How long to let baby nap — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

How long to let baby nap

My 3 1/2 month old has good night time sleep habits but is not consistent with naps. She often has really short morning naps(20-45 minutes) 1-1 1/2 hour nap in the late morning and again in the afternoon and a nap that can last for 3 hours if I dont wake her in the late afternoon/evening. Even if we wake her from a nap an hour before bedtime, she sleeps through the night just fine with just needing 1 feeding.

We've been using a very loose schedule of going off her cues or 1 1/2 hours, whichever comes first and letting her sleep until she wakes up. My question is for her sleep schedule, should I be waking her after an hour? She is just getting out of a sleep regression and even before then was terrible taking naps often going more than 45 minutes before going down. Even still, she sleeps so great at night that I wonder should I just keep doing what we are doing? We want to get her in a routine that everyone(family, babysitters, etc) know and can follow and keep her happy.

FTM so any advice would be appreciated.

Re: How long to let baby nap

  • Never wake a sleeping baby. 
  • mbradfo2mbradfo2 member
    500 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 10
    I think it's normal for naps to be allover the place at this point since they're just starting to develop a circadian rhythm. 

    My pediatrician said not to bother trying to get our little girl on a schedule until after 4 mos but your mileage may vary. He simply said most babies aren't ready to be on a schedule at that point and to just let them sleep as they want (provided they're waking to eat often enough, etc.) 

    Our schedule is basically that there is no schedule other than her cues and our needs >.> If we're at home and she wants to sleep, she does -- but if I need to go to the store, I don't worry about waking her to take her out. Likewise, if she's up and alert, I don't put her down for naps specifically unless I think she has been up alot already that day and at risk of being overtired. I will occasionally rouse her a bit from sleeping if its been 4 hours or so since she ate last -- I know she'll wake up starving and cranky if I don't get a dreamfeed into her. 

    It's basically a fluid schedule with the caveat that we don't let her get tooooo tired or sleep so long that she is super hungry upon awakening. Mostly because if she's super hungry, she tends to gulp and guzzle, taking in alot of air which then makes her uncomfortable. So if she's being watched by my parents while I go into the office, I'll let them know when she ate last, how much and when she should be encouraged to take a few ounces by. ("Don't let her go past 3 pm without a feeding; she ate last at 11 this morning but only took 3.5 oz so she'll be getting hungry.")

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  • My daughter sleeps all night and takes long naps during the day. She's 4 months, and usually only awake for 2 hours at a time during the day lol . She eats from 4 to 8oz per feeding . And happy!! She gets so cranky when she doesn't nap lol. Sometimes she'll fight it and only sleep a half hour to an hour . But usually it's anywhere from 2 to 4 hour naps. One in the morning, one in the evening, then a shorter one around 5 or so. Then she's up till either 8 or 9 for bath and bedtime. It works for me so far so I'll keep letting her sleep :) it's only fair since she lets me sleep at night haha
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