I believe so strongly in naps that I am devoting a whole section to them. And since I begin this section with more about that sluggard, you have probably guessed that this too takes a little work and perseverance. They are so important to your child’s well being (and yours). If you have set nap times and bedtime, your child’s body will synchronize into a beautiful pattern. I’ve heard people say, “My child stopped napping at 2- they don’t need it anymore.” This is not true. Their little bodies and little brains need a certain amount of rest to develop. They may not get as cranky as some other children but it doesn’t mean they aren’t tired.
The other popular thing to do is take away the nap so that the kids crash at night—making things a little easier for the parent. If your child is completely crashing at night, he needs more sleep. Besides, what are you going to do when he truly doesn’t need the nap anymore? Then you’re stuck with trying to get your child to sleep when her eyes are actually still open. You’ll know when your 3 to 4 year old is ready to drop the nap when he’s having difficulty going to sleep at night and is not cranky at dinnertime without a nap.
Word to the Wise:
Never let them nap after 4:00!
If your child can’t sit still, gets frustrated easily or acts aggressive, it may be due to a lack of sleep. Sleep effects your child’s behavior, cognitive ability and motor skills.
How do you get your child to nap? Use the same techniques as bedtime. Even if they are at a place where they are not taking a consistent nap EVERYDAY, it is still important to enforce a “quiet, resting time” with books while they are laying down.
So, roll up your sleeves- this task is not easy but it is one of the most beneficial!