The second step in this 7 part series is: Sleep breeds sleep.
Daytime sleep is so important and works hand-in-hand with nighttime sleep: the better the daytime sleep, the better the nighttime sleep. If your little one doesn’t get enough sleep during the day it can significantly affect their night-time sleep.
Naps are so important and without them, you may find your child grumpy, irritable, overtired, wired, possibly hyperactive and clingy. When your baby becomes overtired you may find naps even harder to do, bedtime to be a struggle and that your little one wakes up often because he is overtired and will find it difficult to fall into a deep, relaxing sleep.
Always take into consideration the amount of time that your baby can be awake for before he begins to get tired. As soon as he gets tired, you want to gently take him to his nursery and start your nap routine.
As your little one gets older, you will probably find that naps begin to happen at around the same time each day, within 30 minutes either side. By helping baby nap at around the same time each day, it helps to set his circadian rhythm (body clock) and help establish good naps. A little one with a predictable day is more likely to sleep better than a baby whose naps are all over the place and whose days look nothing alike.
Every family is unique, and it may be more difficult for some to stay home for naps, or it may not be possible if you have other children and are doing nursery school runs. If this is your case, be flexible and try to stick to a day which looks more or less the same. For example, allowing your baby his morning nap on the way to drop off. Do what works best for you and your little one, doing your best to fit his naps in at similar times if/when possible. It will make yours and baby’s life easier.
Adjusting your nap timings as baby gets older
As your little one gets older, your baby will be able to stay awake for a bit longer between naps, which means nap times will change. It’s important to realise that if you find your little one fighting a nap or staying awake for a long time before actually falling asleep, you may be putting him down too soon. Play around with his naps to find out the best suitable time him. Baby’s sleep needs change all the time, so stay ever sensitive to this and keep growing with your baby.
Find step 1 of 7 Steps to sleep success here
You can also download my free eBook, ‘7 Reasons why your baby may not be sleeping’ here.