Tips for Napping Sleep Coach My Dreamy Sleeper

All About Naps – How Many, How Often, and Tips to Lengthen Naps

Naps are not only essential for your little one’s development but also play a crucial role in maintaining their overall well-being. By understanding how many naps newborns should take, transitioning to toddler naps, implementing tips to lengthen naps, and managing overtiredness, you can help your little one enjoy restful and rejuvenating sleep. Jessica of My Dreamy Sleeper is sharing some helpful tips on all of these topics and more so you can get the sleep you deserve. Keep on reading to explore on how to master naps!

Tips for Napping Sleep Coach My Dreamy Sleeper

How many naps should a newborn take each day?

Jessica: There is a wide range here, because it really depends on how long the naps are. I like to stress to parents to keep wake windows short with newborns which means your baby might be taking 5 or 6 naps a day. As babies get closer to 3 and 4 months, that number drops to about 4 naps.

How do you transition newborn naps to toddler naps?

Jessica: The easiest way to help your newborn and infant through a nap transition is by continuing to slowly increase awake times. When your baby is handling staying awake better and better between naps, or it seems to be taking longer to fall asleep before a nap but they are calm and content, it might be time to increase awake time. By doing this, you simply run out of time for that last nap of the day.

Tips for Napping Sleep Coach My Dreamy Sleeper

How many naps should a toddler take? What ages are appropriate for each nap amount?

Jessica: As an infant is nearing toddlerhood, they will take 2 naps a day, napping an average of 3 hours in total. Around 14 or 15 months on average, a baby will start to show signs they are ready to drop a nap. The most common sign is that one of the naps becomes really challenging (usually the afternoon nap). Once your baby makes it through that transtion to 1 nap, they typically nap 1.5 – 2 hours. This will continue until your toddler is ready to drop their nap altogether. These signs can start happening at any time between 2 and 3 years of age, although most children I work with are closer to 3 years. For more details on dropping the nap altogether, check out my blog post: Know When to Drop the Nap.

What are some tips on the best ways to lengthen a child’s nap?

Jessica: The room they are napping in should be DARK – think cave-like darkness. You want your baby or toddler waking when their body is ready to wake and not because of light. Parents should also focus on age appropriate wake windows. If a newborn or infant is kept up too long and miss their ideal sleep window, it can be harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Then the most important tip is if your child does not know how to fall asleep independently, this should be your starting point. Teach your child to fall asleep on their own. Then you have a shot at lengthening the nap. If you need help teaching your child how to sleep, reach out and schedule a free Discovery Call so we can chat.

Tips for Napping Sleep Coach My Dreamy Sleeper
Tips for Napping Sleep Coach My Dreamy Sleeper

Does bedtime and wake time make a difference in the child’s nap schedule?

Jessica: Sometimes! They can if parents prefer a later schedule or an earlier schedule. If, for example, parents would like an 8 or 8:30 bedtime for their child (which is slightly on the late side), then their naps will need to be later in the day too. Also, we would want to see the child waking later, preferably after 7:00 am. If, however, your baby or child is waking too early in the morning, like in the 5:00 am hour, and you are letting THAT dictate the schedule, it’ll be very diffiuclt for parents to get out of that awful early wake cycle they are in.

What should you do when your child is overtired?

Jessica: Put them down for their nap or to bed ASAP. Then make note of the timing. If, let’s say, you are keeping your baby up for 2 hours at a time but they are oftentimes getting fussy and cranky, it’s taking them awhile to fall asleep for a nap, and the nap is short, shorten up their wake window for the next nap or the next day. It can be tough once your baby hits that overlytired stage. You oftentimes just have to do the best you can in the moment, but then adjust for the next sleep time to try to avoid that happening again.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about naps?

Jessica: Naps can be really frustrating for newborn and infant parents. Up until about 6 months of life, naps can be really erratic, and many babies struggle to connect sleep cycles so consolidating sleep into lengthy naps doesn’t always happen. Around 6 and 7 months, most babies do better with consolodating that daytime sleep, enough so that they can handle just 2 naps a day.

Tips for Napping Sleep Coach My Dreamy Sleeper

Remember, every child is unique, so be patient and flexible as you navigate the wonderful world of naps with your little dreamer! For any additional assistance, My Dreamy Sleeper is your go-to destination for all things sleep-related!

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