Do Micro-Naps Disrupt Baby’s Overall Sleep?

Let’s talk about “micro- naps” ! Or better known as the destroyers of good sleep during the day for your little one!

As a infant and toddler sleep consultant, I sometimes sound like a broken record when I talk about “micro-naps”. Let’s delve into what these are.  Well, it could be a snooze in the car for 5 min, a doze during tummy time, or maybe quick cat nap while feeding.  These would all be classified as “micro-naps”.  Why do I bring them up? Because they will destroy a good nap for your little one!  That’s right, that quick snooze before their nap on the way home from the grocery store is enough to ruin that 1.5 hour nap that you were looking so forward to them taking when you got home. Bummer right!?  Why are these so destructive?  Well, during the day, your child’s sleep pressure grows and prepares their body and brain for their upcoming rest period.  When they take a “micro-nap” it signals to the body that they have gotten rid of the sleep pressure and are ready to be up again.  So, what happens next, is their inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for that upcoming nap.  Leaving you with a tired, cranky baby.  Sound familiar?  The next issue is that they typically cannot make it to through the next full awake window.  So you need an earlier wake window, which shifts the whole day including bedtime, earlier.

So, how do you avoid those “micro- naps”?

  1. Run errands immediately after they wake in the morning or after a nap.
  2. Have activities in the car for them.
  3. Have a parent sit in the back seat to keep them alert.
  4. If feeding, switch sides, tickle their feet or sit them up during the feed to keep them alert.
  5. Stay down on the floor with them during tummy time, and if you see them getting tired, pick them up or give them an activity to keep them alert.
  6. Make sure that you are following the appropriate awake windows for your child.

Sometimes those “micro-naps” just happen, but do your best to follow the tips above to help avoid them.  Here are a other expert tips to set your baby up for success with their naps:

  1.  Follow a naptime routine.
  2. Check the darkness of the room.  You want the room to be nice and dark for naptime.
  3. Check the temperature of the room.  Make sure that it is cool and comfortable. Make sure that your baby is dressed appropriately for the temperature of the room.
  4. Check their awake windows to make sure that they are appropriate for their age.
  5. Help them learn independent sleep skills to fall asleep.

If you are looking for resources to help improve your baby’s sleep, check out my : Free Resources Page . Need more support?  Let’s chat!  I am Missy, a British Columbia based Certified Child Sleep Consultant and  I offer Free Baby Sleep Evaluation Calls to chat about your struggles and find the right solution for your family. Sleep is a necessity for you and for your baby.


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