Simple solutions for a Cat Napping baby!
Yayy!! It’s nap time, ready to sit down and put your feet up? But wait, cat nap strikes again!
If you’re stuck in a cat nap cycle, I want to help! Let’s take a look at what might be happening.
What is the definition of a "cat nap"?
Cat naps are typically ones that do not last longer than one sleep cycle (45/50 minutes). A nap longer than this, means your baby has transitioned into another sleep cycle. For babies under the age of 3-5 months sleep can be very disorganised and short naps are developmentally appropriate. Newborns tend to nap anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. But you can always try and support them to resettle with some rocking/patting/holding to lengthen a nap.
So, why can cat naps become a problem?
· The odd cat nap is not a problem, however if your baby is over 4/5 months and they are consistently only sleeping for one sleep cycle or less all day, they may begin to get a bit overtired. Leading to them being cranky and harder to settle during the day and night.
· These shorter naps can also cause your bub to be more wakeful overnight, which then lead to cat naps again the next day, and it can become a bit of a cycle.
So, what can you do to help lengthen these naps?
Of course, the exact answer is going to be different for every baby, but let’s take a look at some simple adjustments to support your baby to consolidate their day sleep.
Firstly, have you created a calming environment that is conducive to sleep?
Is it dark in their nursery?
· Try to ensure the room is as dark as possible during day sleep, as light sends signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up and is very stimulating. Think about how much better you sleep in a pitch-black room, then when the lights are beaming down on you. You can use blackout curtains, or even tape a black sheet up over your window. Try to make it dark enough that you wouldn’t be able to read the pages in a book!
· Don’t worry about your baby being addicted to sleeping in the dark, when they start napping better you can be more flexible and incorporate naps on the go.
Is it loud, could there be noise disturbing your little one?
· Try using white noi