Do you work in a childcare centre or with parents who ‘require’ a nap time for all children ? How many hours sleep does a 2+ child really need ? Is napping essential for good development or learning ? What do you offer for a child who seems to have given up their day nap, or who is resisting sleep?
There are so many beliefs about sleep, but surprisingly little research from a psychological and developmental point of view.
So, expect in 2015 a series of newly published research, focusing on children 2-6 (“Preschool”) and whether they need naps and what the consequences are for napping….
Essentially, the research shows that children between 2-4 naturally phase out daytime naps, and prolonging the nap ritual may actually cause them to have more sleep interruptions, and less overall sleep.
This has huge implications for childcare settings, where many jurisdictions ‘require’ a nap time or structure their childcare ratios around an expectation that all children will sleep at a set time.
So, what do you do with children over 2+ who really don’t seem to need or want a daytime nap ?