Common Baby Nap Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, According to an Expert

Establishing a consistent sleep routine for your baby isn’t easy, especially when it comes to their naps. Every parent should trust their instincts and do what they feel is right for their tot, but getting those all-important rests in can be a challenge!

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone; there are some common baby nap mistakes parents often find themselves making. Thankfully, with a little guidance, you can improve your baby’s sleep schedule and better support their development.

My name is Tami Wornham, I’m a professional baby sleep consultant from Hubble Connected and founder of The Baby Days. Now, I’m sharing my top tips to help you overcome common nap hurdles – this can be a mountain to climb, but you will reach the other side.

1. Avoid putting your baby down when they’re not tired.

Putting your baby down for a nap when they’re not tired is counterproductive. Lots of parents use wake windows to predict naps and while they can be useful as a guide, it’s important to remember that every baby is different. Look for tiredness cues too, like yawning.

2. Don’t have too many naps on the move.

Being able to go out and about with your baby is great, but sometimes naps on the go can make them overtired and affect their night-time rest. Try to aim for one nap in the daytime, either at home in their cot or in the form of a contact nap. The important thing is that you find a balance; babies can nap too much or not enough – one nap throughout the day is a helpful rule of thumb.

3. Keep up naps and don’t drop them too soon.

Some parents are keen to drop naps quickly, but this often leads to babies having very long wake windows. In turn, they might find it hard to cope, becoming very fussy at bedtime and staying awake at night. Reduce their naps gradually and monitor how your little one is doing each time, don’t cut them out in one foul sweep.

4. Try to be consistent.

This is easier said than done, but babies love consistency and naps will become easier if you schedule them for the same time each day; your baby’s body clock will come to expect a nap at that time, which helps them settle.

5. Keeping them up for a lay in.

If you’re desperate for a lay in, it’s probably tempting to keep your tot up a little later so they’ll get that late-morning rest with you. However, your baby’s internal clock will wake them up around the same time every morning, no matter when you put them to bed. All this strategy is likely to result in is an overtired, fussy baby, so try to stick to your routine if you can.

6. Not looking out for their sleep cues. 

Understanding and recognising your baby’s sleep cues is important. This will help you develop healthy sleep habits, figure out when your little one needs rest, prevent overtiredness and support their overall development. Fortunately, some signs are easy to recognise, such as fussiness, pulling their ears, reduced smiling, yawning, and sucking fingers. Although, every baby is unique, so you will need to get to know your little one’s behaviours.

You can also use sleep aids like Sleep Trainers which are designed to foster melatonin production through soothing lights and sounds, providing a gentle approach to training babies for better sleep.

7. Putting too much pressure on yourself.

Managing your baby’s sleep is an inevitably difficult process, this really is a journey, and you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to get things right all of the time. Your baby will also naturally show signs of sleep regression at some point – there might be no rhyme or reason to it, so don’t blame yourself. Embrace any help that comes your way, invest in ‘you time’ when you can, use a baby monitor to keep an eye on your little one remotely, and be kind to yourself.

Visit for a range of products that help to monitor your baby whilst asleep or playing.

Written by Tami Wornham, a professional baby sleep consultant from Hubble Connected and founder of The Baby Days.