Tips on lengthening naps – under 4 months

Posted by admin on September 24, 2019 in Quick Facts

The Question:

Any tips on lengthening naps for an 11 week old who consistently wakes at the 45 minute mark and won’t continue nap?

The Answer: 

Although it’s too early to start a rigorous form of sleep training and short naps are the norm for this age due to their sleep arousals or brief wakings in between sleep cycles, you can use the hour rule and a gentle method to start to try and lengthen those naps.  When your child wakes from the nap try patting and shushing them back to sleep.  Go in right when they wake up, rub or pat their back and shhh them until they calm down if they were upset or until they look like they are starting to settle back to sleep and are calm.  Then leave the room.  If they start fussing wait a few minutes and then go in and repeat.  Once an hour has elapsed since you placed them down for their nap, go ahead and get them up. Repeat for all naps.

You can also start experimenting with putting them down to sleep drowsy but awake if you haven’t already.  This will help them get used to putting themselves to sleep which will help them get back to sleep when they wake up from an arousal.