16 Naptime Simple Tips to Help Your Baby Fall Asleep

Sometimes it's frustrating not being able to put your little one to sleep; here are 16 simple tips to turn naptime from a frustrating struggle into a peaceful sleepover!

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As a confident and capable parent, you must ensure your baby gets enough sleep to support their growth and development. These 16 tips are all you need to improve your baby's nighttime sleep significantly, especially if your toddler refuses to nap

1. Identify your baby’s natural signs to nap

Watch babies' subtle sleep cues to know when they are ready for a nap. Act on these cues to get them to sleep longer and easier.  By identifying their wake windows, you can ensure they get the rest they need to fall asleep effortlessly and stay asleep longer.

2. Establish a naptime routine

Naptime routine
🌞 Morning
7 a.m. Wake Up Breakfast time!
8 a.m Morning Playtime: Let's have some fun and burn off energy.
🛌 First nap routine
9 a.m. Wind down Time to relax
9:30 - 11 a.m Nap Sweet dreams!
🌞 Midday
11 a.m Wake Up Snack time and more play!
🛌 Second nap routine
1:30 p.m. Wind down
Let's get cozy again.
2 - 3:30 p.m. Nap
🌅 Late afternoon/Early evening
3:30 p.m. Wake Up Snack and calm activities.
🌙 Evening
7:00 p.m. Family mealtime
7:30/8 p.m. Bedtime Routine Bath, stories, and cuddles.
Goodnight, sleep tight!

3. Set nap goals

Establish a consistent nap schedule, aiming for naps at approximately the same time each day to regulate your toddler's internal clock.

Aim for a total nap duration of 2-3 hours per day, broken down into two naps for toddlers aged 12-18 months.

Ensure your toddler gets two naps per day if they are in the 12-18 months age range, adjusting as needed based on their individual sleep needs.

Strive for uninterrupted and restful naps where your toddler sleeps deeply and wakes up refreshed, avoiding disruptions as much as possible.

4. Infuse creativity into the nap space 

Infusing creativity into the nap space not only fosters imaginative exploration but also helps develop positive sleep associations, making naptime a welcoming and enjoyable experience for your little one.


5. Limit screen time

In this digital age, infants and toddlers have easy access to screens. However, prolonged exposure to screens can harm their development. 

For those aged 2 years, sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour; less is better. 💡The World Health Organization

6. Create a visual naptime routine

A consistent and visual naptime routine can promote healthy sleep habits. By developing a bedtime routine chart  with specific activities, babies learn to associate them with sleep, making it easier to sleep independently. It's an effective tool to help babies fall asleep quickly and independently.

naptime routine

7. Establish a consistent nap schedule

In today's fast-paced world, prioritizing sleep can often feel like a luxury. Yet, for children establishing a consistent nap schedule carries immense benefits beyond simply catching some extra Zzz's.

Check out this article on how many hours should a kid sleep to help figure out the best naptime routine for your kid. 

"Establishing a routine is the most advisable. The limits are not restrictive. They are a sign of security and love. I'll stay with tip 2."
💡Dra. Lorena Koppel

8. Allow a cozy blanket to enhance relaxation

A soft and warm blanket can help your baby sleep peacefully, especially for children who feel secure in their favorite blanket. Adding a cozy blanket to your child's nap routine can improve relaxation and promote restorative sleep.

Extra tip: A fantastic night light can help children overcome their fear of the dark and sleep peacefully. Its gentle glow creates a calming and inviting atmosphere in the dark room, ensuring a restful slumber.

9. Be active between naps

Encouraging physical activity and playtime between nap sessions helps your toddler burn off excess energy, promotes healthy development, and can contribute to more restful naps. Aim to incorporate age-appropriate outdoor play, indoor games, or sensory activities to keep your toddler engaged and active during waking hours. 

These activities will improve and help your toddler sleep through the night with no time! In the Storybook App, you can also find meditations and affirmations to help you with this.

10. Incorporate gentle massages paired with storytime

The Storybook App will help you transition from play to naptime, which can be a difficult task for some children.

massage for child

By integrating gentle massage with the captivating world of stories, you can create a magical experience to help soothe your child and prepare them for a peaceful, restful sleep.

11. Use sound tools that help to fall asleep

Incorporating sound tools such as white noise into your toddler's nap routine can help create a peaceful sleep environment and eliminate external disturbances. 

Integrating white noise and other soothing sounds into your daily routine, such as through the Storybook App, can enhance the napping experience and promote better sleep quality for your toddler. Additionally, positive reinforcement around naps, such as praising your toddler for their efforts to relax and settle down for naptime, can further support a positive nap routine.

12. Utilize naptime as a brief window for your relaxation

Naptime is an essential element for your child's growth and development. However, it can also be an excellent opportunity to recharge and renew your energy.

13. Avoid giving your child heavy snacks before naptime

While snacks can provide essential nutrients for your child's growth and development, offering heavy snacks right before naptime can harm their sleep quality. 

14. Ensure the room is at a comfortable temperature

Creating a comfortable naptime environment goes beyond soft blankets and soothing sounds. Ensuring the space is at an ideal temperature promotes restful sleep and prevents disruptions.

15. Let your child get some fresh air before nap time

There is something intrinsically calming and therapeutic about spending time outdoors. This activity can help your little one finish using up any remaining energy.

16. Put your child down drowsy but awake

Although it may be tempting to rock your child to sleep or cuddle him until he is completely unconscious, putting him to bed drowsy but awake can change his sleep development. This method fosters the ability to soothe himself and encourages longer independent sleep.

What to do if your child resists naptime

Having trouble getting your toddler to nap? While naps are essential for their development, they can be challenging. Here are some strategies to help with naptime resistance:

1. Understand your child's needs

2. Check to see if your routine is consistent

3. Address the underlying reasons for resistance

4. Apply gentle sleep training techniques

5. Offer alternative solutions

If you need more detailed information about toddler sleep schedules, please refer to our article. Toddler sleep schedule

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How much sleep do children need during naptime?

Wondering how long should a baby nap? The amount of sleep children need during naptime varies according to their age:

recommended nap  duration

Disclaimer 😀: These are only general guidelines. Individual needs can vary considerably. 

"Newborns often nap during the day, with each nap lasting between one and four hours. Although total nap time decreases as they get older, it is typical for infants to continue to nap for 2 to 3 hours or more each day. "
💡 Sleep Foundation

Written By

Francisco Cornejo
CEO Storybook

Francisco Cornejo, a dynamic entrepreneur with a Masters in Communication from RMIT University in Australia, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Storybook. As a serial entrepreneur, he notably served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Honda Motors in Latin America, shaping the brand's regional presence. ‍ Passionate about family well-being and communication, Francisco leads Storybook in its mission to improve children's health globally, aiming to create positive impacts in both corporate and societal spheres.

Medically Reviewed by:

Lorena Koppel
Child Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Lorena Koppel is a distinguished Child Clinical Psychologist based in Azuay, Ecuador, with over 26 years of experience at Monte Sinaí Hospital. She specializes in treating emotional disorders in children and adolescents, providing family counseling, and integrating theoretical and practical approaches in clinical psychology.


  • “Takahashi, I., Obara, T., Ishikuro, M., Murakami, K., Ueno, F., Noda, A., ... & Kuriyama, S. (2023). Screen time is 1 year, and communication and problem-solving developmental delay is 2 and 4 years. JAMA pediatrics, 177(10), 1039-1046.”

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