How Many Naps a Day Does My Baby Need?
November 19, 2009 · Posted in Parenting, Sleep · Permalink

toddler_naptimeThere is nothing so beautiful as nap time. While your baby is snoozing you can breathe, check email, shower, grab a bite — and for those fortunate few who can actually “sleep when the baby sleeps” — take a cat nap yourself. Daytime sleep is also critically important for a baby’s development.  It is not just a break for you, it is a time for your baby’s body and brain to slow down, regroup and refuel.

Below are general guidelines for how many naps a baby needs at different stages. Remember your baby may not fit this exactly, nor come to it easily, but it is a good goal for your baby’s sleep.

Birth to ten weeks: Newborns are able to sustain no more than two hours of wakefulness before needing to go to sleep again.  So they may take many small and long naps during the day.

Ten weeks to six months: Babies typically require three  naps a day.  This will include usually a morning nap that begins around 1.5-2 hours after they awaken, an early afternoon nap and a late afternoon nap.  It is important to note that most babies in this age range are only able to be awake for approximately three hours before needing another nap. A typical nap schedule might be 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm.

Six to eighteen months: Between six and nine months, most babies typically drop the third nap (late afternoon) and continue with two naps a day – a morning and an afternoon nap. The schedule may look like 9 am and 2 pm, 8:30 am and 3 pm, or 10:30 am and  3:30 pm.

Parentalk Take Away: Make it a prioriy to have your baby sleep during the day. The more regular you are about time and place the more regular the baby will be. You will come to depend and love your baby’s nap as much–or even more than the baby does!

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