Updated: May 7, 2021
Catnaps - Don’t you just love it when your baby will only sleep for 30-45 mins! Nope!
This can be very frustrating for us parents and I went through this with my first, so I know how you feel! He was 4 months old and would only sleep a maximum of 45 mins at a time during the day. It was exhausting and I struggled to get much done!
This is very common around this age and even as early as 8 weeks old for some babies! Their sleep cycles start to mature to 45-50 minutes during the day, and they can rouse and fully wake at the end of a sleep cycle.
Here are my top tips to help your baby link their sleep cycles so they sleep for longer and stop the catnaps: -
1. Set up a perfect sleep environment – a dark room really helps with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and it also stops them from being able to see around the room so when they rouse between sleep cycles it prevents any visual distractions making it easier for your baby to go back to sleep. Swaddling is great too especially for babies 4 months and under. Click here to read more on creating the perfect sleep environment
2. Timing – Timing of naps is really important. A baby who is overtired will struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep, cue 20-30 minute naps! If your baby is under tired, they will simply not be tired enough to sleep any longer no matter how hard you try! My advice is to follow age appropriate awake times to give your baby the best chance to sleep for longer.
3. Hunger – Hungry babies especially newborns will not settle easily and will not sleep well so make sure your baby is well fed to sustain them through their naps.
4. Sleep Associations: If your baby is assisted to sleep so rocked, fed, or held to sleep, when they rouse between sleep cycles, they wake fully looking for the same conditions that were there when they fell asleep. So, they cry out for you for those same conditions as they don’t know how else to go back to sleep. Solution? Teach them to go to sleep on their own (self-settle) and go back to sleep (resettle). This doesn’t mean you need to let your baby cry it out, there are many gentle ways to teach your baby to self-settle and resettle which I can support you through and have had great success with for my clients, please contact me for more information.
5. Practise Resettling: Try and resettle for at least one nap every day. If we keep getting your baby up every time they wake after one sleep cycle, they are not going to be able to learn that they need to go back to sleep and sleep for longer.
If you are struggling with catnaps and would like some one to one support please get in touch, I would love to work with you!
Or why not try my Baby Sleep & Routines E-Guide, this fully comprehensive guide is not only packed with information around your baby’s sleep and routines, it will also help stop the catnaps and gain a 2 hour lunch nap!