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5 Big Decisions To Make for Your Baby

Decision: Naps on a Schedule vs. Wherever/Whenever Naps

Your baby will likely snooze every two hours or so for the first few months. If you're committed to putting her down in her crib every time, you may feel like you're trapped at home, but you'll  probably also enjoy that downtime. Plus, your baby may settle more easily into a schedule of three regular naps a day (in the morning, afternoon, and early evening) around 4 months, and then two naps (morning and afternoon) around 9 months, than tykes who nap wherever, whenever. Some experts also believe that the sleep kids get in a crib or bed is more sound than the kind they get in a moving car, stroller, or swing.

But on-the-fly naps are a necessity sometimes, especially if you have older kids who need to be carted to and from school, ballet, and soccer. Parents who are more freewheeling with their babies' daytime sleep often attest that their kids are more adaptable, since they can fall asleep in different situations. One thing to watch out for: an overtired, cranky baby. Since your on-the-go napper could be awakened by any pothole, siren, or screaming sibling, she may not get as much shut-eye as she needs.

Bottom line: Your pediatrician may push strict at-home naps, but if your baby is happy and healthy, do what fits best with your whole family's schedule.

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