There’s no more beautiful sight than a sleeping baby, especially to an exhausted parent. Unfortunately, not all babies fall asleep easily on a regular schedule. In order to make sure their baby is getting enough sleep, most parents encourage napping during the day. The following are some tips for getting a baby to take a nap.
Schedule Naps According To Age
Babies’ sleep needs change as they age. Newborns tend to sleep for a few hours at a time, with waking and sleeping cycles repeating throughout the day and night. By the age of four months, though, many babies are beginning to sleep for longer periods of time and can begin taking naps two to four times a day. By six months, many babies are down to two or three naps per day, and by nine months, most do well with a morning and an afternoon nap.
Use The Crib For Naps
It’s a good idea to put the baby down for a nap in the same place he sleeps at night so that the environment will remind him of sleep. Many babies have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal that they associate with bedtime, and such items make good nap-time companions as well.
Don’t Wait For Fatigue to Set In
A common mistake new parents make is waiting until the baby has become over-tired. Once a baby has reached the crying stage, she may be overstimulated and unable to fall asleep. Instead, look for the first signs of tiredness – whining and rubbing eyes – and get the nap started right away.
Develop A Nap Ritual
Rituals can help babies follow a schedule, as one step naturally leads to another. While bedtime rituals can be fairly elaborate, most parents recommend a shorter version for naps. Some quiet play followed by a favorite book and cuddle time can be the perfect lead-in to a peaceful nap.
Don’t Worry If It Doesn’t Work
The best thing parents can do is give their baby the opportunity to nap. However, it’s important to recognize that all babies have unique sleep needs and natural rhythms. Some babies will nap more easily than others. For more information about naps and other concerns of new parents, check out Skirt Girlie.