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The Need for Nap Time in Toddlers

by T Akery | June 25th, 2013 | Development, Infants/Toddlers

tired boyToddlers are a very active bunch. But just like everybody else, they tend to get overloaded. Taking the time during the day for some quiet time is essential to stave off crankiness. They need a little time without the constant barrage of input to process information and to rest from the day’s activities. There is a bonus in it for you too. You get some quiet time of your own.

One of the big reasons that toddlers need a nap time is that they get up early. Whether this is natural or because you have to get them to daycare at a certain time, the morning often starts pretty early. They just don’t have the battery juice to keeping going until bedtime. They need a little time to recharge their batteries even if they don’t sleep the entire time.

As every parent knows, tired toddlers are cranky toddlers. This is another excellent reason to keep nap time intact. Your toddler will have more meltdowns, be harder to please and is far more likely to get into trouble when they are tired. They are also moodier and more difficult to take anywhere. So make sure they get a nap especially if it has been a busy morning and you still have errands to run. A well-rested toddler will certainly be a little more cooperative when you are headed to the store.

Physical exertion from swimming lessons or from running around catches up quickly with toddlers. Their muscles take a little more effort to control. When they are tired, they lose some of that control. They need that down time to recuperate tired muscles and regain that ability for muscle control. It is just like after you do an intense workout. Your muscles need time to recover.

Intense mental activity can fatigue toddlers. Learning new things like putting a block into the proper hole takes effort. Even watching cartoons causes mental stimulation. They need that quiet time as a break from all of that input. If they don’t, they become overloaded which leads to the meltdowns and a refusal to do anything else requiring brain power.

Toddlers are still in that development age where they need to take a break and recharge during the day. Nap time is a key part of this. So, even though your toddler doesn’t want to take a nap, make sure you inject some quiet time into their day. This is so they can get the recharge they need to keep going until bedtime.

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