If Your 4-6 Month Old Won’t Nap, Read This
Naps can be tough before 6 months of age. If you’re struggling to put your baby on a set nap schedule, don’t be hard on yourself or your baby. It’s normal, you’re normal, she’s normal. Short naps are actually very common before 6 months.
Here is what you can do if you’re struggling to get this nap thing down.
1. Nap at the right times. One big secret to good naps is putting your baby down at the right time, depending on her age. The times will change as your baby grows, so make sure that your baby is on the right schedule for his age.
2. Keep expectations age-appropriate. What kind of naps can you expect from your baby, before 6 months?
Between birth and 3 months, naps can be all over the map. They can range from 15 minutes to 3 hours with no apparent rhyme or reason. After about 4 months, things can begin to even out, especially if you throw some nap training into the mix.
Between 4-6 months, most babies benefit from a 3 nap schedule. A morning nap, which takes place about two hours after waking up in the morning, a mid-day nap and an afternoon nap. A great nap is anything over 40 minutes. Seriously. Expecting your 4-month-old to sleep for an hour and a half every day is a high expectation. It really is. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, it can happen quite often for some babies. But the key to keeping your sanity is knowing what’s age appropriate to expect from your baby.
3. Use Sleep Pressure to Your Advantage. Sometimes a baby will take a 20-minute nap and other times, a 2-hour nap. A great way to solve this problem is by learning how to evenly distribute your baby’s sleep pressure throughout the day. Limiting the length of naps can really help with this.
4. Eliminate Sleep Dependencies. This one will never change! Sleep Dependencies are the number one cause of interrupted sleep during the day and throughout the night.
If you are putting your baby down at the right times, spreading your baby’s sleep pressure evenly throughout the day and not getting in the way of your baby’s sleep (#1 mistake!), your 4-6 month old can learn to take 3 naps each day, ranging from 40 minutes to an hour an a half. It won’t be perfect, nothing is ever perfect with babies (or adults!) but it can be done and you can have some sanity during the day! Those nap breaks can really give you life 😊
Above all, don’t give up! It can take up to a month for your baby to learn how to nap well, so don’t give up after one week. Stamina and consistency are the keys to sleep training. You can do it!