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6 Month Old Baby Takes Short Naps

There is nothing more discouraging than finally getting your baby in bed for a nap only to hear them crying 30 minutes later. Short naps can be a source of frustration for many parents, naps are one of the things I help with the most. In the early months of life, it’s common for babies to take short naps as their brains and bodies are still maturing and reorganizing sleep cycles. However, as your baby grows, their naps should gradually lengthen which is music to our ears. 

Why Are My Baby’s Naps So Short

A short nap is anything between 30-45 minutes, and is very common for newborns and infants. Between 8-16 weeks, babies’ sleep cycles are shorter and less organized, leading to frequent awakenings between sleep cycles. While frustrating, short naps are normal and usually improve as your baby’s sleep matures between five and six months old.

Tips for Managing Short Naps:

  • 3 Hour Wake Window
    • At 6 months old we are starting to look at moving to a 3 hour wake window. Your baby may still need 2 hours and 30 minutes as a new 6 month old but slowly starting to push them toward 3 hours will help build up enough sleep pressure to ensure they nap longer. 
  • Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment:
    • It’s easier to keep a room dark at bedtime but a dark naptime is equally as important. Day sleep is different than nighttime and so a dark room can help the body stay calm and avoid overstimulation. 
  • Pay Attention to Sleep Cues:
    • At 6 months we want to start moving toward a set schedule where every day your baby naps at the same time but sleep cues are still worth watching. 
  • Work Toward Crib Hour:
    • Ideally we want your baby to nap for an hour and a half to two hours but we want to build up to that if baby needs some help. If your little on wakes up at the 40 minute mark, wait 5-10 minutes before going into the room. Give them some time to try to go back to sleep. Over the next week or so begin to increase the time before you go in the room as you work up to them spending about an hour in the crib. 

Six Month Old Set Schedule

Around 6 months of age, most babies are ready to transition to a more predictable nap schedule with two longer naps per day. This was a very freeing time for me as a mom.

  • Gradually extend wake windows between naps to encourage longer periods of daytime sleep.
  • Aim for a morning nap around 9-10 am and an afternoon nap around 1-2 pm, with bedtime around 7-8 pm.
  • Be patient and consistent with your approach, as it may take some time for your baby to adjust to the new schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Feel free to download my free sample schedules so you can get an idea of what a set nap schedule might look like! As always book a free sleep assessment or Pin Point Coaching call for extra help!

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