Why work on night sleeps before naps?

One of the reasons we work on night sleeps first is because it’s an easier thing to tackle because the baby has their circadian rhythm to help. We know that they need to be asleep. Their body knows that they need to be asleep, but they just don’t know how to go to sleep. At night the world has quietened down, things are calm and there’s no activity where they’d want to know what’s going on outside, etc. Whereas day nappings are a lot more difficult because there is bit more activity happening and their circadian rhythm is not saying it’s time for sleep.

The second reason why we address nights first is honestly – it makes the BIGGEST difference to the family. If you can get some decent sleep and your partner gets some decent sleep, then everyone is going to be in a much better frame of mind and then naps can be addressed if necessary.

The third reason is that if we’ve addressed the night sleeps and your little one is sleeping really solidly through the night for at least a week or so, you’ll normally see the naps improving organically. It’s like their body kind of gets it. When their body is getting all that awesome sleep overnight, the naps tend to follow. Not always, but certainly they’re going to be in a much better place psychologically to address those naps.

A follow-on question could be why can we address nights and not naps? A lot of people think we need to be really consistent around the clock. You actually don’t. Naps and nights are governed by two separate parts of the brain. Night sleeping is a human thing we all do – we’re diurnal and we all sleep at night, whereas naps is generally a “baby thing” and so they are governed by two separate parts of the brain. This is why it’s not confusing when we address one and not the other.


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