Once they’ve committed to a sleep coaching program, most parents tend to see results in their baby’s nighttime sleep in as little as two or three nights.
But when it comes to naps, things tend to move a whole lot slower.
There are a few reasons for this. The sun is out, there’s more environmental noise, and there’s just a lot more activity surrounding them during the day, which can all lead to poor-quality naps during the day.
And as you might have already figured out, lousy naps lead to overtiredness at bedtime, and overtiredness leads to bad nighttime sleep, which leads to bad naps the next day, and the whole cycle just perpetuates itself.
So today, I’ve got three great tips for you to solve those daytime sleep woes and get your baby taking long, restful naps during the day, which will work wonders in getting them out of the overtiredness trap and into a predictable, consistent sleep schedule.
Today, I want to share with you my top three tips for nap time success. The first thing you always want to consider is how much time awake can your baby handle. Now, this is going to depend largely on how old your baby is. Obviously, as babies get older, they can tolerate more time awake. Their stamina improves with age, so I would encourage you, you can check in the nap section of the Sleep Sense program, I’ve got a chart in there that outlines the different age groups and how much time awake each baby can handle.
Now those are averages, so definitely tinker around with the timing a little bit, you know, add 10 minutes for a few days, maybe subtract 10 minutes for a few days and see if you can find the magic window of opportunity where your baby is fatigued, but not overly fatigued because an overtired baby is going to find sleep much harder.
So let’s just talk about an eight-month-old baby, for an example. An eight-month-old baby, on average, can handle about three hours of time awake, so at that three-hour mark, you would take your baby to their sleeping environment, preferably the same place they sleep when they sleep at night and get them ready for their nap time. So timing is number one.
The second tip is darkness. Now a lot of people think, well, it’s daytime, I should leave the windows open so that she knows it’s day. There’s really no need to worry about that. If we’re talking about a brand new baby in the first week or two of life, yes, they may have their days and nights a little mixed up, but anything past that, their circadian rhythm or their biological body clock should be pretty close to in line with yours where in that they’re getting the cues that this is daytime and what is night. So a nice dark room for nap is really helpful. It’s gonna stimulate that baby to go into another sleep cycle, so hopefully, we get out of that 30 to 45 minutes nap curse, as I like to call it and get our babies to slide into another sleep cycle if it’s nice and dark.
The third thing is that they’re comfortable. You know, when you think about taking a nap in the afternoon, you would probably change into something comfortable. Put on a pair of sweatpants or even get into your pajamas if you were going to take a proper nap. It’s very uncomfortable to try to nap or sleep in your day clothes, so changing your baby into something comfortable is definitely important, making sure that the temperature is just right, all of us tend to enjoy sleeping in a little bit of a cooler environment, so make sure you turn on that fan or you lower the temperature just slightly so that it’s nice and cool, quiet and dark in that baby’s room so that they can have a nice restful nap.
As far as noise level goes, don’t worry too, too much about that, you don’t want to tiptoe around so quietly that if a pin drops, she’s gonna wake up, but I always say too, be mindful that somebody is sleeping in the house, right, the same way you would if your partner or spouse were taking a nap. You’re not gonna, you know, vacuum right outside the door or throw dishes around in the kitchen. You’re gonna be courteous that somebody is trying to sleep and you’re going to do the same thing for your baby where you keep the noise level to a minimum so that they can, again, get through one or two sleep cycles, which would be optimal for two to three sleep cycles.
If you’ve got a dog or a toddler in the house, that could be extra challenging to keep those little people quiet, so try running some white noise. That can also be really helpful through nap time. Just a sound machine, even if the noise that a fan makes or even a radio station on static. These sorts of white noise sounds can help drown out anything environmental that’s going on so that your baby takes a nice, restful daytime nap.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!