Friday, July 13, 2007

My baby only takes 45 minute naps!

A client of mine recently e-mailed to ask about her 4 month old only taking 45 minute naps. This is so common! Read on...

Hi Schyler!

any tips to help pro-long a nap?? Grace is great about going to sleep on her own in her crib but wakes up (almost on the dot) right at 45 min and sometimes earlier. I've just been trying to have lots of naps b/c she sleeps so short but think it would be better for her to have some chunks. wondering if you have any suggestions? thank you!!

Grace's Mom

Hi Grace's Mom,

Just because she wakes up doesn't mean she's ready to get out of bed! It's time to be a little more stubborn, and have her continue her nap if she still seems tired when she wakes up. Calm her down, and tell her with words that it's still sleep time, and that she needs to finish her nap. That 45 min wake up is the end of one sleep cycle - predictable as a clock. But with practice, she'll realize that she's not off the hook for napping if she isn't rewarded each time with getting out of bed. The best case is if she's getting a good 1.5 hour nap in each time. A 45 min "cat nap" here and there is fine, but for the most part those little naps don't allow her to get enough rest, or her brain to have enough time to assimilate new information! Try getting her down for a nap before she appears tired, and if you're not sure of how she's scheduling naps these days, track it for a while. You'll find that her best naps will be taken if she has only been awake 1-2 hours between sleeps. Good luck,