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To Nap or Not To Nap, That Is The Question


Often you hear parents discuss when, how long, and where their child naps. Many question, when is it a good time for their child to stop taking naps? Each child is born with their own internal clock, and as a parent it is difficult to learn how that clock ticks! When your baby is born, many think that their little one will sleep all of the time, some babies do and other’s do not.


But how old should you little one be when naps comes to an end? Many think you allow you child to make that decision.  It is important to realize that a child does not have the reasoning skills to know when and why they need a nap. Many children just fall asleep, other’s thrive on a scheduled nap, while other’s fight the idea of slowing down long enough to sleep.


This is when being a parent steps in. You as a parent must decide when naps are no longer necessary and/or feasible. Some parent’s feel if their child naps too late in the afternoon, they do not go to bed easily at night. Other parent’s realize their evenings can be very volatile when their child has not napped.

Each parent has to decide what they feel is best for their child as well as the family as a whole. There is no magic age when a child’s body says, okay, I’m done with napping. Too often a child’s mind is telling him that it wants to stay engaged in whatever is going on, and they don’t want to miss a second. You can’t blame a child for wanting to play but you do need to realize the consequences of how taking a nap or deleting a nap can affect a child.

During the transition time to stopping naps, a rest time is still important. A child has not learned how to slow their bodies and mind’s down. That is where you create a transitional environment. Thirty minutes with a few books in their bed with their cuddly will allow a time of rest and replenishment for your child (it also allows the parent’s a few quiet moments too). Use a timer that you have shared with your child. When the timer goes off, rest time is over. At this time both parent and child come back together, with mind and body moving at a slower pace.


 

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