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Worrying About Catnapping

Worrying About Catnapping

Are you spending your days worrying about your baby's naps and whether they are long enough? Have you been comparing with your coffee group and stressing that everyone else's baby sleeps for longer?

Worrying that you must be doing something wrong because your baby only sleeps for 30 minutes per nap??

Sound familiar?

Catnapping is probably the sleep issue which causes the most stress for parents.


"Comparing strategies for settling babies with friends can be helpful but try to not compare how long the sleeps are and worry if your baby's sleeps are shorter"

It can feel like the whole day is taken up with battling to get a baby to sleep, only to have them awake and crying a short time later. And so the cycle goes on.

However before we give you some possible ways to help your baby sleep for longer, it's also worth taking some time to consider whether you actually need to worry about how long your baby sleeps for.

Do you want a longer nap for YOU or your baby?

Yes there is a lot to do when you have a baby, and especially if you have a baby and other children or are trying to work as well. BUT your desire to have more free time when your baby is asleep is not going to be enough to convince your baby to sleep for longer!

So it can be a good idea to first work out why you want your baby to sleep for longer - is it because she is tired and grumpy, or is it because you feel you need her to sleep for longer as you need the time.

Trust me I spent a lot of time trying to get my toddlers to keep having a day sleep as I had work to do (like writing website articles!) but ultimately it was wasted time and stress that would have been better spent playing and enjoying my very strong willed, not sleeping 2 year old.

Not all naps are created equal

Often babies have some shorter sleeps and some longer sleeps. This is completely normal and you don't need to stress if some sleeps are always only 30 mins and others in the day are longer.

Often the last nap of the day is much shorter and this is fine! It is better to have a later afternoon power nap and be rested for a calm evening when bedtime goes more smoothly. Also a later afternoon power nap can help avoid the witching hour!

Some sleep articles suggest babies should always have a short sleep in the morning, a long midday sleep and a short nap late afternoon. But we feel it is more helpful to see what works for your baby and try to fit in with their body clock and also what works for your family.

But my baby always wakes miserable!

OK so if you are reading your baby's temperament when she wakes and she wakes miserable, then yes more sleep is likely the answer. You might want to work on resettling when you can see she is still tired but get her up when she does wake happy.

It can take time for our catnapping tips to work, or some tips might work for you. Have a read and see what you think.

Read our catnapping suggestions below:

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