Everyone deserves good sleep, and for most parents, that means doing some form of sleep training once their babies are about 4 months old or older. For most, the first thing that pops into your mind is likely nighttime sleep, but sleep training is so much more than that. It’s about parents understanding that in order to get the rest they need,  their child needs to have the skill of independent sleep (falling asleep without any form of assistance) for BOTH naps and bedtime in order to be able to put themselves to sleep when they wake throughout the night. We asked our pediatric Sleep Consultant Natalie Willes, who is also the expert that leads our Sleep 101 online class, to weigh in on some common questions we get around sleep training for naps.

Tinyhood Sleep 101: Learn About Bedtime Routines, Nap Schedules, and Regressions
Can you sleep train for naps?

In order for your child to truly be sleep trained, you must sleep train for both naps and bedtime simultaneously. In our online class, Sleep 101: The Baby Sleep Solution, expert Natalie Willes, walks you through exactly how to do this, and why training for both naps and nighttime at once is crucial.

Should you sleep train for both nights and naps at the same time?
According to Tinyhood expert and pediatric sleep consultant Natalie, it’s important to train for naps while sleep training for nighttime. Why? Separating nighttime training and sleep training during naps into two processes can cause unnecessary stress on both parents and babies. 

Not only can separating nights and naps confuse babies, but if you train for nights first, they can use the stamina they have from sleeping well through the night to fight their daytime sleep. This can mean sleep training for naps will be harder and lead to more crying. Combining the process of teaching your child to fall asleep independently at night at the same time you teach them to fall asleep independently for their naps will make the process much quicker, and with fewer tears,. This is one of the several key differences in our program that not only makes it more effective, but gentler on your baby. 

How many naps a day should my child get? 
When sleep training, one of the goals is to get your child on a consistent and predictable nap schedule. To do this, you first need to determine how many naps your child needs each day —one, two or three? To figure this out you’ll look at their age. Our expert recommends the following number of naps per day based on age: 

4 to 6 months: 3 naps per day 
6 months to somewhere between 12-18 months: 2 naps per day
12-18 months to 3.5 years: 1 nap per day 

Note: If your child is already on 1 nap, keep them on that schedule despite their age. 

Natalie recommends tracking your child’s naps, including: when you put them in their crib, when they fell asleep, how long it took them to fall asleep, what time they woke up, and how long they slept for.  Once you start, if you feel like your child needs more or fewer naps, don’t worry, you can switch their schedule. In our Sleep 101 class we provide a sleep tracker to make following your child’s sleep easy from day 1. You’ll be able to see how your child progresses in just a few days. 

Where can I learn more about sleep training for naps and nighttime? 
To learn more about helping your baby take longer, predictable naps, and for the ultimate, step-by-step guide to getting your baby to sleep 10-12 hours a night, check out our on-demand class, Sleep 101: The Baby Sleep Solution. Natalie will teach you a proven, science-backed method that will get your baby sleeping well in a matter of days. The class will guide you through various sleep issues, common challenges and setbacks, and arm you with the tools you need to get you and your baby the sleep you deserve. 
Tinyhood Sleep 101: Taught By A Pediatric Sleep Consultant