U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health Tip: When Is the Right Time for a Nap?

The optimal time for your baby

(HealthDay News) -- Naps are essential for a growing baby, and they offer a needed break for busy parents. But when is the right time to let baby nap, so it doesn't interfere with bedtime?

The National Sleep Foundation suggests:

  • Put your baby down when sleepy, but not so exhausted that it's difficult to fall asleep.
  • Look for signs of sleepiness, such as rubbing the eyes, a glazed expression or drifting off. Get baby in bed within 30 minutes.
  • Create a nap schedule. Set the schedule based on your child's sleepy signs.
  • Create a similar soothing routine for naps just as you do for bedtime. That may mean a book, soothing music or white noise to help baby wind down.
  • Figure out what works for your baby. If a long, late nap affects bedtime sleep, cut it short or start the nap earlier. But try to be flexible and go with what baby needs.

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