How to Help Your Six-Month-Old Take Naps

You can help your baby sleep, but you can't make him sleep. This is important to understand when you are trying to get your 6-month-old baby to take daytime naps. The average 6-month-old needs 11 hours of sleep at night and two daytime naps that are one and a half to two and a half hours each. However, remember that every baby is different. Your baby may not be napping long enough if he acts cranky before his normal bedtime.


    • 1

      Create a nap schedule. Your baby is more likely to take a nap if you put him down for a nap around the same time each day. His body will cue him that it is time to sleep. Usually, 6-month-olds take a midmorning nap and an afternoon nap. However, avoid putting your baby down for an afternoon nap that is too close to his bedtime. He may not be tired enough when it comes times to go down for the night.

    • 2

      Pay attention to your baby's sleepiness cues. You are better off putting your baby down for a nap before he gets overly tired. Babies actually have more trouble falling asleep when they are too tired. Instead notice when your baby is less active, yawns, rubs his eyes or avoids eye contact. These are signals that he is ready for a nap. If you have trouble spotting these signals, know that most 6-month-olds start getting sleepy after about two hours of wakefulness.

    • 3

      Create an atmosphere that supports your baby's sleep. When your baby goes down for his nap, make his room as dark as possible and try to keep your home quiet. You may also want to try a quiet activity just before he naps, such as reading him a story, rocking him or singing him a lullaby. This will help him associate those activities with taking a nap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid activities that conflict with your baby's naps.
  • Offer your baby a small blanket or "lovey" as comfort.
  • Stranger anxiety begins at around six months of age, and this may make your baby more resistant to napping.
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  • Photo Credit George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

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