Like many parenting and sleep-related questions, this cannot be answered with a quick “yes” or “no” because babies are different and so are our parenting styles.
I usually ask myself the following 3 questions whenever I’m not sure what to do:
- Do I want to do this?
- Am I able to do this?
- Is this something that I can do consistently for my child?
As a newborn, Karl slept well in his crib during the night (yes I was lucky!); and woke up only for his feeds. However, naps were a nightmare and he wouldn’t really do a full nap unless I was holding him.
Here’s my opinion on the topic, summing up personal experience as well as what I’ve learned from getting certified as a sleep consultant:
- Enjoy some contact naps especially in the first couple of weeks. Snuggle in and inhale their beautiful baby smell. After that, try to get them to sleep in their crib for the first nap or two, and on you for the other naps in the day.
- Contact naps help your baby to sleep longer; so when they are not 4 months old yet, it makes sense to use contact naps to avoid going to bed overtired at the end of the day.
- When babies are 4 months old and onwards, it gets quite difficult to get them to nap in their cribs if they’ve never done it before.
There really is no wrong or right thing to do. Just keep in mind the 3 questions above. Do you want to, are you able to, and can you offer contact naps consistently for your child? You might feel “touched-out”, which is not uncommon for moms with newborns. You might also need that time to do something else (take a restful nap, run an errand, some self-care, cook, clean, take care of your other children…). If you’re a working mom, you will eventually have to go back to work after maternity leave.
If you feel like you need help getting your little one (newborn, baby, or toddler) to nap in their own sleep space, then I got you! Click here to schedule a free call, email me at email@example.com, or send me a WhatsApp text to +961597705242. I usually respond in less than 24 hours!