Delilah is almost five months old and is still taking 4-5 45 minute naps a day. Which isn’t really a problem in itself, however she seems to get overtired by the end of the day which makes bedtime hard because she’s cranky (read:screams). So I consulted Dr. Google for help and here’s what I found.
- Most babies at this age should be taking at least 2-3 90 minute naps a day. Babies at this age might still be taking cat naps and that’s normal and nothing to worry about. If your baby is taking cat naps you need to be working toward longer naps. Don’t worry about short naps your baby will start consolidating on her own
- Scheduling is very important for babies. Start scheduling nap and bedtime at 3 months old. Scheduling really only benefits older children who are no longer napping and only at bedtime. Make sure bedtime is at the same time every day. Bedtime should be no more than 2 hours after the last nap and can be moved earlier if naps are short.
- Her room is too hot. Her room is too cold. Put socks on her feet.
- Follow a Sleep-Eat-Play routine. SEP routines won’t work because babies will wake up too early because they are hungry.
- You will have to let your baby cry herself to sleep so she will learn to fall asleep on her own. Never let your child cry herself to sleep as it will cause lasting emotional damage.
- Use white noise and a pacifier to help sooth babies to sleep. Don’t use white noise and a pacifier because babies become dependent on them.
- Be there when baby wakes up to sooth her back to sleep for a longer nap. Let baby cry herself back to sleep without you if she wakes too early.
- Gradually increase the time baby is awake so she won’t go into a nap under-tired and sleep less. Always put baby to sleep at the first sign of fatigue or she will become overtired and won’t sleep.
It was so obvious, I don’t know why I didn’t figure it out before.