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寝ている赤ちゃん
寝ている赤ちゃん

いつまで?どのくらいさせればいい?幼児のお昼寝の5つのポイント

赤ちゃん

 
赤ちゃんの頃は朝と夕方2回寝ていたけど、1歳過ぎても同じでいい?全然昼寝しないけど大丈夫?など昼寝についてのママのお悩みは尽きません。育児書を読むと違うことが書いてあったり、自分の親世代とはずれがあったり。。。

こちらでは、もう赤ちゃんじゃなくなった、幼児のお昼寝のポイントについてご紹介します。

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幼児と昼寝

子どもにとっての昼寝とは

赤ちゃん

昼寝は体を休めるための時間です。子どもの脳と体は、大人に比べるとはるかに未熟です。幼児の場合、必要な総合的睡眠時間は平均で10時間ともいわれています。そして、人間が眠くなる時間帯には、昼と夜の2つがあるというのも忘れてはいけません。自然と眠たくなる昼間に眠らせて体力を回復したり、脳を休ませたりするのは成長のためには必要です。もちろん夜にまとめて寝かせるという方法もありますが、眠気は昼と夜に分かれているので、夜にまとめて寝かせると夜泣きをするなど、寝つきが悪くなることが多いです。

昼寝で学習効果がアップ

幼児にとって昼寝は、記憶を脳に固定させる役割があり効果的な学習に不可欠なのだそう。MITの心理学者の研究によると、昼寝をした時のほうがしなかった時より記憶力が大幅にアップしたとのこと。しかもこの傾向は翌朝にも持続していたそう。寝る子は育つ、ということが実証されたわけですね。

昼寝は何歳まで?

昼寝の習慣を何歳まで続けているのか気になるという方もいます。子どもの昼寝の習慣は、大体3歳くらいまでに終了させる方が多いようです。早ければ、2歳半で昼寝の習慣が終わったという子もいます。逆に、遅い子の場合は5,6歳まで昼寝の習慣がある子もいます。その子にあった眠りのスタイルがあるので、昼寝の習慣がなくなればよいというものでもありません。

お昼寝卒業の見極め方

お昼寝が必要かそうでないか、見極めましょう。赤ちゃんの頃は朝、昼、夜とそれぞれ細切れに眠っていた赤ちゃんも、2歳、3歳と大きくなるにつれてお昼寝の時間はしだいに短くなり、お昼寝をしなくても済むようになってきます。このへんは子供の個性や体力もありますから、パパやママがしっかり見極めてあげることが大切。

夜の寝付きで昼寝の調整を
午後にたっぷりお昼寝をしても、夜にぐっすり眠ってくれるのであれば、まだお昼寝が必要な時期と判断して、そのままの生活スケジュールを続けましょう。

昼寝をするとどうも夜の寝付きが良くない…という子の場合は、お昼寝の時間を30分程度と短くしたり、思い切ってお昼寝をさせないというのも手です。ただし、お昼寝をさせないと、夕方寝てしまって夜中に起きるとか、夕飯の時間に眠くて手が付けられなくなって、かえって大変になることもありますので、子供の様子を見ながら対応していきましょう。

昼寝の上手なさせかた

昼寝のポイント

昼寝は午後3時までに
1~2歳の幼児では、おなかがいっぱいのときさせるのが良いでしょう。たとえば、午前10時ころ、おやつの後と、午後1時ころ、昼食の後の2回がオススメ。3時以降の昼寝はかえって夜の就寝時間の妨げとなるので、気をつけてあげて下さい。

1~2時間くらいが適当
昼寝の時間は1時間~2時間が適当、よく眠るタイプの子だと3時間のようです。ただ、かなり個人差があるので、眠る時間への影響などを調べながら、自分の子供に合う睡眠時間を考えていくといいと思います。

添い寝しない
昼寝でも添い寝は禁物。そばで見守るか、軽く布団をたたく程度にしましょう。

おんぶしない
おんぶもNGです。とくに長時間のおんぶはからだの発育にも良くないそう。

眠る環境作り
部屋の温度に気を付けたり、周囲を静かにして眠れる環境作りをしましょう。

生活リズムを整える

昼寝の時間を確保するために、生活のリズムをまず整えましょう。早寝の習慣づけは、夜間の睡眠を十分取らせるという点で大切です。幼児の夜更かしは、ほとんどの場合親の責任ですよね。夕方グズグズして晩御飯がどうしても遅くなるという方も、朝に下ごしらえを済ませておくなどするといいですよね。

早寝をさせる工夫として、次の点を守りましょう。

  • 時間を決めて規則的に就寝させる
  • 昼間、戸外で活発に遊ばせる
  • 夜は、コーヒーなどの刺激的なものを与えないように
  • 戦隊もののDVDを見せたり心理的に興奮させることもさける

まとめ:昼寝は幼児の成長にとって重要!

幼児の場合、成長のために必要な睡眠時間は平均で10時間。そして、人間が眠くなる時間帯には、昼と夜の2つがあるというのも忘れてはいけません。なので幼児にはお昼寝がとっても重要なのです。

お昼寝のポイント

  • 昼寝は午後3時までに
  • 1~2時間くらいが適当
  • 添い寝しない
  • おんぶしない
  • >眠る環境作り

大人にロングスリーパーやショートスリーパーがいるように、子供の必要な睡眠時間も様々です。ママもたまには疲れたら一緒に昼寝してしまいましょう。もちろん、基本的な生活のリズムはちゃんと整えてあげましょうね。

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