I have always noticed that naps in the United States are taken much less seriously (and even discouraged) than in other countries around the world. But why? Naps have been shown to have many benefits. It improve alertness, performance and even your overall mood, and for children, who are still learning, growing and developing, it’s even more important.
As a society we don’t get enough sleep, and babies and children are no exception. Napping serves as an essential partner with assisting your little one to receive the right amount of sleep in a 24-hour day. There is a common misconception that if your child naps less, then they will sleep better and more soundly at night. That may work once, or twice, but overtiredness will catch up with your youngster, causing disruptive night sleep and even mood changes. My suggestion to all parents is to make sure their child gets good consistent day sleep, so that night sleep is properly mirrored.
BUT HOW MUCH SLEEP SHOULD YOUR BABY OR CHILD BE GETTING AT NAP TIME?
Here’s a basic guide:
Average Daily Napping Hours
|Age||Total Daily Sleep|
|Birth – 4 months||4-8 hours|
|5-8 months||3-5 hours|
|9-12 months||2.5-4 hours|
|12-18 months||1.5-4 hours|
|18-24 months||1.5-3 hours|
|2-3 years||1-2 hours|
|3-4 years||0-1.5 hours|
Average Age Naps are Dropped
|Age (an average):||Nap Goes From:|
|Around 4 months||From 4 to 3 naps|
|8-9 months||From 3 to 2 naps|
|14-18 months||From 2 to 1 naps|
|3-4 years||From 1 to 0 naps|
This is a general guideline. Your baby might be napping more, with much success, or happens to be on lower end of the napping chart. The idea is to know how much you should aim for, and if you aren’t even close, consider making this easy adjustment that can really help your child sleep overall.
For even more nap and daytime schedule help, contact me so I can help.