July 02, 2015

Q: How do I teach my child to be a good napper?

A: Some experts suspect that children may be genetically programmed to take short or long naps. In fact, studies have found that twins raised in the same environment often nap for varying lengths of time. So it's unlikely that a child who is a naturally short napper can be transformed into one who takes three-hour siestas every day. But there are some things you can do to encourage good napping habits: Avoid keeping a child up too late at night, which can prevent him from sleeping well during the day, and don't wait too long to begin his nap. Also, rocking or nursing a child to sleep at naptime is a mistake -- it may lead him to refuse to fall asleep on his own or to wake up as soon as the comforting stops. Generally, it's best to put your child down when he's awake. If he fusses, check on him and reassure him as often as you feel is necessary, but don't take him out of his crib. Eventually, he'll learn to fall asleep on his own. --Rebecca R. Kahlenberg

Originally published in Parents magazine, November 2004. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents Team

Comments (1)

December 2, 2018
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SleepBaby .org<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SleepBaby .org<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!