How To Extend Your Baby’s Naptime

– Written by JoAnna Inks 

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Tell me if this sounds familiar…

Your baby wakes in the morning after a great night’s sleep. You offer her a feed, change her diaper, take her outside for a walk, then rock her to sleep and gently lie her in her crib for her morning nap.

Like clockwork, she’s awake 30 minutes later fussy & irritable. No amount of pleading or encouragement from you can get her to go back to sleep.

You try for half an hour to get her back down and finally give in hoping for a better nap in the afternoon but the EXACT same scenario plays out again. So, you pretty much have a cranky baby for the rest of the day.

Just like food, sleep is one of those things where baby tends to have the final say when it comes to cooperating. There’s simply no sense in forcing the issue. If sleep isn’t happening, it’s unlikely that leaving them in their room will solve this problem.

The good news is, I know what’s going on AND how to fix it!

We all sleep in cycles, including babies. We begin in light sleep where we can easily be woken up and then slowly move into deeper sleep where even loud noises might not wake us. This deep sleep is the good stuff! It’s really rejuvenating and our brains and bodies do “maintenance” work that leaves us feeling really good when we get enough of it.

When we come to the end of a deep sleep cycle, we slowly move back into the light stage again. It’s at this point where we wake for a few seconds then off we go again into another cycle.

Adult sleep cycles last about 90 minutes. In babies, sleep cycles last as little as 30 minutes.

So, it’s actually quite natural for your baby to wake after 30 minutes of sleep.

I know what you’re thinking, “My friend’s baby naps for 2-3 hours at a time.” And, that’s only partially true! Because in the more literal sense, this baby is simply putting together multiple sleep cycles.

So, what’s the difference between their baby and your baby?

Drumroll please…

They’ve simply learned to put their sleep cycles together when they nap! This truly is the heart of the issue.

When your baby can learn to fall asleep without your help, they’ll always start stringing those sleep cycles together like a champ!

Naps that last for multiple sleep cycles = a happier baby!

And, on the self-indulgent side, you’ll be left with 2 uninterrupted hours to do what you’d like!

Back at the beginning of our scenario, you were rocking baby to sleep and then putting her into her crib.

STOP RIGHT THERE!

This is exactly where a change needs to be made. In this scenario, you are your baby’s “sleep prop”.

“Sleep props” are anything a baby uses to make the journey from awake to asleep. The most common examples are pacifiers, feeding, rocking, bouncing, and car rides.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t rock your baby or love on her like crazy. You absolutely should!

When it’s bedtime, put your baby down in her crib awake and let her do the journey from awake to asleep on her own.

This might be new for your baby and met with some protest for a day or two but almost all of my clients see results in 2-3 days!

Think about that for a moment!

2-3 short days and your baby could be enjoying the extraordinary benefits of proper sleep!

Not only that, she’ll be happier, healthier, more energetic, and you’ll both sleep better at night!

Some other factors that help with extending baby’s nap…

● Keep the room DARK! I mean dark as night even during the day. Blackout shades are worth their weight in gold! Can’t get blackout shades, a dark sheet or even garbage bags with tape work. Not too pretty, but certainly functional.

● White noise is amazing for drowning out any noise from outside baby’s room. It also helps with connectivities in the developing brain! It’s a win-win. 50 DB is the recommended white noise level.

If you’re having trouble with any of these suggestions, let’s set up a FREE 15-minute consultation. Sometimes the solution is simpler than it seems and my clients see HUGE results in 2-3 days.

Are you ready for your baby to nap longer than 30-minutes?

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