Baby naps are important not just your baby but also for you. Naps can certainly be a restful time for both of you. To recognize the essentials of baby naps, here are some tips for a better baby nap.
How many naps a day does a baby need?
Newborn babies take a while to cultivate a sleep schedule. One month old babies typically sleep and wake up round-the-clock. Baby nap times usually lengthen as your babies get older. Their nap times also become more predictable.
Ages 4 months to 1 year
At this age, your baby will expectedly nap at least twice a day (in the morning and in the early afternoon). Some babies even get a late afternoon nap. Most babies take a total of about 3 or more hours of daytime naps.
Age 1 year and older
Babies at this age typically drop their morning nap, and start to just nap in the afternoon and often for around 2 to 3 hours. Most children carry on taking an afternoon nap till they’re 3 to 5 years old.
Here are some things you can do to facilitate a better nap time.
Set a sleeping place that’s conducive for sleeping
A dim, quiet and comfortably cool sleeping environment can definitely encourage a good sleep.
Keep the sleeping area safe
Position your baby to sleep on his/her back, and block the surrounding sleeping area with pillows.
Avoid rocking, feeding, or even holding your baby to sleep
Eventually, this might become the only way for your baby to be able to fall asleep.
Place your baby to bed when he/she is drowsy, but awake
Fussiness, drooping eyelids and eye rubbing are common signs that your baby is feeling tired and sleepy. Don’t delay putting your baby to bed because when he/she becomes overtired it might be harder for him/her to fall asleep.
Establish a regular nap time
Your baby will have better naps if he/she takes them at specific and consistent hours each day, for the same amount of time. Of course, some situations can be an exception if they are inevitable.
Daytime naps and nighttime sleep work hand-in-hand. Better daytime nap results to a better nighttime sleep. When babies don’t nap during the day, they will become overtired. When they become overtired, their bodies will produce a hormone (adrenaline) that helps fight fatigue. Once this hormone kicks in, it will be much harder for them to fall into a long and deep sleep.