The Short of It
A new study published in the "Archives of Disease in Childhood" says a nap for a child over the age of 2 may do more harm than good when it comes a restful night's sleep.
Sorry parents of older toddlers, but according to researchers in Australia, your little one may not need those sanity saving mid-day naps you so look forward to. In fact, naps may be keeping your kiddo from sleeping soundly at night.
To reach their conclusions about naps, researchers looked at hundreds of different articles on kids and how napping affects them.
"The evidence suggests that beyond the age of 2 years, when cessation of napping becomes more common, daytime sleep is associated with shorter and more disrupted night sleep. Daytime sleep is not a response to poor night sleep, but rather precedes poor night sleep," Karen Thorpe, professor in development science at Queensland University of Technology in Australia explained to Today.com.
As Thorpe points out, a proper night's sleep is incredibly important. Without it, a child is more at risk for health problems, like obesity, and emotional and behavioral challenges.
Kids are so different that it's hard to say when the right time to end naps is across the board. Take my family as an example. My first daughter took a nap until she was 4 years old. She was tired every afternoon and would sleep for a few hours. She still went down just fine in the evening and slept through the night. But my second daughter refused to nap after age 2. And she still resists going to bed at night!
Experts and parents will most certainly agree that you'll know when your child is done with naps. He'll resist more at the appointed time and may not fall asleep. Or, he will be wide awake well past his bedtime at night.
When did your child stop napping, or when do you plan to give up naps?
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