Nap dread – a guide to improve your baby’s sleep

By Kate, 11th May 2018

Naps can be a real pain. That overwhelming fear that they will wake before they are meant to as you excessively tip toe around the house. Or what’s sometimes worse is the anxiety leading up to nap time not knowing whether they will go down or not. Then just as they do, your bum just about touches the sofa and they’ve woken again. Urgh!

Here are some helpful tips to improve your baby’s daytime sleep, so you can get that much deserved time out.

Catch them before they hit over tiredness

Remember that great day time sleep equals better night sleep. Missed naps leads to over tiredness and over tiredness can lead to more night wakings. It is important to let your little one nap consistently each day. Wherever possible, allow them to nap in their cot for as many naps as possible.

Watch for sleep cues. Yawning, rubbing eyes, vacant stares- these are all signs that it’s probably time for a nap. If your baby is fussing, they are probably already overtired. If you find this is frequent occurrence with your little one, watch their cues more closely, and aim to put them down for a nap a little earlier than you have been.

Get rid of the screen time

TV and sleep don’t mix. Avoid using the TV as a pre-nap tool to calm your child. TV lights can stimulate the baby.

Routines work best

Get a mini routine going – It need only be a short routine, but it will help cue your baby to know that nap time is coming. A story, a cuddle before bed, and repeating your keep phrase, “night, night”.

Bedroom is for night, not light

A dark and quiet room make for great sleep. Try to make their room as dark as possible for sleep times. Get some black out blinds if you need to.

The nap fighter

If your baby is refusing to go down, take a break and try again shortly. If your baby is fighting a nap, try for one hour then take a break. Take them out of their room for 20 minutes and try again.

Ready to drop?

If your little one was napping fine but is now suddenly taking longer to fall asleep, it may be time to adjust their length of awake time. Or, if your little one is not napping at all they may be ready to drop a nap. Be wary of this though! These sleep issues may coincide with developmental stages. I would only suggest dropping a nap if your little one does not fall asleep for their nap for at least 5 out of 7 days for a period of at least two weeks.


If you need help with your baby’s sleep issues or want to find out more about my services, then please get in touch of a free consultation.

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