Archives for January 2018

Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk of Eczema

Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk of EczemaMany studies detail the lifelong benefits of breastfeeding for children. From infancy to adulthood, breastfeeding is a gift that keeps on giving. New research shows that breastfeeding may reduce risk of eczema as breastfed children enter adolescence. And breastfeeding education played a major role in ensuring that new moms were successful in meeting their goals.

Published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, the study followed a group of new mothers and their children from infancy to teenagers. The mothers were given breastfeeding guidance from educators and had access to breastfeeding support programs.

The results showed teens who were breastfed for at least 3 months were more than 50% less likely to have eczema than those who were not breastfed for this amount of time.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition marked by inflammation, redness, bumpiness and itchiness. It can appear at any time but commonly rears its head in childhood or adolescence. Unfortunately there is no cure but certain foods and conditions can exacerbate the condition.

In babies, breastfeeding is rarely the cause of eczema. Breast milk is the perfect first food for infants because it is the ideal balance of hundreds of essential nutrients for growth and development. Plus, breast milk provides antibodies that bolster a baby’s immune system for her entire life, including making it less sensitive to allergens including those that cause eczema.

If you do think your breast milk is causing your baby to break out, look to your diet to see if you’re consuming some of the most common allergen triggers such as cow’s milk, shellfish and nuts.

Teenagers can develop eczema for a variety of reasons such as shifting hormones, stress, using new personal care products or expanding or changing their diet. Eczema tends to run in families so there is a genetic factor as well.

While there is no tried and true way to prevent eczema, nursing is a wonderful first step since breastfeeding may reduce risk of eczema later in life. Along with the hundreds of other lifelong benefits of breastfeeding, this is one your teenager will be grateful for in the future.

Sources: Well and Good, WebMD, KidsHealth and JAMA Pediatrics


Why Mastitis is More Common in the Winter

If you’ve ever had mastitis or heard of the horrible pain it causes, you wouldn’t want to get it in any season. But mastitis is more common in the winter and cold weather in general so keeping it at bay this time of year is more important than ever. Today we’re exploring why mastitis is more common in winter and how to try to avoid it.

Mastitis is an infection in the breasts that affects at least one in 10 lactating moms in the U.S. It occurs when milk is clogged in a milk duct and the area becomes inflamed. This usually happens when a baby is not latched or suckling milk properly, a mother is not breastfeeding or pumping often enough, or if a mom has an oversupply of breast milk. It is marked by flu-like symptoms, fever, hot spots, redness on the breasts and severe sharp pain.

Why Mastitis is More Common in the WinterMastitis can also occur during breastfeeding or not when bacteria enter the breast through cracked nipples. For nursing moms, cracked nipples are especially common in the early stage of breastfeeding when both mom and baby are learning the ropes.

Like the rest of your skin, cracking of the nipples is more likely in colder weather when the air is dry. Moisture helps hydrate skin and keeps it supple and smooth. Without it, skin and nipples are susceptible to cracking, chaffing and other irritation, which can lead to mastitis.

The risk of mastitis is also more common in the winter because vessels in the breasts constrict causing vasospasms. This may make the passage of milk harder, especially the valuable fattier hind milk, but can also lead to cracked nipples that can invite bacteria.

Winter clothes may exacerbate the problem because women tend to bundle up in the wintertime. Layers upon layers of restrictive clothing may hamper the free flow of milk and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

To try to avoid mastitis in the winter, try to keep your breasts warm and comfortable without being constricted under heavy layers. A nursing tank top or a stretchy, breathable nursing bra is the best first layer. Wear nursing pads to absorb any extra moisture and keep it away from your breasts. Then add loose fitting clothing on top and take off coats once you come indoors. At home wear nursing sleep bras or leisure bras to protect your nipples while also enjoying gentle support.

If you feel a clogged milk duct, take care of it right away by using a warm compress and massaging the area. You can even submerge in a warm bath but do not let your nipples air dry in cold weather because exposure may lead to cracking.

