How To Get Your Baby To Nap Longer

how to get your baby to nap longer

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 How to get your baby to nap longer? Let’s be honest – having a baby means adapting your life completely, and when it comes to naps, this can prove especially tricky. It might seem like every time you put your little one down for sleep they wake up again all too soon! If this sounds familiar to you, don’t worry– you are far from alone! Getting babies to take longer naps is an age-old problem that many parents struggle with.

Fortunately, there are simple steps that you can take if “How To Get Your Baby To Nap Longer” is top of mind for you. Read on for some tips on helping your baby enjoy more restful and lengthier nap times.

How Much Should Baby Be Napping?

how to get your baby to nap longer

A Baby’s sleep patterns can vary drastically depending on their age and developmental stage. Generally, newborns (0-3 months) should be napping for about 14 to 17 hours throughout 24 hours most nap times lasting around 1.5 to three hours.

For babies around 3.5 to 6 months old, daytime sleep should be around three to five hours throughout the day with multiple naps. As your baby hits 7-9 months of development it is time to begin transitioning from multiple naps into two naps per day and an optimal nap time of approximately two and a half to four hours spread across both naps.

Even once your little one turns 10-14 months, it is recommended that you still maintain three sleep cycles within the day, two regular nap periods, and one additional nap if needed to ensure they get adequate daytime sleep so their night sleep remains uninterrupted.

Having a consistent routine that works in tandem with your baby’s natural sleep cycles can be incredibly helpful when figuring out just how much they should be resting during the day.

Tips On How To Get Your Baby To Nap Longer

Here are 8 tips on how to get your baby to nap longer :

  1. Make sure your baby falls asleep on their own – this is an important step towards helping your baby take longer naps. If they are falling asleep with assistance from rocking or nursing, then they may be waking up earlier than expected as soon as that support is removed and this could lead to shorter naps. 
  2. Aim for one sleep cycle – Babies typic before a-2 hours of wakefulness before taking a nap, but after that should be able to stay asleep for a full 90-minute sleep cycle if not disturbed by external noise or light sources. 
  3. Figure out why your baby awakens early – If your baby wakes early from a nap, it could be because they have become overstimulated due to environmental factors such as loud noises or bright lights through their window or room. You may want to consider implementing some sort of sleep training routine to help them understand when it’s time to go back to sleep if they do wake up early from a nap. 
  4. Ensure your baby has good quality nighttime sleep – Making sure your baby gets enough nighttime sleep is crucial for them to be able to handle daytime wakefulness and eventually lead them into successful napping throughout the day! Your little one must be well rested before any kind of nap routine so that they don’t become overtired and struggle with staying awake during the day.  
  5. Create a calming nap environment – Setting up an environment conducive to sleeping can help babies relax and fall asleep easier during their naps; this includes things like keeping lights dimmed, white noise machines running, and avoiding any kind of overstimulation before bedtime/nap time (no TV!). 
  6. Develop a consistent nap routine – Having a predictable routine helps babies know what comes next and helps them gain an understanding of when it’s time for bed or when it’s time to wake up in the morning; this will also help them stay awake longer during the day and eventually lead into longer naps!  
  7. Establish clear limitations on how long babies are allowed to be awake before taking a nap – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 3 hours awake between naps; setting an alarm clock or timer can help you keep track of how long your little one has been awake before needing another break!  
  8. Fostering healthy sleeping habits – Creating healthy habits around sleep can help foster better-sleeping patterns in the long run; these include things like keeping screens away from bedrooms at night, establishing bedtime routines, darkening rooms during nighttime hours, etc

Short Naps Vs Longer Naps In Baby Sleeps

When looking at baby sleep, there can be a difference in how long the baby tends to nap. While some may take shorter naps while others may take longer ones. To make sure the baby’s sleep environment is the best it can be for each baby and its needs, it is important to look at both short and longer naps closely and decide which works best for the baby.

This also affected the baby’s night sleep; for instance, if the baby takes a long nap during the day this often leads to being more ready and prepared for a good night’s sleep. It is crucial to consider all baby’s individual needs when evaluating these naps as every baby is different and requires a unique approach!

Read More: Why Do Babies Smile In Their Sleep?

Benefits Of Naps For Babies & Toddlers

Here are five major benefits of naps for babies and toddlers. 


Naps help little ones learn new skills. When a baby or toddler is awake, their brain is busy processing information from their environment. After a nap, their brain is better able to process that information and turn it into understanding.


Babies grow rapidly during the first two years of life—and they need plenty of rest to support that growth! During naptime, infants can catch up on sleep that may have been missed during the night.

Read More: Why Do Babies Like To Sleep On Your Chest?


If babies or toddlers don’t get enough sleep during the day, they can become cranky and irritable. By making sure your little one gets regular naps throughout the day—even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time—you can help avoid meltdowns due to exhaustion or overstimulation. 


