Parenting: To Nap or Not To Nap

July 20, 2012 12:02:04 PM PDT
I am a firm believer in naps. My daughter was the only child I know who still napped in kindergarten, but her behavior suggested she really needed it.

Now that my son is nearly five, we're continuing the great nap debate. The first thing he says in the morning is, "Do I need to nap today?"

He hates his nap! But, after a few days of not napping, I see a change in his behavior, he gets cranky and rather fresh.

I did a little research, and found a few interesting articles that offered some practical advice.

Kim West dubbed, "The Sleep Lady" says children need naps until the age of 3 ? to 4 years old. West says, "If your child is getting about eleven hours of unfragmented sleep at night and seems well rested, cheerful and easy going during the day, it may be time to go from naps to quiet time."

Quiet time is described as 45 minutes of structured, solitary play that is done at a consistent time every afternoon. West says it gives your child a chance to rest their bodies and their minds. Try having your child look at books, color, play with dolls etc.

Since my son does not fall into the "cheerful category", West says parents may want to try napping every other day.

How much sleep does your child need? Check out the links below for a lot more information!

-WebMD
-Sleep Lady

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