A child needs sleep to grow and develop. They need the right nutrients in their diet and the right amount of sleep to grow to their full potential. During growth spurts that commonly happen regularly till the child reaches 5 or older, a child may appear hungrier and sleep more. To aid a toddler’s fast development and growth they need naps because you grow when you’re sleeping. The more sleep a child gets the more growing that they do. Especially because they go through growth spurts and their bodies completely change every 3-6 months since they are born till well past being a toddler. Children are always growing and changing. For a child to develop to their full potential they need as much sleep as they can get.
Not only are children small and they run out of energy quickly, over stimulated easily, they wake up very early every day. It can be easy to be confused to as if a child is being out of line/ and misbehaving rather than being overtired/grouchy because they are tired. Nap time gives children the chance to dream and process the information they are learning, refresh their minds and get them ready to sponge more information. Having the same nap time everyday gives the child the down time they need to prevent them from midday crankiness. Acting out and not listening can be caused from lack of sleep. Nap tome gives the child the down time they need to relax, slow down and keep their minds sharp. When it’s not nap time there should be lots of active play as learning as well. A child who doesn’t take a nap is more likely to act out, whine, or not listen. During the toddler stage naps prevent outburst and temper tantrums. Even little babies, need to sleep regularly. After being up for a couple hours they might need to go back down and be rocked if they don’t fall asleep from the bottle. Baby’s, who do not sleep enough, even when they are getting everything else they need regularly, will cry more if they don’t get enough sleep.
To get the child in a routine for nap time is to start from day one. Keep the same nap pattern for your child a constant. A child looks for routines so they know what is coming next, for security and confidence. A child who has been sleeping regularly since birth will continue to cooperate in taking a nap for years. When they get a litter older they may start to refuse naps out of independence. But being consistent from day one and they will eventually see your not giving in. Putting on music during nap time, reading a book together, or rubbing their backs will help put the child to sleep. Children that are used to sleeping that couple hours during the day and then having a routine bedtime will be used to sleeping at those times and eventually their bodies will adjust and know it’s time for a nap or its time for bed.
Even in daycare's, the regulations require daycare providers to give the children at least an hour or more of down time where the lights are off and the child is relaxing whether it is taking a nap on a cot or being on the cot laying there quiet. When picking out your daycare it is important to ask about their nap time rules. A center that does not have a designated nap time, that if you happened to show up, they would be napping, then it’s not the best daycare choice. A good daycare will have a set nap time and allow you to stop by during the day or even let you sit in unexpected and without reason. You can learn a lot about how a daycare is ran by observation, knowing what to look for.