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Pros and Cons of a Scheduled Nap Time

When you have a baby, this can be a wonderful period of your life, but on the other hand, it can be a stressful experience. It can seem that your newborn, and even older babies, can be mysterious, and taking care of your baby may be a little scary. But, babies are born with the skills and desire to tell their parents what they need. It is recommended for parents to know about the pros and cons of baby napping. Usually, taking naps is a tradition in many families and communities.

Pros and Cons of a Scheduled Nap Time
Pros and Cons of a Scheduled Nap Time

But, in many cases, babies do not want to take naps, because they see it as an interruption of what could be a playful moment. But, in general, this is a subject which varies greatly according to each family’s customs. In those cases, when parents tend to rest after lunch, it is highly likely that children imitate this behavior and make it a habit.

In other cases, especially in families that do not take naps, infants may totally reject the idea of sleeping in broad daylight. The decision for scheduled nap time should be done by parents, as well as by children. It is very important to do the right thing, which could be good for the full well–being of your child.

Pros and Cons of a Scheduled Nap Time

Below is given a list of the most common advantages of the scheduled nap time:

A better nighttime sleeper:

If your baby is a great sleeper and it loves night sleeping, then the chances of your scheduled nap time that are helping are big. It is noticed that children who are sound daytime nappers and who can soothe themselves to sleep without much difficulty are also sound sleepers at night. These same kids tend to be on a regular sleep schedule, so their Circadian rhythm is tied to their routine. [1,2]

Sleep requirements vary from child to child, but typically, a kid no longer physically needs to nap by age of 4 or 5. Until then, these naps are playing a big role in the child’s Circadian rhythm and they determine a lot of smaller outcomes, from mood to growth spurts.

A calmer baby:

If you and your partner are enjoying the blissful mood your baby is in just after his or her nap, then you can give credit to the baby’s hormones. Recent studies are shown that the feel-good hormones are released during a nap, which is leaving all smiles and coos when babies wake up. The scheduled nap time can help to regulate these hormones. Also, this can teach your baby’s body how to regulate their sleep schedule.

The cranky kids are hard to put down for a nap, even when they need one, the predictable schedule will absorb some of their crankiness. If your toddler learns that he or she is going down for a nap at a certain time of the day, he or she may be able to follow the routine without a huge fuss. Also, you will get happier when your baby is right on its schedule.

Curved–out mommy time:

It is noticed that even the most tireless new moms need some time for themselves. No matter it is taking shower or cleaning the mess in your house, every woman needs some time for herself, which she will do with pleasure. When your baby has a scheduled nap time, then you can do whatever you want until your baby is sleeping.

You can sit down and read for a while. It will relax your mind and body. If you do not have any pressing chores to deal with, then you should not feel guilt in reading a book or watching TV. You can also nap with your baby. It does not matter what you choose. You should be pleased with yourself.

It raises their spirits:

One of the best benefits of children napping is related to their state of mind. The nap time will help little ones to release tension and reduce their anxiety. Also, your children will be less exhausted at night and they will sleep without suffering the nervous episodes of excess fatigue. This is a reason why they will rest better at night. [3]

They recover energy:

This is the basic foundation that everyone can think of, but it is a still great truth. Children are energetic, naughty, and restless by nature. But, at some time period of the day, they will need to replace this fuel, which runs out as the day goes by. Children exhaust their resources by running and playing, but also by thinking. Childhood is a stage of cognitive learning and it also demands the consumption of energy. As a result of this, the corresponding is needed. Naps can satisfy this need. [4]

Strengthens their memory and learning:

It is noticed that nap time can help children to have better memory and learning. While we are sleeping, a series of very complex neurological processes happen in the brain and they are responsible for the processing information that is previously obtained. In children, these processes are more necessary than in adults and they are very important because children are in a stage in which their mind is molded and this is said in many studies. [1,5]

Cons of scheduled nap time:

Below is given a list of the most common disadvantages from the scheduled nap time:

Harder adjustment to psychological changes:

When you think about the first days of your baby, you can hardly believe how much different is your daily routine a few years later. Your baby nap times shifted and adjusted from growth spurt to teething phase to the preschool days. Many people work in firms, so it is very important to make readjustments as their children are growing.

When you are rigorously sticking to a nap time that is scheduled, then this means that you are in for a tougher transition for both you and your baby during the growth spurts or developmental leaps. In some studies are discovered that naps for kids are tied to their psychological development more than anything else.

Can cause headaches:

It is known as hypnic headache and it mainly affects older people, but there are some children which are genetically predisposed to suffer from it. The intensity of this headache is usually moderate, but this is enough to dispel all the usual advantages of this type of rest.

Very counterproductive if they sleep too much:

We know that everything which is excess is bad for our health, so the nap is not excluded from it. There are some studies in which are shown that naps greater than thirty minutes (this is a number that could be extended slightly in children) have a negative impact on nighttime rest. In this way, can appear disorders, such as narcolepsy and insomnia. This is a reason why you need to control and regulate the duration of daytime naps of your children. [6]

Not for mommies on – – go:

When you are a new mother, then you are kind of a homebody. Many women work remotely, so they can hang out with their babies and it is good to point for the scheduled nap time. But, many women have realized that staying at home is not for them because they stick to the baby’s scheduled nap time. The scheduled nap time will not work for you if you are an adventurous mom, who likes to pack up the diaper bag and go get some errands done. The spontaneous nap of your baby during a stroll through the park or a short car trip may be more conducive to your family’s lifestyle.

It could favor the spread of certain respiratory diseases:

There are some studies in which is noticed that people who suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are prohibited from napping. The argument is that muscle relaxation could happen and it can counteract normal breathing. The consequences of this would be respiratory failure, constant fatigue, and poor oxygenation of the blood. But, this is not a risk factor which is including all children. This points to specific cases, which should be taken into the account anyway. [7]

Tips for children napping:

It is necessary to point out some recommendations to follow when trying to get children into the habit of napping:

Make it a habit:

As the saying goes, humans are creatures of habit. If your child adopts a lifestyle that includes taking a nap at a certain time, then this will require less effort to achieve it each time.

Do not force them:

You will not do anything well if you push your children to take nap. The will to take a nap should be a basic requirement for your child.

Generate the right environment:

If your child is taking a nap while you, your partner, or other children are making noises throughout the house, then your child has less chance of falling asleep. This is a reason why you need to create a calm environment for him or her.


[1] Cousins JN, Leong RLF, Jamaluddin SA, et al. Splitting sleep between the night and a daytime nap reduces homeostatic sleep pressure and enhances long-term memory. Scientific Reports. 2021;11.

[2] Horvath K, Plunkett K. Spotlight on daytime napping during early childhood. Nature and Science of Sleep. 2018;10:97–104. doi:10.2147/NSS.S126252

[3] University of Pennsylvania. School children who nap are happier, excel academically, and have fewer behavioral problems. Science Daily. 2019. Retrieved from

[4] Tham EKH, Schneider N, Broekman BFP. Infant sleep and its relation with cognition and growth: a narrative review. Nature and Science of Sleep. 2017;9:135–49. doi:10.2147/NSS.S125992

[5] University of Arizona. Naps help babies learn and retain new information. Science Daily. 2010. Retrieved from

[6] University of Colorado at Boulder. Nap-deprived tots may be missing out on more than sleep. Science Daily. 2012. Retrieved from

[7] Leng Y, Wainwright NWJ, Cappucio FP, et al. Daytime napping and the risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality: A 13-year follow-up of a British population. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2014;179(9):1115-24.

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Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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