Solving typical sleep problems at 1-6 months, part 3
Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD
Irregular naps are very typical for a 1-6 month old baby. Know how to
offer enough nap opportunity at the right moments to help your little
one make it through the day well-rested.
Page 3 of 4
Straight to the solutions
Under 6 months old, your baby may take very short, few or irregular
naps, … or almost no naps at all.
Her natural sleep patterns are ever-changing right now.
And that means that every seemingly regular daytime
schedule you think you notice, changes over again in the blink of
Too few and too short naps leave your baby over-tired by the end of the
which in turn influences the nights negatively.
Not being able to count on
regular naps can make it difficult for you to arrange your days. And
you probably worry if your days will ever be predictable again …?
Relax, they will. And your baby will make it through the day
well-rested and content.
The more you manage to guide baby now, while giving enough room to her
natural sleep patterns, the faster it will happen.
Between 4 and 6 months you will see important changes. 6 months is the magical age when many babies tend
to get – and need – regular
naps. It's important for you to provide nap opportunities at the right
moments, not according to a standard fixed schedule but exactly at the
moments that are right for YOUR baby.
What to do
- To be able to nap well, naps must be at the right moments, i.e.
moments at which your baby can sleep (physically) and is prepared for
moments can be based on a strictly timed schedule or on a pattern
routine (eat-sleep-play or eat-play-sleep). It all depends on what is
right for your baby (health, personality, physical ability, maturity,
in a Snap book
is a 3-step program that helps you discover exactly what's right: the
type of routine
that fits best and how to implement it (more info here).
- At any time you'll need to offer enough nap opportunities, even
she does not actually sleep decently. Creating nap opportunities means
you put baby down several times a day. Count also: a chance to sleep
in a baby carrier, stroller or car seat.
- As long as she does not easily self soothe for naps yet, naps on
the move help build the habit of daytime sleep - see the baby sling
trick page for more on this. This is a very valuable tool to help
over-tiredness - which worsens night time sleep.
Gently offering these recognizable quiet moments from early on and
through the first half year helps establish a true regular daytime
rhythm towards 6 months old.