Let me know if you recognize yourself in the following scenario:
You finally got your baby to fall asleep after trying for an hour. Ooph, well done! You cross your fingers that she will sleep for more than 30 minutes, yet 32 minutes and 17 seconds later, she wakes up. Ahhh!! What is there to do? You just can’t get her to snooze for a longer period of time.
One day, miraculously, she takes a 2 hour nap! You think, fantastic this is so great! But, what now? Do I wake her up? Do I let her sleep? It may be tempting to let her keep sleeping, but here are a few things you might want to consider:
- It is okay to wake up a newborn.
If your little one is a newborn, I would recommend waking her up (during the day that is!). As a general rule, newborn babies should not go more than 3 hours without eating. At this stage in life, eating is more important than sleeping; they need the calories. Save the long stretches of sleep for night.
Once your baby is older, 6 months and up, the rules are different. Of course they still need to eat and receive enough calories, but, unlike newborns, they can last longer between feedings, especially as they will most likely have begun to eat solids as well.
As you can see, there are a few good reasons as to why you should wake your sleeping child from a nap (during the day!)
- Keep a balanced nap schedule.
It is very important that babies get the appropriate number of naps, and length of naps, according to their age range. This means that if they nap for 2 1/2 hours in the morning, they may have a harder time falling asleep for their afternoon nap. Keep track of the total amount of hours they sleep throughout the day and you’ll be good to go!
- Don’t let the last nap be too close to bedtime.
If your child usually goes to bed at 7:30pm, don’t let his afternoon nap continue until 6pm. It is okay to wake him up! Napping too close to bedtime will affect his night time sleep and may make it more challenging when putting him to bed. Depending on his age, a baby should be awake by 4pm or 5pm for a 7:30pm bedtime. A 6 month old child can nap until 5pm, but a 13 month old should be awake by 4pm.
As you can see, there are a few good reasons as to why you should wake your sleeping child from a nap (during the day!). Keep in mind that a solid and consistent routine will tremendously help your baby sleep the right number of hours at the appropriate times.
Sleeping babies = Happy Families
Much love, Eve