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Late Nap or Early Bedtime?




The common dilemma of whether or not to do a late nap or early bedtime is a tricky one!

How do you decide what to do when it's 5 pm, and your baby is tired as heck, but it seems too early to put them to bed?

Well, thankfully, today, I'll give you some guidelines that can help you decide!

3 months

  • If a nap ends after 4:30 pm, don't try for another nap, but rather start the bedtime routine at 6:00 pm and have the baby in bed by 6:30 pm

  • Also, don't let your baby sleep past 6:00 pm, so they have enough time to be tired before bed

Example:

You've put your baby down to sleep at 4:00 pm, as they can't make it until bedtime. This is when you'd want to make sure they are awake by 6:00 pm, so they have time to be tired before bedtime.

Or

You've put your baby down for a nap at 3:00 pm, and they wake up at 4:30 pm, then you wouldn't do a late nap, but rather, move up bedtime as mentioned above.

4 & 5 months

  • If a nap ends after 3:30 pm, don't try for another nap, rather get baby ready for bed at 6:00 pm and have them in bed by 6:30 pm

  • Don't let baby nap past 5:30 pm, so they can be ready for sleep at bedtime

6 months

  • If a nap ends after 2:30 pm, don't try for another nap, rather start the bedtime routine at 6:00 pm and have the baby in bed by 6:30 pm

  • Don't let baby sleep past 4:30-5:00 pm, so they can be ready for sleep at bedtime

7 - 9 months

  • Some 7-month-olds need 3 naps per day. Keeping this in mind, don't let them nap past 4/4:30 pm

  • Bedtime of 7/7:30 pm works well for this age group

10-12 months

  • No napping past 4:00 pm

  • Bedtime of 7:30-8:00 pm works well for this age group

12 months +

  • No napping past 4:00 pm

  • If still taking 2 naps per day, a bedtime of 7:30-8:00 pm works well

  • If transitioning from 2 to 1 nap, a bedtime of 6:30-7:00 pm is often needed during the transition time, which can be 4-6 weeks

  • When on one nap for a few weeks, a 7:00-7:30 pm bedtime works well

Are naps difficult these days? I get it! I've had two kids myself and sometimes figuring out naps can be a challenge to say the least. Good news! I help parents like you every day! Want to know more? Get in touch here. Chat soon! Melody Patton




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