According to the University of Colorado Boulder, toddlers who fail to take an afternoon nap are more vulnerable to anxiety problems. In addition, these children have more trouble solving problems and are unable to concentrate.
This is because the child’s physical and mental development occurs when he is asleep- both at night and in the afternoon. Now that you are aware of how important a nap is for toddlers, as a parent, you should integrate it into your child’s schedule every day.
Unfortunately, you can’t say for sure how well your little one will nap or if he is willing to cooperate. Your toddler might find it hard to fall asleep during the afternoon, especially when the sun is shining brightly and there are a lot of distractions around him. Here are a few tips to make nap time easier for you and your little one.
How To Teach My Child To Be A Good Napper
Studies suggest that children who take a nap are able to pay attention longer and are less moody than those who don’t. In addition, when children are able to take a rest during the day, they are more likely to sleep better, longer, and more peacefully throughout the night. To help you teach your child to be a good napper, you have to teach him good napping habits.
- Do not let your toddler stay up too late at night. Sleeping late will keep him from taking a good rest during the day.
- Don’t allow him to take a nap so late in the afternoon.
- Avoid rocking or nursing your toddler to sleep during naptime. Your young one might refuse to fall asleep on his own or he might wake up as soon as your stop the rocking motion.
- It is advisable to maintain a nap schedule. The more you follow a schedule for your toddler’s naptime, wake time, and bedtime, the more his body clock will run smoothly. This will allow him to fall asleep and wake up on his own.
- Find a darkened and quiet room in the house where you can lay your little one to sleep, suggests blackoutblinds.biz. You can also place him in his room but you have to install blackout blinds to keep out the light and reduce noise distractions.
The blackout blinds are window treatments that can convert day into night because it blocks out the sunlight. Installing these blinds in your child’s room is a very smart investment that will come in handy during an afternoon nap. Your child is more likely to fall asleep on his own if the room is dark and doesn’t have any distractions.
Will It Be Harder For Your Child To Sleep At Night?
When your toddler sleeps for one or two hours in mid afternoon, it won’t interfere with your child’s bedtime schedule. In fact, it encourages better and more peaceful sleep at night. If your toddler refuses to take a nap, he will be overstimulated during the day; thus, he will have a hard time settling down when it is time to sleep at night.
However, as your toddler grows older, specifically when he is around the age of 4 and 5, an afternoon nap might interfere with his bedtime schedule. In that case, you need to change his nap schedule by moving it earlier in the day. You can also eliminate nap time altogether and replace it with “quiet time” where he can read a book, listen to music, or do other things that doesn’t require a lot of energy.
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Kris Lim has been writing professionally for more than two years. She occasionally writes parenting tips and advice for online publishing.