The Trick to Effective Napping
Now which mom doesn’t want her child to nap on time, so that he can get the rest he needs and she can get some much-needed time to read a magazine, take a shower or get some work done without being constantly interrupted?
The trick is really very simple - A child will sleep better if they are sufficiently tired out at nap time.
We all know that naptime is not only an important part of your child’s life, it plays a critical role in your own sanity as well. To make nap time most effective, it is crucial to offer plenty of stimulating and tiring activities for your little one so when sleep time comes, they want nothing more.
Since every child is different, it is important that you personalize his routine to meet his individual needs, based on several factors. Energy Levels:
Even between siblings, energy levels and the need to expend energy varies. Work on personalizing your child’s daily routine to ensure you are meeting individual needs. The best way to tire out a toddler is to offer the perfect balance of physical exercise, sunlight, and mental stimulation – all of which cause them to feel sleepy. Other factors also include your schedule with other children in your home and just how much sleep they got the night before. Activities & Interactions:
As you start your day – try to offer some brain stimulating activities during the morning hours. Most preschools will be able to offer a balanced blend of activities that also incorporate learning into the mix, and so, consider enrolling him in a preschool program. Find out from the preschool if they have a regular time slot for Circle time and Play time as it is equally important to do something physical. Additionally, giving them an opportunity to play with other children their age can turn every day into a new and exciting adventure. By embarking on this adventure early in the day, you enable your child to put their best foot forward and get the most from their social interactions. Free Play at home:
As preschool time comes to an end, allow him to come home and play with his own toys on the living room floor. This gives him an outlet in an environment without rules and guidelines. This will also teach him to learn to play on his own and provides ample room for creativity, role-play, and ideas to run wild. You may find that your child takes an interest in dolls, blocks or cars and can spend a lot of time building and creating his own play space. Allow this time to be random (not undisciplined). And now, the Nap Time:
As the afternoon naptime approaches, it may be a good idea to take him outside. Strolling through the back yard, walking the neighborhood, playing on their playground for just 30 minutes can help him meet his sunlight intake needs, which is a crucial part of healthy sleep habits. You will notice that your child begins to get sleepy all on his own – and that putting him down for a nap will be hassle free if he is already tired. Important Note:
AVOID sugary treats or drinks during the daytime so that your child wont be artificially stimulated; it can disrupt sleep habits. If you make it a routine to offer both engaging and physical outlets for your child, you may just have time to grab that novel or take a well-deserved nap yourself.
Priti Srivastava, Founder CEO, Vidyarambh