There are quite a few opinions of whether nap times should be regimented or not. However, for the sake of sanity, most parents would agree that nap times are not only important but should fall into some sort of schedule. These precious couple of hours, allows you to recharge by having a short rest yourself, get things done that would need your undivided attention or simply just to sit and enjoy a moment without having the little one demand your constant attention.
The following are some reasons that support the need for a strict nap schedule:
- Naptime is important for the healthy growth of your child. Depending on the age of your child, these nap times will help them conserve energy that eventually reenergizes and keeps their body healthy enough to fight off any germs and mild infections, as the body’s immune system is kept strong. This conserved energy also allows optimum growth cycles. Tired and fatigued kids are usually more likely to catch common colds frequently, which could possibly affect their natural growth patterns.
- Naptime should be an important part of a toddler’s daily routine, and in most cases you will eventually be able to identify the tell tale signs that show your child needs a nap. Some kids simply become quiet and eventually doze off by themselves, but the vast majority “fight” this need for naps by fussing and displaying cranky behavior. These can be trying times for you as a parent but by following some set ground rules, you should eventually be able to get your child napping. One of the first things to understand is that your little one is likely to associate certain environments and rituals with naptime; therefore, it is important to ensure you keep some sort of consistency going. For some it would mean a gentle familiar lullaby, while for others it could be a particular soft toy or pillow.
- Although it may be hard to do, there is sometimes a need to be firm and not give in when your child does not want to take a nap. The consequences of skipping nap times can be monumental and cause disruptions, which are often very unpleasant. It would be much easier to plan things if your child has a consistent naptime schedule. Being indecisive about social commitments simply because you are unable to establish a naptime pattern for your child will eventually deprive you and your family of enjoyment. This could lead to a lot of resentment and frustration in the end.
- Naptimes ideally should not be more than two hours each session, as this could have negative repercussion when the child is expected to adhere to nighttime sleep routines. However waking a child from his/her, nap is also something that should be handled delicately yet firmly. You should not entertain any prolonged cranky outburst after your child awakens from naptime. You should instead try to distract your child with something enjoyable, like a healthy snack and some interactive amusements.