Baby Nap Tips

Baby Nap Tips
We get a lot of questions about naps; how long a baby should be napping during the day, how many naps they ‘should’ be having, how to transition to less naps, and when to stop naps altogether. We are excited to work with NEST again to put together a few top tips for you!
The sleep your little one needs during the day will vary depending on their age. As guidance, this is what we would expect to see:
  • Newborn (3-6 months): Generally, most babies at this age are asleep more than awake. You are likely to see a total amount of sleep ranging between 16-18 hrs in a 24 hour period.
  • 6-12 months: The goal for a baby between 6-12 months is to be sleeping a total of 12-15 hours in a 24 hour period. This would include around two to three naps per day.
  • 2 years: At this age, your little one is ideally getting 12-14 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, with one nap during the day.
  • 3-4 years: At this age, we would be expecting to see your child sleep for 12 hours in a 24-hour period. This may include one nap during the day, although you are likely to find that this will no longer be a regular part of their day-to-day routine.

There is no ‘set age’ at which your little one should stop napping during the day. For some children, they will still need to nap until they are three or four years old, and for others, they will be able to manage through the day and stop napping earlier than this. It very much depends on how well your baby sleeps at night, what time they go to bed, what time they wake up in the morning, and how busy their day is, which will determine the best napping schedule for them. 

When asking yourself ‘when should my child stop napping, we would encourage you to think about the following: 

  • How easily are they going to bed? Are they snuggling down and going to sleep quickly, or are they tossing and turning for a while?
  • What is their behaviour like before and after a nap? Is it becoming a battle to get them to have a nap or are they waking up really grumpy and more tired after their nap, making the afternoon a struggle for everyone?

If you feel that bedtime is tricky, nap time is a battle, and behaviour becomes a problem around nap time and after they’ve napped, then it may be time to think about reducing or cutting out naps completely.

There may be a period of time when your little one refuses a nap but you can see that they are still really tired and need one. We would encourage you to try not to stress about it too much.

We often discuss introducing a ‘quiet time’ for your baby. Initially when you introduce ‘quiet time’ you may still wish to do this in their cot/bed with some books, so if they fall asleep it doesn’t matter. This may also help you encourage your baby to have some quiet time, especially if they are becoming more reluctant.

Quiet time could be; your child going up to their bedroom and spending time looking through a few books, or having some time alone either snuggled in their bed or on the sofa with a blanket. It may also be having some alone time in their cosy teepee, or if you have strict rules with TV in your house, this may be the time that you allow them to have a bit of TV time for 30 minutes. 

For adults, when we take even 30 minutes out of our busy day to sit and have a coffee, tea, or to read a chapter of our book, we feel rested and it often gives up a boost of energy for the rest of the day. This is the same for children. It’s okay to allow them time to have a reset for 30-40 minutes. It also means you can have time for a little reset too!

About Nest


NEST is a private Early Years Consultancy Service with a team of highly trained consultants offering bespoke support and advice to families from pregnancy until a child is at school. ​NEST stands for Nurture, Educate, Support - Together, an ethos we are really passionate about. We ensure that every family receives a service that is confidential, informative, and exclusively tailored to each individual family and their needs. We work alongside you and your family in a nurturing and non-judgmental way to support you in your child's early years. 

​NEST was founded in 2018 by Lucy, a Norland Nanny and Maternity Practitioner who has worked with families and their children, both privately and in the community with the NHS. Lucy passionately believes that no two journeys are the same, which is why she felt a bespoke service should be made available. 

If you would like further support on sleep, weaning, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, toilet training, behaviour, fussy eating, managing emotions, or anything else, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with NEST, either via their website:, by giving them a call on 07825308570, or by dropping them a message on their IG page: @nest.children.