Sources: WebMD and Romper

How to Survive Your Baby’s Checkups

As exciting as it is to see your baby’s weight and height plotted on her growth chart and ask your pediatrician all of your burning childcare questions, taking your baby to the doctor’s office is usually not a thrilling experience. Today we’re offering tips on how to survive your baby’s checkups.

How to Survive Your Baby’s CheckupsAccording to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby will have at least seven well checkups in her first year. In addition to being seen daily in the hospital, the normal schedule for your baby’s checkups in the first year is:

  • 2-5 days after birth
  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months

At each appointment your baby will be weighed and measured (both for length and head circumference) and the doctor will check her body thoroughly including listening to her heartbeat, looking in her eyes, mouth, ears and nose, and looking at areas such as the umbilical cord stub and circumcision. Starting at two months, your baby will begin her course of vaccinations. These are heaviest in the first 15 months and then become sporadic throughout early and middle childhood.

Along with all of these procedures your baby will have to be undressed, handed to several strangers (at least one nurse and one doctor), placed in odd and awkward positions, and examined with foreign and potentially cold objects. Needless to say your baby might be a bit peeved about the entire business of checkups. Can you blame her?

Of course you’re doing your best to keep it together because you want to focus on your baby’s health. Through your baby’s cries you try to answer the seemingly millions of questions that the nurse and doctor ask you and try to remember everything you wanted to ask in return. And then, even knowing their critical importance, you have to fight back your own tears as you watch your baby get stuck several times with vaccination needles.

Sadly most every parent has been through these difficult well checkups, even those with very agreeable, calm, happy babies. Here are a few tips on how to survive your baby’s checkups so you don’t feel like you’ve been hit by a bus afterwards:

  • Try to schedule appointments at your baby’s happiest hour. While she may not stay happy, you’re going to have the best shot of a peaceful experience during this timeframe. It can be especially difficult to find this window for newborns because their sleep/wake schedules are rather unpredictable but once you find your baby’s nap rhythm, try to schedule doctor’s appointments around that.
  • Feed your baby immediately before your visit or in the waiting room. A hungry baby is not a happy baby. Trying to feed her during the appointment will lead to a lot of stopping and starting for the weigh-in, doctor’s exam and shots. You can feed her again immediately after the appointment if necessary. That means you’ll want to wear a nursing bra or nursing tank top for easy access.
  • Dress your baby in comfortable clothes that are easy to remove and redress. Don’t forget extra diapers for after the exam.
  • Bring your very best distraction toys. Even if they are loud and musical, if these items keep your baby content, drag them to your baby’s checkups.
  • Write down anything you want to say or ask the doctor. Otherwise in the heat of the moment it may be difficult to remember everything you wanted to address/
  • Bring along a helper if at all possible. If you and your partner can tag team keeping the baby occupied, one of you can be attentive to the doctor or nurse at all times.


Five Habits to Continue from Pregnancy to Motherhood

Five Habits to Continue from Pregnancy to MotherhoodAs the life-source of your unborn child, your body becomes a sacred vessel during pregnancy. What you put in your body and on your body, your health habits and outside exposures are constant concerns as a mom-to-be because you want only the best care for your little one in the womb. Many of these recommended health practices during pregnancy are excellent to carry over into motherhood. Today we’re sharing five habits to continue from pregnancy to motherhood.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Clean, green and natural are usually among the top priorities in an expectant mom’s diet and it’s great for motherhood too. Your baby may no longer get wholesome nutrients delivered through the umbilical cord but she’s getting it from your breast milk. Plus, a mom who eats healthier and has more energy is going to better meet her baby’s needs. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts and flax are great, as well as green leafy vegetables, fruits chock full of antioxidants, lean proteins and whole grains.

