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Q&A: Resistance to Crib at Naptime?

My 11-month-old daughter won't take a nap in her crib, and she never has. She goes to sleep at night just fine but won’t nap in her crib. What can I do?
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profile picture of Conner Herman and Kira Ryan
Dream Team Baby Sleep Consultants
Updated
March 2, 2017
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We hear this complaint from many parents. The simple answer is that getting daytime sleep is a different animal than getting nighttime sleep. This is particularly true if your child is light sensitive or has a hard time winding down and/or making transitions.

At your daughter’s age, she still needs two naps a day (ideally one hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon). After you have her  nap schedule ironed out, the trick is communicating, “You can do this! It’s just the same as nighttime.”

Help make this point by doing an abbreviated version of your usual bedtime routine. This could be as simple as changing her diaper, putting her in more comfortable sleeping clothes, and singing the song you sing before bed. Also, we advise parents facing nap challenges to make sure their child’s room is as dark as possible by installing room-darkening curtains. This visual indication that it’s sleep time can really help them settle down quickly.

With these changes, your baby should make the leap to loving daytime crib sleep too. It might take up to two weeks for her to learn, but if you’re consistent and give her a chance, she’ll eventually catch on.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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