Have you read this story before? Your little one finally masters sleeping through the night and then naps go to crap. 🤦🏻♀️ You can literally watch it on a clock. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..eyes pop open. WHY?!?
As babies start to consolidate their sleep at night, the daytime sleep becomes less “required” and the sleep pressure starts to fade. This is the right time to buckle down and make naps a priority. Setting your little one up for success to take a LONG nap is still possible. Here are the top reasons why I see short naps happening. 1. Naps are not timed correctly. ⏰ The times your baby takes a nap is directly related to their age. A 5-month old and a 10-month old would not take a nap at the same time of day. A 5 month old may need a nap as early as 8:45, where a 10-month old wouldn’t have enough sleep pressure until 9:30. 2. Naps are happening too early. Are you stuck in an early wake-up cycle? (5:30am) You may think your child needs a nap by 8:30, but by doing that, the early nap is reinforcing the early morning. Instead, try a new activity or food to bypass that previous nap time and get more in line with a ‘wake time’ reflecting a 6:30 or 7AM morning wakeup. Keep early bedtime to reduce overtiredness during this time. 3. Baby is taking the nap directly after feeding and rocking. When baby goes down drowsy or with a feeding, they will complete 1 sleep cycle and then stir. When they don’t have the rocking or feeding present, they will become fully awake and begin to alert you. 4. It’s time to drop a nap! This can be confusing, because you find yourself stuck between 3 being too many and 2 not enough, for example. 5. If baby is an awesome self-settler and the schedule is right, short naps can still happen from time to time. Developmental leaps and new milestones can often be the culprit. Hang in there!
When my babies were 6.5 months old, we found ourselves in a cycle of early wakes and short naps. I wasn't sure how to fix it. We were in the midst of a transition, but it seemed impossible. Part of my services include a schedule specific to your child, and I show you how to achieve it. Don't worrry.. I got you!
Hey, I'm Lindsay! I'm a sleep enthusiast and Mama to twins. Follow along via Instagram as I share more sleep tips and strategies for your littles.