How Parents Can Make the Most of Nap Times and When To Stop Them

Naps are usually crucial for babies who cannot stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time. During the first year of life, caring for an infant can be difficult for caregivers and parents who require taking a few breaks from them. 

However, as the infants grow to become toddlers and pre-schoolers, the nap times don’t usually get straightforward. Children often throw tantrums and disrupt a parent’s or caregiver’s daily tasks, leading to late bedtimes. 

A recent paper, published by Harvard University, issued tips to afflicted parties and when to know when to stop using them. 

How to make Nap time work for babies

During the infancy stage, most children will sleep at least two times during the day; as they develop into early toddlerhood, most will still sleep both in the morning and afternoon. However, every child is different when it comes to sleeping, and a few require long naps, while some are okay with catnaps. In addition, there are situations where some give up sleep earlier than others. 

 The paper revealed that good nap habits are affected by listening and learning about your child’s temperament and behavior. In addition, naps are essential for various reasons, such as promoting physical health, better moods, and learning. 

As children grow older, it’s customary that they drop one nap, usually the morning nap. However, caregivers and parents also require a good break for specific meal prep time.

How to know when to give up nap time

If a child can stay awake while being pleasant and engaged throughout the afternoon, they are likely to stop napping. On the other hand, being cranky in the late afternoon and early evening is fine as they can always sleep early. While in this stage, a parent or guardian can create “quiet time” in the afternoon. 

 This activity includes having the child go to bed without insisting on napping instead of letting them go through books or play silently. It is time for those who stay awake to stop nap time. However, if they fall asleep and stay up very late, the afternoon naptime should be stopped. 

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