How can I get my baby to sleep more than 45 minutes?

 

I’m after some advice on how to get my baby to sleep longer than 45 minutes during the day. it seems to be a common topic with many mummies and i wondered whether you had already blogged this and if so if you could point me in the right direction to find it. Alternatively if you havent, do you think you would be able to provide us new mummies with some helpful tips.”

Sometimes babies don’t need to resettle. Simple as that. If your baby is happy and bright eyed after 45 minutes, get him up and play.

 

Set a time limit

If you feel your baby needs resettling,  set a time limit (say 5 or 10 minutes) and cuddle , pat or breastfeed to help him go back to sleep. If he isn’t relaxing and going back to sleep by then, get him up. Otherwise you could find yourself constantly trying for longer to resettle your baby than he will go back to sleep for anyway.

Baby wear

Many babies will sleep longer in a wrap or carrier – you can jiggle a bit and help your baby resettle if he stirs and you feel he needs a bit more sleep.

Pre-empt the waking

Another  thing you might like to try is to go in and watch your baby before the 45 minute mark then, as he stirs into lighter sleep (before he wakes), put your hand on him firmly and gently rock him (or pat if he likes this) through into the next sleep cycle.

Try movement

A new and helpful product is the sleep rumbler, a specially designed mat that you can roll your pram over. It works really well to settle babies, especially if it’s too cold to go out. Or you could try laying down an extension cord on the floor and pushing your pram backwards and forwards over this – or over a bump between carpet and floorboards. Pop baby to sleep in the pram, then as they stir at the 45 minute mark, push the pram and help baby resettle.

Introduce ‘sleepy’ music

By playing music at every sleeptime as you assist your baby to settle, he will become conditioned to his ‘sleepy music’. If you put the music on a low volume on continuous play as baby sleeps, once he is used to the music (this will take around 7 to 10 days), when he stirs between sleep cycles, he will  be comforted by the familiar music and resettle to his ‘sleepy music’. I recommend Music For Dreaming – this beautiful music is is all in the 3/4 rhythm, the natural rhythm of the resting heart (which your baby heard in the womb); there are no gaps between tracks and because the music gently flows your baby won’t be ‘aroused’ as tempo changes from one track to another.

 

Pinky McKay is an IBCLC Lactation Consultant and best selling baby care author. For Gentle strategies to help your baby (and you) sleep soundly, check out Pinky’s book Sleeping Like a Baby.  sleep cover new

11 Comments

  1. Belinda Says Reply

    The Sleep Rumbler and Music for Deeaming links aren’t working for me. Is it just me? Ta!

  2. Denise Says Reply

    I have this issue with my baby sleeping 45mins, my problem is once I get her up after failure to resettle – what routine do I do – feed, play, sleep doesn’t work cause she won’t feed every 2 1/2. – 3hrs?

    • Nicky Says Reply

      The same thing happens with my girl. If I can’t re settle her after a 45min nap, then she will be awake for up to two hours waiting for her next feed time then the “feed, play, sleep” routine goes out the window.

      • Kate Says Reply

        My little one does”feed, play, sleep, play” as she only sleeps for 45 minutes. She seems very happy with this routine which she has set herself! 🙂

  3. Kristie Says Reply

    Would you leave the ‘sleepy’ music playing throughout the night, or turn it off once asleep? As above, my little girl sleeps really well at night, and in her swing during the day, but I dont want to rely on the swing for her day sleeps!

  4. Tanya Says Reply

    My first son would only sleep 20mins at a time during the day, no matter what I did. Even now he struggles to sleep at 2 1/2yrs and plays in his room for an hour (or more before nodding off). With my second son I’m trying the resettling technique for a longer midday sleep (when big brother is sleeping), but happy with 40mins for other naps. Should you keep all naps the same length of time? Or will that come with time?

  5. Erin Says Reply

    I was having trouble getting my baby to nap during the day even after introducing sleep cues such as dummy + swaddle sack + rain sounds. So for one nap a day I’ll wear my baby in a cotton wrap and he will happily sleep for several sleep cycles. He usually will wake up and open his eyes, but then with my movement he falls back asleep. It means I have two hands free to get things done, don’t waste time trying to resettle him over and over, and he gets some quality sleep and snuggles with Mom.

  6. dell Says Reply

    Help! So if they are sleeping such a short time (30-45 minutes), should their awake time be shortened in order to get enough sleep in the day?

  7. Samantha Says Reply

    Thanks for another great article. I love the gentle approaches to parenting And having it so accessible is a real godsend.
    We bought the Music for Dreaming CD on iTunes and LOVE it! We get back from our 8am walk and I pop it on before we come inside and leave it playing while my LO sleeps, plays all night in my room while she sleeps next to me in her cot. Very often when she stirs in the night she drops back off to sleep.

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