Is your child taking short naps? Does your little fall asleep breastfeeding, in the stroller, in the car, or in someone’s arms? Do they wake up 30-45 minutes after? This is exactly the length of a sleep cycle. If your child is unable to self-soothe, it is absolutely normal that she wakes up after 45 minutes and can’t fall back asleep. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep without any sleep prop or sleep aid may result in cat-naps.
There are a few things that you can do to help your baby to take longer naps. That being said, it is important to know that naps may take some time to master. Don’t be discouraged, you got this.
1- Master bedtime first. Once your baby knows how to self-soothe at bedtime, it will be easier to fall asleep for naps and to sleep for a second sleep cycle.
2- Stay consistent. Whatever routine you do at bedtime, do it for naps as well! That is if your child can fall asleep unassisted at bedtime. Creating a nap routine is as important as bedtime.
3- Create a comfortable environment for your baby. Make sure the room is dark enough, to avoid any potential distraction. Depending on the age of your child, they can easily get distracted. I also highly recommend using white noise, especially if your child has other siblings.
4- If your goal is for your baby to nap in a crib, remove any other sleep prop (stroller, rocker, car) and work on this end goal. Again, consistency works! If we are using different sleep aids, we are confusing them and it becomes harder for them to take long naps.
5- Watch their awake time windows and sleepy cues. I will talk about this in more detail in a later post!
6- Ask for help! While you know that naps can take a while to master, we can work together to elongate their naps. It is possible!
Sleeping Babies = Happy Families