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Why I dont recommend capping your babys morning nap

Why I don’t recommend waking your baby from their morning nap.

Many popular sleep programs recommend that you wake your baby from their morning nap, ensuring that this is the shorter nap of the day and their longer nap is their mid-day / lunch sleep.

The Lullababysos sleep programme recommends the opposite to this. Over the last 20 years, I have seen both sides of the coin regarding these recommendations, and in my experience, following your baby’s natural rhythm makes the most sense. It is for this reason that I do not recommend waking your baby from the morning nap.

I find that your baby naturally wants to sleep for the longest period in the morning, followed by a medium-length sleep in the middle of the day and a “cat nap” at the end of the day.

This is their natural nap development, as they are progressing from birth up until about six months.

If we encourage this natural development, parents will often find that their baby will do on average of an hour and a half to two hours in the morning, an hour and a half to two hours in the afternoon, and a cat nap in the late afternoon. I have many clients coming to me after using one of these popular sleep programs at around four to six months of age, saying that their baby just cat naps. The catnapping can be due to parents previously waking them from their morning nap. The logic is simple; sleep promotes sleep.

If you encourage your baby to sleep for a long sleep in the morning, they are more likely to do a long sleep in the afternoon. If you encourage your baby to catnap in the morning, they’re more likely to catnap throughout the day.

My goal is and always has been to teach your baby how to go to sleep and link through a sleep cycle, at least twice a day for two naps a day: the morning sleep and the lunchtime sleep.

If you are only practising linking through sleep cycles for your lunchtime sleep and not the morning sleep, then basically, a baby learns what they do most often. If most often is catnapping, then that is what they will do.

By working on linking sleep cycles consistently until around six months, your baby’s nap consolidation will form solid foundations for the future and continue with good sleep throughout their toddler years.  

If you need some help with this, LullababySOS is always there to answer questions or support you in your sleep journey.

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