Oh, and remember those small meals you were eating during pregnancy because they kept you from vomiting and reduced your acid reflux? That’s a good idea to continue now too to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Breastfeeding takes a lot of energy and requires extra calories so keep your nutritious meals coming throughout the day.

Taking Prenatal Vitamins

Along with a healthy diet you’ll want to continue taking your prenatal vitamins. They’re good for you, of course, but they are also stupendous for your baby who’s getting that folic acid, vitamin D, calcium and many other fantastic nutrients in your breast milk. Although your hair may lose the prenatal fullness you enjoyed during pregnancy (thanks a lot, hormones!), prenatal vitamins can keep your remaining strands lustrous and your nails strong.

Eliminating Vices

Among other things, smoking, spending hours in the sun, and drinking a few cocktails at a time were probably vices you eliminated during pregnancy. You may want to keep them at bay because they just aren’t good for your health. After breastfeeding, moderate consumption of alcohol may have its benefits but otherwise, leave the unhealthy vices to your past.


If you followed your OBGYN’s advice and exercised during pregnancy, you probably reaped some terrific benefits like more energy, the release of feel-good hormones and keeping your weight in check. Guess what? All those benefits exist in motherhood too. And now you can incorporate your baby into exercise as well with mommy-and-me yoga, walks in the park and frequent dance parties.


The exhaustion you may have felt during pregnancy is probably only rivaled by the exhaustion you feel as a new mom. When you were expecting you probably made yourself rest and relax because it’s what your body really needed. Now, even with your little one around, you still need some down time. Sleeping as much as possible, seeking help with chores that others can do, and just chilling with your baby are productive ways to recuperate your energy after nine months of pregnancy and many more months with an infant.

When you’re not sure how to take care of yourself in motherhood, think back to the way you treated yourself during pregnancy and continue these healthy habits.

Common Mom Injuries

Common Mom InjuriesMoms make a lot of sacrifices for their kids and, if you’re like most, they’ve landed you a few cuts, scrapes, bruises, joint and back pain or maybe even broken bones or other internal damage. Common mom injuries may be due to pregnancy or childbirth (truly the labor of love) or might be from your baby’s unintentional enthusiasm, tantrums or fearlessness. Whatever the cause, common mom injuries can be painful and take awhile to disappear.

Today we’re sharing common mom injuries along with a little advice on how to avoid them and feel better.

Back Injuries

How it Happens: A mom’s back pain usually starts during pregnancy thanks to all that extra weight you’re carrying around in front. An arched or swayed back are quite common by the third trimester because pregnancy hormones tend to loosen joints and ligaments to help you carry your baby and eventually give birth. Once your baby arrives, the pain doesn’t miraculously go away and may even get worse.

As you start carrying your baby around (and she continues to get bigger and bigger), lean over to change diapers and lean into a crib to soothe your baby, your back may continue to feel sore. Hunching during breastfeeding, which you will spend hours upon hours doing for possibly years, can make it all the worse.

How to Relieve it: Whenever you lift your baby or anything else for that matter (such as a box of diapers, car seat carrier, or baby furniture), bend from your knees and hold your baby close to your abdomen. Try not to twist while bending. During breastfeeding sit upright and bring your baby to the breast rather than hunching over to bring your breast to your baby.

As unrealistic as it may sound to not pick up your baby, the best way to heal a muscle injury is rest. Heat or ice can help reduce inflammation. If back pain lingers or spreads to your legs, visit a doctor to ensure you don’t have a herniated disc.

Hip Injuries

How it Happens: Holding your little one on a cocked hip might be your baby’s favorite mode of transportation but it can do some serious damage to your body. When the back, pelvis and tailbone are misaligned, it can be quite painful.

How to Relieve it: If you must hold your baby on your hip, switch sides often and hold her with both arms to avoid slanting too far to one side.  A sling is better option if you want your baby to be close and you need your hands free. A massage can do wonders to help heal this area and you can do specific exercises to strengthen these muscles too.

