Ahhh nap time, the most sacred time of the day where we get to have a moment to ourselves, am I right Mamas??
But, truth be told, most days it can be hard to tell how long our little ones will actually nap. Will they take their full nap(s)? Will I get to finish that load of laundry, or get to finish cooking dinner? How about just be able to put my feet up to rest while they rest??
Naps can be a struggle, I get it! It’s ALL about the right timing. When is it too early to put them down? When is it too late? Did you know that an under tired and over tired baby can sound and seem quite similar? But, ARE they really?? Let’s take a closer look…
Under tired baby: Typically will be alert, got a good amount of energy, and will fight nap time.
Over tired baby: SEEM alert, full of energy but more like they’re caffeinated type of energy, whine and fight nap time, even though they are showing more subtle signs of being tired, such as:
* Arching back
* Distant stare
* Shaking head from side to side
* Pulling/tugging the ears
* Swaying back and forth if in crawling position
Here’s a simple rule to keep in mind when deciding on when is the right time to put your baby down for a nap. I call it, the 30/45 Rule:
If baby has taken a nap that lasted LESS THAN 1hr, bump up the next nap by 30 minutes.
If baby has REFUSED a nap entirely, bump up the next nap by 45mins, I’ll even say 1hr if they’re really cranky!
The 30/45 Rule is simple: Gauge on when your baby was up, and time how long they should be up based on their age:
So, 0-3mos up no more than 60mins
4-6mos about 2-2.15hrs
6-12mos about 2.5-3.5hrs
If there’s anything you want to take away from the 30/45 rule is to keep an eye on the clock! Do NOT give in to the myth to keep the baby up longer so they can knock out quicker. All that will do is create an unhealthy sleep pattern, based on ZERO nap structure, inadequate amount of daytime sleep, and poor sleep hygiene.
Hope these tips help you out today and let me know how the 30/45 Rule works out for you!
Sleep Well! Xo