Parents who use the Sleep Sense Program are often amazed at how quickly their babies start sleeping through the night, but nap time is usually another challenge altogether.
Naps are significantly trickier for a variety of reasons, but with a few specific strategies, you can eliminate some common roadblocks and get your little one napping solidly for hours at a time, which will contribute greatly to their overall sleep habits and mood.
I’ll tell you my three most effective “game plans” in today’s video.Rather read than watch? Click here.
When people first find me or the Sleep Sense Program, usually their focus is nights, right? Oh, I’m so tired of getting up every two hours all night long. I need to solve this problem. That quickly improves. Nights get on track really quite quickly in the big scheme of things. Within a few nights, you’re seeing progress, things are moving in the right direction. Awesome.
Then the tune changes quickly to naps. All people can focus on is naps. Why won’t naps get in line like nights are? It’s a really big frustration for everyone including myself.
I wish I had a magic cure for naps. I wish I could make them turn around as quickly as nights but it just doesn’t work that way. So I’m gonna give you a couple of tips here today to try if you’re having some nap challenges.
There might be a few reasons why and we’ll talk about those today. The first one is darkness. No such thing as babies getting days and nights mixed up once they’re past the first couple of weeks of life. That’s just the body clock. We’re all designed to be alert and awake during the day with some naps and consolidate our nights through the night.
So darkness though will play a significant role in keeping your baby asleep. That’s usually the complaint that the naps are only 20 or 30 minutes long once you start the program. So make sure and I mean dark like dark, dark, dark, right? I don’t even really want you to be able to see your hand in front of your face kinda dark.
So doesn’t have to be pretty. Just get that dark. Get some sheets over the window or blackout blinds, whatever you need to do to make that dark.
Another thing would be to look at comfort level, right? If I’m gonna take a nap, I usually change into a pair of sweatpants, right, and climb into my bed. I don’t usually lay down for a nap in my work clothes for example so you might need to change them into some nap pants as a client once called them or their jammies even and get them really comfortable and cozy so that hopefully they’ll take a longer nap.
So those are two quick, easy fixes. Another one would be to look at the timing, right? In the Sleep Sense Program, you’ll see there’s a breakdown of how much time awake a baby can handle at a certain age. Now, those are just rough guidelines, right? I mean, they’re usually pretty accurate or close but not always.
So maybe you’re going too soon for a nap, right? Maybe your baby actually needs two hours of time awake. So start tinkering with the timing really gently. Just 15 minutes of difference on either end can make a huge impact on the quality of the nap. So try going a little bit longer or maybe shortening the gap a little bit.
Overtiredness is basically a baby’s worst enemy so we really wanna be avoiding it as much as we possibly can. So try just bringing the time up by 15 minutes and see if that makes any difference.
One other place to look is in your routine before nap. A common mistake that parents make is that they’re still including a feeding before a nap. If you’ve read the program, my advice is that you feed after naps instead of before especially if feeding is your baby’s primary sleep prop, right?
If we’re trying to break that connection between eating and sleep but we’re always feeding our child when she’s fatigued, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense and that’s gonna just contribute to this idea that feeding helps me sleep. So take that out, replace it with a story or a song or a diaper change.
Definitely important to have a little bit of prep for your child, a little bit of a routine before a nap so she knows what’s coming next but try not to include a feed in your nap time routine. Give those a few little, give them a chance to work, right? Lot of people try one thing one day, didn’t work so they abandon it and go on to something else.
My rule of thumb around any kind of little changes that you’re going to make or try is give it about four or five days to really evaluate is this timing change working? Maybe I need to go a little bit longer or a little bit less but give it time. Bodies don’t, bodies especially around sleep don’t change instantaneously. It takes a little work but hang in there. I’ll promise you, naps come around eventually and there will be a day where this is all gonna click into place for you so don’t give up.
Thanks so much for watching. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!