Do you have a newborn at home? Does it seem like forever since you got a good night’s rest? Do you find yourself dreaming about getting your little one on a sleep schedule? If so, you aren’t alone. So many parents are in the same boat. If you are ready to fix your sleep schedule or develop a new one with your newborn, chances are you will need some tips and advice. Keep reading for some effective ways to develop a sleep schedule you will both benefit from.
Prepare the Space
If you want to encourage a quality sleep schedule, you need to ensure your baby naps in the same environment every time. According to experts, the best naps take place in your baby’s crib. This needs to be put in a cool, dark room or part of the house. You can use white noise to help block out any sounds that may interrupt their nap. You can also create a routine before a nap or bed. This may be singing to them while changing their diaper or giving them a short baby massage.
Plan the Morning Nap First
Some new parents don’t realize that soon after your baby wakes up, they will want a nap first thing. However, this is usually a shorter nap and may only last for about 45 minutes. This is a single sleep cycle. While you can plan an afternoon nap, too, it may take your baby some time to take naps both times of the day. For most babies, as the day moves on, behavior goes downhill because they become tired. Overtired kids have a hard time napping.
Stretch Out the Naps
After your baby has started to nap regularly during the morning, you should try to stretch out their naps. While catnapping is normal, you should not assume their nap is finished if they wake up after just 40 minutes. Stop and listen for a few minutes. The baby may fall back asleep. If you leave them in the crib where they sleep, it will help the baby better learn that this is when they should sleep.
Time Naps Properly
Usually, babies that are four to six months old will require three naps per day. They will take one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and then a later afternoon nap to help them make it to bedtime. When your baby reaches seven or eight months old, the buffer nap will no longer be needed (the one later in the afternoon), but they will probably sleep longer during their morning and afternoon naps.
Naps Take Time
Babies have to learn to nap. This can be a difficult skill to learn and master. You shouldn’t give up if your baby doesn’t start napping as they should after just a few days of trying. You may also have days where your baby is a great napper and other times when they don’t nap at all.
While there will likely be progress, you may experience setbacks, too. Make sure you never compare your baby to someone else’s. Every baby is different, and they reach milestones, even sleep milestones, at different times.
While 12 months may be the average age that a baby starts to walk, it does not mean that every baby will do this by that milestone. Your baby is going to let you know when it is ready to take longer naps. Be patient and continue working with your little one. This will help you develop a napping schedule that is right for you both.
Encouraging Your Baby to Nap
When it comes to encouraging your baby to nap, there are many factors to consider. Be sure to keep the tips and information here in mind, which will help you create a sleep schedule that works for you both. Being informed and knowing what to do will help you create the perfect sleep schedule for you both.