Taking naps is extremely important for your baby!
Like early rising, it takes time to alter napping habits. In general, naps are also more difficult for children to master. Is your baby taking naps at all or have a difficult time to snooze during the day? If babies don’t know how to fall asleep on their own for naps and to stay asleep for more than 30 minutes, parents may find naps stressful and sometimes uncertain. This is where being patient and positive is key. It takes time and consistency to teach your baby how to have great naps.
Napping is extremely important for babies and toddlers and if your child has a difficult time napping, there may a reason why:
1) If your baby is not getting the sleep they need, they are most likely overtired. A well-rested baby will take longer naps, go down easier at bedtime and wake up less easily during the night. On the other end, an overtired baby will wake up more often and have a hard time going down at bedtime.
You may think you read that wrong! You didn’t. Children do not react to sleep deprivation the way adults do. Adults get sleepy, while babies and toddlers tend to get hyperactive.
2) Napping can be difficult if the awake time between each nap is too short or too long. A 6-8 month old baby should be awake for 2 to 3 hours between each nap. A 9-15 month old baby should be awake for 3- 3 ½ hours and a 18 month/ old baby and older, should take one nap mid-day, for about 2- 2 ½ hours. If they are awake for too long or for a too short period of time, they may have a difficult time falling asleep. I suggest you write a sleep log to see any sleep patterns your baby has. This will help you start to create a consistent nap schedule.
3) The room environment may also contribute to the fact your baby is not napping well. If your baby is younger than 4 months old, swaddle them. Make sure the room is dark enough, use a white noise machine and dress them comfortably. Is your baby taking naps? Comment on this post and I can help you.
4) They may have a medical condition which prevents them from napping and sleeping well at night. If they have reflux, asthma or sleep apnea, it definitely can affect nap and night sleep. Always talk to your pediatrician to rule out any sleep concerns you may have. If your baby is healthy and your child doctor is positive, they should be able to sleep through the night. Consult a sleep professional to support your baby to take better naps.
5) One last reason why your baby is not napping well, may be because they are using a sleep crutch, such as being rocked, nursed or patted to sleep. Once again this can be addressed with sleep training. The best thing you can do is focus on mastering bedtime, and with consistency and patience, naps will follow. Once your baby knows how to self-soothe and can fall back to sleep on their own at night, it will be easier to transfer that skill to naptime.
I hope this was helpful and that you got tools to support your child to nap better and longer.
When in doubt, call me at 702-355-5082 and I will be happy to guide and help you and your child through the journey.
As Always, Sleeping Babies = Happy Families