Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.
- Do not expect your baby to nap well outside his crib after four months of age. If you don’t protect your baby’s nap schedules, you can produce nap deprivation. page 32
- An earlier bedtime may become necessary when your child develops a single-nap pattern, between fifteen and twenty-one months. Earlier bedtimes help prevent bedtime battles, deter night walking, discourage extremely early morning awakenings, and regularize and prolong naps. pages 32 – 33
- “Your child pays a price for nap deprivation, and so do you. Spending hours holding your child in your arms or in a rocking chair while he is in a light, twilight sleep also is lost sleep because you have delayed the time when he will fall into a deep slumber. It is similar to having a bedtime that is too late. It’s a waste of your time as well. Brief catnaps during the day, “motion” sleep in cars or baby swings, light sleep in the stroller at the pool, and naps at the wrong time are all poor-quality sleep.” page 37
- Naps can be fragmented when parents rely on “motion” sleep in a baby swing or car, or when they allow catnaps in the stroller. Holding your dozing child in your arms in a rocking chair during the day also probably prevents good-quality day sleep. These naps are too brief or too light to be restorative. Stationary sleep is best. If you use a swing for soothing, turn it off once your baby falls asleep. pages 41 – 42
- After four months, naps of less than one hour cannot count as “real” naps. Sometimes a nap of forty-five minutes may be all your child needs, but naps of less than thirty minutes don’t help.
- By four to eight months of age, infants should have at least a midmorning nap and one in the early afternoon, and the total nap duration should be two to four hours. Night sleep is ten to twelve hours, with one, two, or no interruptions for bottle-feeding. page 42
- Become sensitive to your child’s personal sleep signals. This means that you should capture that magic moment when the child is tired, ready to sleep, and easily falls asleep. The magic moment is a slight quieting, a lull in being busy, a slight staring off, and a hint of calmness. If you catch this wave of tiredness and put the child to sleep then, there will be no crying. I like the analogy of surfing, because timing is so important there, too — you have catch the wave after it rises enough to be recognized but before it crashes. But if you allow a child to crash into an overtired state, it will be harder for him to fall asleep, because he is trying to fall asleep out of phase with other biological rhythms. His ride to sleep then will not be easy or pleasant. Timing is most important! Remember, not every sleep wave is the same, and not every child learns quickly how to ride his sleep wave. But as with everything else, after practice it occurs effortlessly.