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Top 10 Tips for Baby Napping Success
by Jennifer Kelly Geddes
There's no greater feeling of relief for a new mom than when her new baby finally sleeps through the night. But babies also need to nap during the day in order to recharge (and so you can finally tackle your to-do list!).
These 10 daytime baby sleep solutions will help put you on the path to snoozing success.
1. Know the numbers
Depending on your new baby's age, she'll need at least two naps a day (one in the morning and another in the afternoon), and possibly a third in the early evening.
2. Be consistent
Sticking to your baby's napping schedule on a daily basis is important, as little ones thrive on routine. Time your errands and other outings carefully so you don't disrupt your tot's napping schedule.
3. Don't wait
Put your little one in her crib when she's first showing signs of sleepiness but is still awake, as it can be difficult to get an overly tired baby to fall asleep.
4. Put safety first
If your new baby falls asleep in your arms, move her to the crib, and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by always placing her to sleep on her back.
5. Set the scene
Keep your baby's naptime very matter-of-fact, and skip long stories and extra cuddling. Just a gentle hug and a short lullaby are all you need to signal to your little one that naptime has arrived.
6. Don't give up
It can take a few minutes for some tots to settle in and go to sleep, but it's best to let your new baby drift off to sleep without you in the nursery. If you go into her room too soon or too often you may confuse her into thinking that napping is a game.
7. Stay out
Rushing in to check on every peep and cry can distract your new baby from falling asleep. Instead, only check on her if you think she's uncomfortable or unsafe.
8. Keep things light
It's normal for babies to mix up night and day. To help your new baby distinguish between daytime napping and bedtime, keep the shades open so that there is light in her room.
9. Readjust your schedule
If you feel your tot's daytime napping is affecting her nighttime sleep, scale back one of her naps (wake her up from it sooner, for example) or let her drop one altogether.
10. Stick with it
It's not uncommon for babies to resist naps, but stick with it and remember that daytime sleep is a must for your little one's development. Your baby's napping will refresh and refuel, giving her the energy she needs to play and learn.
Parenting: "Top 10 Tips for Baby Napping Success"