The Nestery Answers - How to Make Baby Nap and Sleep Routines Easier?
How to make baby nap and sleep routines easier?
Baby sleep as simple as 2-3-4
When you have a baby, your whole life starts revolving around the baby and its sleep timings. They say, “Sleep when the baby sleeps”, but somehow that never ever works for anyone who has no help. Baby sleep timings are the real chore time slots for new parents when shit actually gets done.
And I remember, as a parent, struggling with the baby’s sleep timings. At one point of time, I actually felt like I was getting nothing done, just trying to get the baby to sleep with poor success there as well.
Until I heard about the 2-3-4 sleep routine. It was earth shattering and life changing!
What exactly is the 2-3-4 sleep routine?
- From birth to 3 months, infant naps are on demand. Infants keep catnapping through the day. The window of time when they are awake vary between 45 minutes – 2 hours, but don’t fret. Make them sleep on demand.
- By 4-6 months you have a rough schedule that is in place, with roughly 3-4 naps per day. The window of time when they are awake has marginally increased to 2-2.5 hours but day time sleep varies anytime between 3.5-4.5 hours.
- By around 6 months, the baby is taking 2-3 naps a day, with day time sleep between 3-4 hours, but we struggle to plan our day around it. Over tired babies find it difficult to sleep as do babies who just aren’t tired enough.
This is where the 2-3-4 sleep routine helps.
- Schedule the first nap 2 hours after wake up from night sleep.
- 3 hours after the child wakes up from Nap # 1, make him sleep for Nap # 2.
- 4 hours after child wakes up from Nap # 2 will be bedtime for the child.
Let us check out a sample schedule.
- Assuming child wakes up at 7am, schedule first nap for 9am.
- Child wakes up from first nap by 10.30am. Schedule second nap for 1.30pm.
- Child wakes up from second nap at around 4.00 pm. Bed time would be around 8.00pm.
What if your baby still needs 3 naps?
No two babies are the same! Follow your baby’s lead.
Some babies drop the third nap closer to 8 months, while some do well with two naps at 6 months. The 2-3-4 routine is only a rough schedule that tells you how your baby’s day should be laid out, to prevent over tired babies and an easier sleep routine.
Why the 2-3-4 sleep routine works?
- Babies respond to this routine well, mainly because the caregiver is anticipating the baby’s need for a nap, instead of responding to it.
- Overtired babies are overly stimulated and find it difficult to fall asleep.
- By anticipating and planning rough nap times, you are getting the babies to heed to their natural schedules with a gentle nudge.
- Take this as a routine and not as a rigid schedule. Be led by the baby always!