You may be ready to have your little one on a consistent schedule and get better naps. However, it is more effective and easier to work on night sleep first. There are some things you can do to gently shape naps before night skills have improved, but waiting to work on naps until you see improvements in bedtime habits is usually easier. You may also see that when nights improve, daytime naps improve on their own.
If your child isn't ready for nap coaching yet, or is under 6 months, there are still some gentle nap strategies that you can use to improve daytime sleep.
In the Naps Essentials video, I explain when you should do nap shaping and when nap coaching is appropriate. Based on your child's needs and progress, you can then review the appropriate information from the sections below, whether you should be focusing on Gentle Nap Shaping, or if it's time to do Nap Coaching.
Naps Essentials (Length 2:36)
If your child is under 6 months of age, or if you're NOT interested in doing Nap Coaching, there are still some gentle steps you can take to improve daytime sleep. These steps can be done before night-time sleep coaching, in the middle of sleep coaching, or after night-time sleep has improved.
In the first video I speak specifically about improving daytime sleep for babies under six months of age. Before 6 months, naps can be highly variable, and nap coaching will likely be ineffective.
The second video is an answer to a parent who wanted to know if they should be worried because their child was only taking short naps.
The other two videos are repeats from Module 2: Sleep Basics. If you already reviewed these videos in Module 2, you can skip them here. They are included so that all the resources about naps are in the same place.
The four videos are:
- Naps For Babies Under 6 Months (7:13)
- Parent Question About Short Naps (7:20)
- Promoting Day and Night Schedules (7:00 - repeat from Module 2)
- Gentle Nap Strategies (12:27 - repeat from Module 2)
Naps for Babies Under 6 Months (Length 7:13)
Parent Question About Short Naps (Length 7:20)
Promoting Day and Night Schedules (Length 7:00)
Gentle Nap Strategies (Length 12:27)
When your child is ready for nap coaching, assuming they need it, you may use the same coaching method or a different one than you did for night coaching. No matter what method you choose, there are some very specific guidelines for nap coaching that you should be aware of. It is somewhat different than night coaching. It can also be more challenging and take longer. These videos outline what you need to know to get your child napping well.
I've prepared a Nap Plan Worksheet that you can use to plan your nap coaching strategy. Fill this out as you watch the videos. Note that if you decide to use the Loved to Sleep method for your nap coaching, you should use the Worksheet that includes the Loved to Sleep "Sleep Shift" section.
- Introduction to Nap Coaching (4:24)
- Nap Coaching Guidelines (6:29)
- Nap Coaching Methods (3:14)
- Nap Coaching Back-up Strategies (1:34)
- Nap Coaching Older Children (1 Nap) (10:35)
Introduction to Nap Coaching (Length 4:24)
Nap Coaching Guidelines (Length 6:29)
Nap Coaching Methods (Length 3:14)
Nap Coaching Back-up Strategies (Length 1:34)
Nap Coaching Older Children (Length 10:36)