Learn to recognize naptime.
Keep your eyes peeled for yawning, rubbing eyes and fussiness. When your baby is tired, he or she should sleep. Parenting.com recommends following this table for an estimated sleep guide:
|Age||Total Sleep||Nighttime Sleep||Naps|
|Newborn-2 months||16-18 hours||8-9 hours||7-9 hours (3-5 naps)|
|2-4 months||14-16 hours||9-10 hours||4-5 hours (3 naps)|
|4-6 months||14-15 hours||10 hours||4-5 hours (2-3 naps)|
|6-9 months||14 hours||10-11 hours||3-4 hours (2 naps)|
|9-12 months||14 hours||10-12 hours||2-3 hours (2 naps)|
|12-18 months||13-14 hours||11-12 hours||2-3 hours (1-2 naps)|
|18 months-2 years||13-14 hours||11 hours||2 hours (1 nap)|
|2-3 years||12-14 hours||10-11 hours||1-2 hours (1 nap)|
|3-5 years||11-13 hours||10-11 hours||0-1 hours (naps stop by age 5)|
|5-12 years||10-11 hours||10-11 hours||No naps|
Don’t wake a baby mid nap.
Disrupting a sleep cycle part way through will likely result in a crabby baby.
Avoid napping on the move.
It’s not a big deal if your child falls asleep in the car while you’re running errands, but don’t rely solely on these naps on the go. Just like adults, in order to feel fully rested, your child needs to sleep in his or her own bed.
As babies mature, gradually separate feeding from napping.
Newborns will often fall asleep while feeding. This is totally normal, but you want to make sure that feeding is not the only way your baby can fall asleep. In order to avoid this, start to take a break after feeding and then putting your baby down for a nap.
Routine is key.
Stick to a set schedule. Your little one will sleep better and wake up feeling more rested if his or her body is used to sleeping at a certain time. Keep your nap routine daily and make sure that both nighttime sleep and naptime sleep happen in the crib. This way, your baby begins to associate a bed with sleep.
-Bhargava, Hansa. “Baby Napping DOs & DON’Ts.” WebMD.
-Gelman, Lauren. “Baby and Children Sleep Chart.” Parenting.com.
-Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net