Naptime from A to Z

An age-by-age guide to get baby into a daily routine that will help her sleep soundly at night, too.

My daughter Samantha was a bad napper. Every day I was filled with anxiety: Could I get her to sleep? Would she stay asleep until she got the rest she needed? And would she snooze long enough for me to relax? By the time my second daughter, Chloe, was born, I was learned from my mistakes. Plus, I had armed myself with a shelf full of books on the topic of babies and sleep. (I read all of them.) Not surprisingly, Chloe is a great napper. No matter where you're at in the nap game, your baby can become a good napper too. All you need is an action plan. Done: We rounded up the best advice from today's sleep experts. Read on, and your baby will be nodding off in no time.

Newborn to 3 months: Sleeping around the clock

Thankfully for new parents who are trying to get up to speed on caring for their infant, newborns kind of take care of themselves when It comes to sleep. They'll doze off in your arms, the car seat, or the swing; there's no pressure to do anything special to make naps happen. However, it's a good idea to sometimes put your newborn down to nap in the same spot he sleeps at night. Also, make sure the room is dark and relatively quiet, even if baby is happily dreaming in the bouncy seat. What's most important is to avoid having him stay up for more than two hours at a stretch, although even two hours of wakefulness might be too long for some newborns. Look for signs of drowsiness (he's less active, yawning or less interested in his surroundings), says Marc Weissbluth, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at Northwestern School of Medicine and author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

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