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Short Naps

napping baby

Our son is now 3 months old and sleeps approximately 11 hours a night (waking once to nurse). However, he refuses to sleep more than 20 minutes during nap times during the day. He's only getting maybe 2 hours of combined sleep during the day. I've tried everything-swaddling, swing, car seat, vibrating pack n play...nothing keeps him asleep. My 2 year old naps more than him!

The average 3 month old needs about 10 hours of sleep at night and 4 hours during the day. However, this is an average some children sleep more and some (like your son) sleep less. Your son is sleeping so well as night that he may be fulfilling his own personal daily sleep needs.

Unfortunately, some children are just not good nappers. It is nighttime sleep that is associated with mental and physical health (yes yours and your son’s).

Is there a difference between his nighttime and daytime sleep settings. Is he sleeping with you at night?

What can you try?

At his age you should be spacing out his feedings. Spacing out his feeding should help him nap longer. By 4 months old, he should be able to space his feedings to 4 hours. Feeding are measure from the start of one feeding to the start of the next feeding.

Get him outside. Take him to the park or go for walks in the stroller. The outdoors is very stimulating for children and will help him sleep better.

Change up the timing of his naps. Try 30 minutes later or earlier. His naps will be most successful if he is tired, but not overtired.

At 4 months you could try solid foods. Many mothers and grandmothers report children developing better sleeping habits after starting solids. Medical research does not support statement, but it certainly will not harm your son to try after 4 months.

Given time his napping will improve, but he will probably always need less nap time than the average child.






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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