Why won’t my baby nap!?
Why won’t my baby nap?
- The sleep environment is not ready for sleep. Possibly too bright too loud, or disruptive noises such as road side noises or a loud house of other children. The room might be too cold in winter or too hot in summer.
- Your nap schedule is more about squeezing naps in around activities rather than squeezing activities in around appropriate nap times. You need regular consistent nap times, if you want your baby to take regular consistent naps. Protecting your nap schedule creates healthy sleep habits, not poor sleepers.
- Your baby is over tired. If you miss your babies tired signs they become wired and get that second wind, making them almost impossible to get to sleep. If this occurs on a regular basis, note down how long they are awake before you attempt your nap, and start to shorten this time in 10/15 minute increments. You might be missing an early subtle tired sign.
- Your baby has developed a nap deficit caused by too many naps on the move, in the car seat or buggy. This nap deficit quickly affects night time sleep and early morning wake ups, so there is good incentive to fix it. These are usually cat naps and after 4 months motion naps are less restorative than stationary naps at home, so check your baby is getting 80% of their naps at home in their bassinet or cot.
- Your baby is under tired or ready to drop a nap. It is important to realize from birth to 6 months the amount of time a baby can stay awake quickly changes from 40 minutes to up to 3 hours for some babies. If you are still trying to put your 6 month old to bed after 1 hour, this could be why they are refusing to nap. From 6 months to 3 years the changes are slower, but your baby does drop from 3 naps to no naps, so if they are refusing their third or second nap consistently it might be time to drop a nap.
- They have outgrown their settling technique, and what you did 2 weeks ago is no longer age appropriate and is more annoying than settling. If you are fully assisting your baby to sleep, look at what it is you do – rocking, or feeding or holding and establish if this is still soothing for your baby, or distracting and ineffective. From 6-7 months even the late starters are usually ready to jump on the self-settling train, and it may be time for you to gently and gradually remove yourself from the nap time situation.
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