Time for a Nap

Enough Sleep?

My baby naps for only 30 minutes at a time. Is he getting enough rest?

"It's an old wives' tale that naps need to last an hour to count," says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., a Parents advisor and author of Sleeping Through the Night. "Many babies nap for only 30 or 45 minutes, and that's all they need." And don't worry about his sleeping too much, either. Snoozing for as long as two hours at a stretch is fine. "The key is not how much he sleeps," says Marc Weissbluth, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. "It's more important to look at your child's behavior around 4 or 5 p.m. If he's calm, sweet, and easygoing, everything's okay. If he's not, you probably need to adjust something in his sleep schedule."

My 10-month-old used to be a good napper, but now it seems like he won't sleep. How can I get him back on track?

Sleep patterns often fall apart two or three weeks before a developmental leap such as crawling or starting to speak, perhaps because of all the changes buzzing through your baby's brain. Teething pain can also disrupt the rhythm. Either way, the most important thing is to stay consistent. Whatever you used to do that got him to nap, keep doing it. "Don't try to 'solve' the problem by changing your routine every day," cautions Dr. Mindell. "Time will resolve it."

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