Written by Jana Angeles
Getting your baby to nap longer would be a dream. You could get so much done catching up on things like house chores, favourite episodes from your new TV series or give you a couple of hours to dive in and read a newly purchased book. There will be times where parents will find their baby is frequently waking up in the middle of the night. The 3am wake ups aren’t exactly ideal but they do happen. It can be extremely frustrating when your baby becomes fussy and irritated, meaning that they may feel overtired from a lack of sleep. So, how can we as parents help our babies nap for longer during the day? Here are some tips that could help them snooze just a bit longer:
Insert the dummy before your baby needs it
As strange as it is, using a dummy before your baby actually needs it helps. Most parents tend to give the dummy when their baby starts to get upset or when they are wailing like no tomorrow. One of the challenges is having their dummy inserted in and having it fall out while they are asleep. This tends to start the madness of an upset baby. If you have the opportunity, check in every few times to see if the dummy has fallen out of your baby’s mouth while they are napping. Being able to spot this as soon as it happens can give you the opportunity to re-insert instead of waiting until your baby reaches the crying stage!
See if there are factors that wake them up early
Is the nursery room dim? Do you have creaky floorboards? Well… it’s time to find all the factors that prevent your baby from napping for longer. Having a good overview of their nursery room and seeing if there are particular factors that create noise can help you minimise the amount of distraction that may happen while your baby is napping. It’s a smart idea to have it dim and quiet without any further interruptions that could cause them to wake up. Remove noisy objects such as battery-operated toys, use thick curtains to block off sunlight and get those creaky floorboards fixed (or avoid stepping on them at all costs while your bub is asleep).
Teach them how to self soothe
There are babies out there who learn how to sleep on their own and manage to get some shut eye for at least 11-12 hours. It sounds like a dream, right?! Having your baby sleep easily during the night can help them get enough sleep with no interruptions and teaching them how to self soothe can help them do that! Check in with your baby’s doctor to see if they can go without feedings during the night and teach bub how to self soothe not just for night time sleeps but for naps too! Just remember that self soothing isn’t about letting your baby cry it out until they fall into a slumber sleep – it’s about teaching them how to fall asleep on their own. Crying is just a sign where your baby is expressing frustrations.
Time your baby’s naps
It’s important to give your baby some routine when it comes naps, so timing them can help you recognise how often they need to sleep throughout the day. It’s important for babies who are younger to sleep for a lot longer. They may feel tired easily if they are out at a social gathering and remaining awake for longer than they should be will only make them overtired. Timing naps adequately can help you stick to a routine when it comes to your baby’s sleeping patterns. Don’t wait until your baby becomes fussy as this isn’t a sign that they need to sleep, it is because they are simply overtired!
Getting your baby to nap longer takes a lot of patience. If you’re a new parent, it will take longer to adjust what your baby’s sleeping needs are. Just remember to not keep your baby awake for too long, teach them how to self soothe when they are ready to and don’t wait to use the dummy when they become upset if it falls out during their nap. Changing up a few things with the suggestions above could potentially help out bub sleep for longer!