If your little one is waking frequently in the night or fighting settling down, one of the first things to look at is their day sleep.
The truth is, 'sleep training' should be a last resort, often if you can get their environment, sleep associations and day sleep in place, you should get a fairly settled night.
So, where do you start on day sleep? There are a few things to consider:
The amount of total day sleep
Awake windows (time between each sleep)
If you are concerned about total amount of day sleep, check out this infographic which gives you a rough guide depending on your baby's age:
My downloadable programmes have suggested schedules in to help you do the maths and get your little one's day sleep right.
If you would rather follow your baby's lead, it's absolutely okay to look out for tired cues and get them down before they seem to hit overtired, here is another helpful infographic to help you notice when your little one is ready to take a nap.
Not all babies will show all tired cues, you will get to know which ones your little one does or doesn't show over time.
So when do you move away from awake windows and begin naps at set times? Whenever you feel ready, generally from around 5-6 months you'll be on two naps a day, at this age, I would recommend you put them down in the morning at around 9.15-9.30 until 10am and then put them down again for 12.15-12.30 for 2-2.5 hours.
You do not need to change their naps at all if their night sleep is okay, for example if your 7 month old is still taking 2.5 hours at lunch time AND sleeping the night, keep it until it appears to affect their night sleep and then look at adapting their schedule slightly.
It is also worth mentioning that on days when naps don't go to plan, you can absolutely bring bedtime forward to stick to their suggested wake window and avoid overtiredness - some days this may mean bedtime is as early as 6.30pm.
Look out on my instagram for an infographic on awake windows by age coming next week.