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Why Does My Baby Take Short Naps?

Why Does My Baby Take Short Naps?

After a series of special tricks and moves that took what seemed forever, you’ve finally gotten your baby to fall asleep for their nap. You pour yourself a cup of coffee, load the dishes, then sit down, and right on cue, your baby wakes up. Feel identified? You’re not alone! For a lot of new parents, the biggest struggle with their baby’s sleep is short naps. As always, we got your back! Let’s dig into why this is happening, and what you can do so that you have time back to take a shower!

Are short naps ok for a baby?

We all have a 24-hour sleep quota that we need to meet in order to stay healthy. For babies and young children, this includes daytime sleep. In addition, daytime sleep is necessary to sustain sleep at night. In easier words: If your baby isn’t getting enough daytime sleep, this will likely fragment nighttime sleep. 

Are short naps in a baby normal? 

They are common, but the words common and normal have an entirely different meaning. Daytime sleep is difficult to achieve and sustain: it’s the middle of the day, babies have FOMO, and our sleep cycles are shorter. If taught, babies are completely capable of giving you those much-desired and needed long naps. 

Are short naps a sign of sleep regression?

If your baby has always been a cat napper, a sleep regression is not at fault. Sleep regressions come on suddenly, and you’ll notice them if your baby has been taking great naps and is suddenly catnapping. 

Why is my baby taking 30-minute naps? 

There never is one single reason why this happens. Sleep is a puzzle, and there are a ton of pieces that need to be in place for it to happen! 

  • The sleep environment is not adequate for naps.
  • You are waiting too long to offer your baby a nap. 
  • You help your baby fall asleep. 
  • Your baby gets instant gratification after taking a short nap. 
  • His daytime schedule is not appropriate for his age. 
  • You are offering a feed too close to naps. 

How to get baby to nap longer than 30 minutes. 

  1. Make sure your baby wakes up in the same place they fell asleep. For example, if your baby falls asleep in his stroller, and you transfer him to his crib, as they try transitioning from one sleep cycle into the next, they will be confused and distressed because the last place they remember is the stroller. 
  2. Teach your baby independent sleep skills by laying them down when they are fully awake.  This will help them transition through daytime sleep cycles without fully waking up. 
  3. Don’t wait until your baby is visibly exhausted to offer them a nap. Instead, lay them down while they are still in a good mood. 
  4. Provide an adequate sleep environment. Naps should be offered in the dark, and the room should be kept cold, between 67 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. 

At Not A Peep, we are nap fixers! Our sleep consultants for babies will give you the tools and support that you need to achieve long naps. Book a free call and learn more!

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