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Taking a nap is an essential part of a toddler’s day. Napping is sleeping briefly or short amount of sleep especially during the day. It is very important for toddlers to take a nap every now and then as this will help them reboot and recharge.
Toddlers are known to be very energetic and playful. They tend to always be up and about engaged in one activity or another. And as long as they are awake, it is almost impossible for you the mother to do anything else but to keep a watchful eye on them so that they do not hurt themselves.
Newborns eat and sleep for the most part of the day but as they grow older, the number of naps begins to reduce. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Toddlers need an average of 12 to 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Typically, naps last for about 45-90 minutes. However, toddlers napping can also depend on the stage of development they are. Toddlers tend to outgrow naps as time goes on.
As a mother, it is very important to observe the napping pattern of your child since all children are not the same. It is possible for you to have a child who is very energetic and playful but hardly takes a nap as often as you would expect. There are also children who get cranky and are very reluctant to take a nap even when it is quite obvious that they are sleepy. For example, children who just started walking tend to be very inquisitive and eager to explore their surroundings and they may choose to explore rather than nap. Mothers should ensure that a child that finds it difficult to nap is assisted. Mothers who have toddlers that have a problem napping can help them by;
- Creating an environment that encourages napping instead of forcing the child
- Helping the toddler relax; mothers can rock the child or sing them a song, naps should come naturally
- Looking out for signs that indicates that the child needs a nap
- Avoid giving the toddler sugary snacks or drinks close to bedtime as this will make them hyper-active
- Being consistent with nap environment, this means the child should not nap in the bedroom one time and nap on the couch the next time.
Napping has to be short and enjoyable for the child but it should not be substituted for actual sleep. It is important to note that when toddlers nap, they conserve energy, relax their bodies and rest their brains from all the activities that are common to them. Napping time for toddlers also provides mothers the time they need to attend to other matters.
The need for babies to nap cannot be overemphasized as this will benefit both mother and child immensely.
Mothers, ensure your toddlers take a nap as often as possible.