The classic bane of a mom’s existence. Put ’em down, tiptoe out… and then *WAHHHHH* that little wailer is up again 45 minutes later.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Short naps are something many parents struggle with even after their baby is sleeping well through the night.
The reason is pretty simple – even though your baby needs daytime sleep in order to keep from getting overstimulated, our bodies are hardwired to sleep at night and be up during the day, making daytime sleep more difficult to achieve than nighttime sleep.
The good news is, there’s a lot we can do to encourage healthy daytime sleep habits. Here are my top 5 tips for curing the dreaded 45 minute nap:
Tip 1: Make sure she’s tired
If your baby isn’t tired enough, then she won’t need as much sleep in order for her body to be restored, and will wake up a short while later when she’s filled her sleep quota.
Tip 2: … But not too tired!
When your little guy’s body needs sleep but doesnt get it, his body will compensate by revving itself up – and he’ll likely look hyperactive, WIDE awake, or even giddy. It’ll also make it a LOT harder for him to fall asleep and stay asleep. catching him at that perfect tired-but-not-too-tired time is key! Check out my post about proper timing to make sure you’re putting your little one in at that magical time.
Tip 3: Keep that room dark
Dark as night, if you can. Buy room-darkening shades, or, for a quick-fix solution try some aluminum foil or a spare cardboard box. You won’t win any design awards, but it works wonders at keeping a room as dark and quiet as possilbe
Tip 4: Make some noise!
Yup! You heard me right! White noise is great for masking household noises – especially sudden noises that might startle him awake. You do want it to be loud so that it overpowers other sounds, but be sure it’s not too loud or too close to the crib that it might harm your child’s hearing.
Tip 5: Have a routine
Lots of moms do a pre-bedtime routine, but not all have heard of a pre-naptime routine. Having a 5-10 minute routine before the nap can help prep your little girl’s brain and body to wind down and be ready for her nap. You can do a diaper change, a song, a book, maybe get her into special nap-time clothing, like a sleep sack or a sleeper.
With these 5 tips, and time and practice, your little one can learn to be a super napper as well as an awesome nighttime sleeper!