Why does a child need to nap? What is good sleep?
Children’s sleep needs are very important. As a reminder, in their first weeks of life, the babiesis sleepingbetween 14 and 18 hours a day and wake up every 2 or 3 hours to nurse and play with their parents. From two months oldthey waking periods lengthen but babies still need it take a nap several times a day to recharge their batteries.
While sleep is good at any age, it’s especially important in children up to age 3, recalls Dr. Rosa Jové, child psychiatrist.
In fact, babies easily get tired and become very stressed by everything that is happening around them. They are permanently stimulated and requires hours in the sun to heal. The naps help the children rest. This way when they wake up they are in a good mood to learn and develop their cognitive faculties.
How many naps should a child take per day based on their age?
Whether in a crèche or with a caregiver, the daily rhythm nap toddlers The number of naps during the day varies according to the age and needs of the child.
- Before the age of six monthsthe baby sleeps a lot and several times a day.
- ” From six monthsthe baby usually does two naps, the first must short (less than an hour) and the secondlonger (about two hours), said Dr. Rosa Jové.
- Next, at the age of one yearchildren often stop sleeping in the morning but continue to nap for about two hours in the afternoon.
- Then, as they approach three years of age, the duration decreases even more.
Of course, these data are statistics and every child is different! “.
How long should a nap be?
there is there are no hard and fast rules about duration of naps : it often evolves in depending on age and physiological needs toddlers “When children are young, they sleep longer,” confirms Dr. Rosa Jové. As they grow, the rhythm changes more. The naps are short and most of all not so much. For example, a newborn may take four naps a day and sleep three hours in one nap; while a three-year-old child only takes one nap during the day and it does not last more than an hour. »
Until what age should he take a nap?
The need for sleep being very important to small children for their balance, it is recommended that they do this the siesta until the age of three. Do not hesitate to put the baby to sleep as soon as he presents it signs of fatigue : he yawns, rubs his eyes, etc. Of course, like adults, there are heavy and short sleepers. And that, parents can’t stop! So, some children will need less sleep than others. If the baby refuses to take a nap, there is no need to force him. On the other hand, you can offer him a quiet timein his room.
Song, story: should we set rituals?
Should you read a little story to your child before bed? “I don’t like rituals, not for the night or naps, admits the specialist. If the child is sleepy and the one who makes him sleep is known and loved, the tasks are not required. Sometimes they can have the opposite effect: the child expects that bedtime is near and, because he does not want to sleep or is not sleepy, he gets nervous earlier! »
Depending on his age, should he sleep more in the morning or in the afternoon?
- Before the age of 6 monthsthe baby has need to sleep in the morning and afternoon.
- ” After 6 months of ageif the baby takes two naps during the day, it should be one will take place in the morningabout three hours after waking up and the other seven hours later, said Dr. Rosa Jové. That means, if he wakes up at 7 am, he should take his first nap around 10 am and the second one at 2 pm Of course, this is approximate, nothing is fixed and the organization can change according to the needs of each child !
- Finally, when the baby only takes one nap a day, it should take place about five and a half hours after getting up. So if he gets up at 7 am, the siesta should be at 1:30 pm
you love put your baby to sleep in the dark total and in walk on tiptoe as soon as he sleepiness ? It doesn’t help. Belt : leave the shutters or blinds open and make some noise your child will be allowed better distinguish the day from the night and develop their own benchmarks. “The location doesn’t matter,” added Dr. Rosa Jové. Better sometimes your child is not used to a certain area because, like naps are taken during the dayif he only knows how to sleep in his room, he will prevent his parents from doing other activities (shopping, walking, etc.). On the other hand, if the baby is very sensitive to noise and light, he is better Find a quiet, still and darker place, but it doesn’t have to always be the same. »
Do you need to wake up the baby from his sleep? For example, eat?
It’s hard to resign yourself to waking baby when he’s fast asleep. And this, even though it’s almost dinner time! “In the first four months of life, it is necessary avoid waking a babyexcept in special cases such aspremature babies or very weak babies, who need to be fed often, explains the Morpheus Network. growth hormone is secreted during sleep, so it is important that a baby sleeps as much as he wants”. The words quoted by the child’s psychiatrist: “If the child sleeps well for the rest of the day and night, there is no point in taking him out of his sleep, assures the child’s psychiatrist. On the other hand, if he sleeps “too much” during the day and therefore less at night, you can wake him up. »
What if the baby cries and doesn’t want to sleep?
That happens the baby refuses to take a nap. The important thing is to ask about the source of this rejection : Is he? have digestive problems?Is it too hot? Oh Ithe child suffers from teething ? Sometimes the toddler just happens to be there very tired and that he paradoxically expresses his state through extreme anxiety and rejection of everything. He will need a nap to recharge his batteries! Finally, if he hasn’t napped for several afternoons in a row but isn’t showing signs of fatigue, he might be changed speed and that he grew up. And that’s good news! Instead of forcing him to take a nap, offer it to him a quiet timein his room, with booksa toy or the music. If he can sleep, all the better… if he stays awake, alas, this little break will be useful!