Your little one finally fell asleep for their nap and now you’re ready to tackle your long to-do list and hoping you may even have a little time to sip the rest of your cold coffee while you catch up on the latest episode of Real Housewives (Okay – maybe you watch higher quality TV than I do but you get the idea). Then, about 28 minutes later you hear the cry. Your neck tweaks to the left. Your stomach sinks. “They’re not awake ALREADY, right?” It’s not that you don’t want to spend time with your child, of course you do. But you NEEDED this time.
You also know that when your child has a nice, long nap they wake up happier and with energy! “What can I do to get her nap for longer?” you think.
I’m Shannon Buhera, a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, and Mama to a daughter who consistently takes at least one long nap each day! Here is what I do that works and what I help my Sleep Consulting clients to do to lengthen those naps.
1. Sleep Environment:
2. Wake Times
First, What is a Wake Time or Wake Window? This is the time between sleep. It’s the minute your child wakes until the minute they are sleeping again. You can use Wake Times to determine when your child’s next nap should be based on their age. If you want to see how often your child should be napping, their sleep needs, and sample sleep schedules by age, download my $5 Ultimate Sleep Schedules Guide.
Your child’s nap may be short because they haven’t build up enough sleep pressure to want to sleep for more than one cycle. Make sure you’re not trying to get a nap too early or too late.
3. Independent Sleep
Learn more about Sleep Training by reading Which Method Should I Use to Sleep Train My Child?
4. You may be trying to get your child to sleep TOO much!
If you’re not sure how many hours your child should be sleeping in 24 hours, I’d be happy to let you know. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a DM on Instagram. Keep in mind that young babies are more likely to have many short naps. If your child is over 3 months, you have checked all 4 of these things above and you STILL can’t get your child to take long naps, I’d recommend taking our quiz: Should I Hire a Sleep Consultant? or hopping on the phone with us for a Free Sleep Evaluation Call which you can schedule here!