All too often I hear moms say, “My baby doesn’t want to nap! He takes 30 minute cat naps and that’s it!” Well my friend this is common but not normal. What I mean by that is often times babies wake after 30min, 45min, or 50min because they are at the end of a sleep cycle. When baby is used to rocking or nursing to sleep when they get through that sleep cycle and realize that they have been put down, they have a hard time falling back asleep. While babies can take a short cap nap in the late afternoon, habitual 30 minute naps are a sleep issue. Here are a few tips to help your baby get through his sleep cycles. If these are practiced from a very early age, you are likely to skip the 4 month sleep regression or at least shorten the time that sleep will be disrupted.
#1 Put baby down drowsy but awake… I know this sounds impossible to do BUT if baby is put down before she becomes overtired likely she will be content and then drift off to sleep.
#2 Don’t jump every time baby makes a noise.. Just as we do as adults, babies grunt, wiggle, and whine in there sleep. Unless baby is crying let him settle himself and give him a chance to fall asleep on his own.
#3 Swaddle… Many babies need to be swaddled for a lengthy period of time. Both of my babies were swaddled until 5 months. The swaddle muffles the Moro Reflex, which is a reflex that jerks babies arms up and essentially wakes baby. The swaddle is proven to lengthen sleep. (Stay tuned for my video tutorial on how to effectively swaddle your baby.)
#4 Utilize the swing…. While in the womb baby was moving all day which lulled him to sleep (makes sense why you felt him move around so much in the middle of the night while you were lying down.) The swing is very soothing to baby and is another tool that is proven to elongate sleep.
A few of these tips come straight for a book called The Happiest Baby on the Block there are more to be taught! Fortunately I am working on becoming certified by Dr. Karp and his team and will be hosting classes in the next few months! Stay tuned for a class schedule! I also have the option of doing a 1 on 1 for those mommas who prefer a more personalized class.