Do Day Naps Impact Night Time Sleeps For Bub?
What do parents talk about when they get together? Sleep, or the lack of it! It’s a universal experience that all parents can relate to, and the first year of a baby’s life can be challenging when it comes to getting enough shut-eye. But with so many factors at play, it can be tough to figure out what’s causing the sleep issues. Maybe it’s a pesky tooth popping through, or perhaps the room temperature isn’t right. There are many strategies we can employ to improve their sleep, such as establishing a routine and ensuring their comfort, but what about naps? Should babies be napping more or less to achieve a good night’s sleep? Let’s delve deeper into this matter.
Babies are unique, and their sleep patterns can vary. It’s normal to see differences between them, and what works for one family may not work for another. Find a schedule that works for your baby and try to stick to it as best as possible. Sleep is crucial for their overall well-being, but how much nap time do they need? Let’s take a look at a general guide that can be adjusted to fit your baby’s individual needs.
From birth to three months:
Newborns typically sleep in short stretches throughout both day and night as they haven’t established a proper sleep pattern yet. You can help them differentiate between day and night by exposing them to light and engaging with them during the day, while keeping things quiet and dim at night. Although they can sleep up to 18 hours a day, they wake frequently for feeding or changing.
Between three and six months:
Most babies will have around three daytime naps, each lasting up to three hours, totalling about 15 hours of sleep per day. Some babies may sleep up to eight hours at night, but most will wake at least once during the night.
Between six and 12 months:
Babies should have a more regular sleep pattern, averaging about 13 hours of sleep per day. The longest stretch of sleep will usually be at night, lasting around 11 hours. Daytime naps typically reduce to around two per day, lasting for about an hour each. Some babies may still wake during the night, but this is likely due to habit or awareness of their surroundings, rather than hunger.
After the first year:
Babies will gradually transition from two daytime naps to one, and eventually, by around three or four years old, they will no longer need a daytime nap at all.
What if your child refuses to nap?
While most children stop taking naps around age three, some may stop earlier. Sometimes, even if a child refuses to nap, they may still need it. But hey, you can’t force a kid to sleep if they don’t want to. So what can you do? Quiet time can be an excellent solution. Dim the lights and play soothing music in the middle of the day, preferably after lunch. Even if your child doesn’t fall asleep, this can help calm them down and improve their night time sleep.
Remember, each child is unique, and so are their sleep needs. While you can’t completely change the way your child sleeps, you can guide them through patterns and routines. And if you’re struggling, remember, this too shall pass. Soon they’ll be teenagers who refuse to get out of bed!
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