Short naps are something that we know parents are struggling with really regularly and it's absolutely something that you can work on and improve with consistency.
Here are some tips:
Think about routine
Firstly, it's good to have an idea of when your little one should be napping and for how long. We don't want to be working really hard to extend a nap if actually, it's not beneficial for them to have a long nap at that time of day.
If you have no idea about this, don't panic! Grabbing one of our downloadable sleep programmes is a good place to start. We want to make sure daytime sleep is nicely balanced across the day - not "top heavy" or "bottom heavy".
Most of the time our babies will need to learn how to fall asleep independently before they can learn to fall back to sleep when they wake after a short nap.
The best time to start trying and practicing this is at bedtime. Melatonin levels are at the highest in the evening and our little ones have built up sleep pressure from being awake during the day so it's the time when they should be good & tired and with the least resistance. Be brave and give it a try!
When your baby wakes after a short time, if they aren't crying, don't intervene, and give them some space and time to see if they will fall back asleep by themselves.
If they are crying then attempt to re-settle and the key is consistency: re-settling for 25 mins each time they wake early from a nap (as a guide for babies 6months+) Over time they will start to then extend it by themselves.
Decide on a method
The two settling methods that we teach are either controlled comforting, where you will stay in the room with your little one, comforting and soothing with them staying in the cot. Or, controlled crying where you will reassure your baby then leave the room and return at short intervals to reassure.
Staying in the room tends to work better with younger babies, and having a bit more space is usually better for not overstimulating older babies and toddlers. Choosing a method and sticking to one method works best.