I’m a nationally published sleep expert, journalist, and the mom of three young kids. I’ve been helping tired families sleep since 2007 (more about me here). Subscribe to The Well Rested Family for fresh news and tips on keeping your bunch happy and healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

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Entries in 45 minute naps (1)

Monday
Dec192011

Ask Malia: Help for a 45-minute napper

My daughter is on school break and I'm swamped in holiday to-dos, so I'm working a light schedule this week. Please enjoy this post from my ProSquad archives at ParentingSquad.com. (I'm their resident sleep pro.) And happy holidays to all!

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Malia, My baby only naps for 45 minute at a time. Is there anything I can do to get her to sleep longer?

You’re not alone. Legions of new parents find that they can't squeeze in a load of dishes—forget about a shower or a cup of tea—during their baby’s brief siestas.

Factors that contribute to shorter-than-ideal naps are development, timing, and temperament.

First, consider your child’s age: Short naps are highly common in the first few months of life. Longer naps often develop around 4-6 months of age as sleeping patterns begin to mature.

Second, take a look at nap timing. Short naps may signal that your baby is ready to be awake for longer stretches during the day. Increase the interval of wakefulness before the nap by 10-15 minutes per day until nap length improves.

The final factor is temperament: Some babies are simply short nappers (though most will begin snoozing for longer stretches before age 2).

If your 45-minute napper seems relatively happy during the day and sleeps well at night, stop fretting over nap length. Instead, help ensure that short naps are restorative by maintaining consistent naptimes and a cool, dark, quiet sleeping space. A short nap is better than no nap: This new study shows that naps improve learning and help babies retain new information.

See more of my ProSquad responses here:

Help for a child who wakes up grumpy

Help for difficult bedtimes