Parenting : Basics of baby naps
Baby naps are probably going to be the most anticipated time for a new parent. You’re exhausted and the only time you can let your mind get some rest is when you know that your baby is fast asleep and doesn’t need attending to. So here are some basics you need to know about your baby’s nap time.
1. It isn’t a rigid schedule
For the first two months, do not try to force your baby to sleep when you have errands to run. They’re probably going to be asleep for more than half the day anyway that they won’t even need a nap. However irregular their sleeping schedule is, sleep at that age is very important for growth, so you’re going to have to adjust your day according to when your baby chooses to fall asleep.
2. Till it is
Once your baby turns 3-4 months, it would be a good time to start scheduling their naps. There are enough signs to show how sleepy your baby is and if you can read them, you could coincide their natural sleep cycle with their naps. The most common sign would be them rubbing their eyes and getting cranky. Try a massage to get them to sleep better.
3. No interruptions
Disturbing an already established nap schedule isn’t a very good idea. So if there are activities planned around your nap time, make sure they don’t awaken your baby. If the daycare your child is at follows particular timings, try and continue it even at home or after you leave. Whether you’re at home or on vacation, don’t deter.
4. Create signs
Before putting your baby to sleep, try and ease it out for them. Dim the lights and sing them a song or tell them a story. That way they can gradually get drowsy and come to expect it at the same time the next day, instead of a sudden transition from activity to sleep.
As your baby grows older, their nap lengths become shorter but more regular. 1-2 months of age and they need to nap once every two hours. 3-4 months of age and they’ll need around two to four naps a day to keep them going. At six months, they should be able to sleep continuously through the night.