Nap Recommendations: How Many and How Long?
I commonly get asked how many naps a child should be taking in a day. In this post, I will give a summary of the recommendations. Please note that some children may take more or fewer naps than the same aged peer.
The number of naps that your child takes during the day will depend on the following:
- How long your child can tolerate being awake from sleep to sleep (wake times).
- How long your child is napping.
- How much sleep your child is getting overnight.
Recommendations for the Number of Naps:
(These recommendations are based on a child’s age)
Birth to 4 months: 4 to 5 naps a day
4 to 6 months: 3 to 4 naps a day
6 to 8 months: 2 to 3 naps a day
8 months to 18 months: 1 to 2 naps a day
18 months to 36 months (3 years of age): 1 nap
Recommendations for the Optimal Length of Nap:
Birth and 8 months of age: 45 to 90 minutes per nap****
8 months to 18 months: 60 minutes to 90 minutes per nap
18 months to 3 years: 90 minutes to 2.5 hours*****
****It is not uncommon for a child to nap for 30 to 45 minutes. This just means they will need more naps during the day. I firmly believe a nap is a nap and in time things will get better. See more about this in the post called Crap Naps.
*****If a child takes a nap longer than 2.5 hours but it does not affect night sleep then all is good.
The video below summarizes the information above and gives a few more details. This was a video I did for the free Facebook Group Supportive Sleep Learning and Parenting that I am the main moderator of.
Feel free to reach out if you require additional support. You book a free 15-minute call with me to discuss your situation and I will let you know how I can help.