For almost 5 months my baby has not napped for longer than 45 minutes. Yip, 45 minutes almost to the minute. My body is so in-tune with his 45 minute nap cycles that I can begin walking down the hall towards his bedroom the very second he is waking. From what I have read, 45 minutes is one ‘sleep cycle’ and many babies have trouble transitioning through to the next cycle without waking. There a loads of suggestions on how to help with this including:
- Waking your little one just before the end of their first sleep cycle – just enough that they stir but don’t wake up completely.
- Soothing the baby back to sleep immediately e.g. rocking, shush/patting, pacifier/dummy etc.
- Leaving the baby to cry…or something…I stopped reading about this method when I got to the bit about crying.
We tried them all! We talked to friends – asked their advice – I even considered a sleep consultant until a friend mentioned that she had tried one for naps and it didn’t help at all. So we ended up just accepting the fact. After all, he was having 3 or 4 45 minute naps a day so he was getting enough sleep. It just made it tricky to get much done around the house before he woke up again.
Well, as of last week, the kid is now sleeping for an hour and a half for his morning nap! It’s a miracle!! The first time he had a ‘mega-nap’ I was actually worried that he may not be well. I spent (wasted) most of the second 45 minutes of his nap hovering over his cot before he woke up as happy as ever. Then it happened the next day. I didn’t want to get too excited. By the third day I was starting to relax and enjoy the extra time. By the fourth day I was over the moon! I can finally wash AND hang out a whole load of washing during nap time. Now that is something to get excited about!