How to Extend Your Baby’s Short Naps

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How to extend your baby's short naps and get baby to nap longer everyday

Does your baby take (frustratingly) short naps? As in baby only naps 30 minutes at a time?

Young babies may be fine with frequent, short naps. But once they turn 6 months old, babies can often turn into little crab cakes if only napping 20 or 30 minutes at a time.

You may have heard that babies 6 months and older need naps that are longer than 40 minutes to restore their energy and stabilize moods. That’s mostly true, because baby sleep cycles are about 50 minutes long. If your baby wakes early from a nap, and hasn’t completed a sleep cycle, he may feel groggy and grumpy.

Sometimes it just takes a bit of “nap training” to get baby taking long, restful naps each day.

This article has 9 nap training steps that show you how to get your baby or toddler napping longer so that baby naps more than 30 minutes.

Steps 1-6 below are “beginner” nap training steps and can be done at all ages. Steps 7-9 are “advanced” nap training steps for 6 months and older.

(If your toddler has suddenly started fighting nap time, check out When Do Toddlers Stop Napping?)


Step 1: Fix baby’s night sleep


“Wait, what? What’s night sleep got to do with my baby’s naps?”  Let me explain.

When helping babies sleep better, we always start with night sleep. We do this because night sleep is usually easier to fix than naps.

This is because your baby’s drive to sleep is the strongest at night, so he’s more likely to comply with changes to his sleep routine. During the day it’s different. The drive to sleep comes and goes.

If your baby is overtired and cranky from being up during the night, this will make nap training nearly impossible. That’s because a well-rested baby naps better than a sleep deprived one. When your baby sleeps well at night and is a rested and happy baby, it’s much easier to get him napping longer too. Seems counterintuitive, but it’s true!

In general, “sleeping well” means that your baby spends the majority of the night sleeping! For 6+ month olds, this means your baby either sleeps through the night or has 1-2 night feeds where he quickly falls back asleep and sleeps long stretches. Younger babies may need more night feeds, but they settle easily after.

If your baby is awake and difficult to settle for long periods of time at night, I recommend you pause nap training and instead work on night sleep. My proven sleep training program guides you through getting your baby falling asleep without any help and sleeping all night! 


Related: How to Stop Co-Sleeping and Transition to a Crib


Step 2: Keep an eye on baby’s awake times


“Awake times” are simply the periods of time that your baby is awake throughout the day. (For example, in between naps.)

If awake times are too short, your baby may not be tired enough and ready for a nap.

If awake times are too long, your baby may become overtired / overstimulated.

This causes your baby’s body to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, to keep baby awake and focused. Once these hormones are released, it’s very hard for baby to relax and nap well.

An essential step of nap training is following age-appropriate awake times. Sometimes, just a bit of tweaking baby’s awake times helps him nap longer!


Baby Awake Times:

Newborn: 30-90 mins

7-15 weeks: 1-2 hours

4-5 months: 1.5-2.5 hours

6-8 months: 2-3 hours

9-12 months: 2.5-3.5 hours

Toddler taking 2 naps: 3-4 hours

Toddler taking 1 nap 4-5.5 hours


RELATED: How to Get a Resistant Toddler to Nap


Step 3: Fill the belly


Babies sleep longer when their bellies are full. You don’t want your baby waking early from a nap due to hunger. So make sure your baby has eaten within 20-30 minutes of putting her down for a nap.

[Important note] I’m not encouraging you to feed your baby to sleep, as that may contribute to short napping (see Step 7.) Instead, try to separate feeding and falling asleep by more than 10 minutes.


Step 4: Create a nap-friendly space


For older babies and toddlers, the most restorative sleep is non-motion sleep away from the distractions of the day.

Most babies younger than 4 months can nap anywhere. Your bright living room, a crowded cafe or an hour in the baby carrier doesn’t seem to affect their ability to nap well.

But around 4 months old, your baby goes through a big developmental phase. And part of this development results in a change in sleep patterns. (My 4 month sleep regression guide explains this more.)

Suddenly your baby becomes pickier about where and how she’ll fall asleep. She may wake up early from naps, fight naps or seem restless in general. So if you’ve found yourself wondering “Why does my baby suddenly take short naps or fight naps?” here’s what to do.

This is the classic sign that it’s time to make her daytime sleep space similar to her nighttime sleep space in order to help her nap well. All of the elements that help her sleep at night will help her nap better as well.

My Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit walks you through exactly how to set up your baby’s bedroom for sleep, and gives you practical tips you can start tonight!

Offer your child a nap-friendly space for every nap. This will (eventually) help her nap better and longer, because it provides the best quality and most restorative sleep.

