Tired mom = angry mom, can you relate?
When my youngest was born, I knew that I want to get him into a good sleep routine from the start. For me, sleep is crucial because, without it, everybody suffers.
Creating a daily routine can help children get into a good sleep rhythm, it gives them a sense of security and structure and helps them get into consistent longer naps.
Listen, I get it…life happens.
You don’t have to organise everything by the minute, but is a good idea to structure your days so that your baby can get the sleep that he much needs.
By getting into a consistent daily routine, your child will know when is time to go to bed and to wake up.
Understanding sleep in babies
A short nap is a nap when your baby wakes up after only being asleep for 45-50 minutes. A good nap is a nap between 1.5h-2h.
Short naps are very common in babies because baby’s sleep cycles are much shorter compared to an adult’s. After completing a sleep cycle babies tend to wake up before they enter active sleep. If your child wakes up after only 45 minutes, he is waking up in the middle of the nap.
My baby, now four months old, had 45 min naps since he was born. I feel that I was busy spending all day putting him down and getting him to sleep and with a toddler life can easily get hectic.
Newborns tend to have a lot of short naps as most of the time they wake up because they get hungry and can’t stay awake for long, so it’s okay to have a lot of mini-naps, but as their body grows and they develop more, they need longer naps to get proper rest.
Why Do Babies take short naps?
- Inconsistency in the schedule – If you don’t have a set time for every nap that you keep, consistent babies will fall asleep anywhere and everywhere. If your baby is napping in the pushchair, in the car seat when you are out and run errands, the quality of their sleep will be poor. They can easily get used with this and will be very difficult to set them after in a pattern.
- Overtired/overstimulate – A lot of people believe that by trying to wear a baby out and stretching the time between naps will help baby sleep for longer. This is a myth that always backfires and the more tired they are the worst babies sleep.
Some people argue that the 45 min nap is a problem but with my two boys, I knew they need more than that.
If you believe that sleep deprivation and sleep fragmentation is hard on you, then most certainly it is hard on your child too.
Well-rested babies are happy babies, well-rested mama makes a better, more patient mama.
Check out below the average amount of sleep in 24 hours that babies and children need. It can be helpful when trying to create healthy sleep habits.
Birth – 6 weeks: 16 – 18 hours
2-3 months: 15 – 17 hours
4-6 months: 14 – 16 hours
7-9 months: 14 – 15.5 hours
10-12 months: 13 – 15 hours
12+months: 12 – 14 hours
Getting into a good sleep schedule and creating a sleep pattern will immediately help with the short naps.
#1. Ensure that the baby doesn’t get to the point of crying and fussing– young babies have a very brief window in which they will optimally fall asleep. Look for signs of tiredness such as rubbing eyes, droopy eyelids, yawning, becoming cranky or fidgety and start preparing your baby for sleep right away. I know with mine if he gets to the point of crying, will be increasingly harder to go to sleep.
#2. Do a small wind down routine- change the nappy, pull the curtains to make the room darker, add some white noise, cuddle, rock and feed the baby.
#3. Swaddle baby- Young babies have a strong startle reflex and can wake themselves up quickly. For us, swaddling was a game changer. We use this swaddle, and we love it. You can swaddle with the arms in or arms out which is great to transition when it’s time to stop swaddling.
#4. If he wakes up after 45 min, allow your baby to go back to sleep by himself- I sometimes try for 30 minutes before calling the nap off and 9 out of 10 times he transitions the mid-nap by himself in less than 5 minutes. It is our instinct to rush in and pick baby at the first fuss or cry but staying consistent and committed you will set yourself for success in the long run.
Consistency is key. Make a schedule and stick with it, and you will see results. Be kind to yourself and trust that you will get there. Babies are creatures of habit, and that’s great! Predictable routines and consistent naps will ensure that your child gets the rest that he needs.
One more thing!
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