How Do I Get My Child to Nap?
Naps are a relaxing time for you and your baby, but getting your child to sleep during the day can be the exact opposite. Consider these tips for getting your child to rest during the day.
How Many Naps Should My Baby Take per Day?
Most babies sleep 2-4 hours either during the day or night. You should not expect a regular sleep schedule at this stage. This comes later. Allow your baby to sleep as much as he or she wants and needs at this phase.
By 6 to 8 weeks, your baby may nap two to four times a day, maybe more.
Around 3-4 months, your baby’s nap patterns become increasingly predictable. This is an excellent time to set up a nap schedule for your child.
Try to have them sleep around the same time during the day. But be aware that children, with or without a schedule, will tell you when they are tired. Besides, each child is different. While some babies sleep very little during the day but take many naps, others sleep for a long time but only take naps a few times a day.
At 6 months, they are happy with two or three naps a day, in the morning, afternoon, or late afternoon.
From 9 to 12 months, most children take up to two naps a day, morning and afternoon; by 18 months, they stop napping in the morning and sleep for a while in the afternoon; they maintain this pattern until age 3 or 4, even though in certain circumstances they sleep less until age 5.
How Do I Plan Naps for My Child?
By 3-4 months, naps should be planned to suit the child’s natural sleep needs. The following steps can help with this:
Spot the Signals
Observe your baby’s sleep signals. Does he start rubbing his eyes in the morning or shortly after eating? Does he often fall asleep in the car at the end of the afternoon? Does he or she become less alert or a little cranky?
To develop a nap schedule for your child, it is important to note these signs up to two weeks in advance. That way, you will surely be able to see patterns that are comfortable with the need for daytime sleep. Over the next two weeks, for example, you will be able to see if a nap is needed at 10:00 AM. Then start your nap ritual 25 minutes earlier so you can get to bed at 10:00.
Stick to a Schedule
The goal is consistency. Try to keep your child’s nap time at approximately the same time each day. If your child goes to bed at 10:00 one day and only takes a lunch break the next day, he or she will be confused and have difficulty making time for naps.
Try to stick to a stacked nap schedule on weekends as well. A nap schedule works best when it is consistent and constant.
Establish a Nap Routine
It is a good idea to have a nap ritual, such as bedtime. It will help your child relax and get ready for bed. Books, songs, and cuddles can help.
Do Not Stress
One day it will not be challenging to keep your child’s schedule, but an unexpected event may occur, or, for example, a late visit may cause your child’s plan to shift a bit. This is not a disaster. Get back on track as soon as possible.
Creating a nap schedule that works best for your child requires trial and error. After all, if you can set a good nap time, the next day could be turned upside down. Jumps and growth spurts can get in the way. Again, the following can help. If you don’t stress and, most importantly, continue to listen to your child’s needs, everything will fall into place.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!