If Short Naps are a Struggle, theses 3 Tips Will Help Baby Take Longer Naps

Naps are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? A little break from the day. Rest to recoup your energy. Peace and quiet. But naps aren’t so wonderful when they are only 20 minutes long! Who has been there before? You put your baby down for a nap after they just nursed to sleep and bam! 20 minutes later your baby is up and ready to be little miss cranky pants for the rest of the afternoon. Exactly what is happening here? You are certain that your baby needed more than 20 minutes of sleep yet they didn’t take it! Well, when we sleep we go through sleep cycles. Baby’s sleep cycles are much shorter than adults. A baby’s sleep cycle is only 20-40 minutes long. At the end of a sleep cycle, a baby wakes briefly and can usually go right back to sleep, however, if the baby is dependent on a prop to get to sleep, then it’s unlikely he/she will return to sleep right away and instead will start crying for you. This experience is super common yet super fixable. Read on for my top three tips for longer naps.

Make your baby’s room dark

When I say dark I mean DARK. The room should be pitch black! You shouldn’t be able to see your hand in front of your face. This will increase the level of melatonin a.k.a. the sleepy hormone in your baby’s brain making sleep that much easier to attain and return to.

Play white noise in your baby’s room

White noise is simply a continuous flat noise. Think of the sound of a vacuum. That’s white noise. This kind of noise helps drown out any environmental noises such as the beeping sound of a truck when it’s backing up as well as sounds within your house like the sound the dishwasher makes when it starts a cycle. Drowning out these sounds can help your baby get to sleep as well as return to sleep when they reach the end of a sleep cycle.

Teach your baby to fall asleep independently. 

This is the most important tip for longer naps but the most challenging one. You might be thinking, “Lady you are crazy! My child refuses to fall asleep without me nursing him to sleep! It has never happened in his entire life.” I understand how it can feel impossible, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not. But just how do you do it? Well, that is a long, complicated, and multi-layered process. Sleep is by nature, very complicated and each family has their own preference in how they wish to handle their child’s sleep struggles. I wouldn’t want to suggest a certain method to use only for it not to be a good fit for you and your family. So I suggest that you send me an email or book a call with me so I can learn more about your child’s sleep, pinpoint the problem and offer solutions that are a good fit for you and your family. Once your child can sleep independently, then they will certainly take longer naps and you will be certain they are getting adequate sleep for their needs. I hope to hear from you soon! Sleep well!

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