Those of you who follow me are probably WELL aware of how important naps are for your baby’s overall sleep habits. Daytime sleep is CRUCIAL for avoiding overtiredness, which can cause all sorts of ugly sleep problems you don’t want.
But you know that already. So you try your hardest to get your baby to nap…and he WON’T SLEEP! Don’t worry- getting your baby to nap well can be tricky!
A mother named Jenny from the My Sleeping Baby Facebook Community asked a fantastic question about her 6 month-old’s naps. She expressed frustration over struggling to get him to sleep when he’s even slightly overtired. I don’t blame her!
Here’s a summary of the advice I provide Jenny:
- Make sure that you are adhering to age-appropriate wake windows and that you are putting your baby down for a nap JUST as he’s beginning to get tired, before he becomes overtired. A baby that appears “wired” before a nap has likely been up for too long!
- Make sure your baby’s nursery is as conducive to good quality sleep as possible. For example, the room should be VERY dark- ideally an 8-9 out of 10.
- Teach your baby how to fall asleep without assistance. If your baby needs help from you to fall asleep and can’t pull off a nap by himself, napping will be frustrating for him! A sleep plan will help you with this! Remember: falling asleep independently is a skill. Once he masters this skill, napping will likely get easier.
- Don’t focus too much on “sleepy cues”. As babies get older, sleepy signs (such as yawning and rubbing the eyes) become less relevant as they learn to mask their signs. And on the flip side, a baby who is chronically overtired may show you tired signs all the time! Instead, focus on wake windows and the time on the clock instead.
Watch the video below for more details!