Early childhood naps support emotional memory, but benefits are only observed after overnight sleep. Whether emotional memory consolidation occurs during naps, or whether napping only prepares memories for overnight consolidation is unknown. We investigated whether naps protect emotional memories from interference, indicating consolidation. Between 2018 and 2020, 63 children in western Massachusetts preschools (30 female, 33 male; 33–67 months; 23.8% Hispanic, 87.3% White) learned faces paired with negative or neutral descriptions, followed by nap or wake. Before delayed recognition, half completed an interference task. Without interference, napping benefited recognition. With interference, children recognized fewer negative faces post-nap (compared to wake), with overnight sleep attenuating this difference. Results suggest that naps initially destabilize emotional memories, possibly reflecting partial processing that promotes long-term consolidation.