Here’s why nap time is important and how stuffed animals can help

Here's why nap time is important and how stuffed animals can helpNap time is very important for most children, especially in preschool. Stuffed animals can be a great way to help them take those naps and feel better.

Preschoolers are one of the most active age-groups and are able to run, play and explore all day long. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all of it, though, so a break and even some nap time can be very important to relax, relieve anxiety and stress, give the body a chance to rest.

Of course, most children would be strongly against nap time. They would prefer to continue to play and run around. Some even won’t be able to fall asleep no matter how much you try. This is where some clever parenting and, of course, stuffed animals can help out.

First thing – do not make nap time seem like something YOU want the child to do because you say so. Nap time shouldn’t be an order. Instead it should be a welcomed down time, relax, even a game. Usually about an hour or so is more than enough for a power nap, although if the child sleeps more or less, that’s no problem. It will always be different depending on how tired she or he is.

Now, how to get your child to sleep. While there is no exact science, there are some nifty tips and things to look for. First, observe your child for a week or so and see which time of the day is optimal of a nap. It should be the time where you see the child is showing most obvious signs of fatigue.

Then, instead of saying things like “it’s time for a nap”, or “go to bed”, make nap time more intriguing. For example read a little from a favorite book, play calming music. You can also use stuffed animals to provide extra comfort and also show the child that the stuffies are napping now and he or she could join them.

Sometimes though, the child simply doesn’t need to sleep. Instead make the nap time a “quiet time”. This could again include reading, coloring books and so on. The stuffed animals can join in on the fun or they¬†can be the ones taking a nap so your child has to be quiet for them for a while.

If your child goes to daycare, let him or her bring a blanket and a favorite stuffed animal from home. This will make napping easier.

Also, don’t always be the reason why your child falls asleep. This means that your child should be able to fall asleep without relying on you. This creates healthy bedtime habits and for a young age it is best to create a routine – for example a time, favorite stuffies to make the child company and so on. Sure provide comfort, but don’t lay down next to the child, waiting for her or him to fall asleep as this will prevent healthy independent sleeping habits in the long term.