short naps

How to Handle Short Naps

Somewhere in between the newborn bliss of sleeping all day and the hustle and bustle of a baby on the go, we may hit a stage of sleep that has a name! The "45-minute Short Nap Intruder". Rest assured, this is a normal phenomenon, and we will cover what to do about it. And remember, we all have good nap days and bad ones, too!

First things first, we want you to know that it is normal for babies to sleep for 30-45 minutes, fuss, toss & turn for 10-15 minutes, then doze back off for 30 minutes or a bit more. Let's talk about how to handle short naps.

There are a few things we can do for short naps:

  • Routine
    • Consistency is key (when realistically possible)!
      • Follow along with Moms on Call's Typical Day schedules located in the Moms on Call Books. See *Crazy Day Tips for getting through those harder days while keeping on track!
    • Sometimes, moving up to the following routine is what is needed.
    • Lastly, the pre-nap routine consists of the following:
      • Diaper Change
      • Snuggle Time
      • Storytime
  • Environment
    • We recommend that babies sleep in a crib in their room. The crib should be free of toys, blankets, pillows, and any stimulation.
    • Blinds can be left slightly open for natural light to come in. (Also, put any hanging cords cut up high so babies or toddlers cannot reach them).
    • White noise! The right sound machine can make all the difference. White noise is reminiscent of the sounds that babies hear inside the womb. The white noise machine should be turned up loud enough for you to hear on the other side of the door.
  • Under 12 weeks of age, swaddle right, tight, tight, tight! Watch the Moms on Call Swaddling Video for tips on getting swaddled right!
  • Over 12 weeks of age, we recommend footed pajamas.

Here is the reality, parents!

We cannot "make" our little one’s sleep. Having these few things in place and controlling what we can control (routine and environment) will give them the best chance to get a good nap or two in the day! Finally, the good news is we typically see some improvements in naps once they are unswaddled and rolling easily between 5-6 months of age. You've got this!!

Moms on Call has helped thousands of families (and counting) get the much-needed sleep they deserve! Follow along with our method to great sleep by 12 weeks of age (and beyond)! For more tips from Moms on Call, check out our free resources and our Knowledge Center for all things baby through toddler!

Return to Knowledge Center