Nap in children: age, duration, interruption… All the answers to your questions on the subject

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Sleep is essential for a child’s development. To do this, he must sleep at night, but also be able to do things. snap. But with the start of classes, this pattern changes: from the middle section onwards, the little ones no longer have a nap in their daily agenda.

Parents can sometimes worry about this disappearance of the nap. Can it cause a child to have Lack of sleep ? We take stock of what you should know about the little ones’ naps.

How long does a child need to nap?

Some children no longer fall asleep at nap time after the age of 3. When others always need their little hour of sleep after a meal.

Michèle Prados, liberal childcare nurse in Saint-Raphaël (Var), summarizes: “Leaving a nap, on average, is between the ages of 2 and 5 years of the child. It depends on each person. »

The key is to know if the child still needs it. “If he does it again naps that last more than 2 hours“It’s just that he still feels the need to sleep during the day,” explains the professional.

Until when is a nap mandatory at school?

According to the circular “New school rhythms in nursery schools” published in 2015 by National Education, “nap time has priority for students from approximately 2 to 4 years old, except
exception, in other activities.” However, it is not mandatory. Obviously, each school does what it wants.
After four years, “we can no longer consider the systematic practice of naps,” says National Education.
If the school organizes nap times, these should last between 1.5 and 2 hours and take place after lunch, “in a designated and healthy space.”

What does lack of sleep look like in children?

And if your child is older grumpy than usual when you pick him up at night, it may be because he lacks sleep, whether he has a nap or not. “Some may have eating problems. For example, children will go back to taking the bottle at night instead of eating,” explains Michèle Prados

That’s because of the short-term consequences.

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Another effect of lack of sleep is the appearance of night terrors. This is when the child cries in his sleep. This is a symptom of stress in the body.

Michele PradosLiberal childcare nurse

If the child’s general rhythm is not respected, the consequences can be more serious: effects on growth, learning disordersweakened immune defenses…

What should I do if my child is sleep deprived?

If your child seems tired during school days, “long naps” Wednesday or weekend It can help compensate for lack of sleep,” reassures Michèle Prados.

Don’t hesitate to let him sleep. It’s okay if you don’t do any activities with him on the weekend. You don’t waste time with your son.

Michele PradosLiberal childcare nurse

Clear, The ideal is to have a regular sleep rhythm“But even as an adult we cannot do it, so it is better for the child to recover from the week’s fatigue during the weekend,” the nurse downplays.

Also, if your child has asleep after schoolYou can let him rest, “but this nap should not last more than 2 hours.”

What if my child doesn’t want to take a nap?

Sometimes, even if your child is at the end of his rope, he won’t want to take a nap. In this case, at the beginning of the afternoon, “the ideal time,” recommends Michèle Prados. keep calm time so I can rest. “If he ends up falling asleep it’s because he needed it!” »

Then (finally) you can take advantage of it to make your own.

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