Just like a cat, your newborn might spend most of the day in dreamland. It may seem concerning, if not boring, but it’s completely natural for your infant to spend as many as twenty hours a day sleeping. Naps are a complicated thing, and can be confusing for parents to understand if they aren’t entirely sure when or how long newborns or toddlers should nap for. Naps are a very important part of the day for both your child, and for you. You can use the time your child spends napping to enter the 21st Century Insurance Contest to try and win a new car seat, or even a $10,000 baby room makeover. Check out these tips to make sure you’re letting your child practice healthy napping practices.
Create a Napping Environment
You can’t force your child to take a nap, but you can definitely encourage it. Try not to let your child nap in a variety of places, and instead focus one location on napping. That way, your child will associate wherever you put him or her with sleeping, and it will be easier to get your child to go to sleep in the future. Create a napping environment for better naps. If your child is old enough and resistant to napping in the same location, tell him or her that they don’t have to sleep, but they have to rest in the same location. Chances are they’ll end up going to sleep in no time. Also remember that you shouldn’t let your child nap in a stroller or car seat for an extended period of time, because these things weren’t designed for napping. Because of all the buckles and straps, strollers and car seats can be dangerous places to nap for a child if they aren’t being monitored.
Naps aren’t a Rigid Schedule
Many parents stress out over their child’s nap schedule, and if it isn’t met they freak out. Remember that naps schedules shouldn’t be set in stone, and if your child misses a nap by an hour it’s okay. Be flexible with your child’s nap. Many parents organize their day around when their child is taking a nap, but they truthfully shouldn’t Missing a nap every now and then is okay, and it will not harm your child. Remember this, and try and ease up on the nap schedule a little bit! Letting naps happen naturally should ensure that your child is more well rested throughout the rest of the day, and less cranky too!
Let Naps Fade Away Eventually
Your child will eventually outgrow napping, and you should let this happen naturally. Typically, your child will outgrow the morning nap somewhere between twelve and eighteen months. Let this happen on its own. Your child will probably still nap in the afternoon until he or she is around three years old, but if the afternoon nap sticks around a few years later then that’s okay too. Don’t try and force your child to not nap, as that doesn’t equate with good development.