Naptime facilitates in the development of both physical and cognitive growth. As they take that time to rest and recharge, toddlers will wake alert and prepared to take on the remainder of the day. This readiness creates an environment that allows children to become more apt to retain the information they are about to learn as naptime increases memory performance. Napping also improves mood and develops creativity and imagination. Helping children to achieve their maximum potential through the use of naptime can be accomplished by using these ten tips.
10 Tips for Naptime
1.Establish a routine. Creating specific times to wake up in the morning, take a nap in the afternoon, and go to bed at night, make it easier for a toddler as they thrive on consistency. Soon, their bodies will learn this schedule and begin to trigger their natural clocks helping naptime become a success.
2. Rename naptime to quiet time. Toddlers will begin to recognize the term naptime, and start to resist by nature. By renaming naptime quiet time, it introduces a new phrase where children realize they can become more independent, only quietly. Encourage quiet time by situating them with quiet play toys and books. Toddlers will then become less likely to oppose naptime and may just fall asleep on their own.
3. Snack first. Bananas are a good treat to have before a nap.
4. Keep naps short. Ninety minutes is the suggested maximum time a toddler should sleep for an afternoon nap. Too long of a nap may make your toddler wake up cranky. Also, it can make bedtime a little bit more difficult as they will not be ready to lie down for the night.
5. Peaceful play beforehand. Winding down is an important step to help toddlers take full advantage of naptime as they prepare for it both mentally and physically.
6. Use a comfort item. Every toddler has something they are attached to. Whether it is their blankie, favorite stuffed animal or doll, make sure they are taking naps with them in hand.
7. Set the stage. Napping should take place in a soothing environment, as well as, the same place every time. Dim the lights and pull down the shades. Play soft and gentle lullaby music in the background or listen to the sounds of nature, such as rainfall or waves crashing.
8. Lead by example. Lay with or near your toddler.
9. Assist with a back rub. Sometimes, no matter what has been tried, your toddler just cannot fall asleep. Try a little coaxing with a gentle back rub. The soft touch creates a calming sensation that just might do the trick.
10. Watch for cues. Although having a sleepy time schedule is important, once in awhile, a time adjustment may be necessary. If your toddler didn’t sleep well the night before, they may be ready for naptime a little earlier and that’s okay. Keep your eye out for signs such as rubbing the eyes, yawning, and staring vacantly.