What To Do When Your Baby Takes Short Naps
Short naps can be frustrating. Once baby is self-settling to sleep there are some things you can do to encourage them to sleep for longer stretches. If your baby is yet to learn to sleep independently then this must be mastered first, you can expect baby to settle back to sleep if they aren’t settling on their own at the start of nap time.
Once your baby is self-settling to sleep here are some tips to help your baby re settle from short naps.
- Try leaving your baby to see if they resettle. Often in the initial stages of resettling, babies tend to wake up for a bit, whinge or play or cry and then go back to sleep. It isn't usually a seamless resettle, initially.
- It’s not unusual for babies to have some awake time between two naps, as opposed to one continuous sleep, this can be in their cot or you can get them up, have some playtime and then back to sleep again. The gap they are up should reduce.
- As your baby gets better at resettling, the awake gap in the middle gets shorter and then you won't even notice it (unless you are watching them on a video monitor – turn the video off!)
- Try keeping music or white noise on continuously, if your baby is relying on this to go to sleep – not just for the initial settling period.
- Try popping in just before they usually wake and ensuring that all their sleep triggers are in place - for example dummy, music, white noise, comforter
- Try going in and helping them settle by placing your hand on them and then leaving again. Or, you can try just leaving them to it and popping in to give them their sleep triggers when they seem grumpy and tired again.
- Re settling for naps usually goes hand in hand with re settling overnight- especially early morning. If you are still helping baby overnight, then work on this too and the short naps often rectify themselves.