I’m guessing you can relate: you’ve heard that a daytime routine is important (possibly through me never stopping talking about it…sorry about that!) 😆 and that long naps are key, but you just can't seem to get your baby past the dreaded 30-40 minute catnap. Arrrgghh!🤯
Short naps can be so frustrating. It can feel like a bit of a cycle and without an obvious solution. But I want to reassure you that it is absolutely possible to help your baby learn how to connect their sleep cycles during the daytime and nap for longer consistently. And, we've put together a FREE Extending Naps guide to help you on your way! 👌🏼 Grab yours here:
I am very passionate about long naps! It’s actually when I trained as a Sleep Consultant and started The Sleep Chief - during my son’s predictable, two-hour daily naps. So I know that beautiful things can come out of decent naps for YOU, as well as being so important for our babies. We are deeply passionate about bringing balance back to parenthood and it isn’t flippant to really want to achieve long naps and have a break for yourself during the day. Here are six key things to look at in order to get your baby taking longer naps each day which I cover in more detail in our new free guide:
☀️A daytime routine
A daytime routine is going to give you an idea of when your baby should be sleeping during the daytime and for roughly how long. We don’t want to be focusing our energy on trying to get a long nap happening at a time in the day when actually it’s not particularly beneficial for our little one to be taking a long nap.
👶🏼Teach the skill of independent sleep Most babies who are struggling with short naps aren't able to settle themselves back to sleep. Or, perhaps your little one is able to settle themselves TO sleep in the cot, but they are still struggling with the getting BACK to sleep bit, which is really common. So it’s about helping them past that next hurdle of connecting their sleep cycles and particularly in the daytime when it’s generally harder for babies to settle themselves than it is for example during the first part of the night. 💡Decide on a settling method Decide on the settling method you're going to use for teaching independent sleep and then be consistent with it. Whether that’s at bedtime, naptime, or for overnight wakes, the more consistent you can be, the more your baby will learn quickly.
💤Check the sleep environment
Things like light can really disrupt your baby's ability to get BACK to sleep so think about making your baby’s daytime sleep environment as dark as possible. Grab one of the quick blackout solutions from our Amazon Store, this is an easy fix and so worth investing in!
⛔Avoid too short awake windows
Often I see this with parents who are anxious to avoid their baby getting overtired. But if your baby isn't building up enough "sleep pressure" between naps, then they won't need a long nap so extending awake windows can be helpful in these cases.
Once you’ve addressed these other five things then it’s about. giving space when they are not needing you and consistently re-settling when they are needing some help to settle back to sleep. This usually needs a few days in a row of consistency so cancel those lunchtime plans for a week or two if you’re serious about getting long naps happening! Be persistent and don’t give up after a day or two.
Grab our free Extending Naps Guide below and let’s get those long, predictable naps happening on the daily: