Nap time can mostly go one of two ways. Either it's the best time of the day- hello cup of hot coffee!- or it's the most dreaded, stressful part thanks to a various number of reasons. Which camp do you fall into? If it's the latter, first you have our sympathy. Secondly, we have your back.
Here are three ways that you can keep naps on track.
1) Know how much sleep your baby needs
Your baby's nap needs will change a lot in the first year. From birth until about 4 months, your baby will need 4-5 naps during the day. By the age of four months, it will be closer to 4.
From 5-8 months, your baby will nap about 3 times per day. From 9-15 months, your little one will need 2 naps (although she may transition to one nap a little earlier). From 18 months up to 3 or 4 years old, she will need one nap. Remember though that these are guidelines, and your baby may need more or less than the average.
2) Know what a nap really is
Before we get Ito this, keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal for newborns and young babies to take short naps. So if you're wondering whether that 15 minute nap is actually a nap or not, then if your baby is very young then it probably is. For older babies though, a 15 minute nap is not good enough- we're sure you agree!
In the first 6 months of your baby’s life, any nap that’s longer than 45 minutes can be considered a ‘real’, restorative nap, while any nap that’s 30 minutes or less probably isn’t long enough to be an actual nap (although to complicate matters, if your baby is in the midst of a nap transition, then a short catnap is considered normal). At 6 months and older, your baby should nap at least an hour at least twice a day for her naps to be restorative.
Babies and toddlers who are down to needing just one or two naps per day should be able to nap longer - at least an hour each time.
3) Know how to nap on the go
While it's true that the naps that take place at home are usually more restorative than moving sleep that happens in a carseat or pram, napping at home isn’t always possible. If your baby or toddler has to nap on the go, make the sleep environment is as nap-friendly as possible. Make it dark and quiet- the SnoozeShade is perfect for this, and one of the reasons why it was invented.