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Why Do Kids Nap in Strange Places? We Finally Found an Explanation!
PHOTO BY courtesy of Janine Falcon and Victoria Sy
  • A child’s ability to nap anywhere and everywhere is something we’re sure all adults envy. Whether it’s in the grocery cart, on the living room floor, or a fast food table, kids can go out like a light in the strangest, most uncomfortable spots and positions. And while it’s adorable and hilarious, some new parents will find themselves asking whether it’s normal, or if it’s something they should be concerned about.

    According to a survey of 1,000 parents by British children’s television show In the Night Garden, kids ages five and below will sleep somewhere unusual three times a month on average, according to the Independent. It can be in dog baskets, inside cupboards, and sometimes face-down in their dinner. Parents have also found their kids snoozing behind the sofa, inside the laundry basket, or even on the toilet whether sitting down or standing up. And it turns out kids would rather be in these uncomfortable positions than miss an opportunity to doze off.

    “As specialists in early years television, we know through our work with very young children that their bodies develop at their fastest between the ages of zero and five,” said a spokesperson from In the Night Garden. “In that short span of time they learn to walk, talk, and socialize and that uses up a lot of energy, so it’s not surprising that fatigue sometimes appears in rather unusual places.”

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    The grocery cart is one of the unusual sleep locations kids find themselves napping in.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Victoria Sy

    The survey also found that though parents enjoyed the sight of their child sleeping in an unusual place, six in 10 worried whether their child would be able to sleep properly at night if they were able to nap during the day.

    According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, children one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health, while kids aged three to five years should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours. And yes, those sleep recommendations include naps, so parents need not to worry if it affects children’s bedtime hours.

    Two-thirds of parents surveyed also admitted that one of the biggest challenges was getting their child to sleep at an acceptable hour. The average parent would be able to successfully get their child to sleep on time about seven times a month.

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    Other bizarre locations for a snooze include window sills behind curtains, half in and out of beds and midway up the stairs. Kids are also fond of using their pets as pillows.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Janine Falcon
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    For frazzled parents, there is a simple solution to win bedtime battles: create a bedtime routine that will slowly let your kids’ energies dwindle down. It should have more than one activity and start with the most energetic, progressing to the most calming, according to Dr. Agnes Tirona-Remulla, head of the Sleep Lab at Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa.

    Whatever activity you choose, make sure to have an hour of quiet time before bed. “Do not expose them to anything stimulating, including television and gadgets,” says Dr. Jonalyn Ang, a pediatric neurologist and a sleep specialist at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, using gadgets before bedtime has serious adverse effects in kids — they have trouble sleeping, get poor quality sleep, and experience excessive sleepiness the next day.

    If you’ve been worried about your child falling asleep in weird spaces then you’re probably relieved to know that you’re not alone and that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. For now, just revel on those photos you’ve taken of your kids taking their naps to the next level.

    Where's the weirdest place your child has fallen asleep? Share the photos with us in the comments!

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