Napping Problems: Getting Baby to Sleep

Month 8, Week 3

Naps can be a challenge. Parents can get consumed with questions relating to their child’s napping time and habits very easily. Is he napping enough? Too much? Why won’t he nap? Is it time to go from three naps to two? When is the best time for the baby to nap? 

Here are nap tips:

  • Watch for sleep cues like rubbing eyes, yawning, and clinginess. Act fast: An overtired baby may be harder to put down for a nap.
  • Aim for a regular nap schedule. The occasional nap during errands is fine, but an overfilled schedule and perpetual catnaps can leave baby sleep-deprived.
  • Now that your baby is older, try stretching out the time between naps to make each one last longer.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your baby is learning to do all kinds of fun things while sitting: bending and reaching over to grab toys, scooting on his bottom, and rolling onto his stomach and then getting back into a sitting position.

There are so many fun activities to do with baby now! Try:

  • Dance party! Put on music and encourage him to shake his body to the beat.
  • Simple musical instruments, like toy drums and xylophones, to make his own music.
  • Stacking block towers. The best part? Knocking them down!
  • A big box with open ends if he’s already crawling. (No need to buy a fancy tunnel.) Crawl ahead of him and encourage him to follow!

You might wonder about:

  • Safety. Crawl around your house to discover hidden hazards at your baby's eye level.
  • Visiting grandparents and other family members. Make sure that homes you visit are also safe for your constantly moving little one.
  • Getting a babysitter. You need a night out now and then! When hiring a sitter, check references, and make sure the person knows first aid and CPR. Allow an extra half an hour on the first visit for a house tour and detailed safety instructions.

Month 8, Week 3 Tips

  • Don’t rush to your sleeping baby (either at night or at nap time) at the slightest sound. Give him a few minutes to settle himself, then check on him if he continues.
  • If your baby has teeth now, brush those little baby teeth, and ask your pediatrician if your baby is getting enough fluoride. Baby will gladly help you brush. (Fluoride levels in the water vary widely by locale.)
  • Does baby have a cold? You can help clear his stuffy nose by taking him in the shower with you to breathe in the steam. Nasal saline drops and a bulb suction may also help give some comfort. But don't use any medications without first consulting with your baby's doctor.
  • Supply problem while pumping? Try looking at a picture of your baby while pumping, or listening to a recording of his giggles.
  • Try giving your baby a sippy cup, if you haven’t already. Pediatricians recommend that babies be off the bottle by around a year and starting early will give him plenty of time to learn.
  • Studies show that parents eat worse and exercise less than those with no kids. Don’t let this be you! Look for ways to be active with your baby.
  • Take a moment to consider your daily routine. What's working well and what might you want to try changing? Look for places where you need help and then ask for it.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on November 20, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Movement: 8 to 12 Months."

American Academy of Pediatrics: :"A Message for Grandparents: Keeping Your Grandchild Safe in Your Home."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Babysitting Reminders."

WebMD: "The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Baby Sleep."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Physical Appearance and Growth: 8 to 12 Months."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "First Steps to a Healthy Smile."

WebMD: "Home Treatments for Babies."

WebMD: "Breast Pumps for Nursing Moms."

WebMD: "Weaning Baby from Bottle to Cup."

Time: "Study: Moms Are Fatter, Exercise Less and Eat More Unhealthy Foods."

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