Ahh… nap time. I hate to admit it, but I really savor this time of day when I am home with my children. It is a time to catch my breath and have my “me time.” And it is even better when sister and brother actually nap at the same time, which doesn’t happen as often as I would like. So here I sit, savoring “me time”, while the clock tics away in the background counting down to when the craziness begins again. But I am okay with enjoying this time. Their naps make them more attentive, more pleasant children. And the “me time” makes me a more patient parent.
Sleep is very important for you and your children. The best way to enhance good sleep habits is ROUTINE, something we often struggle with in my house.
Our goal for Audrey is that every day after lunch or brunch we get ready for nap time. We have a wind down activity such as reading books, singing songs, or telling stories. We also have been known to use a video or a TV show. However, I can honestly say that if it is a TV show she enjoys, such as Cailou or Dora, she will not go to sleep, but make herself stay bug eyed and plugged into the show. So, we pick one of my old Disney movies or other PBS kids and turn it on for a bit. Our goal is to turn it off within twenty minutes once she has calmed and is drowsy. Since she attends child care twice per week we STRIVE to stay on the same schedule by napping around 1230. Unfortunately life sometimes gets in the way and man do we all suffer at times. She gets whiny and cranky, sometimes has trouble falling asleep because she is overtired. Poor nap time can also disrupt bedtime.
For Ethan things are a bit different since he is still a baby. He is often still taking 2-3 naps daily. These naps last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Jeff is much better then I am. He will often read Ethan’s cue and put him to sleep in his bed. Ethan will fuss for a few minutes and then drift off to sleep. (Don’t forget the ABC’s of safe sleep for infants!)
I however have fostered the terrible habit of nursing Ethan to sleep. If I am at home this is often how he expects to be put to sleep and I often comply. I am currently reading some books on the topic in an attempt to improve all of our sleeping habits at home.
What books have you read that you have found helpful?
So how much sleep should your children strive for?
Here are the general recommendations during a 24 hour period:
|Total over 24 hours||Overnight||Naps|
|Newborn||16-20 hours||With naps divided into 2-3 hour increments||With overnight divided into 2-3 hour increments|
|Infant (1-12 months)||13-15 hours||10-12 hours||Two 30 min – 2 hour naps|
|Toddler (2-5)||11-12 hours||10-12 hours||Maybe one 30 min – 2 hour nap|
|School age (5-12)||10-11 hours|
|Adolescent (13-18)||8-10 hours||Avoid naps as they could disrupt sleep. Encourage bedtime and wake up time to be consistent.|
Alas, the bedroom door just opened. Nap time is over for today!