Why Your Kids Shouldn't Be Napping

Very Excited Toddler

There's a certain expectation that babies and young children should be napping in the middle of the day. Hogwash! There are far too many reasons why you might want to keep those kiddos up all day long. You're not doing this for yourself; it's for their own good!

1. Your Day Is Filled with Activity

When your kids are napping, you must face the most unfortunate and nerve-wracking of situations: free time to yourself. What on Earth are you possibly going to do with a couple hours of peace and quiet? Who wants to curl up with a good book without constant distraction? Who actually wants to use a restroom without an audience?

2. You'll Enjoy the Over-Tired Tantrums

Crying child

Kids who don't get their afternoon nap can enter a paradoxical state of overtiredness. And overtiredness can lead to restlessness. And restlessness can lead to explosive daytime meltdowns and tantrums where absolutely nothing can appease them. A zombie baby, infinitely more irrational than even a well-rested infant, simply cannot be reasoned with.

Bask in the heartwarming glory of the challenge of toddler meltdowns and moody behavior. You haven't witnessed the full potential of your bundle of joy until she's bouncing off the walls in a tear-soaked fit of rage. What is life if not a colorful opportunity to test your skills, talents and patience?

3. Binge-Watching Paw Patrol Is So Much Easier

Girl watching cartoons

A new season of Paw Patrol shows up on Netflix. Both you and your lovely anklebiter are anxious to see what Ryder and his puptacular team are up to next. You wouldn't want your binge-watching session to be interrupted with an inconvenient midday snooze, would you? Skip the nap and blast through the whole season in a single seating. Whenever you're in trouble, just yelp for help!

4. Your Kids Can Stay Kid-Sized

Growing up

Researchers have found evidence that children who do not get enough sleep -- like missing their afternoon naps -- can have stunted growth, possibly due to a growth hormone deficiency. This hormone deficiency can also lead to impaired immune system function.

What this means is that children who regularly skip their naps might not grow as quickly, as large, or as tall as their peers. A smaller child is a lot easier to wrangle than one who can overpower you. They could make up for the lack of rest with a better night's sleep, but why would you let them do that?

5. Their Mental Development Is More Manageable

Boy playing developing game

Not only is their physical development affected by napping and sleeping, but so is their mental development.

A study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that preschoolers performed better on a memory task after napping compared to when they did not. By denying their naps, you'll have a bit more time before your children figure out how to outsmart and outwit you. Timmy can't beat you at chess just yet!

6. Spontaneity Is Way More Fun

A consistent nap schedule and bedtime routine can lead to a lot of predictability. You can have a much better idea of when Constance will want to go down for some shuteye and when she'll wake from her slumber.

By skipping the nap, any semblance of predictability can be completely and utterly thrown out the window. Who knows when she'll eventually crash and burn? Maybe it's before dinner. Maybe it's in the middle of dinner, face planted squarely in the mashed potatoes. Maybe it's hours later in a delirious explosion of inexplicable energy. The thrill of unpredictability awaits.

Is Sanity Overrated?

Sure, a napping child might be able to provide an exhausted parent with some reprieve. Skipping that nap, though, presents a terrific learning opportunity for the little one. He'll finally understand what it feels like to be as sleep-deprived as you are. He'll finally get it when mommy says she's tired or daddy needs his coffee. Or maybe all of you should just get more rest. The next episode of Paw Patrol can wait.

Why Your Kids Shouldn't Be Napping