Short Naps: Questions & Answers

Written by: Laura Hunter, LPN & Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN



Time to read 3 min

Am I the only one struggling with short naps?

No! In fact, one of the most common questions Moms on Call receives is in regards to naps! Short naps to be exact. If you are experiencing short naps, your questions likely look like the ones below.

  • I am having such a hard time with 30-45 minute naps. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
  • Why does my baby wake up right at 30 minutes during a nap?
  • My baby is only napping about 60 minutes, should I move naps up?

At Moms on Call we want to meet families where they are and, in doing so, we have created resources to answer questions just like these! In the below video, Laura shares how to help solve short naps. For parents that need a quick drill-down of what that looks like, keep reading.

How do I "make" my little one sleep through nap?

We can't! However we can be sure we have few things in place (see below), controlling what we can control, to give them the best chance to get a good nap (or two) in the day! And the good news is, we typically see some improvements in naps once they are un-swaddled and rolling easily (between 5-6 months of age).

What can I implement to ensure my success?

  • Routine
    • Consistency is key (when realistically possible)!
    • Follow along with Moms on Call's ‘Typical Day’ schedules located in the Moms on Call Books and Scheduler App . See *Crazy Day Tips for getting through those days that are harder to keep on track!
    • We've often found moving up to the next routine is what is needed. Check with your personalized consultant to see if moving up is what's best for baby!
  • 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 (but be sure to have 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, and tight, tight, tight! Watch the Moms on Call Swaddling Video for tips on getting swaddle just right!
  • Over 12 weeks of age we recommend  footed pjs .

Is it normal for my little one to wake 30 mins into nap?

Yes! The 30-45 minute nap intruder is part of a normal nap sleep cycle, where we see 10-15 minutes of wake time, and then baby gets back to sleep. We recommend implementing 10 minute soothing rounds. So up until 14 weeks of age (when we additionally drop the swaddle at nap), we give baby a chance to get back to sleep on their own, practice the pause, go in quick, double check the swaddle, be sure you are using the correct sound machine and work your way up to your comfort level of staying out, up until 15-25 minutes before the end of nap.

Here's what a soothing round looks like:

  • Start at 10 minutes (or less, depending on your comfort level)
    • Go in, turn off sound machine for 2-3 seconds and right back on.
    • Check swaddle- adjust if needed (only swaddle under 3 months).
    • Change diaper if leaking.
    • Soothe, give a little pat and rub on the belly.
    • Get out!
  • Then give baby the time to figure it out and restart
  • Each day add a few minutes and before you know it, baby will be back on track!
  • Once we have accomplished dropping the swaddle in the middle of the night, we use those same techniques to do the same at nap around 14 weeks of age.

How do I know if I need additional support?

This can take time, and there are days it is harder than others.

If we have reached the point of desperation, where the bad nap days are more than the good nap days, then we highly recommend working with a consultant to get you the help you need.

Watch the quick video below with Moms on Call Co-Founder, Laura Hunter, as she shares how to help solve short naps.

You are strong, you are confident, baby is safe, loved and can get through 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!

Co-Founders of Moms on Call

Laura Hunter, LPN and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN

Co-Founders of Moms on Call, Pediatric Nurses and Moms to 8 kids between them, Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker created Moms on Call to simplify parenting. Through their books, online courses, podcast and content, they help parents everywhere navigate the first four years with confidence and better sleep.

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