Napping is important for newborns and even for some adults, but a new study says that it is, in fact, not as crucial as we had previously thought for toddlers over the age of 2.
Researchers of this study say, “The impact of night sleep on children’s development and health is increasingly documented, but to date there is not sufficient evidence to indicate the value of prolonging napping, whether at home or in childcare contexts, once sleep has consolidated into night.”
Dr. Carlos Lerner confides, “I think to some degree this is telling us something we knew all along: If a 2-year-old has a long nap it will be hard to put him down to sleep at his usual bedtime.” The University of California (Los Angeles) Mattel Children’s Hospital associate clinical professor of pediatrics continues, “If a parent is really struggling to get a 2-year-old or preschooler to go to bed earlier, then we might discuss naps.”
Assistant professor of psychiatry and a psychologist Dana Rofey, with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as well as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center comments, “It really depends on the individual child and every child is different. There are certainly toddlers who aren’t tired in the afternoon and don’t need the sleep. Let your child guide you as to what he or she needs.”
Additionally, Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, Dr. Rafael Pelayo says, “Once there’s a war situation, the game is up. You cannot have an argument and expect someone to sleep well.”
Pelayo follows, “Parents will often tell their kids that they need to nap because sleep is good for them. But sometimes it’s because parents want a break or they’re planning on doing something while the kid is asleep. Sometimes they just need some time to themselves.”