Brigitte Langevin is a sleep specialist. She is a speaker and author whose goal is to improve the quality of sleep and understand dreams. She is the author of several books on the subject. Helping my child sleep provides a great deal of information for parents. She is a dynamic person who is much sought-after for her humour and ability to make theoretical and scientific concepts accessible to all. Nights are more satisfying so performances during the day are improved thanks to her help!
The importance of naps
Planning naptime is important. It must be adjusted according to the age and sleep requirements of the child. The number of naps varies depending on the age of the child. Even if some children wish to abandon napping as early as 2 years of age, we can hear their request, not force them to sleep, but we absolutely must put them to bed. It is not rare to see them fall asleep anyways. How many naps does a child need per day? Here are a few guidelines:
- From 0 to 3 months: 4 to 6 periods of sleep throughout the day. In fact, a baby should not be kept awake for more than two hours at a time until he is 6 or 7 months old.
- From 4 to 7 months: one nap in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and one at the end of the afternoon.
- From 8 to 16 months: one nap in the morning and another one in the early afternoon.
- From 18 months: one nap in the early afternoon.
- Between 2 and 3-4 years old: one nap in the early afternoon. Please note that if the nap begins between 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. and children wake up no later than 3:00 p.m., the nap will not affect their nighttime sleep.
- Between 4 and 5 years old: one relaxation period of 45 minutes, lying on their mattress, with no toys or storybooks.
- Around 5 years old: naps are completely abandoned. However, some kindergarten teachers integrate a relaxation period after lunch or at any time throughout the day if children are very agitated. If there is no space available for children to actually lie down, they simply request a time out period: children sit at their tables, close their eyes, and rest their heads on their arms.
For children, the refusal to sleep is often a game in which they are opposing themselves to established rules. Thus, they are asserting themselves as individuals with character and personality. As previously mentioned, if a child under 4 years of age refuses to sleep, we mustn't force him. However, this does not mean that he is not tired and does not need to sleep. For this reason, it is very important to set up a relaxation period during which the child must lie on his mattress or in his bed, with his eyes open if he wishes, with no stimulation of any kind (toys, books, other). For 4 to 5 year olds, after 45 minutes of quiet relaxation, children who have not fallen asleep shall be authorized to get up and participate in a calm activity such as reading, puzzles, or coloring until the other children wake up.
Brigitte Langevin, author
Speaker and teacher
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