Should I wake my baby from their nap?
YES!!!! There are a number of reasons you should wake your baby from their nap. For starters, your baby (at any given age) can only sleep a maximum number of hours per 24-hour period, and if too much of that sleep happens during the day, you won’t be organizing their sleep for the precious nighttime hours we all strive towards.
Another thing that is affected by letting your baby nap too long is their ability to consume enough food during the daytime hours, allowing you to stop feeding them at night, and ultimately enabling them to sleep through the night.
It is essential for baby to take the appropriate number of naps per day for their age. A common problem I see is parents rushing to get down to as few naps as possible so they don’t have to be married to their baby’s nap schedule. I get it, no one wants to be home all day for naptime, but appropriate daytime sleep is essential for a full night of sleep.
Here are a couple of nap related tidbits I swear by (in no particular order):
- Prior to you baby consistently sleeping through the night, you should not allow them to take longer than a 1.5-hour daytime nap.
- Find your baby’s optimal wake time and make sure they are down for their nap before they become overly tired.
- Develop a naptime routine and be consistent with it. (I love changing them into their pajamas for nap time)
- Try to avoid too many “on-the-go” naps in the stroller or baby carrier.
- If they wake early from nap (30-45 minutes), work to get them to go back to sleep in the crib, the swing, on you, etc. The nap is more important than how they get it.