This is a topic that is very close to our hearts. I imagine that parents have different experiences and all children are different, but ours needs his sleep and, this year in school, naps are no more.
This made our usually well-behaved child, start making drama’s about every little thing we ask him to do. A bath, going to sleep, eating, leaving the house, going to school and even leaving for our usual weekend travel adventures.
So what’s up? Arent’ 4-year old’s supposed to not need a nap anymore?
We know for a fact that some of our friend’s children don’t. They remain quite constant in mood and looking back they never seemed to have the same need for a nap. We all know that kids are different some are attached to pacifiers for years while others like ours where never that fond of them.
If your preschooler refuses to take a nap and you don’t notice any change in behaviour then it may be a sign that he/she doesn’t need one anymore. Of course, all experts agree that a younger child up until at least 2 years should take a nap.
Signs of insufficient sleep
Cranky and irritable child towards the end of the afternoon.
Inattentive, impatient, aggressive.
Hyperactive. Seems strange but the less sleep the more active they became
Trouble focusing on tasks
My preschooler doesn’t want to nap, what should I do?
4-year-old bedtime battles
If taking a nap is creating problems but you feel it’s important, try to have a relaxing hour instead.
Our son often doesn’t want to sleep and I just call it relaxing instead, we decorate the room, he lights up a candle or incense stick and walks around his room to spread the scent before laying down to rest, rest not sleep of course. It takes him a few minutes to be sound asleep, but even if he won’t, I just talk, read a book or make up a story to allow him some downtime. A quiet room, soft music and dim lights will go a long way.
The other solution is, of course, going somewhere, and that’s our most common solution, on weekend’s we just take a car on a one hour plus trip, he gets to sleep and we all go on a short trip, win-win.
Daycare nap time policy
In Portugal, once a child is 3 years old there is no more nap time in daycare. This is a result of the educational program that forces x amount of daily hours for curricular activities leaving nothing for a nap.
Once we found out we were chocked as our child really needs it to stay focused, but we learned that other children actually don’t, and some parents don’t even want their children sleeping in school.
The Benefits of Naps for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Studies show that as kids grow and develop, naps give their bodies time to recharge and rest. It helps children learn by allowing them to be more focused.
Research also shows that naps help kids stay fit and improves their overall mood, and much like adults the more sleep they have the more likely they are to eat healthily.
How long should a 4-year-old nap?
Preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night and between 0 to 2.5 hours of daytime sleep. Some studies show that although a nap is healthy, nighttime sleep at this age is more important. It varies of course but you probably know your child well and can tell if he would benefit from a nap.