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Are afternoon naps important for children?

Q: We are a working couple, both of 33 years of age. My daughter is of 5.5 years old and son of 1.3 years. We are back home from work by 6–7 PM and spend some time with them. We also try to go to a temple in the evening, whenever possible. If my daughter is awake in noon, then by evening she become lethargic and dozes off at 9 PM. But if she takes her afternoon nap, then she sleeps by 11-11.30 at night. Her grand parents look after her in our absence. We are not sure whether children should sleep in the afternoon after coming from school? If yes, then for how long should they sleep? How does it affect their physical, emotional, mental and psychological development?

A:I don't think every child has a set pattern of sleep; different babies have different needs for sleep. On an average a child of this age should get at least 10 hours of sleep. It probably does not have a direct bearing on their development, if they are getting appropriate sleep.

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