The late afternoon nap can be a life saver . It will help prevent your little one becoming overtired if it is used correctly. If the nap is not done correctly it can have a huge impact on your baby’s night sleep.
What is the Late Afternoon Nap
So what is a late afternoon sleep I hear you ask? Well the late afternoon nap is in the later afternoon nap. This nap is usually between 4pm and 5pm with the length of the nap depending on your baby’s age. This nap is a short nap. It is best done as an assisted nap as this nap falls outside of your little ones natural sleep window. Natural asleep windows are time when your child’s energy levels drop.
Why is the Late Afternoon Nap Important
The late afternoon nap is a nap that will help your little one get through to bed time. Without the late afternoon nap your baby can become overtired and bed time can becomes very difficult. This nap also helps make the whole afternoon a little easier. Did you also know that if you baby goes to bed overtired it can cause them to wake overnight. You can read more about this here. https://littlezzzsleepconsultant.com.au/why-does-my-baby-wake-overnight/
How to Best Have the Late Afternoon Nap
So how do we do this nap successfully? This nap needs be after 4pm but you need your little one awake by 5pm. The reason you need to have your baby awake by 5pm is to allow them to have enough sleep debt. Your little one needs enough sleep debt to be ready to go back to bed for bed time. The length of this nap is dependent on the age of your baby. Younger babies may have a late afternoon nap for 45 minutes to 30 minutes. As your baby gets closer to 7 months they may only need to sleep for 20 to 15 minutes. Remember we don’t want the later afternoon nap to interrupt bedtime or your bub’s night sleep. We want to give our bubs enough sleep to prevent them becoming overtired but not interrupt bed time. As I am sure you know getting the right amount of sleep for your little one can be a fine line. Because this nap does fall outside natural sleep windows this can be a great nap to do in the pram or car. Outside of the natural sleep windows can be hard for babies to self-settle. So a walk in the pram is a great way to help your bub have a late afternoon nap.
When is it Time to Stop the Late Afternoon Nap
Around 7 months is when your little one will no longer need a late afternoon sleep. Of course for some babies it will be a little earlier and for some it will be a little later. If you drop it too early you will have an overtired bub. This can cause them to wake more overnight and wake earlier in the morning. If you use the late afternoon nap too long it can cause extended waking overnight. It can also make bed time very hard or make bedtime too late, which will also impact other sleeps.
So there it is all you need to know about the late afternoon nap. If you need help with your little ones late afternoon nap you can book a phone consultation or email consultation. You can check out our in home consultations here.
I hope this helps you with your little ones sleep xx