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Nap Schedules by Age

Let’s talk about nap schedules! In the first few years of life, sleep needs change quite often and it can be difficult to determine the best schedule for your child at each age and stage. Naps are important. Quality day sleep leads to fewer night wakings and more consolidated night sleep. But… did you know there are certain times of the day when your child’s body will sleep best? That’s right! The schedules in this blog reflect the natural, biological times in which your child will get the best quality and restorative sleep.

Keep in mind: While nap schedules are an important aspect of your child’s sleep, they are simply one piece of the puzzle. If you are currently on an age appropriate nap schedule, but still struggling with sleep there are likely other causes for the broken sleep. Let’s connect! I will help you overcome your child’s sleep struggles by identifying the root issue and teaching evidence-based solutions to restore sleep for your whole family!

Why is nap timing important?

All human body's follow a natural sleep-wake rhythm. As soon as your child wakes, the body's sleep pressure begins to build - essentially the longer they are awake, the more tired they will feel. This sleep pressure builds quickly for children on multiple naps a day because they simply are not able to handle longer periods of awake time.

Additionally, there are specific times during the day, when your child is going to sleep best based on their biological sleep-wake rhythm.

These two biological systems work together to help your child feel tired at certain times throughout the day. Sleep at these times results in the best quality and most restorative sleep because it occurred when their body needed the sleep.

Why are consistent daily nap schedules are important?

On a biological level, when naps (and meal times and bed times) are offered at different time every day, their body has difficulty establishing natural internal rhythms that control their sleep and wake cycles. In order for good nap patterns to emerge, you must set and enforce a consistent and regular schedule for your child. Children thrive with consistency!

The following nap schedules reflect the natural and
biological times in which your child will get the best quality and restorative sleep.

Are you ready to get your child on a consistent nap schedule, but not sure where to start? Or maybe you have the schedule down, but are still struggling with sleep. I'd love to connect with you! At Guiding Star Sleep, I take the guesswork out of sleep for you by providing a step-by-step sleep plan personalized specifically to your child and family.


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