If baby needs to occasionally nap in the stroller (lying flat, not upright) that’s ok too.  Some babies nap better with motion, so this is a good option if your baby is stuck in a short napping pattern.


Step 5: Start a calming pre-nap routine


The purpose of a bedtime routine is to send behavioral cues to your baby that it’s time to settle down for sleep. Doing the same activities, in the same order, at the same time every day is a proven way to help your baby relax and fall asleep without fighting it.

Your pre-nap calming routine should be similar to what you do at bedtime. Because it’s familiar, this signals to your baby that it’s time to relax and sleep.

Take a few elements from your bedtime routine and incorporate them into a short, relaxing pre-nap routine. Your little one will recognize this familiar pattern and understand that sleep follows.

Learn how to create a calming sleep routine in my Exhausted Mom’s Starter Kit.


Step 6: Keep your baby’s nap schedule consistent


Children thrive on routine. Having a predictable nap schedule helps your baby nap longer because his body clock is set to sleep at the same time each day.

Babies 6-7 months and older will be able to follow a by-the-clock nap schedule, while younger babies nap best by following awake times.

Nap schedules don’t have to be complicated! Your ideal daily schedule should be easy-to follow and allow for some flexibility, while meeting your baby’s sleep and nutrition needs.

The best part of having a consistent nap schedule is that you’ll have time each day for YOU time.

My Daily Schedules & Developmental Activities Guide has example nap schedules for 5 months – 4 years old. Plus, it has creative play ideas and developmental toys to use at every age.


Here’s a preview


Steps 7-9 below are “advanced  nap training” steps for 6 months and older.


Step 7: Get your baby falling asleep independently



Wondering why your infant’s naps are too short? Let me explain. Baby sleep cycles are around 50 minutes long. If your baby consistently wakes 45 minutes after falling asleep, it’s because she’s finished one sleep cycle and needs your help starting a new one.

“Sleep associations” are the props or conditions that we need in order to relax and fall asleep. If your baby is used to being rocked or nursed to sleep, then she associates these activities with falling asleep. She’s gotten used to you helping her fall asleep.

There’s nothing wrong with this! It’s just that she’ll need your help to start a new sleep cycle when she wakes early from a nap. And it can be hard for babies to fall back asleep after a short nap. They’ve gotten some sleep, so their drive to sleep is weak. They may feel refreshed and ready to be awake!

If this is the case for your little one, then it’s time to teach her how to fall asleep on her own. Introduce new sleep associations that don’t require you, like a lovey (for older babies & toddlers) and falling asleep in her bed (rather than in your arms.)

That way, when baby stirs after only 40 minutes of napping, she won’t need your help falling back asleep. She knows exactly how to do it on her own. This step works magically with extending your baby’s short naps!

My nap training program shows you exactly how to get your baby falling asleep independently for naps and taking long, restful naps.


Step 8: Begin a “nap power hour”


This is the secret weapon for lengthening your baby’s short naps! But it works only when you’re doing the above steps too.

It goes like this: when your baby goes down for a nap she’ll stay in her bed one hour, even if she wakes early.

This teaches your baby that nap time doesn’t end just because she’s woken, and encourages her to fall back asleep. How you help your baby resettle when she wakes early from a nap depends on several factors.

My nap training program walks you through the “nap power hour” and picking a nap training method that is a perfect match for your little one.


Step 9: Stay consistent


Once your baby is a rock star napper, do your best to keep his nap routine consistent everyday (yes, even on weekends.) Babies can unlearn good napping habits just as quickly as they learn them!

Prioritize your baby’s need to sleep during the day. Rather than going out and risking your hard-earned nap time, invite people over. You may have to brush up on your baking skills (and clean the bathrooms). But here’s the secret: when your baby naps well, you actually have time to cook and clean.


Bonus tip: Remember the big picture


If you’re feeling stressed about your baby’s short naps, it can help to have a look at the big picture.

Track your baby’s sleep (day and night) for one week. How much sleep does he get in 24 hours? If naps are on the short side, but baby sleeps a total of 14-15 hours each day (and he’s happy and thriving) it may be that your baby prefers to sleep longer at night.


Keep in mind

Nap training takes time. It’s perfectly normal for parents to spend a few weeks trying to get their babies taking longer naps. If you can do the above steps consistently everyday, your baby will learn to nap well.

Also, your baby needs to sleep well at night in order to nap well during the day. So if your baby’s night sleep ever gets off track, focus on nighttime sleep training instead.

Get my nap training program here.

