Sleep Training for Naps

Sleep Training for Naps

In our teenage years, we couldn’t wait until we could take a nap on the weekend. In our college years, we couldn’t wait until we could take a nap in between classes or after a tailgate. In our adult years, we couldn’t wait until we could take a nap when our babies were napping…but wait…our baby isn’t napping! It’s a wonder that as teenagers and adults we cherished nap time. But babies and toddlers have such a hard time with them. Enter sleep training. 

Sleep training is a methodical approach to helping babies and young children learn to fall asleep independently and stay asleep through the night. Although sleep training is commonly misunderstood, it can be instrumental in ensuring that children get the rest they need for optimal growth and development. While nighttime sleep training is well-known, the importance of nap time cannot be understated. In this post, we’ll delve into the nuances of sleep training specifically tailored for daytime sleep, discussing its effectiveness, methods, and tips for success.

Sleep Training for Naps

Nap training differs from nighttime sleep training in several ways. While both aim to teach children to fall asleep independently, nap training focuses solely on daytime sleep. Nap training can be more difficult because your child’s drive to sleep is lower during the day. In this post, we’ll explore the intricacies of nap training and provide insights into how to effectively incorporate it into your child’s routine.

Does Sleep Training Work for Naps?

Many parents wonder if sleep training is effective for daytime naps. The answer is a resounding yes. Consistency, regardless of the time of day, is what yields success. Nap training employs similar principles to nighttime sleep training, helping children establish healthy sleep habits and routines. However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind before embarking on nap training, which we’ll discuss in the following sections.

How To Sleep Train for Naps

How To Sleep Train for Naps

1. Establish a Nap Schedule:

Consistency is key when it comes to nap training. Set specific nap times based on your child’s age and wake windows. Some children will sleep better with a “by-the-clock” nap schedule, so understanding your child and their needs is imperative. If your child hasn’t started to connect sleep cycles during the day, nap training is a great opportunity to help them learn how to gain this skill. Implementing a sleep training method that you are comfortable with and committing to the process is the best way to see results. By sticking to a consistent schedule, you’ll help regulate your child’s internal clock and promote better sleep during the day.

2. Recognize Sleepy Cues:

Pay attention to your child’s sleepy cues, such as eye rubbing, yawning, and fussiness. By identifying these signals early on, you can initiate nap time before your child becomes overtired. This makes it easier for them to fall asleep. Putting your baby down awake before they have fallen asleep is also a major key to success. Some babies don’t have obvious sleep cues, and that is okay, as well as completely normal. Lean into the schedule and have confidence in yourself. 

3. Create a Calm Sleep Environment:

Designate a quiet, dark, and comfortable sleep environment for nap time. Eliminate distractions and provide soothing elements, such as white noise, to help your child relax and drift off to sleep. Pay attention to the amount of light that enters your child’s room. Circadian rhythms are determined by exposure to light and can disrupt sleep. As we enter our warmer months of the year, it’s also important to pay attention to the temperature of your child’s room. Babies and toddlers sleep best in environments between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. 

4. Implement a Consistent Bedtime Routine:

Establish a consistent bedtime routine that signals to your child that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Do this for your babies nap or toddlers’ nap as well. This could include activities such as reading a book, dimming the lights, and cuddling before putting your child down for their nap. A solid wind-down routine can really help your child have a successful nap. 

5. Encourage Self-Soothing Techniques:

Teach your child self-soothing techniques, such as sucking on a pacifier or cuddling with a lovey, to help them settle themselves to sleep independently. A word of caution: if your baby or child starts to rely heavily on a pacifier to fall asleep, and you find yourself constantly going back and forth from your room to their room to help them sleep by replacing it, then it may be time to find an alternate option. Be sure to check out our blog on “Weaning the Pacifier: The Best Tips for a Smooth Transition.” Encouraging these habits from an early age can empower your child to fall asleep for their nap on their own. 

By implementing these tips and techniques, you can help your child develop healthy nap habits and enjoy restful daytime sleep.

Sleep Training for Naps

Throughout this post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of nap training, exploring its effectiveness, methods, and tips for success. Whether you’re a seasoned parent or a first-time caregiver, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the world of nap training with confidence.

If you’re struggling with contact naps, be sure to check out our post on “How to Stop Contact Naps” for additional insights and strategies. 

In conclusion, nap training is an essential component of establishing healthy sleep habits for babies and young children. By incorporating consistency, routine, and patience, you can help your child learn to fall asleep independently and enjoy restful daytime sleep. With dedication and perseverance, you can successfully navigate the journey of nap training and set your child up for a lifetime of healthy sleep habits.

Sleep Shore Sleep Services 

Are you experiencing sleep issues with your little one like difficulty falling asleep, overnight waking, or early waking? From newborns to toddlers, Sleep Shore offers one-on-one sleep training to help the whole family sleep better. Just like your child, each sleep issue is different- we take a personalized approach to fit your unique family’s needs. 

See what this mama had to say about our sleep services: 

Molly and her team are life savers! There’s literally endless amounts of information on the internet on baby sleep and it’s all so conflicting and confusing. Molly helped create a personalized plan for our baby that taught her independent sleep, got her sleeping through the night at the age appropriate time, and taking perfect naps. Molly was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process, especially those first few days when we started sleep training and the process felt overwhelming. Molly and her team are very approachable and I contact her all the time for ongoing sleep need questions. I always get timely help and support.


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