How to Wean Baby Off Contact Naps

Contact naps are a great way to help a baby sleep in the early months, but as they grow older it can be important to wean them off this type of sleeping arrangement. The longer you keep your child in contact with naps, the harder it will be for them to transition away from relying on them.

Weaning your baby off contacts can help them learn to soothe and fall asleep independently, which is an important skill for a baby to develop.

How to Wean Baby Off Contact Naps

One of the advantages of learning to wean your baby off contact naps is that it can help your baby transition better into more independent sleep. Contact naps often with relying on physical comforts, such as being held or rocked, in order to be able to fall.

As babies grow older, the type of sleep strategy may become less effective and lead to difficulty in falling or staying asleep. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to wean baby off contact naps.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Wean Baby Off Contact Naps

Step 1: Inspect Your Baby’s Sleep Cycles

Before you start the weaning process, getting a better understanding of your baby’s sleep cycles is important. Note when your baby normally naps and for how long so that you have a baseline from which to begin the process.

Step 2: Introduce an Object That Offers Comfort

If your child is accustomed to being held while they sleep, introduce an object you can replace with your arms. This could be a stuffed or blanket — something your baby is familiar with and enjoys playing It should also be easy for them to cuddle up against.

Step 3: Stay in the Room Nap

It’s important to stay in the room while your baby is napping so they don’t have to adjust to a new environment. This also lets you observe their sleep patterns and make necessary adjustments or corrections, such as lengthening nap times.

Stay in the Room While Your Baby is Napping

As your baby starts sleeping independently, offer positive reinforcement. Praise them for making progress and provide rewards such as a favorite game or snack to make the transition easier.

Step 4: Start Lengthening Naps

Once your baby is comfortable with sleeping in the crib alone, you can begin lengthening nap times by 10 minutes at a time. This helps them adjust to sleeping independently for longer periods of time.

Even if your baby is sleeping for a long time, ensure they’re still sleeping on their own before you leave the room. If not, take them out of the crib and try again later.

Step 5: Start Gradually Reducing Contact Naps

Once your baby consistently sleeps on their own for longer periods, you can gradually reduce the amount of contact naps they’re having. Try to keep them down to one or two per day over a few weeks until they’re no longer needed.

Even if your baby isn’t taking contact naps, you can still provide support during their daytime nap by sitting in the room with them. Try to avoid picking them up and allowing them to settle back down on their own.

Step 6: Follow a Consistent Bedtime Routine

It’s important to have a consistent routine before bedtime for your baby. This should include things like reading stories, singing songs, and cuddling. This helps them relax and get ready for sleep. Weaning your baby off contact naps can take some time, so patience is important.

Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight — your baby will eventually adjust and begin sleeping independently in the crib. Following these steps will help make weaning your baby off contact naps easier and less stressful.

Include Things Like Reading Stories

With a bit of patience and consistency, you can ensure that your baby is getting the rest they need while also learning how to sleep independently.

Safety Tips for How to Wean Baby Off Contact Naps

  1. Start the transition gradually by putting your baby down for naps in their own bed when they are drowsy but still awake – this will help them learn to self-soothe and fall asleep without needing contact from you.
  2. Ensure that your baby’s bedroom is a cozy, comfortable environment for them so they will be more likely to want to nap in it.
  3. Use white noise or a lullaby if your baby needs extra comfort when trying to fall asleep independently.
  4. Ensure that you provide your baby with plenty of opportunities for physical contact and snuggles throughout the day so that they don’t feel deprived of it during nap time.
  5. Be patient with your baby, and don’t expect too quickly – it may take some time to get used to napping in their own bed.
  6. If your baby starts to cry while they are trying to fall asleep, resist the urge to pick them up and comfort them. Instead, try calming them down by rubbing their back or speaking softly to them until they fall asleep.
  7. If you feel like your baby is still having difficulty adjusting to weaning off naps, try giving them a few minutes of c time before starting the nap routine. This will ensure that they are relaxed and sleep.

By following these safety tips, you will be able to help your baby transition off of contact naps in a safe and comfortable way.

What Are the Benefits of Weaning Baby Off Contact Naps?

Weaning your baby off contact naps can have many benefits for both you and your child. For starters, it can help prevent your baby from developing a sleep association with being held or rocked to sleep. By allowing them to fall asleep independently, without relying on physical contact, they will be better able to self-soothe when they wake up at night.

Allowing Them to Fall Asleep Independently

Furthermore, it can also help them learn to self-regulate their sleep schedule; they will be more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own schedule if they have not developed a dependency on contact naps.

Weaning baby off contact naps can also help your baby adjust to independent sleeping habits, so they will be able to sleep soundly in their own bed. This can help them get the restful sleep they need to grow and develop properly.

In addition, it can help you save time; once your baby is no longer dependent on contact naps, you won’t have to spend as much time rocking or holding them to sleep.

How Long Should You Wait Before Trying to Wean Your Baby From Contact Naps?

It is important to wait until your baby is old enough before attempting to wean them from contact naps. Generally, this means waiting until the baby is six months or older. This is because babies need physical contact and warmth for their development, and at this age, they may be ready and able to transition more easily.

Before you begin, it is important to discuss with your pediatrician to make sure that your baby is ready and healthy enough for this transition. It can help to understand the signs of readiness, such as being able to fall asleep on their own or showing an interest in exploring their environment.

Once you have agreed with your pediatrician that your baby is ready, there are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin the weaning process. First, it helps to start slowly. Begin by transitioning from full contact naps (where your baby is held and rocked) to partial contact naps (where your baby is close but not being held).

This can be done gradually over a few days or up to a week. Second, create an environment that is comfortable and calming for your baby. Ensure the room has adequate lighting but not too bright, use music or white noise to help settle the baby down, and limit distractions such as toys.

Are There Any Risks or Dangers Associated With Weaning a Baby Off Contact Naps? 

Weaning a baby off contact naps can be a difficult and challenging process, as it requires the child to develop more independent sleeping habits. Although it is ultimately beneficial for both parent and child, some risks and dangers should be considered before beginning this journey.

One of the most important things to do is to ensure that the child is able to self-soothe and resettle without help from a parent or caregiver.

If the baby is not yet capable of this, the process can be difficult and frustrating for everyone involved.

The inability to self-soothe can also lead to more frequent night wakings, negatively affecting both the parents and the baby’s sleep quality.

Ensure That the Child is Able to Self-soothe

In addition, if the weaning-off process is not done gradually, it can be very traumatic for the child. This could lead to a regression in development or even cause feelings of abandonment and distress in the baby.


While contact naps may provide comfort and security to your baby, there are some potential drawbacks. A consistent bedtime routine is important for a healthy sleep schedule, however, contact naps can disrupt this rhythm as they tend to happen erratically during the day. Additionally, if babies are accustomed to sleeping in their parent’s arms or on their chests, they may struggle to fall asleep independently once it’s time for a regular nap or bedtime.

In conclusion, when it comes to weaning babies off contact naps, patience and consistency are the key. Gradually reduce your contact with baby over time while still providing them with comfort until they can fall asleep independently. Be prepared for a few sleepless nights in the process as babies adjust to new sleep habits.

I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to wean baby off contact naps. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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