Regularly scheduled naptimes give your child an opportunity to unwind from all the activities around them and recharge both physically and mentally before taking on another challenge like learning how to walk or talk. 

Read More: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Butts In The Air?

Better Sleep At Night

When your child has had adequate rest during the day, they are more likely to fall asleep quickly when bedtime rolls around—meaning less stress for you as you try to get them settled down for the night!

Get A Bassinet For Baby Lounger Naps

how to get your baby to nap longer

A bassinet is a great way to provide your infant with safe and comfortable sleep. With their adjustable sides, smaller size, and convenient mobility, they are the ideal product to give your child a restful slumber. By helping you keep an eye on your child at all times, these bassinets can make all the difference in their napping experiences.

With its breathable mesh fabric, lightweight frame, and gentle gliding motions available in some models, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your kid is sleeping soundly and safely for every nap. 

Read More: How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Without A Pacifier

Understanding Your Baby’s Sleep Cycle

Understanding your baby’s sleep cycle is vital to facilitating longer, more restful naps. Unlike adults, babies have a shorter sleep cycle. In the first few months, babies sleep in short bouts around the clock, waking every one to two hours to eat. As they grow older, they gradually start sleeping for longer stretches and begin to develop a more regular sleep-wake cycle.

It’s important to note that a baby’s sleep cycle is much shorter than an adult’s, usually about 40-50 minutes. This means that they move more frequently between the stages of sleep, including light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. Understanding these cycles can help you predict when your baby is likely to wake up, and plan their naps and feeding times accordingly.

The Importance of Sleep for a Baby’s Development

Sleep is critically important for a baby’s development. During sleep, the brain engages in a number of activities necessary to growth and development. This includes the production of growth hormones, the consolidation of memory, and the processing and storing of information gathered throughout the day.

In addition, getting enough sleep helps to maintain a healthy immune system, mood regulation, and can even influence a baby’s temperament. Disrupted or inadequate sleep can have significant impacts on a baby’s mood, behavior, and cognitive development. Therefore, ensuring your baby gets enough quality sleep is an essential part of their overall health and well-being.

Common Reasons Why Babies Wake Up Early From Naps

There are several common reasons why a baby might wake up early from naps. One of the most common is overstimulation or under-stimulation before nap time. A calm and relaxing pre-nap routine can help your baby wind down and prepare for sleep. Another reason could be that your baby is not tired enough.

If your baby isn’t showing signs of tiredness when you put them down for a nap, they may not sleep for long. Sleep environment can also play a big role. A quiet, dark, and cool room can help promote longer naps. Finally, hunger or a dirty diaper can also lead to early waking. Ensuring your baby is well-fed and comfortable before nap time can help prevent this.

How To Create A Conducive Environment for Baby Naps

Creating a conducive environment for your baby’s naps can greatly enhance their sleep quality and duration. This involves ensuring their sleep space is dark, quiet, and cool. You may want to consider using blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out light, and a white noise machine or fan to drown out any potential disturbances.

The temperature of the room should be kept between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, as cooler temperatures promote better sleep. It’s also important that your baby’s crib or bassinet is safe and comfortable. This means a firm mattress, a fitted sheet, and no loose bedding or soft toys.

Tips for Establishing a Consistent Baby Nap Routine

Establishing a consistent baby nap routine can play a crucial role in promoting longer naps. Consistency helps to regulate your baby’s internal clock and can make them more likely to fall asleep and wake up at the same times each day. Start by observing your baby’s natural sleep patterns and try to create a routine that aligns with these.

Include calming activities such as a warm bath, a massage, or reading a book, and try to do these activities in the same order each time. It’s also important to watch for signs of tiredness such as rubbing eyes, yawning, or becoming fussy, and to put your baby down for a nap as soon as you see these cues.

Finding the Balance: When Should Baby Nap and For How Long?

Finding the right balance of when and how long your baby should

nap can be a bit of a challenge. In the first few months, your baby may nap for most of the day, waking only for feeds. As they get older, the number of naps decreases, but the duration of each nap may increase. By 6 months of age, most babies take 2-3 naps per day, and by 18 months, this usually decreases to one nap per day.

Each baby is unique, so it’s important to pay attention to their cues. A baby who is rubbing their eyes, yawning, or becoming fussy might be ready for a nap. As a general rule, babies should not be kept awake for more than 2-3 hours at a time. Trying to keep a baby awake for longer periods can lead to overtiredness, making it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The Impact of Daytime Napping on Nighttime Sleep

Daytime napping has a significant impact on nighttime sleep. Quality and well-timed daytime naps can lead to better sleep at night. A baby who is well-rested during the day is less likely to be overtired at bedtime, which can make it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

However, naps that are too long or too late in the day can interfere with nighttime sleep. If your baby is struggling to fall asleep at night, you may want to assess their daytime nap schedule to ensure it’s not interfering with their ability to settle at night. The goal is to find the right balance that ensures your baby is getting enough total sleep in a 24-hour period.

