It is true the for some babies getting too much day sleep can result in less sleep at night sleep especially if one of the following are true:
- Naps are so long that baby is not eating regularly in the day or not getting enough calories
- Baby is not getting enough stimulation, light, activity or fresh air in the day.
- Baby is sleeping very late in the day. Naps that end after 5pm or 5:30pm for younger babies can effect night sleep by pushing bedtime later or reducing the length of needed sleep in the night.
However research shows that adequate day sleep improves night sleep in general.
For most babies under 6 months they will be able to stay awake for 1-2 hours. It is important that babies are not awake too long so they don’t get overtired, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep for the next time.
If your baby sleeps less than 45 minutes, it is often worth a 5-10 minute try to get him back to sleep.
If it doesn’t work then get your baby up and watch him so you can put him down when he shows tired signs. This may be less than 1 hour if he only had a shorter nap.
Many babies will sleep consistently for shorter naps in the daytime. 20 or 30 minutes is common. These babies will need more naps in the daytime and it can be challenging for families to schedule around them. Sometimes we can lengthen at least a few naps in the day that can help. If your baby has reflux, short naps can be common and may not lengthen until the reflux is under control or your baby is older.