Tell me if this sounds familiar. Your baby is yawning and rubbing her eyes, clearly ready for a prolonged daytime snooze, so you put her down in her crib, turn out the light and she dozes off, only to wake up again 45 minutes later, refusing to go back to sleep.
This is such a common occurrence, I’ve named it, “The Curse of the Short Nap.” In today’s video, I’ll explain why the 30-45 minute mark is such a predictable wake-up point for babies, and tell you how you can help them to get the long, restful naps they need.
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You worked really hard to get your six-month-old baby to fall asleep. You’ve rocked her, you nursed her, you think she’s asleep, she looks like she’s asleep, and you move her to her crib and you sneak out of the room as quietly as you can, and 30 minutes on the dot later, she’s awake.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s very familiar, it’s very common. I call it the curse of the short nap. Here’s why it’s happening.
A baby sleep cycle is about 30 to 45 minutes in length, it’s much shorter than an adult’s. Ours is around 90. So what happens if, if she’s rocked asleep or nursed to sleep in your arms and you get her to the crib, when she gets to the end of a sleep cycle, it’s very common to have a brief awakening. Hopefully it’s so brief that she just slides right back into another cycle, and you get a nice, long nap.
But for babies who are prop-dependent, this is the crux of the issue. This is the hard part, they get to that end of the cycle, and they wake up fully. You’re not there anymore, they’re not in your arms, there’s no breast or bottle in their mouth, and they’re concerned. And they’ll cry, and you’ll go in and you’ll try, you’ll try to rock her again you’ll try to feed her again, you’ll try to hope that she’ll go back to sleep. And sometimes it might work, and sometimes it’s not gonna work because she’s had some sleep.
So the fatigue or the sleep pressure we call it is not as high. And if she’s gonna go back to sleep, maybe if you catch it fast enough, it’ll happen but chances are very high that because of that little bit of sleep she’s already had, she’s not going back to sleep, it’s not happening. So now you’ve got a baby who, she’s not really all that hungry, ’cause she only napped for 30 minutes. She’s not rested, again because she only napped for 30 minutes. And now you’ve got a baby who is quite grouchy all of the day.
And that is hard on both of you, absolutely, right? It’s not any fun for either of you to dance this dance all day long.
So here’s how you solve it, you teach her how to fall asleep prop-free. So you pick up a copy of Sleep Sense Program, pick a method that feels right to you, and you start teaching her that she can handle this, she can get herself to sleep at the beginning of the nap, and then when she reaches that last little bit of the cycle, has that little brief awakening, she’ll be able to handle it and go right back to sleep all on her own, and that 30 minute nap will be a thing of the past.
Thanks so much for watching today, 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!