Tailoring Nap Times: Every Baby Is Unique

Each baby is unique, and what works for one baby may not work for another. Some babies need longer naps, while others do well with shorter, more frequent naps. Some babies are naturally morning people, while others are night owls. It’s important to tune into your baby’s natural rhythms and develop a nap schedule that works for your baby and fits into your family’s schedule.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a little to find out what works best for your baby. Remember, it’s okay to adjust your baby’s nap schedule as needed. What worked a few months ago might not work now as your baby grows and their sleep needs change.

Techniques for Sleep Training During Nap Times

There are various techniques you can use to sleep train your baby during nap times. Sleep training is the process of teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own and to self-soothe if they wake up during a nap. Some methods involve letting your baby “cry it out”, while others involve more gradual approaches like “fading” or “pick up/put down”.

The method you choose depends on your baby’s age, temperament, and your own comfort level. Remember to be patient – it may take a few weeks for your baby to adjust to a new sleep routine. Make sure to create a soothing environment and establish a consistent pre-nap routine to signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.

Baby Sleep Equipment: Bassinets, Cribs, and More

When it comes to baby sleep equipment, safety should be your top priority. Bassinets, cribs, and baby loungers should meet all safety standards and be appropriate for your baby’s age and size. Bassinets are a great option for newborns as they provide a cozy, compact space for the baby to sleep.

Cribs are more suitable for older babies and toddlers due to their larger size. They should have a firm mattress and fitted sheets, with no loose bedding or soft toys to prevent suffocation hazards. Baby loungers are also a popular choice as they are portable and can be easily moved around the house.

The Role of Diet in Baby’s Sleep

A baby’s diet can significantly impact their sleep. In the first few months of life, your baby’s diet will consist entirely of milk, whether breastmilk or formula. Babies will often wake during the night for feeds, and ensuring they get enough nutrition during the day can help reduce the number of night wakings.

As your baby starts on solids around six months, it’s important to consider the timing of meals. Avoid feeding your baby large meals close to nap times, as a full stomach can make it uncomfortable for them to sleep. Similarly, a hungry baby will have difficulty settling for a nap. Balancing the timing and size of meals and snacks can help ensure your baby is comfortable and ready for sleep when nap time comes.

Strategies for Nap Transition

As your baby grows, there will come a time when they will need to transition from multiple naps to just one nap a day. This transition often happens between the ages of 12 and 18 months. It can be a challenging time as you will need to balance the need for enough daytime sleep with ensuring your baby is tired enough to sleep well at night.

Start by gradually pushing back the morning nap and bringing forward the afternoon nap, until they merge into one midday or early afternoon nap. Ensure you are keeping an eye on your baby’s tired cues to avoid them becoming overtired, and maintain a consistent bedtime to help them adjust to the new routine.

Handling Nap Resistance

Nap resistance is a common issue for many parents. There are various reasons why your baby might resist naps, from not being tired enough to being overly tired, or from teething to experiencing a developmental leap. It’s important to figure out the underlying cause to effectively handle the resistance.

Maintaining a consistent pre-nap routine, creating a conducive sleep environment, and ensuring your baby is comfortable can help combat nap resistance. Additionally, adjusting nap times according to your baby’s sleep cues rather than a strict schedule may help reduce resistance.

The Use of Comfort Objects for Nap Time

Comfort objects, such as a favorite blanket or soft toy, can be beneficial in helping your baby settle for naps. These items provide a sense of safety and comfort, which can aid in self-soothing and make nap time easier. However, safety should always be the top priority. It’s recommended to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before introducing a soft toy or blanket into the crib, to reduce the risk of suffocation. Always ensure the item is safe – it should be small, have no loose parts or buttons, and be easy to clean.

Taking Care of Yourself: Parental Self-Care

While focusing on your baby’s napping habits, it’s equally important to take care of yourself. Parenting, especially of a young baby, is demanding and can often lead to exhaustion. Remember to rest when your baby naps, and seek help from your partner, family, or friends when needed.

Maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in regular physical activity can help boost your energy levels. Make sure to take some time out for yourself to relax and recharge, whether that’s by reading a book, taking a bath, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in peace. Self-care is not a luxury, but a necessity when it comes to being a happy, healthy parent.

Wrapping Up

So how to get your baby to nap longer? Now that you know all the tips and tricks for getting your baby to take longer naps, put them into action and enjoy some well-deserved free time. And if you need a little help, give us a call. We’re always happy to chat and offer our expert advice.

Read More: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Mouths Open?

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Jenny Chaines

Jenny Chaines

Having the perfect bassinet is something that every mother wants for her child.
I've been doing my own due diligence since the day I knew I was pregnant and I'm here to let you in on the ins and outs of it all...

About Me

Having the perfect bassinet is something that every mother wants for her child.
I’ve been doing my own due diligence since the day I knew I was pregnant and I’m here to let you in on the ins and outs of it all…

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