Improve Short Naps
I tend to use the phrase when I speak to families ‘catnap and coffee” because any nap under 45 mins is a catnap, just taking the edge of their tiredness and to survive we as parents need coffee!
Naps can leave us feeling drained, confused and exhausted but remember there will be a reason why your baby/toddler is having short naps.
When you get a chance have a read through some of my top tips to improve nap length. Remember it takes time, patience and consistency.
- Nap timings
Make sure your nap schedule is right for your child’s age. I speak to many families whose baby wake window is too long or a toddler who has 1 nap too many. Getting the right spacing between naps and awake time, is the difference between a good nap and a not so good nap.
- Dark room
It really is important that the room where they sleep is dark. A dark room helps with the rise of melatonin, the sleepy hormone.
Watch out for that glazed look/staring into space something I think of as a microsleep. It can happen during a feed (boob/bottle), in the car, watching the TV and even cuddling on your lap especially when a nap is due. A little microsleep can take the edge off their tiredness, resulting in a short nap or taking a while to settle.
- Final nap of the day
This nap can be a struggle to either get your baby to sleep or for them to have a long sleep. That’s ok, it could be that this nap is a motion nap just for 15 mins. Then aim for an earlier bedtime, it can make a big difference with how they settle and sleep throughout the night.
Giving your child a chance to settle back to sleep after a short nap (1 sleep cycle) is important. Many babies/toddlers wake after a sleep cycle (45 mins) but if they are a) starting their journey to sleep independently and b) given a chance to re-settle, ideally 15 mins. It gives your child the opportunity to fall back to sleep. Sometimes we rush in which can be stimulating.
If you would like advice, support and a plan of how to tackle short naps and get into some kind of routine that fits within your family life, I offer 30 or 60 min Sleep Session – voice or video call.