Somebody needs a nap
That was the consensus when the neighbors came over recently with their 6-month old grandchild.
It was all fun and games for a while. And then you could see his mood going from bubbly to indifferent to downright crotchety.
But we’re all parenting veterans. And we sprang into action.
Karen prepped the guest room to lay this baby down for a bit, and we continued our visit.
But as it turns out, maybe that dark back room wasn’t the best place to sleep, if we wanted “Junior” to have a deeper, longer rest.
Maybe we should have set up a place… outside.
This seems awfully weird to us Americans, but kids sleeping outside is so common in Finland, sidewalks and parks are often the scene of dozens of strollers lined up for a sleep-fest.
And Finnish researchers concluded that outdoor naps last 34 minutes longer than the indoor variety.
Why? Because parents lay the kid down and get out of the way.
Dozing in the fresh air, after self-soothing and getting themselves to sleep independently, resulted in not just more well-rested kids, but healthier ones too.
They’re in better moods, they learn more quickly, and they eat better.
And this in turn helps improve the mood and health of someone else: the parents.
Longer naps make it easier to find some time for yourself, and get things done.
I don’t have to worry about naptime for kids too much anymore. But this study might point me to an investment for myself.