Surviving on Coffee, whilst your baby cat naps!
CAT NAPPING to a parent means when your baby is not getting enough sleep often leading to a very grouchy and grumpy baby.
WHAT IS CATNAPPING? It’s when a baby sleeps for only 1 sleep cycle at at time during the day, so between 35-45 mins, sound familiar?
CATNAPPING isn’t bad for your baby, however it can begin to impact on your baby’s night-time sleep and that’s when it’s hard due to lack of sleep in the day and night! (for all of you)
Let’s talk about the causes of cat napping…
Unable to self settle – It’s more likely you will notice a difference when your baby reaches 16 weeks and this is because when they come to the end of one sleep cycle they wake fully and until your baby has learnt the skill of self soothing you will find that they either need help to get back to sleep or will be fully alert unable to get back to sleep and ready to feed and play.
Over tiredness – I work with many babies who are overtired. Imagine when you’re overtired, you may fall asleep easily but when you wake, you’re awake and it’s hard to get back to sleep because you feel restless & wired. This is the same for babies. Once they have slept a sleep cycle it can be hard or/and take a while to get them back to sleep. This can be a tiring circle of cat napping. This is when parents feel like they need help.
Under tired – Extremely common with a newborn. It tends to be when babies have not had enough wake time so they may settle well for a nap but unfortunately never sleep past their first sleep cycle. It’s good to know the recommended wake windows.
Sleep Environment – can have a big effect on a baby’s sleep especially if the room isn’t dark enough. If the room they sleep in is letting in even the tiniest bit of light in, when your baby wakes after 35-45 mins and is stimulated, you can say bye bye to the next sleep cycle.
Hunger – another possibility to consider. I’ve worked with families whose babies are great at cat napping, however due to such short naps it means less time between feeds and tired when feeding so never really taking a full feed. All leads to a 35-45 min wake up.
Tips to help…
Try going in 5 mins before your baby usually wakes & either pat, stroke etc them into another sleep cycle to promote a longer sleep.
White noise can really help nap duration. I love the TV whoosing sound and it needs to be continuous.
Teach your baby how to self soothe for naps & bedtime – if you need help please get in contact, together we can improvement within weeks.
It takes time, patience and effort but your baby will get there.