12 Napping Dos and Don’ts

12 Napping Dos and Don’ts

Sleep is a skill set and we need to teach babies to sleep well. If you can get your child on a good napping schedule it’s a win-win for everyone. Your child enjoys the benefits of good day sleep (which definitely helps good night sleep) and you have some time for you!

Here are some napping dos and don’ts to help you teach your baby to nap well:

Do – make naps a priority

Don’t – expect your baby to automatically fall asleep when they’re tired, often the opposite occurs and they get “wired”         instead


Do  – create a napping schedule so you’re aware of your child’s general nap times
Don’t – expect every day to go exactly like clockwork (babies have bad days too)


Do – watch for tired sign like yawning, rubbing the nose or eyes, pulling at the ears, etc
Don’t – ignore your child’s tired signs, it often means he’s ready for a nap


Do – have a nap time routine to cue your baby that it’s time for sleep
Don’t – make it too long (2 or 3 steps is fine)


Do – keep an eye on recommended time awake for your child
Don’t – wait until baby is getting fussy as often that’s too late and she’s probably already overtired


Do – schedule baby classes around naps
Don’t – expect baby to skip a nap and still enjoy the class or outing


Do – make sure you’re home for naps around 80% of the time
Don’t – expect your child to get a good sleep in the car between outings/activities


Do – make sure the room is very dark for naps
Don’t – expect your baby to sleep well in a bright sunlit room


Do – put your baby down in her cot or bassinet awake
Don’t – put your baby down already asleep or you’ll find she’s likely to wake earlier


Do – feed when baby wakes up
Don’t – include feeds in the naptime routine


Do – work on nap length if your child only ever naps for less than an hour
Don’t – expect nap changes to happen overnight (nap length is one of the hardest things to change, and often takes longer than night sleep to fall into place)


Do – lie your child down for naps
Don’t – rely on upright motion sleep, like in the car or stroller, as this will not let her fall into the deeper restorative stages of sleep


Do comment or contact me if you have questions or are after more information, and don’t just accept bad sleep as a given. If you’d like some sleep help please contact me!

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