In this weeks blog, Certified Sleep Nanny Consultant Emma Lambert gives guidance on how to avoid ‘cat naps’ so your little one is getting the sleep they need during the day.
How do I help my child nap for longer?
Quite often I hear from parents whose baby is waking up after 30-40 minutes nap (not even a full sleep cycle!) and they don’t know how to get them back to sleep.
Top tips for child naps
I wanted to share my top tips with you all, to help you teach your baby the art of napping.
First of all, resettling to sleep is a learnt skill, so you need to be working on some kind of plan to develop their self-settling skill for bedtime and night sleep.
Be mindful of their wakeful windows, so you are getting your child down at the right time, and not missing their wakeful windows. Sometimes the over-tiredness can impact the length of a nap.
When your little one wakes too early from their nap, they will likely be miserable and upset, because they are still tired. It is best to try and re-settle them upon waking, not just accept that this is the end of the nap. Respond in the same way you would a night waking, the only difference being, you are not going to keep trying indefinitely until they are back to sleep. I recommend trying to resettle for 40 minutes to 60 minutes. If at this time it’s not going to happen, leave the room for 60 seconds and then re-enter with the purpose of getting them up, full voice, open curtains. Leaving the room for a full 60 seconds is important so they see you are giving them a different response, and therefore are not inadvertently teach them to just hold out until you get them up.
Back up plan
If resettling does not happen, or it does, but it still isn’t long enough, then bring the next nap forward to compensate.
If your child does not re-settle and you think they need more sleep immediately, then a motion nap is always a good option, in the car or pram.
Note: even if a resettle is only for 15 minutes, and you have taken 40 minutes trying to do this, do not be disheartened, the fact they have resettled, is a huge step towards learning this skill.
Keep at it! Earlier in the day is normally easier to practice this re-settling skill, as generally by the afternoon they tend to be more fractious and it is much harder to re-settle. It may not work every day, or it could take 7 to 10 days of trying this consistently, before you see results.
But remember, if you are consistent with your response you WILL see results!
If you are struggling with your child’s naps and need help or want to talk more, get in touch today! A child who has adequate naps in the day is more likely to sleep soundly at night, so let’s conquer nap time once and for all!
A little bit about Emma;
Emma is a Certified Sleep Consultant and mum of two energetic little boys!
Having been through the dark journey of severe sleep deprivation, and come out the other side, Emma feels compelled to use her experience to help other families so they do not have to endure the foggy days, and the long desperate nights, like she did.
Her first son slept like a dream, from just 9 weeks old. She thought she had it nailed!
However, when it came to her second child, it couldn’t have been further from the truth. She read every book going and googled constantly (generally between 2-5am whilst trying to get him to sleep). She just couldn’t understand what she had done ‘wrong’.
It turns out that although there were a lot of things she could have done differently, she hadn’t done anything wrong. He was a different child to her first, in character and in temperament, and this made a big difference to how he learnt to sleep!
Click HERE to book in a FREE 15 minute evaluation call with Emma today.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07568 490 457