A new baby needs a lot of sleep and when they’re not sleeping, they can be hungry or need a diaper change. It’s a little hard to know in the beginning what’s making your baby cry or if he’s tired. But as you both begin to settle into your routines, you’ll begin to notice the cues that your baby needs to nap. You want to make sure he gets in good naps during the day and at appropriate times so that you won’t have as much trouble getting him to sleep at night.
Even a very small baby will rub his eyes when he gets tired. He’ll yawn; perhaps he’ll get fussy. As children get a little older, their activity levels may pick up as they get tired and try to avoid sleep.
Try to keep to regular nap times during the day. If you’re baby is napping 3 times a day, then a mid-morning, early afternoon and late-afternoon nap is appropriate for a baby with a 7:30 or 8 PM bed time.
Often babies get tired towards dinner time, and then parents are faced with a dilemma. Do you let the baby sleep and risk not getting to sleep at bedtime? Or you do you try to keep him awake through dinner and perhaps put him to bed a little bit earlier?
Most parents will opt for trying to keep the baby awake a little longer in favor of keeping to a regular bed time. But if it’s been a busy day for the little guy, let him have a very short nap and then wake him up gently for dinner or a feeding and some light play before putting him to bed for the night.
Remember to make rituals for naps as well as bed time so your baby gets used to sleeping at regular times.