Preschool Naps: How to Manage Them
From birth until they leave your home (sometimes even after that) you will constantly be worried about your child’s sleep. When they’re tiny babies it’s all about wake windows and sleep schedules. By 12 months you’re just hoping they take at least one long nap during the day. Anything beyond two feels like you’re pulling teeth trying to keep them from falling asleep too close to bedtime! If you’re little ones are in preschool then you’re likely not in charge of those elusive daytime naps during the week and you’re wondering: How do those amazing teachers manage?!
Here Are 6 Tips For A Successful Preschool Nap
Consistency: Naps should follow the same routine every day! Whether that’s putting on a soothing playlist, taking a potty break, or enjoying some wind down activities— consistency is key.
Quiet & Dark: If you’ve learned anything as a parent, it’s probably that nothing disrupts a nap like stimulation! After you’ve established that it’s nap time, set the stage for coveted toddler snoozing.
Comfort: Listen, some kids are comfortable sleeping on any and every surface. But, some need a little extra ~fluff~. At the center, we use cots or mats! They keep your little ones comfy enough to doze off. It also helps to send children to preschool with a pillow and blanket from home! Nothing says comfort like a special blanket from their own bedroom.
Reassurance: Some kids are nervous sleepers! They might need a little bit of patience and attention before drifting off. No worries— that can be as simple as sitting next to them while they try to fall asleep.
Embrace the Non-Nappers: Not all kids need naps! While it may seem like a lost cause, even if a child doesn’t nap they can still benefit from a quiet rest period. Offer these children the ability to choose a quiet activity such as coloring or reading. You can even encourage them to use their imagination by telling themselves a bedtime story! Being told to nap when you’re not sure you want to can be quite stressful and children need to know they have agency over themselves and their bodies!
Wake ‘Em Up: It can be sooo tempting to let your littles sleep just a little bit longer so you can rest yourself or get work done— don’t do it! Remember, consistency is key! Wake them up at the same time every day, offer them a snack and drink to get their energy up, and get them moving (dance party!) to keep them from getting the post-nap grumps.
Naps are very important to preschoolers and toddlers! They’re great tools for regulating emotions and they’re incredibly beneficial to your child’s cognitive function. While you’re busy working hard; rest assured that your child is getting the rest they need to learn, grow, and play!