Nighttime rest is simply not enough for those young children and babies developing at such a rapid rate. They are helped to get the sleep they require from taking regular naps.
Napping for little ones should be a frequent event, but keep in mind that their temperament may vary a bit in this regard, and you may have to adjust your schedule to coincide with theirs.
How Many Naps Should My Baby Take Daily?
Typically, as a newborn, your baby will usually sleep 2-4 hours at a time. There will be no apparent pattern, and you should simply let them sleep as they choose.
At about the 8-10 week mark, the baby will sleep for longer stretches and less often. At this point they will be requiring three or four naps daily.
When they get to 3-4 months, their daytime sleep becomes more predictable, and this is a great time to put together a nap schedule and routine (check our tips below.)
Two or three naps a day are common at the six month mark; usually one morning, one early afternoon, and one late afternoon.
Most babies in the 9-12 month range are down to two a day, one in the morning, and one later in the day. By 18 months they typically are down to that one afternoon nap, and this pattern will go on until they are 3 or 4 years old.
These patterns are typical, but please understand that all babies do not follow them and develop their own pattern, which you will have to adjust your schedule to meet.
Look For The Signs
Be aware and heed your baby's sleep signals. Does he get fussy after lunch? Does he rub his eyes mid-morning? Does he sleep in the afternoon in the car?
It is important you monitor the sleep patterns your baby exhibits, so you can best devise the proper plan to deal with them.
As an example, if you establish that by ten every morning the baby gets a bit cranky and tired, you can ease them into that sleep position a few minutes ahead of time, so they can comfortably enter the sleep stage.
Stay On Schedule
Your goal should be to make certain you are as consistent in the timing of keeping quiet for baby as you can be. You want the naptime schedule to be the same day after day.
Don't Stress About Interruptions
Life does go on, and things are going to happen that disrupt your schedule. Just make every effort to get back on it as consistently as possible.
Development Of A Nap Ritual
Developing a steady ritual is vital to the baby starting to wind themselves down at a consistent time every day.
Some other possible suggestions for naps:
. Comfortable clothing is important, nothing too heavy or too light.
. Place the baby gently on their back, and in an area with no pillows, blankets, or toys.
. Avoid playing and loud noises before the baby settles in.
. Try to avoid the child being overtired when it is time to lay down, or they may have trouble getting off to sleep.