Waking Your Baby From A Nap: Is It A Good Idea?

To babies, their naps are the most precious thing, a ritual that many parents don’t dare to interrupt. Waking up your little one when they’re taking a nap is something that may not seem too smart, but there are many reasons why one may wake their sleeping infant as well.

A pair of parents and their two children happily lounging on a bed
Source: pixabay.com

Your Little One Slept Past Their Schedule

A baby should have a daytime schedule that they should follow. Sleep cycles are always important. Having a certain time when one wakes up can be a good thing. However, there are many times when the baby sleeps over their schedule. Oversleeping can ruin their bedtime schedule, and night sleep is something parents don’t want to mess around with. Nights are tiring, and if you can get your baby to sleep through the night, you can get some rest, too.

With that said, should you wake your sleeping child up if they’ve slept a minute past their schedule? No way. We all can wake up at different times. However, if your child is sleeping an extra hour, perhaps it’s time to wake them up from their nap.

Longer sleep is recommended when the child is a little sick. If they are sick, a little bit more sleep can help them fight off the disease. However, they will need hydration and nourishment, so you should let them sleep longer but also have time to give them their goodies. Also, make sure the child doesn’t have a fever, or else you may want to go to the doctor. Speaking of feeding…

A napping baby
Source: flickr.com
  • When The Baby Hasn’t Eaten For A Few Hours

If your child falls asleep and it’s way past their feeding time as much as we want to give them more sleep, perhaps it’s time for them to wake up and eat, then just put them back to sleep after a quick meal. It’s always important for you to feed your child regularly. If their birth weight is a little under what is normal, it’s even more important for you to be able to feed them on a regular basis.

Not only that, but feeding them on a regular basis can help them sleep much better at night when it’s time to do so. We don’t want your child to wake up early because they are too hungry. They need to stay asleep for as long as they need, especially at night, and wake up early morning feeling energized and well rested, ready for the day.

If the child is at a good weight and is having normal bodily functions, you can let them sleep longer and you won’t have to feed them as much, either.

  • When It’s Near Bedtime

Children typically have a bedtime, yet many of them will fall asleep near the early evening. This can especially apply if the day has been busy. Now, if the child is younger, then they may be able to fall asleep early evening and be out all night. However, if they are older, sleeping too close to bedtime may make them wake up early and cause a hassle for all involved. Their last nap before bedtime at night should be a couple of hours apart. This is especially true if the infant is over 3 or 4 months. However, occasional napping near bedtime may not be the end of the world.

If your child is taking too many short naps before bed, however, it is important that you try to wake them up and try to make them have the next nap a little bit earlier. This can help them sleep much better at night when it’s time for them to do so. Don’t let them fall asleep too close to bedtime so you won’t have to worry as much.

Are Catnaps Good?

Some parents swear by the power nap, where a child falls asleep for 20 minutes and then wakes up. A power nap may be good for an adult who didn’t get much sleep last night and needs something to pick them up, but your little one may believe they’ve slept longer than they did. A power nap may cause them to think they’ve gotten enough sleep when they haven’t. They also need a good nighttime routine. This can lead to overtiredness, which is a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.

Source: pxhere.

Just How Much Sleep Does A Baby Need, Anyway?

Infants do need lots of sleep, especially younger ones, which is why napping is so important. If you’re unsure how much sleep your baby needs, let’s quickly discuss how much sleep your child will need on average.


Newborns that are born full-term and are healthy need lots of sleep and have more than enough sleep pressure in them to go to sleep almost instantly right after they feed. You’ll be surprised by how long a newborn can sleep. On average, newborns sleep about 14-17 hours a day. That means some infants are only up for seven hours a day. Imagine if you only had seven hours a day to do something! Some parents may worry if their newborn is sleeping too much, but rest assured, it’s normal in most circumstances for infants to sleep for long periods since they haven’t developed their circadian rhythm yet. Do note that little ones need to eat regularly through the night during the first few weeks.

Source: publicdomainpictures.net

A baby will accomplish all this sleep by sleeping around 8-12 hours every night, with a few wake-ups to be fed, and the rest will be done via through shorter resting periods throughout the day. With that said, newborns and very young children don’t know the difference between day and night, and they can’t stay awake for too long. It can be a bright summer day and a baby won’t care. They’ll sleep in, anyway. For the first month or so, having a schedule isn’t needed, so just let your child sleep until they’ve woken up and are hungry without interrupting baby’s nap. This can be a little frustrating when they wake up in the middle of the night, but they do need the extra sleep.

4-11 Months

Older children and toddlers still need lots of sleep, usually including a nap in the morning and in the afternoon in addition to their bedtime sleep, their nap hour is as important as their sleep during the night. They may even take an evening nap. Usually, they may need about 12-15 hours every day. By this age, they are starting to sleep more throughout the night and might need other naps less. They will get most of their sleep at night but still sleep a little bit here and there taking a long nap during the daytime. At around six months, your baby will start developing a more normal schedule.

Around this time, many will have some separation anxiety as well as become more aware of their surroundings. In a case like this, they may cry for your attention and it can get a little frustrating. However, you should know that they will eventually learn to get sleep.

Source: flickr.com

Waking Up Your Baby From A Nap Conclusion

A baby’s sleep schedule is quite complex. By knowing how it works, you can be able to make the most of it and allow the baby to get the best rest it possibly can. Make sure your baby is getting enough sleep, and remember that sometimes, trying to wake up your baby when they’re taking a nap is okay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Wake Up A Sleeping Baby?

The perfect example of where it’s ok to wake your sleeping baby from a nap is when it’s not the right time of the day to sleep and they need to go to bed at a consistent time. Your little one’s sleep plays a key role in their early development, which is why night sleep and sleep cycles are very important. It could affect their growth overall but what we notice more easily is how it affects their mood and their energy throughout the day. But there are times when we need to wake them up because it might mess up their nap schedule.

What Time Should You Wake Your Baby Up When They’re Taking Their Last Nap?

What Happens If You Wake Your Baby Up During A Nap?

To wake a sleeping baby is such a daunting task, but sometimes we just need to do it for many different reasons. For younger infants who need multiple small naps daily (in the morning and in the afternoon) besides their consistent bedtime, sometimes they would sleep longer than they should, and we need to cut their nap hours, or else it will mess up their sleep cycles. There are of course exceptions to when you don’t need to wake up a sleeping baby, like when you know they are tired because of their activities the whole day or if you know that they haven’t gotten a decent sleep at night due to some changes. Sleep and nap times are as much important as their milk or their food intake, it helps them grow and develop into the healthy and happy baby that you want them to be.

Should I Let My Infant Nap As Long As He Wants?

How Long Is Too Long For A Child To Take A Nap?

How Do You Resettle A Baby After A Short Nap?

Should I Let My Baby Nap For Longer Than 2 Hours?

Should I Wake An Overtired Baby To Feed?

How Do You Resettle An Overtired Baby?

What Are The Signs Of An Overtired Baby?

What Is The 2-3-4 Rule When It Comes To A Baby’s Sleep Schedule?

What Is The 15-Minute Rule When It Comes To Letting A Child Sleep?

Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?

Should Infants Nap In The Dark?

Will A Breastfed Baby Sleep If Hungry?

Other Resources

TodaysParent: https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/baby-sleep/yes-sometimes-its-ok-to-wake-a-baby-from-a-nap/

WhatToExpect: https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/child-sleep.aspx

WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/ss/slideshow-naps

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Jeanne Meets

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.