One of our readers wrote in today with a question that many parents ponder....
Q. "My baby is four months old and remarkably, she falls asleep on her own in her crib and sleeps through the night. I know I shouldn't complain, but I can't get her to do the same at naptime. The only way I can get her to take a decent nap is to put her in her infant swing. What should I do? She's getting too big for that swing!"
A. It is terrific that you have a bedtime routine that works and a baby
that is capable of falling asleep on her own. That skill is extremely
important and she has done it! Congratulations!!!
Now, you just have to remind her that she can also do this during
daytime naps. And, the way to remind her is to follow your same routine
during the day that you use at night. No rocking, no swings, etc. Babies
and even older kids may protest at naptime because there is more
activity going on and they don't want to miss out on the fun. But, they
still need those naps. Say goodnight, keep the house quiet, and let her
fall asleep on her own. If she only catnaps, then give her 3-4 short
naps during the day. Usually a four month old will take 2 short naps and
1 longer one. But, every child is unique. And, a six month old may
still prefer a 3 nap schedule, even though many will drop down to 1
catnap and 1 longer nap during the day.
Bottom line: Give her more naps if she only sleeps for short periods of time. And, be consistent with your nap and your evening bedtime routine.