Naptime will fast become one of your favourite words as a busy mom!
But apart from your sanity, it's important for your baby or toddler to take naps during the day for their growth and development.
Children who are well rested also find it easier to get to sleep at night.
Children will usually continue to take naps until around age three.
- Babies usually nap for between three to four hours per day.
- At two months of age, your baby will take around four naps a day. This will drop to one in the middle of the day at around 12 to 15 months of age.
A baby or toddler who naps frequently will not get the same benefit as one who has solid naps. Look at how long they have been awake and judge when they're due to sleep.
Spacing out naps
- Up to 3 months: there should be 1 to 2 hours between naps
- 3 to 6 months: there should be 2 to 2.5 hours between naps
- 6 to 9 months: there should be 2.5 to 3 hours between naps
- 1 year or over: 1 nap a day
- 3 years or over: begin to phase out naps
Babies over nine months of age should not sleep after 3.30 pm in the day. This is because it will affect their bedtime and might make them wake very early in the morning.
Older children should not have naps in the late afternoon for the same reasons.
How to help your child nap
Your child will find it easier to nap during the day if you:
- have a consistent daily routine so that your baby or toddler knows when it is time to nap
- don't let your child play or relax in bed. Your child’s bed should be for sleeping only
- keep their room dark during nap time
- take off your baby or toddler's shoes and outer clothes so they do not become too warm
- give them a special blanket or toy as a comforter
- read them a story in a calming voice.
If possible, you should always let your child wake up on their own to avoid grumpiness and crankiness.