This Might Be Why Your Baby Won't Take A Nap

Naptime for babies is a time to recharge for not only your little one but parents and caregivers, too. Many caregivers decide to get some tasks done around the house while their baby sleeps. However, if your baby won't take a nap, it can make things tough. Babies often give clues to when they are becoming tired by showing signs of sleepiness. According to Healthline, signs of sleepiness in babies may include yawning, rubbing eyes, or pulling on the ears. Despite these sleepy cues, there are many babies who will simply refuse to take a nap when it's time.

How often a baby takes a nap depends on their age, with more sleep occurring the first several months after birth. Nemours Children's Health reports newborns up to 3 months old will spend anywhere from 14-17 hours per day sleeping. This much sleep doesn't happen all at once and is spaced out by feedings every couple of hours. After the 3-month mark, infants begin to sleep less and less. When a baby turns 4 months old, their circadian rhythm kicks in, meaning they'll be able to sleep longer at night because they know the difference between day and night (via Nemour Kids Health). From 4 months up to 1 year, babies sleep from 12-16 hours in 1 day.

Causes of baby's nap refusal

Most parents and caregivers have experienced their little one refusing a nap. There are several reasons why your baby won't get some shut-eye, such as being overtired or under-tired. If a baby is getting too much sleep, it can make falling asleep more difficult (via Healthline). However, under-tired babies likely won't sleep if they're wide awake. Additionally, a baby's environment may impact how they sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports babies should sleep in a firm sleep space, like a bassinet, crib, portable crib, or play yard. Nothing extra, like blankets, toys, and bumpers should be in the sleep space due to the risk of suffocation.

According to the Mayo Clinic, when a baby turns 4 months old, you can begin putting your baby to sleep while drowsy, but awake. This prevents your baby from getting overtired and irritable, hopefully helping them fall asleep right on time. Sticking to a consistent and age-appropriate routine and schedule communicates to your baby that naptime is near.

Similar to a nap schedule, feeding schedules are tricky. A baby's food intake increases over time, so hunger can easily disrupt a growing baby trying to sleep (via Healthline). Try keeping track of when and how much your baby eats to give you an idea of when it might be time to increase their food intake. If your baby still won't nap, consider using nap time as quiet play or rest time (via Nemours Children's Health).