A baby who takes short naps must be way up there in a parent’s Top 10 Daily Horror chart.

After you have spent 20 minutes rocking your baby to sleep, deployed your Level 100 ninja skills to place baby dynamite down in her cot and then shimmied in stealth mode out of the room, you are all ready to either plonk on the couch, dive into work or clear that ever-growing mountain of laundry. The last thing you want to hear after 30 minutes, is your baby’s crying and showing no sign of going back to sleep. Siiiiggghhhh…..there we go again and this ordeal may possibly repeat itself 4 to 5 times a day!

If this is what you wrestle with on a daily basis, you can throw these extra tricks into your nap toolbox to survive the day.


1. The Power of the Cot Hour

Cot hour means letting baby rest in her cot for 1 hour from the time she has fallen asleep. By allowing baby some space to self-soothe, you may be pleasantly surprised that she may be able to put herself back to sleep. By deploying the cot hour, you can also push the next nap later. When you enter the room, remember to praise her for her efforts!


2. Keep Baby Soothed

If baby starts to cry up during her cot time and shows no signs of going back to sleep 10 minutes after waking, you can go in and try to soothe her back to sleep. If she cannot sleep back, keep her soothed until the cot hour is up.


3. Offer A Feed

If baby did not have a good feed prior to the nap or is going through a growth spurt, you can try to offer her a feed in the dim room. There should be minimal stimulation and little or no engagement with baby (especially eye contact!). After the feed, you can try to her down again to try to extend the nap.


4. Teach Your Baby to be an Independent Sleeper

If your baby requires your help to go to sleep, she will likely require that same assist to stay asleep. Once your baby comes to the end of each sleep cycle, there will be some partial arousal or wakening, she will signal for help (read – CRY) to connect to the next sleep cycle as she does not have the skill to self-soothe. By sleep training your baby, she will then be able to connect her sleep cycles seamlessly herself (with appropriate wake times) and you will finally be able to finish watching 1 episode of “Bridgerton” in its entirety! Win-Win!


Additional Tips



💡 Create a simple and consistent nap routine every time. The routine needs to be the same sequentially, and can be as short as 5 minutes before you settle baby down for her nap. Get your sample Nap Routine here.

💡Ensure that your baby is not over-soothed before you put her down. An over-soothed, super snuggly baby will appear to be falling asleep in your arms (eyes closing and minimal movement) and likely will protest once you put her down in her cot as she expects to stay in your comforting cuddle.

💡 Keep baby’s sleep space cool and dark. If baby is over 2 months of age, it Is OK to let baby nap in a room with blackout curtains. Temperature should be set to about 25 degrees and maintaining some white noise in the room will help.

💡 If your baby’s nap length ranges between 30 – 39 minutes, you may want to consider reducing her wake time before that nap, by about 5 to 10 minutes. If the nap length is 40m to 55m, you may want to consider increasing the wake time, by about 5 to 10 minutes.

💡 Keep a close watch of her early sleepy cues about 20 minutes before she is due for the put down. Early cues are subtle, and what you should be looking forward is a “switch” in her behaviour. Once early cues are spotted, start to slow things down and put her down in about 10m to 15m, for young babies.

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At SleepKraft, we apply sleep methods and scheduling advice that is unique to your baby and your family. If you are struggling to improve your baby and your family's sleep, chat with us today so that we can offer the best possible sleep solutions.