“My baby wont nap” does that sound like a phrase you have said lately? It isnt that your baby wont nap, it is that they still need to learn the skill to nap efficiently.
Short Naps, commonly known as cat naps can feel very frustrating. Especially when your little one wakes up just as tired as when you put them down for a sleep.
You put them down, and before you have even had chance to do the jobs you all had planned out, they are awake with little sign of going back off to sleep. If your little one is napping around 30 minutes, then I am guessing this is you?
Now depending on how old your little one is will depend on their nap schedule. For example if you are getting one big nap and two shorter ones, then that can be working well too! As long as your little ones is getting enough day time sleep, then the good nights sleep will follow. Naps can make parents feel very overwhelmed, and they can be a tricky thing to get right but once you have the right structure of their naps, trust me everything else will fall into place.
Here I am going to share a few things with you to consider when looking at your little ones naps and how to improve those short naps that are likely causing so many other sleep issues.
- Firstly start by recording your little ones naps, you might find they have a vague sleep pattern that is easily missed but is a great starting point, especially when it comes to tweaking the quantity and quality of sleep they need.
- Always enjoy your baby snuggles, but when you are wanting to encourage better sleep habits, introduce all day time naps at home in the same place. This will give a cue to baby that sleep is expected of them. Our babies love a cue… when they know what is coming next, they feel safe and secure.
- In that sleep environment, encourage darkness, around 80% darkness is enough!! We still need to be able to see what we are doing when we are leaving the room!! The darkness stimulates the release of melatonin our sleepy hormone.
- Look at your awake windows, having the right timing helps to avoid over tired and under tired little people. This is a good time to look at your sleep tracker, and see what their pattern is and which naps have been easier to settle for.
- When you put them to sleep, if they fall asleep in less than 15 minutes then I class this as “crashing to sleep”. This is a sign they were over tired and wont encourage healthy sleep, next time try that nap 15 minutes sooner.
- We learn through experience, if we go to our babies straight away when they wake up, how will they ever learn to self settle. Now every baby is different so if they wake and have a full melt down then I don’t advice to leave them, but if they see calm then wait and see if they dose back off or simply lie there. Every opportunity we give, is a learning opportunity for our little ones too!
- If you are finding your little one is simply waking after a short period and will not resettle, and its always the same amount of time, for example half an hour. Often parents describe this as them being like clock work. Then go into them at 25 minutes and get ready to “save the nap” for example patting them or simply placing your hand on them, it is a way to guide them into the next sleep cycle.
Now like with anything, these things take practice and it wont work every time. Remember you are teaching your child a new skill so with that comes practice. Before you know it you wont be saying “baby won’t nap” but instead enjoying a hot cuppa while they nap effectively!
If you have been trying to increase your little ones naps and still finding it a battle, then take a look at my one to one packages, because it may help to look at things in a little more depth. Click here.
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