Tips for cat nappers.
Is your little one managing naps that only last for around 30-45minute each day?
If so, you might be surprised to know that, actually, is is developmentally normal. Providing they wake happy and and they sleep well overnight, you may assume it's working for your little one-and absolutely for some it is.
However, typically many little ones just aren't well rested after a short cat nap. Another biggie is for parents who find it so challenging to have next to no 'down time' throughout the day, or barely enough time to put a load of washing on, or enjoy a hot cuppa before their little darling wakes!
Often I find that, even if short naps are currently working for your family, then at some point a sleep debt creeps in and you may notice some of the following in your little one: irritable, and generally unhappy mood, struggling to get to their next nap/bedtime, sleep time struggles (too much cortisol!), or early morning wakes and /or frequent night wakes.
Steps to longer naps:
Sleep environment- ensure it is dark, relaxing and conducive to sleep.
Consider using white/pink noise throughout the entirety of the nap/bedtime
Have positive sleep associations- such as a comforter, and their sleeping bag, for example.
Ensure they aren't hungry or in pain- make sure they are well winded too!
Check nap timings- don't keep baby up for too long between sleeps ( to avoid overtiredness), equally, too soon and they won't have enough sleep pressure (= short nap!)
Aim for naps to within their natural biological sleep windows (around 9 to 10am and 12 to 2pm)
And finally...our aim is to get your baby more of the restorative sleep (the deep sleep). This means we need to teach them how to link their sleep cycles, which after 6months of age, a key point is them knowing how to settle/ resettle to sleep. This isn't to say you put them down and let them learn to settle, far from it. All our methods are full supportive, and you can still gently support them throughout.
Catnaps are only a problem if you feel they are effecting your baby's mood and night sleep is going downhill too!
Do you need some help with extending naps? Please feel free to get in touch here!