Yes, you read that right. Our four year old STILL naps.
This seems to shock the majority of people when it comes up in conversation. It is often jaw-dropping. Literally. And if those jaws are attached to parents of little ones they almost always mutter “you are so lucky”.
Webster’s defines Lucky as happening by chance. Our four year old napping is definitely not by chance. There are four reasons why our four year old still naps and being lucky is not on the list.
Reason number one is to watch other parents’ jaws drop. I’m kidding.
Our four year old still naps…
Because as humans our personality is dictated by our rest. Plenty of pediatric studies suggest this connection in a more formal and medically stated way. After first hand experience – I concur. Our boys have proven that personality IS dictated by rest. Our (now) 21 year old son was still taking naps when he was four years old. As parents, we believe it is our responsibility to build the best foundation we can for our boys. If rest leads to a happy life, we are pro-rest.
Because our four year old wakes up every day at 6:45 a.m. regardless of what time he goes to sleep the night before. There are countless articles written by doctors that recommend a certain number of sleep hours in every 24 hour period. (Most noting that day sleep is dropped by age four though the longer into childhood the better.) Their evidence argues that sleep offers a healthy recharge similar to the calories we consume. Makes sense. His body needs the rest.
Because routine matters. Believe it or not kids crave schedule and routine. Their little minds find more peace when they know the order of events in a day. The routine we keep at our house includes naptime within the same time frame every day and the same bedtime regimen every night. Our naptime routine will remain until our little guy no longer falls asleep and naturally transitions from naptime to ‘rest time’ (same time, same place, same recharge, no Zs).
Because we like harmony in our home. There have been times that my husband and I have challenged the number of hours of sleep that our four year old needs. Be it a family event, a vacation or just losing track of time we skipped naptime. Without using expletives, the cranky truth is our four year old still needs his nap. Fact.
It could be argued that we sleep train. Guilty. That sleep training and those four year old naps had to have some impact in the equation that led to a very happy & harmonious 21 year old who still naps with his baby brother every chance he gets! Why fix it if it’s not broke?
Our four year old is just a week away from turning five, therefore I leave you with a fifth reason… Because our four year old often ASKS for a nap!
What about your children and/or grandchildren…
How old were they when they quit napping?
One of my favorite sleep resources is Dr. Marc Weissbluth; author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I highly recommend that parents of babies and toddlers read this book. It is geared more toward those little ones under age four however I still look back at the book from time to time and I often visit Dr. Weissbluth’s website.