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Napping is a vital part of your newborn’s daily schedule making it imperative to set up a sleeping routine for your baby. Sleeping and feeding are the most essential needs of a newborn baby. A baby needs ample amount of rest to overcome post-birth stress and for faster development of both his body and brain. A sound night’s sleep is not enough for your baby. He also needs regular naps during the day. Encourage your newborn to take short naps at regular intervals during the daytime. It helps to observe a baby’s behavior, and identify his signals and natural rhythms to determine how and when a baby is about to fall asleep.
A Newborn Baby’s Nap Time – Age 0-6 Weeks Old
A newborn baby will sleep for two to four hours at a stretch during a typical day. Babies are known to doze off for up to 14-18 hours a day during their early months. The sleeping time will gradually decrease as the baby grows. This is a stage when you do not need to set any sleeping patterns. So, let the baby sleep as much as he wants, just make sure to wake him at regular intervals for his feeds.
A Newborn’s Naps After 6 to 8 Weeks
When your baby turns 6 to 8 weeks old, he is going to sleep less often but for longer durations at a time. Try to give your baby two to four naps a day to complete his sleep requirement.
Scheduling your Baby’s Nap-Time
- When your baby is 3 to 4 months old, you can start working on establishing a napping schedule that is compatible with his sleep cycle.
- Read your baby’s sleep signals. If you see your baby rubbing his eyes or getting drowsy after lunch, it is time for his nap.
- Keep a log of his nap times. This is the best way to judge your baby’s sleep pattern so that you can set a routine for him.
- Be consistent with the nap schedule of your baby. A change in the nap schedule and the resultant lack of sleep can make your child cranky.
A Baby’s Nap-Time Ritual
Follow a modified version of night bedtime ritual for your baby’s naptimes. Make the room as dark as possible, turn down the noises and activities around him, give him a mini-massage and a sponge bath if possible and sing a lullaby and gently put him to sleep.
Take Cues from Your Baby
Read your baby’s sleep signals. Pay attention to your baby after feeds when he rubs his eyes or gets cranky. Notice the difference in his level of activeness and alertness. This will help you decide whether he needs a long sleep or a short nap.
Do Not Let Interruptions Stress you Out
Setting a nap-time schedule for your baby and being consistent about it can get difficult at times. Your daily life events will keep disturbing your baby’s schedule, which may result in skipping or delaying sleeping time. Try not to over stress on such instances. Once you have a regular pattern which you can rely on for your little one, it will be much easier to take care of your baby’s naps and other things.
Be Consistent with Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule
Try to schedule your baby’s naps at the same time every day. Try to put your baby down for his naps at a set time. This will help him develop a regular sleep pattern. Cut off any activities that may interfere with your baby’s nap schedule. In case your baby follows a regular sleep schedule at his daycare during weekdays, try to follow the same routine when he is at home with you on weekends.
It is important to understand your baby’s sleeping needs to come up with a nap-time schedule that works well for you and your baby. Do not forget to grab some precious sleep and try to tune in your rest time with your little one’s sleep times.