Should You Wake Babies From Long Naps? The Truth
Little Yawn Collective - Apr 28, 2022
You’ve heard the saying, “never wake a sleeping baby.” When our little one is snoozing away, the last thing we may want to do is wake them when we can use this time to clean the house, put away laundry, or just relax.
When you’ve worked so hard to create and perfect your baby’s sleeping schedule, cutting their zzzs short may be the best thing for everyone.
Eating Every Few Hours
Babies have tiny tummies. They also need to eat every few hours to keep their bellies from being empty.
During the early days, your baby will not be on a rigid schedule, and you’ll be taking cues when they are tired and hungry. However, if your baby has been napping for longer than four hours, you may need to wake them to feed them.
Babies need to start putting on weight, and frequent feedings will ensure that your baby gets the nutrition they need. If you allow your baby to sleep until they wake, they may be ravenous and communicate this to you by crying. It may take a little finesse to help your baby calm back down, as they will be upset from being hungry but too upset to eat.
We want to avoid this scenario as it can make for an unhappy time for everyone. It may be painful to wake a sleeping baby, but being proactive can help to avoid any hard-to-calm emotional outbursts.
Filling up your baby’s tummy as much as you can during the day will give them the calories they need to sleep soundly at night. If your baby is not receiving enough to eat during the daytime, they will let you know during the wee hours of the morning.
Too Close to Bedtime
Afternoon naps are wonderful things. They give you a chance to rest or knock some stuff off your to-do list. You may want to extend those afternoon naps as much as possible to allow you the opportunity to get things done, but as a parent, you’ll want to think a few steps ahead.
If your baby’s afternoon nap extends too far into the afternoon, it may affect their bedtime. If they go to bed late, it will affect what time they wake up in the morning. Like a line of dominoes, this innocent afternoon nap may cause your carefully curated sleep routine to fall apart.
Depending on your baby’s age, use their wake windows to determine how long they should be awake between their last nap and their bedtime. Use their wake window, and work backward to help you decide whether you should wake your little one.
Giving your baby enough awake time between naps ensures that they will be sleepy again when bedtime rolls around.
Napping off Schedule
Car rides and stroller walks can soothe the most active baby to sleep. You may even succumb to the gentle motions of riding in the passenger seat from time to time. Car naps are sometimes the best, so we understand when our babies are gently lulled to sleep.
However, you may be driving home and notice your little one snoozing away, suddenly seeing the time and realizing that your little one is off their regular schedule. You may feel panicky as you do not want your baby to get off of the sleeping schedule that you’ve worked so hard on.
This is a simple fix, gently wake your baby when you get to your destination. If they napped for thirty minutes or less, you should be in the clear to resume their regular sleep schedule. If your baby napped for longer than thirty minutes, you might need to make slight adjustments to when they go to bed for the night.
No worries, being a parent is all about being flexible and understanding that sometimes plans don’t go the way you want them to. Adjust as needed and keep rolling!
Adjust The Napping Schedule
If you are at home and following your regular routine, and your baby is napping off schedule, there could be a few reasons for your sleepy head to feel extra drowsy. They may not be feeling well. Double-check their temp and look for any symptoms that your baby may be under the weather.
Has your baby started to teeth? Teething discomfort at night can keep your baby up and throw their napping schedules off. Your baby is also rapidly growing, and as your baby grows, this can affect their sleeping schedule.
Your baby may start consolidating their naps and naps longer, but not as often. If you find that your baby’s nap times have begun to change, keep a journal and jot down all the information about their sleeping. This would include when they started to show signs of drowsiness, what time they fell asleep, and what time they woke up.
You may be able to recognize a pattern. If you do, you can adjust your baby’s nap schedule to accommodate. Your baby will likely not notice a thing if you gradually adjust ten to fifteen minutes a day.
We all love to sleep in from time to time. We are also well aware of how a late morning of zzz’s can throw us off of our own schedule and make it harder to wake up early the following day. If you are a Sunday morning snoozer, you are well aware of this painful fact when the Monday morning alarm clock goes off.
For your baby, sleeping in can also throw off their entire day. If you find that your baby is sleeping way past their usual wake-up time, it may be a good idea to gently wake up your little buddy and get their day started. Although this isn’t technically a nap time, allowing your baby to sleep in too late can affect when they need to take a nap.
If you would like a little extra time under the cozy covers, a thirty-minute lie-in won’t completely ruin your sleep scheduling efforts. Feel free to take this time to snuggle and relax. You deserve it!
Importance of Routine
As long as your baby isn’t feeling ill, or going through the dreaded sleep regression, keeping a routine is the best way to ensure that your baby is getting all of the rest that their little body needs. Having a predictable routine helps your baby feel safe and secure, as the unknown can cause your baby to wonder what is going on.
A routine doesn’t mean a strict timetable that you must follow per minute. These routines are too hard to follow and usually end up in disappointment and tears, not just your baby’s.
A simple routine that works for your and your baby is usually the best option and keeps everyone feeling well-rested and content. A tentative time for naps and wake-ups makes adjusting to the day’s activities easy.
A routine also lets you know how much your baby is sleeping and if they are sleeping too much during the day. This will help you keep more of their sleeping time to nighttime hours, allowing you to get the rest that you need to be in tip-top shape the next day.
One of the most important routines you can plan for your baby is their bedtime routine. Having a set of steps to enforce the idea that bedtime is coming gives your baby a chance to unwind and spend time with you.
Your pals at Little Yawn Collective recognize that bedtime can be hard no matter what your routines look like. We are here to help with our range of melatonin-free sleep products to help your baby feel cozy and snoozy.
Check out our Snooze Bundle, which contains the perfect complements to your baby’s bedtime routine. Your baby will love having a warm bath with our Soothing Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula, and you’ll love how the natural ingredients are gentle on your little one’s skin.
Our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter will moisturize your baby’s sensitive skin and wrap you both with dreamy scents of lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood. Keep the snoozy and cozy atmosphere with a few spritzes of our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray. This melatonin-free mist will help create an environment that can help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer through the night.
Although it may be hard to wake your baby up from a nap, staying awake with them through the night is also challenging. We know parenting can be tough, but your little one makes it worth it. Little Yawn Collective is here through all the easy and hard times with zzzs you can trust.
Check us out and see how we can help make bedtime a breeze!
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