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