Saturday, August 6, 2011

Preschoolers Naps and Nap Mats

Getting enough sleep for young children is crucial for physical and mental development and naps provide much needed downtime for growth and rejuvenation. Naps help children from becoming overtired, which not only improves their mood but helps them stay focused on school learning and physical activities. There is no right answer when it comes to how much naptime is needed, since it depends on their age and how much sleep they had during the night. If a child gets 13 hours of sleep at night they don’t need to take a long nap verses a child that only sleeps 9 hours at night may require at least a 1 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon. Preschool children between the ages of 3 and 4 need 10 to 12 of sleep each day and/or night, no matter how they get it. Most parents underestimate the amount of sleep their child needs, so be sure to watch for signs of sleep deprivation, which can range from afternoon sleepiness to problems with behavior and schoolwork. Remember if they do nap don’t have them sleep late in the afternoon as this may interfere with their ability to fall asleep easy when you put them to bed at night. Preschooler’s naps are essential if your child is acting sleepy during the day, acting cranky and irritable, has a hard time waking up in the morning and/ or behaves in an impatient, hyperactive or aggressive manner.

[caption id="attachment_1472" align="alignright" width="224" caption="Preschoolers Naps and Nap Mats- Signs they need a nap"][/caption]

Some preschools across the country find that an afternoon nap is a luxury that a 4 year old can no longer afford. They feel that nap time needs to go away and as they convert their preschool program into a full-day they are not building naps into their schedule. Their belief is that by the time they reach 1st grade they are behind academically. They also find that a 4 year old is not capable of handling kindergarten when naps are not longer a part of the curriculum. The reality is that most 4 year olds do not get enough sleep at home. There are too many after school activities that cause them to stay up way past their bedtime. Even though, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the amount of sleep a child needs decreases each year and naptime diminishes by the age of 3, a typical 4 year old still needs 10 to 12 hours of sleep. Teachers and principals are making the parents aware when their child is not getting enough sleep at home, so they can incorporate a “quiet learning time’ when children can read, play with puzzles or draw in place of naps.

By the age of 4 most children have a hard time sticking to a naptime routine. Though they might still need a nap many don’t want to miss a minute of playing Mario or watching Sponge Bob. Even though they may resist you when it comes to naptime, you can still insist on a quiet time. More likely than not quiet time can lead to sleep and if not they are still getting some much needed rest. Well rested children are quicker to fall asleep at night, if the naptime is not too late in the afternoon, as overtired children are often hyperactive and unable to calm down at bedtime. The most important thing you can do for your child and sleep is to establish a bedtime routine. When preschoolers find it hard to sleep at night try to keep these tips in mind; include a winding down period at least a half hour before bedtime, set fixed times to go to bed and get up, including naptime, keep consistent playtimes and mealtimes, avoid caffeine which includes sodas and chocolate late at night, make their room cozy, quiet, dark and pet free, keep their bedroom game/TV free, limit heavy meals and a lot of liquids before bedtime, have them wear comfy, non-restrictive pajamas, limit toys/stuffed animals in their bed, play sleep inducing music and make sure they feel safe and secure.

[caption id="attachment_1468" align="alignright" width="183" caption="Preschoolers Naps and Nap Mats Stephen Joseph Nap Mat Turtle"][/caption]

Most preschoolers still need to take naps during the day. During the day they are active so it is a good idea for them to calm down and get some rest. You can make naptime fun with a personalized nap mat that can be used anywhere; at home, preschool, daycare or even at Nana’s house. Nap mats for preschool are comfy, warm and washable. They roll up trouble-free, are easy to carry (has adjustable straps) and come in many designs; turtle, butterfly, dog, horse, ladybug, monkey, sports, frog, a peace and can be monogrammed. Preschool nap mats with blanket and pillow made by Stephen Joseph cost around $50.00. Stephen Joseph Nap Mat Turtle and all his designs are made of 100% soft and snuggly polyester material. And they are just too cute!

The content provided in Preschoolers Naps and Nap Mats is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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1 comment:

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