Pregnancy and Childbirth Injuries

How it Happens: Stretch marks, extra weight and kinky hair aside, pregnancy and childbirth can leave you with temporary or permanent scars. Vaginal tearing, a leaky bladder, broken tailbones and hemorrhoids are common mom injuries after vaginal births, while cesarean sections typically leave an incision scar. Abdominal separation, medically known as diastasis recti, occurs when the uterus puts so much pressure on the abdominal muscles that they separate, leaving many moms with a lasting “pooch.”

How to Relieve it: Many pregnancy and childbirth problems heal over time or with easy solutions your doctor can provide, such as hemorrhoid cream and ointments to reduce the appearance of scars. Abdominal and pelvic floor exercises can help in some instances. Other issues may never go away, at least not without surgery. Consider them the mark of motherhood on your body.

Wrist and Elbow Injuries

How it Happens: Holding your baby in awkward positions, especially while breastfeeding, may lead to wrist injuries because fluid builds up inflaming tissue in the small spaces around tendons. Elbow injuries are common from hoisting the baby’s car seat carrier on the crook of your arm multiple times daily.

How to Relieve it: Try to keep your hand, wrist and elbow in alignment while holding your baby to avoid wrist pain. Consume a natural anti-inflammatory diet to relieve pain. Also, wear your baby more rather than carting around the car seat carrier. When necessary, attach the carrier to a stroller rather than hauling it yourself.

Scratches, Bruises and Other Injuries

How it Happens: Your baby’s crazy-long finger or toe nails may leave you looking like you were in a cat fight. Or she might innocently throw a toy at you unintentionally as she learns to control her movements. Once your baby learns to give hugs, kisses and head bonks, she may do so less than gracefully and cause you injury. And flailing during tantrums or sudden movements to keep your baby from harm’s way may land you with some sad scrapes and bumps as well.

How to Relieve it: Most of these injuries are unforeseeable yet unavoidable consequences of spending time with your adorable little baby. Treat the injury as best as possible and avoid giving your baby something or putting her in a situation that could inflict pain on herself or others like you!

Sources: Redbook, WebMD, and Parents

Sensitive Winter Skin During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Sensitive Winter Skin During Pregnancy and BreastfeedingNow that you’re pregnant or breastfeeding you may wonder what happened to the radiant, blemish-free skin you worked so hard to achieve after your teenage years. With all that talk about pregnancy and new-mom glows that didn’t seem to land on your doorstep, you may start dreading your sensitive winter skin during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Yes, hormones can do crazy things to your body, especially your skin in winter months. The combination of extra hormones and the dry air may lead to itchy, bumpy, red, splotchy skin.

Here are some tips for managing sensitive winter skin during pregnancy and breastfeeding:

Dry Skin

The biggest winter skin woe during pregnancy and breastfeeding is dryness. When the air lacks moisture, so does your skin. Head off the problem by using a natural moisturizer on your face and body at least twice daily.

Also, use a humidifier in your room at night and drink plenty of water throughout the day. When you need extra moisture and relaxation, enjoy a lukewarm bath with a pure natural oil or oatmeal. (Hot baths are not recommended during pregnancy. Besides, hot water strips the skin of moisture anyways!)

Sensitive Winter Skin During Pregnancy and BreastfeedingItchiness

During pregnancy be sure to coat your belly with a thick balm. When your skin stretches to accommodate your growing bump, it can be extra itchy, especially in winter months. Your breasts may itch more too due to dryness and the metamorphosis they are making to nourish your baby. When you are breastfeeding, use 100% pure lanolin to take care of itchy skin issues as well as cracked or sore nipples.


Some moms become extra oily in the winter months thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones. If that’s the case for you, be careful of products with contain chemicals that may not be safe for your baby. Most experts recommend avoiding Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol. Instead, try glycolic acid.


The mask of pregnancy is a common darkening of facial skin for expectant moms. While you may not be able to control some discoloration, do be careful of sun exposure. Even the weaker winter sun can make splotchiness during pregnancy worse.

