Mum-tested tips to help your baby sleep longer at nap time
Getting babies to sleep for longer is a common quest for most parents! Helping babies to sleep isn’t an exact science, but there are some things you can do to help your baby to sleep for longer. Give these tips and tricks a try and take some of the guesswork out of nap time.
If your baby frequently wakes up crying, grizzling or screaming after 45 minutes of napping, it’s likely they’re still tired and need more sleep.
Many babies grizzle or cry for a few minutes as they stir and wake, before resettling themselves back to sleep. This is quite normal and doesn't mean your baby is upset or ready to get up. However, a good baby monitor such as the VTech RM5752 Video Monitor With Remote Access is super handy to have a sneak peak and see whether or not your baby needs you, or just needs a little time to fall asleep again. How long you give your baby to resettle is completely up to you, depending on how hard your baby is crying and how old they are, a good rule of thumb is about 10 minutes.
Read more about resettling your baby.
You can also observe your baby and check for the following signs. If your baby is tired and probably needs more sleep they might be:
- Have jerky leg movements
- Have a fixed stare
- Facial grimacing
To observe baby during his or her sleeps, you don’t need to be glued to the monitor. The VTech monitor’s built-in wifi technology facilitates video transmission to your mobile device.
Swaddling is also an effective way to increase the length of day sleeps. Try wrapping baby in a swaddle by following these steps. If your baby uses his hands or fingers to soothe himself, then wrap with one arm out. One arm out is also good if you want to introduce a comforter.
With newborns, white noise reminds them of the swooshing and gurgling noises they heard inside the womb for nine months. It was never quiet inside you, so it makes sense that babies find it hard to settle in a quiet room! Alternatively you can try playing soothing lullabies on repeat - the VTech RM5752 Video Monitor has five lullabies and four natural sounds to help baby drift off again.
With babies over four months old, white noise can be very effective for helping with settling and encouraging longer sleeps. Using white noise can also mask distracting or loud sounds and provide a strong cue that it’s (still!) sleep time.
As babies get older, they’re generally more alert prior to sleep time, so white noise can help them wind down. Play the white noise or lullabies when you put your baby down to nap and keep it on repeat through the sleep.
Make sure baby’s room nice and dark even during the daytime (special blackout curtains are a great investment). Bright light can be stimulating and may remind them of all the other fun things there are to do instead of sleeping!