This means they still need afternoon nap.
Parents could have set up a quiet hour for the children who have outgrown the nap to work quietly in their rooms to give child and parents some rest.