Your child taking too short naps can be very frustrating. This is one of the biggest
problems parents experience besides getting their child to fall asleep
When a baby isn’t napping enough during the day he/she get’s so overtired and
grumpy that the problem spills over in nighttime sleep too.
Here is how to create that ideal environment for good quality naps:
1) Your child should be awake when you lay him or her down for a nap.
He should fall asleep in the crib and will wake up in the crib not shocked
that he isn’t in your arms or the stroller where he started his nap.
2) Experiment with what awake time your child needs not to be overtired
when going down but also not too awake and not wanting to sleep.
Over-tiredness is a sleep killer; tired kids have difficulty falling asleep and
staying asleep. Overtired babies have short naps, night wake-ups, and
early morning risings!
3) Ideally your baby will be on an “eat, play, sleep” schedule so she “eats”
when she wakes up, plays for a while, and then goes down for a nap. Be
sure that your baby isn’t going to wake up early into the nap and hungry
because it’s been too long since she fed and going down for the nap.
(Babies still needing 2- 3 hourly feeds shouldn’t be awake longer than
45min anyway.) A snack for bigger babies before your nap routine could
help prevent a very hungry early wake-up.
4) Have a short nap routine: it signals to your child that it’s nap- time. Read a
story and change their nappy and then lay them down and say your key
phrase like: It’s sleepy time. The nap routine should be short: 5-10 min.
5) Be consistent. If your child is napping all over the place eg. car seat,
stroller, mum’s lap, or some days on the sofa he’ll be so confused as to
what is expected of him/her. Babies learn through repetition. Putting
them down in the same place for naps and night-time sleep teaches them
that this is the place where I’m expected to sleep. There are obviously
exceptions when you just have to attend a doctor’s appointment and this
is the times when baby can have a sneaky nap in the car seat.
Once you helped your child by removing their sleep props and your child
is going into their crib awake but not overtired or hungry and you stay
consistent with your routines and the nap locations you could expect an
improvement within 2-4 weeks.