Aside from their overwhelming adorableness and intoxicating signature scent, babies are best known for their sleeping skills. Those little dumplings can catch a train to dreamland in the most chaotic of places — believe me, I've witnessed numerous small fries zonked out in their strollers in the middle of Las Vegas casinos, at music festivals, and the state fair. It's safe to say that snoozing is a baby's superpower. However, getting the amount of daytime sleep just right is important for your little. If you've wondered, "How long should my baby's naps be?" you're on the right path. Because as they grow, a baby's need for sleep changes.
The amount of overall shut eye a babies needs tapers off as she becomes older, which means the length of her naps will change every few months during the first year of her life. Although there are recommendations in place, don't get too hung up on falling strictly within these timeframes. As Kim West, a clinical social worker and the author of Good Night, Sleep Tight told Parenting magazine, "If your child sleeps through the night and seems rested in the day from two to three 45-minute naps, then leave her pattern alone." Following your baby's lead, you can consider these guidelines to see how your baby's sleep is stacking up.
Newborn to 3 Months
At this age, your little one is in a constant state of on and off napping, with no predictable lengths. As Baby Center's website explained, you should just "let your baby sleep as much as she needs to" at this stage. Try not to be too jealous of all the glorious shut-eye your little one is getting.
3 to 6 Months
Even though your baby is growing, she still may not have found her perfect napping groove yet. According to the website for Today's Parent, although babies 3 to 6 months will usually be taking two naps a day, the length of time can vary with each child. However, it is ideal for children in this age range to be napping four to five hours a day, as Parents magazine recommended.
7 to 12 Months
Babies in this age range are able to stay awake for longer stretches during the day, which means another shift in nap time habits. As the Baby Sleep Site pointed out, children 7 to 12 months old need to be napping for two to three hours a day. When they are on the younger side, it may still be divided between two naps a day. But as they get older, they will drop down to just one daily nap.
1 Year & Older
As your baby crawls closer to the toddler years, her naps will become shorter. She is learning to stay awake and enjoy life for long stretches, which may mean some adjustments. Try moving up nap time and bedtime by 30 minutes to help her adjust, as Mayo Clinic suggested.