Some babies do well cat-napping for 20 minutes at a stretch, they aren’t irritable when they awake and sleep well during the night. But if your child remains cranky after waking, looks tired all day and sleeps poorly at nighttime, you may want to help improve her sleep patterns during the day. Babies who get efficient naps during the day tend to sleep better at night and allow both you and your baby time to recharge in order to enjoy the rest of the day.
Create a Sleep-Inducing Environment: Keep the room dark and comfortable to mimic nighttime sleep.
White Noise: To soothe your child, use a white noise machine or play relaxing music. Keep this on all through naptime as this will mask exterior noises.
Get to Know Your Crib: Allow your baby time to familiarize himself with his bed, stay with him and engage his interest while introducing a few new toys or reading a book together. This way when nap time comes it won’t feel like a lonely, foreign place and can make falling back asleep a more peaceful experience.
Watch for Signs of Tiredness: Observe your child for signs of tiredness, such as losing interest in toys, looking glazed, becoming cranky, or slumping in his seat. If you put your child down for a nap when they aren’t tired or are over tired, it can be difficult to get them asleep. Getting them into bed at the first signs of tiredness is often your best bet!
Develop a Nap Time Routine: Similar to a bedtime routine, a routine for naptime can help signals that the sleep period is approaching so your baby is relaxed and prepared to rest. Consistency is key, so use this routine for naps and then modify for evenings.
Parenting Tip: Keep in mind that as children grow and change and their nap schedule should change with them. Included is a chart with a ballpark estimate for sleep schedules, but remember that all children are different, and some may need a little more or less than others.
|Age||Total Sleep (hours)||Nighttime Sleep (hours)||Naps (hours)|
|Newborn-2 months||16-18||8-9||7-9 (3-5 naps)|
|2-4 months||14-16||9-10||4-5 (3 naps)|
|4-6 months||14-15||10||4-5 (2-3 naps)|
|6-9 months||14||10-11||3-4 (2 naps)|
|9-12 months||14||10-12||2-3 (2 naps)|
|12-18 months||13-14||11-12||2-3 (1-2 naps)|
|18 months – 2 years||13-14||11||2 (1 nap)|
|2-3 years||12-14||10-11||1-2 (1 nap)|
|3-5 years||11-13||[10-11] 10-13||0-1 (naps usually stop by age 5)|