The Key to a Perfect Nap
Oh, the days of napping. When your child still naps, it means that you still get time to do things such as work, clean house, organize, or even take a nap yourself. Enjoy these days, for as your child gets older, he or she will stop the almighty nap and you will be daydreaming of those days past.
Aside from allowing mommy or daddy some down time, naps are actually a pretty big necessity for newborns until about age five. According to KidsHealth.org, nap time allows for crucial sleep that helps children develop both physically and mentally.
Here’s a quick rundown on how much sleep your keiki needs:
Newborn to 6 months: 15-20 hours of sleep
6 months to 12 months: 15 hours of sleep
Toddlers: 13-15 hours of sleep
Preschoolers: 10-13 hours of sleep
School-age: 10-12 hours of sleep
Tips for an easy nap time
When you are transitioning into nap time with your little one, make it a routine, much like nighttime; just do everything a bit shorter. You can read a quick story, put on some soft music, and pull down the shades to make their room dark.
If your child is used to co-sleeping, lay down with them and help them get off to sleep. Once they are in la-la-land, you are free to move around the house and get some much needed time to yourself.
For the preschooler who may be resisting naps, don’t be afraid to try a new location. Create a fort with sheets over the dining room table, bring out some pillows, and let them take their nap time in the living room.
Children over five may need a nap too, although it can be harder to get them to give in. If your older child seems grouchy mid afternoon, use quiet time to help their body and mind take a break and recharge. Let your child know that for one hour they can read a book or listen to quiet, mellow music. Turn the shades down to make the room a bit darker and set a timer so they can see how long they have for quiet time.
Remind old and young kids alike (yes, even those teenagers!) that sleep helps our bodies to repair themselves, our brains to recharge, and allows us to grow!