New Report Suggests Naps After Age Two Not Necessary? WHAT? I Call BS On That...

February 20, 2015 April McCormick 4 Comments

Earlier this week when I posted about my three-year old being ready to give up naps, a girlfriend sent me a link to an article on Today.com, "Report suggests napping after age 2 could spoil sleep." While reading the article, I shook my head and laughed out loud the entire time. Not only was the idea of stopping naps when a child turns two laughable to me, the "research" leading to this conclusion was just as laughable.

This new "report" is getting so much media coverage it's mind-blowing. Especially because the findings are baseless and no medical expert outside of the research team will back it up! 

Here is an excerpt from the article on Today.com outlining the "report" out of Queensland University of Technology.


"After scouring the medical literature for studies on napping, Thorpe and her colleagues winnowed a list of 781 articles down to 26 that explored the impact of napping on sleep and other outcomes, such as health and sociability, according to the report published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood." 
TWENTY-SIX out of 781 articles were used to come to this conclusion?  Clearly, a witch hunt for info leading to the outcome they wanted. 

Luckily, over the last two days more and more pediatricians, child psychologists and pediatric experts are speaking out against the findings.  And now, so am I! 



Here's a humorous dose of irony...
You know how these new nap findings originated in Australia? So did this road sign, and millions of others like it that address the issue of not getting enough sleep when driving long distances... 

Looking back a year, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt yanking naps from my then two-year old would have been IMPOSSIBLE. It never failed that if we were out running errands well past nap time, my toddler would pass out in his car seat or stroller. And trust me, I would try like hell to keep him awake until we got home so he could have a "good" nap, and most times I couldn't.

Every parent knows, if a toddler is tired, they will pass out where they stand! BECAUSE THEY NEED THEIR NAP!





Further research on the importance of napping in toddlers led to article upon article contradicting the new study, and reinforces continuing naps until it's right for YOUR child to give them up. Here are a few excerpts from creditable sources proving naps are not only natural, but necessary for children! 

FYI: Ollie is a psychobitch without a nap, and he doesn't sleep longer or better at night. I'm back to begging him to take a daily nap until that changes.

 Here's what St. Louis Childrens Hospital had to say:



Daily naps for children are essential for good days and good nights. Many parents believe their child will sleep better at night without a nap during the day. However, if your child is overly tired, they may become stressed and irritable, and their behavior may actually worsen.
The there's the National Sleep Foundation:
More than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they sleep for short periods throughout the day. Humans are part of the minority of monophasic sleepers, meaning that our days are divided into two distinct periods, one for sleep and one for wakefulness. It is not clear that this is the natural sleep pattern of humans. Young children and elderly persons nap, for example, and napping is a very important aspect of many cultures.  
As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.
And finally research out of the University of Colorado, Boulder that proves the point every parent already knows:

A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder could be a wake-up call for parents of toddlers: Daytime naps for your kids may be more important than you think.
The study shows toddlers between 2 and a half and 3 years old who miss only a single daily nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest and a poorer understanding of how to solve problems, said CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Monique LeBourgeois, who led the study. The results indicate insufficient sleep alters the facial expressions of toddlers -- exciting events are responded to less positively and frustrating events are responded to more negatively, she said. 
"Many young children today are not getting enough sleep, and for toddlers, daytime naps are one way of making sure their ‘sleep tanks' are set to full each day," she said. "This study shows insufficient sleep in the form of missing a nap taxes the way toddlers express different feelings, and, over time, may shape their developing emotional brains and put them at risk for lifelong, mood-related problems."
Again I call bullshit on depriving a toddler of a nap. If my kid needs a nap, he's bloody well going to take one!

My friends, if you get nothing else from reading my blog, I hope it's the courage to call bullshit on standards and research that you know will not work for your child. EVERY child is different, so do what is best for your child and family.  Never take one line of research as the standard.  Investigate both sides, then come to your own conclusion taking into account the needs of your child. 


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