While pregnant and breastfeeding, use a mineral-based sunscreen. Chemical-based sunscreens may enter your bloodstream and affect your baby. You can also use a tinted moisturizer to hide splotchy areas but never use a skin lightener.

Sources: Fit Pregnancy, The Bump and Parents

Babywearing vs. Stroller

Taking your baby out and about is always an exciting adventure for your little one. And how she views the world may be subject to where she’s positioned in it. Both babywearing and using a stroller have their advantages but may change your baby’s perspective on the experience.

Here are things to consider when deciding about babywearing vs. stroller:

Age of your Baby

Younger babies love to be snuggled up close to their mothers so babywearing may serve you well here. Newborn carriers can create a swaddle-like cocoon for your tiny love and make her super comfortable feeling your warmth, hearing your heartbeat and smelling your scent. Plus, breastfeeding is a cinch from the Babywearing vs. Strollerbabywearing position and you can protect your baby from the multitude of germs that may fly her way.

Older babies may still love to be close to you in a carrier but could also enjoy the strolling experience. As your baby becomes larger, babywearing may be more taxing on your body and a mixed-use outing is a great plan.


Cuddling close to mom is so delicious when the weather is cooler. On warm days, you and your baby may prefer a more breezy experience in the stroller. Do be sure your stroller has a visor or fashion an umbrella on top to protect your baby from the sun. If you’re using a stroller in cold or rainy weather, cover it with a water-proof or wind-reducing layer.

Type of Activity

Babywearing is fantastic in that it gives you two hands free to do many things you might need to do such as push a shopping cart or hold on to your dog’s leash. However, if you’re doing anything that may make you tip over, don’t take the risk of wearing your baby. A spill with your baby attached can be very dangerous as your weight may crush your little one. It’s tempting to wear your baby on terrain where strollers are not ideal but be cautious about your risk of tripping or falling.

Babywearing vs. StrollerTemperament of your Baby

All babies are different, from their preferences to their need for proximity. Some babies may prefer the openness of sitting independently in a stroller, eating a snack from the stroller’s tray and being able to stretch and move in many directions. Other babies may prefer the security of being close to mom while observing the world. Once your baby is old enough you can turn her around to face outward or carry her on your back so she has a better view.

Sleep and Transfer

Some babies can sleep anywhere with ease while others are rather particular. Sleeping on mom’s chest while in a carrier is a wonderful experience for both of you. Your warmth and the rhythm of your movement may rock your baby to sleep. But if you need to put your baby down, she may wake up. Strollers allow your baby to stay sleeping in one spot for longer, especially strollers that are compatible with car seat carriers, but the sleep position may not be as comfortable.

When deciding between babywearing vs. stroller, keep all of these considerations in mind for your adventures outside your home.

Easy Breakfast Ideas for Busy Moms

Easy Breakfast Ideas for Busy MomsThe mornings are probably you’re busiest time as you’re getting everyone, including yourself, ready to face their day. Everyone’s up on time, dressed and ready, lunches and book bags are packed, and everyone has eaten breakfast but you. Moms need to eat too so we’re sharing easy breakfast ideas for busy moms like you!

The first thought that may pop in your head when we bring up easy breakfast ideas for busy moms is something you bought from a store that comes in an individually wrapped package. Yes, those protein bars, breakfast biscuits, tubs of cereal and frozen breakfast sandwiches are super convenient but they are also filled with a lot of nonsense you don’t want in your body, especially if you are breastfeeding. We’re talking lots of sodium, unnatural chemicals and sugar.

Every once in awhile a pre-packaged breakfast will have to do but try to stick with natural whole foods whenever possible. Try some of these wholesome easy breakfast ideas for busy moms:

Oatmeal:  Not the kind that comes in the packets, but real whole oats are an amazing superfood that offers fantastic fiber to support stable blood sugar levels all day long. Plus, oatmeal is a known galactogogue, which means it helps naturally increase your milk supply.

