Nurturing Mums' Top Tips To Get Your Baby Sleeping Through Every Nap

As part of Sleep Awareness week, we want to bring you advice and guidance from a range of different experts and cosultants in the field of baby sleep & development.

We've recently partnered with our friends at Nurturing Mums to not only offer MORI blankets as part of their 5 week postnatal course packages, but also to bring you sleep help. 

Nurturing Mums sleep expert and consult, Kerry Secker from Kerry Cares Parenting, spoke to us about the best ways to get your baby sleeping through their daytime naps. 

• Naps during the day are the foundations for a good night’s sleep and many sleep disturbances at night come from lack of sleep during the day.

• Good naps during the day prevent the build-up of cortisol in your little one.

• When your little one is overtired they start to produce the hormone cortisol.

• Cortisol is like a shot of adrenaline and keeps your little one is a heightened sense of alertness.
• When they have cortisol present they can appear manic, fight or resist sleep. It can take up to 6 times longer for a baby with cortisol to settle!
• Going to bed with cortisol in their body can also:
- Wake them after their first sleep cycle. This is usually between 30 and 40 minutes after they went to bed.
- Cause frequent wakes post-midnight as their melatonin levels start to decrease and tail off.
- Wake them up early doors; cortisol can cause them to wake as their melatonin levels reach zero between 4am – 5am.
• It is not important where or how they go down for a nap just important they get them at the right times.

• There is no universal law that a little one must nap in their cot!

• Frequent cat naps are perfectly natural especially for babies under 6 months old. As your baby matures and manages longer periods of awake time their naps tend to consolidate; they decrease in frequency and increase in length.

• The first nap of the day sets them on their way: Timing that first nap before they get overtired can help them settle easily for naps that follow.

• Watch your little one for the pre-over tired sleep signs from when they wake up in the morning:
- Silent: If they are chirping, cooing or making go noise they go quiet.
- Still: There arms and leg movements slow down or stop altogether
-Stare: I call this the sleep stare. Their eyes become wide, stull and gaze off to the distance. It is at this point I would advise getting your little one down for their first nap.
• The first nap of the day is often a shorter gap from waking up. Once they have this nap under their belt the gap between next nap may increase.

• In the early days in can be an endless cycle of feed, nap, poop and repeat but it naturally spreads out as your baby can manage longer awake periods.

• Cat naps: If your little one needs a cat nap this ideally should be around 4pm for about 15 minutes only. From 8 months old my general rule is up by 3.30pm as melatonin levels start to rise at this time and can affect bedtime and night sleep.

For more support through those first few months and to get your little one sleeping, you can join a Nurturing Mums postnatal course today.

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