Snooze Worthy Sleep Consulting
How to Improve Daytime Naps
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
If your child is sleeping through the night, but still struggling with daytime naps- you are not alone. Getting good, consistent, and predictable naps are often the hardest part of sleep training. I have compiled a list of tips for you to improve your child’s daytime naps.
Age Appropriate Wake Times
As your baby grows, the length of time they can be awake between periods of sleep will get longer. For instance, a 3-month-old has a maximum wake time of 2 hours while an 11-month-old has a maximum wake time of 4 hours. You need to be aware of the recommended wake time for your child’s age. If they are awake too long, they can become overtired and have a hard time falling asleep. If they are not awake long enough, they will not be sleepy enough for their nap.
Here is a quick reference guide for wake windows by age:
Use your bedtime routine for naps too!
I have heard it from many parents- as soon as they go into the room that the baby sleeps in, they lose it. They know you are about to drop them off in that crib and walk out the door. My advice is to do everything sleep-related in that room. Change their diaper, feed your child if they take a feeding, read some books and then put them in their crib for a nap. Two things, first, this will replicate the bedtime routine and signal to your child it is time to sleep. Second, you have turned their room from just somewhere they sleep to somewhere they can enjoy time with you- their favorite person in the world. It’s a win, win!
Create a sleep environment that dreams are made of!
Ideally, your child should be taking all of their naps in the crib. Just like with your bedtime routine, the predictability of having the majority of their sleep happen in the same room will work in your favor. The room should be anywhere from 68-72 degrees. Use black-out curtains to make sure the room is dark and a white noise maker is very helpful to drown out any background noise.
Again, nailing down naps is often the most difficult part of sleep training, so do not fret if you don’t notice improvement right away. There are many other factors that can impact the quality of your child’s naps, but these tips are a great starting point for you to troubleshoot. If you stay consistent and stay committed you will see positive results.