It’s almost too easy to get swept up in the chaos after your newborn first arrives. There are so many things going on and as if your life wasn’t busy enough already, you now have a tiny human that needs your constant attention and care pretty much hourly, with little to no break from the action 24 hours a day. During all the madness, it’s common to forget to monitor and observe things like nap length and whether or not you’ve showered this week. In today’s blog we’re going to cover newborn naps and what you need to know when you’re dealing with a newborn!
Newborn Nap Length, On Average
Newborns should be getting naps that last between 30 minutes and 2 hours each day. How many naps per day should newborns be getting, you ask? We think that ideally, they should be getting two shorter naps along with two longer naps each day. If your baby has been sleeping for more than 2 hours, it is ok to start to wake them slowly, since we want them to learn to do their longer stretches of sleep during the night and not during the day. Sorry little one!
Challenges Of Newborn Naps (Between 0 And 4 Months Old)
This is a challenging time to care for a child, and that goes without saying! But, regarding sleep and nap time, it definitely has its unique challenges. This is due in part because 1 of the 2 sleep phases they go through is very active and light, which means that they can get startled awake relatively easily which can lead to other sleep issues as well. An infant’s sleep and ability to transfer sleep cycles is immature at this stage of development and the dreaded 30 minute naps can become habitual if you’re not careful. To help avoid this, it is crucial to make sure that all of the bases are covered before baby goes to sleep. Here’s what we mean:
- Dark calm environment
- Slightly warm if possible. Turn the heat up to about 72 or 73 if you can stand it.
- Quiet or reduced noise around the house
- White noise machine or sounds in the child’s room as they are napping
- It doesn’t work for every baby necessarily, but you may want to try swaddling to help them get to sleep faster and for longer periods of time
Take Some Time For Yourself
Those first crucial weeks and months are so important (and crazy!) to the baby’s development and success, but it can’t all be about the newborn. Remember that the caregiver also needs some care and make sure to schedule little breaks or respites each week or even each day to take some time for you to be alone and perform some active self care. Take a long bath, go out and sit in a coffee shop for an hour, take a long walk around the neighborhood, lock yourself in your bathroom and meditate for 15 minutes. Whatever it is you do, make sure that you take some time for yourself as well. You’ll be glad you did.
Napping your newborn comes with its own set of unique challenges, but it is far from impossible. We hope these tips have helped you along your journey. If you have any questions about helping your baby to sleep better, or about your baby in general, please reach out to us HERE. We are experts in all things baby and sleep and would love to help!
If you have questions about your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help. Please reach out to us here! We look forward to hearing from you.
1 thought on “How Long Should My Newborn’s Naps Be?”
I love the tip about taking time for yourself! That’s really important I think. At least for me – for my sanity and patience. I am using some sleep training book: https://www.parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training that’s supposed to be for 4 months up although there are some tips for newborns here too. There is white noise – I’ve been trying that and I think my baby prefers music. And also swaddling that you mentioned, I just need some time for practice with this one. Hopes it goes well.