The Lullaby Blog.
We all know that babies need naps, however sometimes it can be really hard to get decent naps out of your little one. You might not even be aware of what to be aiming for, nap-wise, for your baby’s age!
Unfortunately, babies who don’t nap, or cat nap in 45 minutes or less chunks all day can become overtired and unhappy. Tired, or overtired babies cry more, are fussy when feeding, resist settling and usually have an extended unsettled period in the early evening that can last for hours at a time.
Why isn't my baby napping?
If your baby is only sleeping for one sleep cycle (or less) there may be a whole host of reasons why this is happening:
· Your baby isn’t tired enough to sleep for longer
· Your baby is overtired
· Your baby is hungry
· They are relying heavily on a parent-controlled sleep association such as rocking or feeding and need this repeated when they come out of their first sleep cycle, in order to go back to sleep
· Their conditions for sleep aren’t quite right
So, how can you help your baby nap for longer? My top tips to help your baby extend their naps:
· Have a dark room with no nightlight – this helps babies drift more easily between sleep cycles
· Use some white noise for the duration of your baby’s nap
· Make sure your baby’s awake times between naps are spot on for their age so they are not over or under tired
· Ensure they are able to self-soothe (for babies over 4 months)
· Re settle your baby if they wake after one sleep cycle so they learn to sleep for longer
It can be really tricky to get your baby’s napping right. I have the answers and information you need to get your baby’s naps and their development on track and it’s just a phone call away. Please feel free to get in touch if further support is needed.