Researchers have shown that napping is good for a baby’s learning. It suggests that when an infant is taking a nap, their brain is busy learning new information that was taken in before napping. As seen on the Observer, Ben Shaoul doesn’t have a baby, but the info. is good for friends of his who do.
Babies were tested by using a puppet with a removable mitten that contained a bell. Positioned in front of the baby, the researcher removed the mitten from the puppet and then shook it a few of times. The purpose of this was to demonstrate the sound of the bell and the puppet’s movement. After that, they replaced the mitten over the puppet’s hand. This was done several times before the baby was put down for a nap.
The next day, after all the infants had slept well the night before, the researcher presented that exact same puppet with a mitten and bell. They were trying to see if the infant would remember the procedure that was used the day before. Their research showed that the babies who had taken longer naps right after the procedure on the previous day were able to reproduce the procedure significantly better than the infants who did not sleep as long.
There is more study that needs to be done in this area. However, it does show that is a good idea to read or to do some other kind of learning activity before a baby or young child goes to bed or takes a nap.