While having a baby that won’t nap is just plain awful, having a baby that only naps for 20 or 30 minutes at a time can be equally frustrating. These short naps often leave caregivers feeling frustrated and exhausted themselves – especially if a lot goes into getting baby to fall asleep in the first place.
There are two main reasons why your baby may be short napper. The first one is usually an “easy” fix and that’s the timing of those naps.
Babies that are only sleeping for 20 or 30 minutes at each nap time may not be primed for sleep or working with their body’s natural sleep waves. Biologically our bodies prepare for sleep a few times during the day. That means our core temperature drops, our cortisol levels drop and we have a surge of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Those two biologically typical times when your little one’s body is most ready for sleep are between 8:30 and 9:00 am and again between 12:30 and 1:00 pm. If you’re trying to put your little one down for a nap at a different time and it’s just not going well, try to catch those natural sleep waves and adjust their schedule. That can be hard for some families for a variety of reasons, but really focusing on that schedule is key to good naps. And remember, naps aren’t forever, and this set schedule won’t be forever either!
Reason number two why those naps may only last for 20 or 30 minutes is because your baby is not cycling from a deep sleep to a light sleep. In a lot of ways, this goes back to Sleep Associations, which you can read more about here. Working to break those Sleep Associations can mean longer, and more restful naps for your baby.
Now if you’re thinking, “This information is great…but how in the heck do I actually change things?” then you’ll want to reach out and schedule an introductory call. During that call we can chat about how to do this together. Book your into call here!