Any parent of a young baby knows that sleep can be a precious commodity. But sometimes, even when your little one is getting plenty of sleep at night, they may still suffer from catnaps during the day—short bursts of sleep that don’t last very long and leave you feeling like your baby isn’t getting enough rest. But never fear, there are ways to outsmart the catnap challenge!
Identifying the Cause of Catnapping
The first thing to do when trying to fix any problem is identify its cause. With catnapping, this can be tricky since there are a lot of possible causes. It could be that your baby is overtired or that they’re not getting enough stimulation during the day.
If they’re older than six months, it’s possible they’re just becoming more aware of their surroundings and more interested in playing than sleeping; if so, then you may want to try changing their nap schedule.
That being said, catnapping can be completely developmentally normal for some babies up until ages 5-6 months, but I usually have a great deal of success getting longer naps when I work on self settling with babies aged 4-5 months old.
Tips to Avoid Your Baby Catnapping
Once you’ve identified (or think you’ve identified) what might be causing the catnapping issue, it’s time to take steps towards fixing it! Here are some tips for stopping catnapping:
- Make sure your little one gets enough exposure to natural light during the day—this can help regulate their circadian rhythm and make sure they feel sleepy come nap time.
- Try creating a calming environment for naps by playing soft music or white noise in their room and keeping things quiet and dark. You can also try using blackout shades or curtains if needed!
- Consider adjusting your baby’s nap schedule if they seem to be taking longer than usual to fall asleep or are waking up before their scheduled nap time is over. It might help to move things around and adjust accordingly.
- Don’t forget about yourself! Make sure you get plenty of rest and practice self-care so you can stay focused on helping your little one get the restful sleep they need.
My Free Downloadable Guide to Catnaps
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Catnapping doesn’t have to mean disaster for your baby—or for you! By understanding what might be causing it and taking steps towards correcting it, you can put an end to this frustrating cycle once and for all. So take a deep breath, grab yourself a cup of coffee (or tea!), and start tackling this challenge with confidence knowing that better naps await both you and your little one. Good luck!