Good luck!

a guide for parents to help their baby sleep better

Let’s stay connected!


  1. Anika

    Hello! Great advice thank you. My LO is now 9.5 months.
    He’s always been a chronic catnapper.
    He can self soothe and does so at the beginning of every nap but doesn’t know how to connect his cycles still.

    I’ve tried altering his wake windows based on the appropriate ages over time but as they change I’ve never found the ideal time maybe?

    I have now resorted to going in at 20 min mark before he wakes and holding him to complete his naps.
    I’ve put him on a 2 nap schedule.
    Morning wakeup 6.30am. 1st nap 9-10.30 and 2nd 1.30-3 with bedtime at 6.30/7pm

    I forcibly transitioned him down to 2 naps as didn’t know when he was naturally ready due to the catnapping!
    Now he’s also started waking around 3/4am

    I’ve previously tried the cot power hour for 3 weeks consistently when he was on 3 nap schedule but it made his nightsleep fall apart completely ! Then packed it in

    I really don’t know what else to try now. Any suggestions would be so helpful.
    Thank you!

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Anika,

      Those catnaps can be really challenging! Is your LO falling asleep independently for bedtime? If so, I believe that nap training is really the next best step. I know you are worried that night sleep may fall apart. Once a baby has been night trained and falling asleep independently for at least two weeks, then it is safe to nap train! We can certainly help you in our Naps program if you are looking for more step by step guides/videos and daily support through our support team!

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  2. Nicky

    This article was a literal Godsend. I’m so glad I stumbled on this website. Sleep training wasn’t too difficult, but nap training was a nightmare. Now that I’ve read your article, I feel like nap training will go a lot smoother. Very eye opening stuff.

    Thank you!

  3. Randi

    What if babies sometimes nap for 1-1.5 hours but majority is 30-45 min? Then they “can” link sleep cycles but aren’t? And wake windows are fine, environment is good, all is consistent…

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Randi,

      I would try to see what you are doing on the days that your LO naps 1-1.5 hours. Is there more outdoor time or play time on those days? We are also happy to chat with you about your LO’s schedule and comb through it to see what is going on and how we can make those longer naps more consistent. Please email us at and we can chat more about the best resource for you!

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  4. Melissa

    Hello, thank you so much for this very informative post, which has given me a lot of ideas. I have a nap question: My 7.5 month old was sleeping well and could fall asleep on her own, but since she turned 6 months she has been waking frequently in the night and napping for no longer than 30-40 minutes. I started sleep training her again and she has gotten pretty good at falling asleep in her crib on her own (with me in the room) but she usually wakes from her naps after 30-40min, still tired, and will only continue napping if she can comfort nurse / sleep in my lap. I’d really like to lengthen her naps — I know she can do it because sometimes she does nap for two sleep cycles on her own in her crib (1.5 hrs). I suspect this problem relates to the frequent night wakings because she hasn’t been night weaned yet and expects to be nursed every time she wakes at night. Anyway I would love to know your thoughts on how to get her to stay asleep in her crib during the day. Usually I don’t hold her in my lap but after a few days of 30 min naps she is very tired after not day sleeping enough. I’ve scoured the internet but haven’t seen anything written about a baby who falls asleep on her own at nap time, but then wants to lap-nap after 30-40 min. All my best, Melissa

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Melissa,

      Thank you so much for your message. Naps can be challenging! It is great that your LO is falling asleep at night by herself. To help your LO nap better, make sure to be following the proper awake times and have her falling asleep by herself for each nap. Check out this 7 month old sleep guide! It will have all of the awake times listed. If you would like more step by step guidance, definitely check out our naps program. We can help you throughout the entire process!

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  5. Padma

    First of all thank you for all the helpful tips. My almost 16month old is in the process of his 2-1 nap transition. He is sleep trained (11.5-12 hrs independent crib sleep from 7.30pm-7am) and was doing really well with his 2 naps. At 15 months we started to consistently see refusal of the afternoon nap and him wanting a longer morning nap. He was also due to start daycare. 10 days before daycare we started the transition and solidified the 2 hr nap from 11.15-1.15pm. I had no days left to help him steadily get to 12.30. Daycare does 12.30-2.30pm but realistically by the time the kids settle and fall asleep it is 12.45pm. My little guy used to his crib, white noise, blackout curtains and sleep sack at home isn’t sleeping well at daycare. The longest nap has been 43mins. So when we pick him up, we do an early dinner and try to get him to bed by 6-6.30pm. Won’t lie, the push for an earlier bedtime is hard work too after a day at work/daycare pickup, but we are determined to help protect and restore the lost sleep. Your nap guide states to stick to the same nap schedue as daycare but even today being a Saturday he slept for only 45mins and then cried non-stop. I left him for another 20 mins during which the crying did wind down but he was persistent. In this way I ensured he was at least in his crib for 1hr. I feel very stuck and unsure what to do to help him extend this 1nap, knowing he is an independent sleeper. We have been mindful about the meals being healthy and nutritious with no added sugars to interfere with the sleep. We are at week 2 with daycare so I’m assuming we stay consistent? Do we stay with the daycare schedule or follow the 5-5.5hr wake window you also suggest? I thank you and appreciate your help.