Oatmeal is pretty simple to prepare on the stove or you can prep it the night before. If you’re not a fan of pure oatmeal, flavor it with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or fruit. If you want an amazing twist on a regular bowl of oatmeal, work on flavor combos like carrot cake, banana maple crunch, apple cinnamon or berry delight. When taking oatmeal on-the-go, use a small insulated thermos to keep it warm and delicious.

Egg Muffins: In about 15 minutes time you can have a protein-packed breakfast ready to go and we bet your kiddos will love these too. Simply beat some eggs, pour them into greased muffin tins and bake for about 10-12 minutes. The eggs should fluff up nicely. Feel free to add spices you enjoy, cheese, turkey bacon, or veggies such as spinach, tomatoes, peppers and onions.

Smoothie: In about two minutes time you can have a delicious, healthy smoothie ready for the road. Just be sure to have the right ingredients on hand. Try hitting up every food group in your smoothie by ensuring you have several fruits and veggies, a source of protein (yogurt, nuts, nut butters, tofu or a hard boiled egg are all great choices), dairy (or alternative calcium source if you are dairy-free) and a superfood like amla, Spirulina, Moringa or maca.

Baked Bars: Did you know those store-bought breakfast bars can be made fresh in your own kitchen and without all the processed ingredients? There are many variations of homemade granola-type breakfast bars. The gist of them is using butter, baking soda and a natural sweetener combined with grains like rolled oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, quinoa, whole wheat flour, plus adding in the flavor tidbits you love like chocolate chips, dried fruit and nuts. Give this one a go and toss in some galactogogue ingredients like oats, almonds and ginger.

Quinoa: You may not think of quinoa as a breakfast food but it can absolutely be one. This is actually a great breakfast to prepare on Sunday nights and eat hot or cold throughout the week. Try flavoring your quinoa with dried fruit, berries or vanilla beans. You can eat it with similar fixings as oatmeal and enjoy some plant protein first thing in the morning.

Nut-butter Protein Bites: This no-bake popable breakfast is equally as easy to make and eat. In a food processor, mix together your favorite unsalted nuts, a few tablespoons of your favorite nut-butters, 5 pitted dates, super grains (like hempseeds, flaxseeds or chia seeds), oats, honey and coconut oil. Once your mixture is blended, scoop it into balls. Eat them right away or refrigerate for breakfasts during the week.

Superfood Muffins: Muffins are great for breakfasts and snacks on-the-go and freeze beautifully too. There are many ways to make an all-natural muffin but start with a base of ripe bananas, unsweetened applesauce or a pumpkin puree. Add in oats or whole wheat flour, a couple of eggs, a teaspoon of baking soda, super grains, and a natural sweetener (or two).

Greek Yogurt Parfait: Forget the fancy layers and just throw some Greek yogurt, nuts, fruit and a drizzle of honey into a to-go cup for the road. You’ll love the taste and feel satisfied until lunchtime with the perfect mixture of nutrients.

Extra Easy Breakfast Ideas for Busy Moms

When you have a minute or less to grab something but you want it to be healthy, natural fuel for your day, try one of these ideas:

  • A spoonful of almond butter
  • One handful of walnuts + one handful of dried fruit
  • Edamame
  • Peas with hemp hearts
  • Avocado on whole wheat toast

Sources: Creative Green Living, Keeper of the Home. Meraki Lane and Mom 365

Alternatives to a Baby Book

A traditional baby book is a fabulous account of your baby’s life but can be quite time-consuming. If you’re like most modern moms, you’re looking for a meaningful way to save the memories without interrupting your time to make new ones. That’s why we’re sharing alternatives to a baby book that help you keep track of your little one as she grows.

