Cat naps are basically short naps – usually around 30-45 minutes long and consisting of one sleep cycle. A lot of parents worry about them but the truth is.. every nap is important. If your little one sleeps well during the night, they simply might not need longer naps during the day.
For babies of 5 months and under, more frequent short naps during the day is age appropriate. For babies that have more than 2 naps a day it’s typical to find that one of those naps is much shorter than the rest.
Work with a 12 hour day and a 12 hour night - this is a great starting point to work out how much day time sleep your little one should get. If your little one only has a few short naps during the day, there are a few things which you can have a think about which could help..
Can your baby fall asleep independently or do they need your help to settle? If they’re reliant on you to get to sleep they may find it tricky to link sleep cycles and fall back to sleep on their own as they transition to the next cycle. This is where some gentle sleep coaching could help. It will help them learn how to settle themselves back to sleep when they wake up, which is game changing!
Are they in the optimal sleep environment? A baby's environment can really impact on how well they sleep.. it's exactly the same for us! If we were cold, we wouldn't be very happy either! There are endless things you can do to optimise your little one's sleep environment but the main ones we look at are: temperature (between 16 and 21 degrees), noise (we LOVE white noise if you hadn't already guessed), and darkness (use blackout blinds to make sure no pesky streaks of light make their way in!).
Are their naps happening at the right time? Timing naps correctly during the day is key to making sure your baby has the best quality and length of sleep. Use a combo of wake windows and sleepy cues to work out when they should be napping - failing that, we have a really handy nap guide available to buy from our website which has you covered!
You want to avoid an overtired baby.. use our tips above and your little one should start linking those sleep cycles and getting all the sleep they need!