How long should the baby's nap be?

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The importance of sleep in children is undeniable, especially when it comes to the nocturnal one. The sleep of the newborn first and the older children then follows rhythms that not only help the little ones to rest, but also to grow, feel good, learn better. In fact, many studies have shown how the afternoon nap improves memory and also facilitates learning in preschool children. The advantages are undeniable, but the afternoon sleep is not always possible, because maybe the child is too tired to fall asleep or family habits have changed. One of the questions on the rest baby, how long must be, is perhaps one of the most popular questions from parents. Make him sleep, not make him sleep and for how long? Here are some practical tips.


10 things you absolutely must know about children's sleep

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Sleeping is good for health, prevents obesity, promotes learning, stimulates concentration ... Here are some things to know about the sleep of children and young people. Taken from the site ...

In this article

  • Rest baby, how long it should be based on age
  • What is the nap for?
  • The rules of the afternoon sleep of children

Rest baby, how long it should be based on age

How long should they sleep based on age? Here is a small mirror so as not to exceed (not even by default!) With the daily sleep of children.

Babies: up to 3 months, babies need a lot of sleep. They can reach up to 18 hours during the day and spend the remaining hours awake or eating.

Children within the year: within the first year of life, the little ones reduce their sleep and begin to rest twice a day, in the late morning and early afternoon. On average they should sleep at least 30 minutes, up to a maximum of 2 hours, but of course it varies from child to child.

From 2 years: despite the physiological need to rest, after 2 years there is often a transition from two sleeps a day to only one.

From 3 years: many children from 4 years of age begin to fear the moment of the afternoon nap and to avoid it

What is the nap for?

Resting is a balm for babies: when they are babies, sleep is their superpower, because it helps them to store energy before and after feeding. Growing up, the rules of good sleep for children become a mantra not only for parents, who are keen to see them remarried, but also for their learning, for cognitive development. How long should babies sleep during the day and especially what beneficial effects do they have back from sleep? According to several studies including that of the Sleep Foundation on the "napping", or the art of resting for adults and children, resting helps on several fronts:

  • reduces the sense of drowsiness and increases productivity
  • develops learning skills
  • helps memory
  • helps to understand and manage emotions

These four values ​​apply to both adults and children, especially preschoolers. In some cases, however, especially when children under 3 years of age still require an afternoon bed, some parents wonder if bedtime is the answer to the child's needs or if, instead, that nap will touch the balance of the child. night sleep. Let's see, situation by situation, when it is good to help them fall asleep or to avoid the afternoon nap.

Read also: The stages of the child's development, from birth to 6 years

The rules of the afternoon sleep of children

In some situations, the afternoon nap is a must, for example when the child is visibly very tired, has had an eventful morning, falls asleep in the car and requires attention from mom and dad. But in other cases, nap can break the balance of long sleep, especially if young children are prone to awakenings. Let's see, one by one, these situations.

Rest on vacation

As in any situation where children's habits change, it's best not to force an afternoon nap. This is because the child on vacation, stimulated by new things and people than usual, could come into conflict with the parent who is sleeping him and focus on "not sleeping". The same goes for special occasions such as Sundays: it is better not to tire him too soon, rather and not to force him to sleep if the little one does not want to rest.

Two naps or just one?

At some point, babies from the first year of age may suffer from the second nap. The rules to support them in this case start from the parents' understanding of the baby's real needs. If he does not fall asleep even in the car and obviously has the energy to get to the evening with a daily nap only, it is good to let go of falling asleep in the morning.

When the nap gets longer

First he doesn't want to sleep and then ... he doesn't wake up! What to do when the nap goes on? Better never exceed two hours of afternoon nap, which amount of time decreases even more if the children have from the 6 12 years. In that case, the hours of physiological sleep they need are from 9 to 12, of which at least 9 during the night. Extending the nap too much would greatly reduce the quality of their long rest.

If the baby falls asleep late

Doesn't she collapse all day and then at 7pm her little head lolls blissfully? Even if waking him up after 30 minutes can cause nervousness, it is better to arm yourself with patience and try not to stretch too much sleep before dinner, so as not to disturb the night one. Waking up the child calmly, with cuddles and without haste, helps him to abandon sleep without stress and without trauma.

Sources for this article: SleepFoundation, Napping; 

  • children's sleep
  • sleep
  • language development
  • cognitive development
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