Q: Does it matter where my baby naps?

A: During the first 6 weeks, a baby will fall asleep anywhere. But after about 2 months, places like malls, parks, or supermarkets may be too noisy and will prevent your baby from getting the sound, restful sleep she needs. Many babies doze off easily in the car, for example, but may wake up once the ride is over. Ideally, older babies and toddlers should nap in the same place where they sleep at night. This will help them associate the crib or bed with slumber, which is important in helping them sleep through the night. And, of course, you should try to have your child nap in a quiet environment. If you can't prevent noise, you can try blocking it out by turning on some gentle music or by using a white-noise machine. --Rebecca R. Kahlenberg

Originally published in Parents magazine, November 2004. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents Team