How To Get Your Baby To Sleep At Naptime

Image Credit

If you baby is not napping well during her first few months of life, you may want to try to cut back on the time she is awake by 15 minute increments. If she is getting overstimulated, then she will fight sleep and be difficult to get to nap. The way to prevent this is to watch her “sleepy” cues to make sure that you put her down when she is beginning to get sleepy.

Some parents believe that letting their child cry will harm him or her. Fifteen or twenty minutes of crying will not harm your child physically or mentally. Babies will learn to self-soothe and fall asleep by themselves, but only if you let her. It is very important that babies learn to fall asleep by themselves so that they can self-soothe if they awake in the middle of the night. Otherwise, you may have a child that will not sleep through the night for years.

Regular sleep patterns are intermeshed with regular eating patterns, so let us look at the stages of a baby’s life:

Newborn: Your newborn will sleep anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day, including the naps that he takes between feedings. When your baby has been fed, let him stay awake for a short while and then put him down before he becomes overstimulated.

Two months: At two months and older, your child should be allowed to try to self-soothe during their naptimes and bedtime. Crying is normal when you put your baby down, but it is okay. If he cries for longer than 10-15 minutes, then go in and check on him. Don’t get him up, but pat his bottom or lightly rub his back until he calms down.

3-6 months: At around 3-6 months, your baby will stop taking one of his naps. Usually it is the third nap or late afternoon nap that they do not need as much. He may be a little fussy and may want to take a little nap, but you need to try to keep him up if you want him to go to bed at a decent time and sleep soundly through the night.

16+ months: When your child is between 16-20 months, they usually quit taking the morning nap in favor of a longer nap in the afternoons. Babies this age usually sleep between 10-12 hours a night and take a 2-3 hour afternoon nap.

Ground Rules about Naps:

1. You decide when the nap starts and ends, not the baby.

2. When your baby is older than 4 months old, she will wake up crying if she hasn’t slept enough. She might have a dirty diaper, be in a position that is not comfortable, or cold/hot. Fix the problem and encourage her to go back to sleep. Babies that have enough rest wake up happy, talking, and in a good mood!

15 thoughts on “How To Get Your Baby To Sleep At Naptime

  • March 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    Permalink

    My daughters are 3 and 6 years old. They still take naps. You gave some wonderful tips for new mommies. I wish I had this when I was trying to figure it all out.

    Reply
  • March 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm
    Permalink

    My daughter will be dealing with this in a couple of months, Thanks so much for sharing this post and I’ll be sharing it on my facebook page. Also one of my tricks when my grandbabies are here, is I have a special rocker that they just love sitting in with me, it doesn’t take long for them to fall asleep.
    @tisonlyme143

    Reply
  • March 16, 2019 at 11:50 am
    Permalink

    My first grandchild was born in January and I am always looking for ideas. Thank you.

    Reply
  • March 17, 2019 at 11:59 pm
    Permalink

    Oh how sweet, great tips. I wish I could hold a baby so much

    Reply
  • March 18, 2019 at 4:05 am
    Permalink

    I felt sad to leave the nap times behind, but we made it through somehow.

    Reply
  • March 18, 2019 at 4:46 pm
    Permalink

    Great tips. I have a 2 month old and it is really hard to leave him crying for 5 minutes but sometimes it is really needed.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 10:55 am
    Permalink

    My kids don’t take naps anymore but I do!

    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 10:56 am
    Permalink

    My kids don’t nap anymore. I miss them being little.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    These are great tips

    Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 6:45 am
    Permalink

    I definitely agree. Self-soothing is very important for an infant to learn. I always allowed at least 15 minutes of crying before I picked them up. Of course I always checked on them, I just didn’t pick them up right away.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 4:02 pm
    Permalink

    My coworker has a 4 month old and he is having issues with sleeping.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 5:22 pm
    Permalink

    I like that concept I decide when nap time ends not baby

    Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 10:07 pm
    Permalink

    These are some great tips. I remember my baby did not sleep well at first. That can be so rough on new parents.

    Reply
  • March 21, 2019 at 6:44 am
    Permalink

    These naptime tips are very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2019 at 9:40 pm
    Permalink

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!! I’ll pass them on to my sister

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.