Take a look at these alternatives to a baby book:

Memory Box

Set aside memorabilia, growth charts from your baby’s doctor’s visits, report cards, special clothing and other items in a memory box. You can even jot down notes and stick them inside to remind you of certain special moments.

Alternatives to a Baby BookPhoto Apps

There are many apps that will aggregate your photos from your smart phone and social media accounts and curate them into an online album. Some will print the album for free or for a small fee.

Memory Quilt

Take scraps of favorite outfits, blankets and stuffed toys and stitch them into a quilt. If you’re not a sewer, you can send off your patches to a professional and then mail you back a beautiful memory quilt for your baby.

Create a Website

This may sound like it would take more time than a baby book, but once you have the initial setup figured out, it’s really quite simple to add updates. Plus, you can send it to friends and family so you can share photos, videos and stories in real time. Then you have your baby’s childhood recorded online for posterity.


Make a photo calendar for each year of your child’s life. Add funny quotes throughout. Once it is printed, go back and add in special dates on the calendar such as first words, first steps and first teeth.

Journal App

Keep a log of moments you want to remember such as first words, funny things your child says or does and observations. You and your little one will love looking back at it together one day.

Time Capsule

Create a time capsule for each year of your baby’s life. After the year is over, seal it up and start a new one. This way you’ll collect memories and be able to sort through them per year when your baby is older.

Letters to Your Baby

Write a letter to your baby each month or on special occasions and keep them for your little love to read when she is older. Your letters can include milestones and things the two of you are doing together at that time.

Fill-in-the-Blank Baby Book

Keep it super simple and buy a fill-in-the-blank baby book that will give you spots to record all sorts of important data so you don’t have to otherwise remember what to write.

Sources: and Café Mom

Baby Nap Schedule

You may not notice it every day but your baby is constantly growing thanks to the phenomenal nutrients in your breast milk and her voracity for sleep. Babies are known for their ability to sleep, although it may not happen exactly when and for how long you desire. Today we’re diving into the baby nap schedule to give you a frame of reference for what to expect from your little love.

Baby Nap ScheduleNewborns tend to be quite sleepy and may take a nap every hour or so. But the naps are usually shorter and somewhat erratic. This is partially because your baby needs to eat every two to three hours. Focus on feeding on demand and let the naps happen as they will. No need to develop a baby nap schedule in the newborn stage.

Somewhere around 6 to 9 weeks your baby may start napping for longer stretches and become wakeful for longer as well. Three to five naps are common at this age although the timing may vary daily.

By three or four months a baby sleep schedule may naturally fall into place, though for some babies it doesn’t happen until six or nine months. Your baby might continue to take three to four naps but the timing may be more predictable.

At six months most babies are on a fairly regular routine of two or three naps daily. A morning and early afternoon nap are typical. Depending on their bedtime, some babies need a catnap in the early evening too.

By around nine months your baby can work with a solid two nap schedule. One will be in the morning, just a few hours after waking. The other will be in the early-to-mid afternoon. Expect naps to last between one and two hours.

Most toddlers transition to one midday or afternoon nap by 18 months. The loss of the morning nap is bitter sweet for many parents, but it does allow your baby to be more active for longer in the early part of the day.

Most children continue to nap throughout their 3rd and 4th year, some even nap into their 5th year. Naps may vary from one hour to three hours at this stage. As time progresses, your child may be OK skipping a nap every now and then and some children only nap occasionally when they really need it. If you find that naps are interfering with nighttime sleep, you may need to limit them to a shorter timeframe or push bedtime back a little.

Keep in mind that all babies, toddlers and young children are different so there is not a “one size fits all” template for a baby nap schedule. Rather, it’s important to take note of patterns and natural rhythm cues that your baby displays and then try to create a somewhat predictable baby nap schedule from there.

Also remember that almost everything in early childhood is temporary. Once you figure out your baby nap schedule, surely things will change far too soon. It’s the nature of parenting and raising children!

Sources: Baby Sleep Site and BabyCenter