Are Naps Important for Babies?
Are naps for babies important?
Becoming new parents can be rough, you are adjusting to life as parents, getting to know this new baby, you have the same amount of tasks to do each day, plus some, but somehow it seems less time in the day! It is important for new parents to take care of themselves so that they can be the best parents they can be!
As your kiddo gets older and life gets busier and sleep seems to be non existent or your baby’s days and nights are mixed up terribly, you might be wondering HOW much sleep does my baby need? And are naps even important?
Babies need naps! (parents do too, but we are talking about babies right now)
Many parents ask our sleep coaches “ If we just skip naps or stretch out day time sleep, will they sleep better at night?”. This is SUCH a common question, and we do not blame you for asking it, because it seems logical that if we skip daytime naps or sleep that then our babies will sleep more at night time. But, that is not the case!
Sleep begets sleep for babies!
Naps are important for this reason! Sleep deprived babies end up in a viscous cycle of sleep depravation and adrenaline overuse. They end up being awake, but running on adrenaline, when really they should be sleeping. Babies who are also struggling with sleep depravation often struggle to go to sleep and STAY asleep.
Does your baby only sleep one sleep cycle?
We hear this a lot! Overtired babies, or babies that are still working on learning HOW to connect their sleep cycles. This is the biggest culprit to lack of sleep, many babies sleep well, but many do not know how to connect their sleep cycles well!
Often naps become short and disconnected because we expect babies to sleep long periods of time before they are ready. Infants have their own circadian rhythms, they differ from adults, these usually develop best in babies around 3-4 months old. In the beginning, parents find themselves doing a crazy rock/pat/sing/sit/stand repeat again each time baby wakes routine in order to get as much sleep as possible. This works for a while, but when you’re 4+ moths in, you are over it, you need naps and sleep to be in a safe AAP approved space, that lasts longer than 40 mins!
Make naps better for your baby by giving them the space they need to sleep longer and in their own space.
When babies are ready to sleep longer, and no longer need shorter cycles for safety and survival, around 4-6 months, help your baby by setting them up with good sleep associations and their own space. Giving your baby healthy sleep associations and their own space ( a crib ) will teach them to sleep longer, with connected sleep cycles. This will help you be the best parent you can be and help them be happy, healthy babies with plenty of sleep!