When to take a nap!With our busy lives juggling work and family, it’s hard to believe there are actually people out there who sometimes dislike a nice, long afternoon nap. We’re talking about your preschooler, of course.

Putting your little one down for her nap may be easy or may be a challenge, but doing so delivers benefits apart from letting you take a few minutes of downtime to answer email, start dinner or just kick back with some coffee. “Studies find that kids who nap have longer attention spans and are less fussy than those who don't,” says Parents.com. “And perhaps the best reason of all: When kids rest during the day, they tend to sleep longer and more peacefully at night.”

Still, there’s an expiration date on the benefits of napping. Around age 4, children develop a more refined sense of the rhythms of daily life. They’re bigger and stronger, and less likely to tire out during a normal routine of daycare and other interaction.

You can consider ending the afternoon nap when:

  • Your child fusses and fidgets excessively when put down for a nap
  • He/she doesn’t have meltdowns if he/she misses an afternoon nap;
  • He/she has a difficult time going to sleep at night if she napped that afternoon

At the age where a child ends naps, the time can be taken with engaging preschool programs or Headstart programs that entertain without overtiring.

Ask the child development experts at Horizon Education Centers about the fun, affordable and nurturing opportunities for your (wide awake) child.