Never The Late Afternoon Nap

Here’s one situation I would vehemently ask future mommies to avoid and that’s letting your toddler take a late nap in the afternoon. I’m referring to 5pm-ish naps.

The past few weeks, my teaching classes start at 2:30pm and although after lunch, Heaven should be asleep by the time I leave, there are day when she’s wide awake and antsy to be with me. So to remedy the situation, I bring her along.

Sure enough, she loves the dance classes (got videos to prove that) however my class usually ends around 4pm and by the time we arrive at home around 5pm, she would get sleepy and feel the tiring afternoon takes its toll.

So she sleeps.

Around 7pm, she wakes up, super grouchy and clingy. It seems that there’s nothing you can do to appease her. Her Grandma Rosa tells me that all kids have the same temperament. When I asked her why, she said she doesn’t know and that it was just the way it is.

And of course, aside from Heaven’s grouchy disposition, making her go back to bed to sleep was an ordeal too. It was like she wanted to sleep but couldn’t so she simply wants to be carried and hugged and not to be left alone to do anything. She was testy and scowling all the time.

Finally, I got her to bed by 10pm-ish. Still, the night was not through because she kept on waking up after an hour or so.

For obvious reasons, late afternoon naps mean later bedtime. Yet, this still do not explain the accompanying unpleasant behavior. Although, another obvious reason for that would be the untimely disturbance of your toddler’s sleep. Maybe to Heaven, it was bedtime and not a simple late afternoon nap.

For proper number of sleeping hours, here’s a reference:

Birth to 6 months: Infants require about 16 to 20 total hours of sleep per day. Younger infants tend to sleep on and off around the clock, waking every 2 or 3 hours to eat. As they approach 4 months of age, sleep rhythms become more established. Most babies sleep 10 to 12 hours at night, usually with an interruption for feeding, and average 3 to 5 hours of sleep during the day (usually grouped into two or three naps).
6 to 12 months: Babies this age usually sleep about 11 hours at night, plus two daytime naps totaling 3 to 4 hours. At this age, most infants do not need to wake at night to feed, but may begin to experience separation anxiety, which can contribute to sleep disturbances.
Toddlers (1 to 3 years): Toddlers generally require 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including an afternoon nap of 1 to 3 hours. Young toddlers might still be taking two naps, but naps should not occur too close to bedtime, as they may make it harder for toddlers to fall asleep at night.
Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): Preschoolers average about 10 to 12 hours at night, plus an afternoon nap. Most give up this nap by 5 years of age.
School-age (5 to 12 years): School-age kids need about 10 to 12 hours at night. Some 5-year-olds might still need a nap, and if a regular nap isn’t possible, they might need an earlier bedtime.

Source: KidsHealth

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