How to get your baby to take great naps. Tips for getting healthy sleep.
It can take a lot of work to get baby to take great naps. You ultimately want your baby to have most naps each day be 1.5-2.5 hours long. Some babies will easily fall into nice sleep patterns, but others take more troubleshooting and work. This post outlines the basics for getting your baby to be able to take great naps.
Keep Waketime Length Appropriate
If you want your baby to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep for a nap, you need to have waketime length appropriate. Waketime length is the amount of time your baby is awake from the time she wakes up to the time she goes down for the next nap. This time includes the amount of time spent to feed and diaper her. For help with this, see:
Watch for Sleepy Cues
When you are working on getting waketime length right, knowing sleep cues is invaluable. Watch for sleepy cues so you know when your baby needs to go down for a nap. This helps you time things correctly even when your baby needs to go down at a different time than usual (this can happen when baby is sick, having a growth spurt, etc.). See this post for help:
Have a Sleep Routine
A sleep routine is something you do before each nap or bedtime to help set the stage for sleep. This triggers to your baby to know it is time for sleeping. The routine can be different for bedtime and naptime. For help finding the best routine for you, see:
Set Up the Sleep Environment
You want the place your baby sleeps to be conducive to a nap happening. You want it to be quiet (this is a great sound machine – affiliate). You want the lighting to be right for your baby. Some are okay with some light while others need it quite dark. You want your baby dressed comfortably. You want the room at the best temperature. See these posts for more:
- Can it be too hot to sleep?
- Dressing Baby for Sleeping
- Optimal Internal Temp=Optimal Sleep
- Some Like it Hot (Sleep, that is)
Teach Baby To Sleep Unassisted
Sleep training is invaluable to getting your baby to the point of taking great naps. There are many sleep training methods out there and you can choose the method that works best for you and your baby. The goal is to have baby capable of falling asleep alone and unassisted. The method you use to achieve that goal is not important.
- 5 Sleep Training Tips
- The Big List of Sleep Training Resources
- CIO Bootcamp: Revised and Updated
- Everything You Need to Know About Cry It Out
- How to Use the Extinction Method for Sleep Training
- Sleep Training: The Four S’s
Here are some resources I have to help with naps:
The Babywise Nap Guide is my newest eBook. It is full of every detail you need for setting up amazing naps for your baby.
This is my Book of Logs PDF. It is only $3, which is a major steal! This is invaluable to troubleshooting naps, night, and other problems you encounter with a baby. To read more about it, visit this blog post. To purchase, click the Add To Cart button below. You will then have an instant download. It is that simple. NOTE–if you are clicking and going to Pinterest, click the side of the button rather than the middle. The Pinterest “Pin Now” button is sometimes getting in the way.