Babies and Napping

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 1.00 (1 Vote)
Young babies between the ages of three and six months generally have one morning nap of about an hour, and one afternoon nap of slightly longer duration, usually closer to two hours in length. Some babies are more comfortable with three shorter naps of about 45 minutes each. The number of naps is not as important as the total amount of sleep and the general disposition of your baby: if Baby is cranky, chances are she is not getting enough sleep.

Morning and afternoon naps continue throughout the first year. Between one and two years of age, most children can go without a morning nap, but still need an afternoon nap. The afternoon nap typically continues until about the age of four.

As for the exact time a baby should nap, that is mostly Baby's decision. Some sleep experts advise that when trying to establish a nap schedule, you plan to put Baby down about two hours after she wakes in the morning and again after a midday meal. Babies who require a third nap usually take it in the early evening.

Most babies indicate they are ready for a nap through a variety of signals, discussed later in this article. If you try to put a baby down when he is not tired, chances are pretty slim that he'll fall asleep. Heed Baby's signs and try to work with his natural sleep cycles and you'll find a good basis for a nap routine.

How Long Should Naps Be?

Sleep is a critical component of babies' mental and physical development so it is important that they get enough of it. Babies will usually become tired on their own and will sleep when they need to, but some parents like to create a schedule. Do what works best for you - let Baby dictate sleep time or set a schedule. The key is to make sure that your baby gets the sleep she needs.