Tell me if this sounds familiar. Your baby is yawning and rubbing her eyes, clearly ready for a prolonged daytime snooze, so you put her down in her crib, turn out the light and she dozes off, only to wake up again 45 minutes later, refusing to go back to sleep.
This is such a common occurrence, I’ve named it, “The Curse of the Short Nap.” In today’s video, I’ll explain why the 30-45 minute mark is such a predictable wake-up point for babies, and tell you how you can help them to get the long, restful naps they need.
Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You worked really hard to get your six-month-old baby to fall asleep. You’ve rocked her, you nursed her, you think she’s asleep, she looks like she’s asleep, and you move her to her crib and you sneak out of the room as quietly as you can, and 30 minutes on the dot later, she’s awake.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s very familiar, it’s very common. I call it the curse of the short nap. Here’s why it’s happening.
A baby sleep cycle is about 30 to 45 minutes in length, it’s much shorter than an adult’s. Ours is around 90. So what happens if, if she’s rocked asleep or nursed to sleep in your arms and you get her to the crib, when she gets to the end of a sleep cycle, it’s very common to have a brief awakening. Hopefully it’s so brief that she just slides right back into another cycle, and you get a nice, long nap.
But for babies who are prop-dependent, this is the crux of the issue. This is the hard part, they get to that end of the cycle, and they wake up fully. You’re not there anymore, they’re not in your arms, there’s no breast or bottle in their mouth, and they’re concerned. And they’ll cry, and you’ll go in and you’ll try, you’ll try to rock her again you’ll…