In this article I will tell you about baby nap schedule and particularities, for it is, perhaps, one of the most discussed topics among young mothers. After all, there are lots of questions related to it: when is it time to put the baby to sleep, how long should he sleep, and what to do if he does not want to, is it necessary to persuade him, and is napping really useful?
It isn’t worth expecting that your baby will sleep quietly throughout the nighttime – it’s a very rare phenomenon.
Baby’s sleep-wakefulness rhythm is not yet established at all. He was sleeping in the womb as long as he wanted to and at the time he wanted to regardless of his mother. And here, in the new world, there are certain rules. The baby is rarely fast asleep more than an hour and a half, that is, he catnaps, respectively, his mother catnaps as well. After a while, he has new sleep – he sleeps for 4 hours and is awake for 4 hours. This period lasts up to 3 months of age. Then, at the age of 1 to 5 years, the child sleeps for 12 hours, and then his sleep period is reduced to 10 hours. But do remember that your child is not a robot – everything is very individually. Do not expect your baby to sleep throughout the nighttime – it is a very rare phenomenon, so you will have to visit your baby at nights.
And here it is important to know the basic rules on how it’s better to put the baby to nap in a particular case.
So, if the baby sleeps one time a day, it is better to sing a lullaby for him in the early noon. If your baby likes to sleep two times a day, then the best option for him is to sleep in the middle of the morning and in the early afternoon. And if the baby prefers to sleep three times a day, put him to sleep in the middle of the morning, in the early afternoon and in the early evening.
Do not forget about the first signs of fatigue and desire to sleep: if he starts yawning, rubbing his eyes, searching for the pacifier or the bottle, losing interest in toys, you can surely prepare him to sleep.
The scientists set a goal to study the brain of a sleeping baby. EEG has shown that the movement of baby’s nerve impulses along the neurons of the brain is almost as active as those of an adult. A baby discovers the world with great curiosity. Every day he gets a lot of information that his brain has to process and regularize involving memory. The younger the child, the more he has to learn and remember. Therefore, the baby’s brain works without a break while the baby is sleeping and throughout his waking hours. On the basis of this study pediatricians concluded that a daytime sleep is not only useful, but also necessary to the child.
What are the benefits of napping?
Of course, the primal goal of napping is to ensure that a baby’s biorhythms are not broken. After all, the main manifestations of biological rhythms of our body are sleep and wakefulness. Those children, who do not sleep during the day, have increased fatigue, lethargy, distraction.
Yet it should be noted that daytime sleep is necessary for a baby to better absorb knowledge and the information he grasps in large amounts. While the baby is sleeping, his brain never stops working, it just switches, thus letting the child to process and absorb information. So a baby just needs at least a short nap.
And finally, it is important for a baby to nap … in order to fall asleep well at night. Yes, exactly: the better he will nap, the sounder he will sleep at night. Why is this so? It is because if the baby does not nap, his activity is increased by the evening, and it is physically difficult for him to fall sleep for the brain is overloaded and does not have time to process all the information acquired during the day. The baby, who naps, is not overloaded with impressions and information, so he falls asleep much easier. The scientists also found that children, who live in a city, need more time to sleep, because their brain is poisoned with polluting emissions, aggressive visual environment and the frantic pace of life. Children, who live away from plants, factories, and are outdoors most of the time, fall asleep much faster.
Well, how should you help your baby to sleep?
It is known that it’s better to put a 0-3 month old baby to sleep after feeding, and an older baby, on the contrary, has increased activity after feeding. So, you should put him to sleep a bit later. And the older the baby is getting, the greater the interval between feeding and sleep should be.
Your baby does not always fall asleep after lying in his crib for about 15-20 minutes. He can even not to fall asleep at all. Even if so, he is resting in any case, and it’s better than nothing. There is always a chance that he will finally fall asleep.
Sometimes you baby can refuse to nap. Then you need to resort to tricks: just take off your clothes, shoes and lie down next to the baby. This will calm him – if you, his mother, an adult, decided to nap, so he needs to sleep as well, and moreover, you will encourage and support him with your presence and proximity.
In any case, if the baby does not positively want to sleep, you can let him do it once or twice a month. Do not punish him for this. Let it be the exception that proves the rule.
How much time does your baby need to sleep within the first year of life?
General sleep length
|1 month||8 h 30 min.||7 h (3)||15 h 30 min.|
|3 months||10 h||5 h (3)||15 h|
|6 months||11 h||3 h15 min. (2)||14 h 15 min.|
|9 months||11 h||3 h (2)||14 h|
|12 months||11 h 15 min.||2 h30 min. (2)||13 h 45 min.|
|18 months||11 h 15 min.||2 h 15 min. (1)||13 h 15 min.|
In parenthesis there is a whole number of baby’s nap a day.
Restful sleep to you and your baby!