    • Micaela

      Hello Padma, you are doing amazing! In this case, since he is not napping enough at daycare you can use a different schedule at home so at least during the weekends, he will be able to sleep better. He will get used to daycare but it might take a few more time <3 Micaela BSMS Support Team

  6. Amelia

    Hello! I have a 5 month old who sleeps almost 10 hours straight at night and sometimes wakes for a feeding. Her awake window is only about an hour and half and then needs a nap, she does put herself to sleep but sleeps 30 minutes to the T almost every nap. She does not seem rested afterwards either. Are these short naps normal at this age or is there something I can do to help make them longer, thanks !


    • Alyssa Taft


      Naps will usually start to elongate around 6/7 months of age. The best thing you can try to start doing is crib naps with white noise and a blacked out room to allow your LO the chance to connect those sleep cycles! 🙂

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  7. Amelia

    How can we help?

    (If we’re not live, we’ll email you a reply!)

    Hi! Can I get your email and name?


    Hello! I have a 5 month old who sleeps almost 10 hours straight at night and sometimes wakes for a feeding. Her awake window is only about an hour and half and then needs a nap, she does put herself to sleep but sleeps 30 minutes to the T almost every nap. She does not seem rested afterwards either. Are these short naps normal at this age or is there something I can do to help make them longer ?


    • Alyssa Taft


      Naps will usually start to elongate around 6/7 months of age. The best thing you can try to start doing is crib naps with white noise and a blacked out room to allow your LO the chance to connect those sleep cycles! 🙂

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  8. Kelsey Lovelace

    Hello. My 7.5 month old consistently has a hard time napping for more than 30-40 minutes. We leave her in the crib, but it’s very hit or miss (and normally miss) whether she’ll fall back asleep or just cry until we get her up. We try to keep her wake windows to around 3 hours so she typically has 2 naps a day. We’ve tried so many different schedules changes to try to solve the short naps, but without much success. She also typically false starts after 30 or 40 minutes when we put her down at night though she almost always is able to put herself back to sleep after a few minutes. In the mornings she sometimes wakes up 1 to 1.5 hours before it’s time to get out of the crib and again is only able to put herself back to sleep sometimes.

    Do you have any advice on how to work on these struggles?

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Kelsey,

      Thanks for your post! Always start with your night sleep first. Make sure your LO is falling asleep independently and sleeping for 11-12 hours overnight. If this is the case, then I would definitely continue to work on having your LO sleep for 2-3 hours a day for naps and fall asleep independently. For awake times, aim for 2.5 hours before nap 1, 3 hours before nap 2 and 3.5 hours MAX before bedtime 🙂

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  9. V

    It has been difficult to put my 9 month old to bed since he started standing. He used to fall asleep on his own on the bed, but now we have to hold him to sleep/at least very drowsy or else he will be standing up (for at least 20-50 times) and he sometimes falls because he stands inside his sleeping bag.

    May I know how should we deal with this situation? If he only stands and play around if we don’t hold him to sleep till drowsy?


  10. michele

    My almost 17 month old has switched to 1 nap and its going terrible. He eats lunch at 11:30am and I put him down at 12. He falls asleep within minutes. However, at 1:18 or 1:26 he wakes up and then poops, therefore the nap is shot. Barely giving him a hour and a half nap. I have left him in the crib (for a week now) until 2pm so that he learns he must sleep 2 hours. How do I fix this sleep problem? Please help me!!!!! That is obviously his biological clock time to poop. However, he is very crabby in the afternoon and I know he would be much happier if he slept for a 2 hour nap. Please help me. I am so frustrated and have so much anxiety on how to fix this issue. Thank you.

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Michele,

      I am sorry things have been so tough with the transition! Check out our 2-1 nap transition video here. I would try to do 5 hours of awake time in the morning and 5.5/6 hours in the afternoon, so your nap may have to move up depending on when your LO wakes up. Make sure your LO’s lunch is low in sugar and high in protein. I would keep fruit and yogurt for after the nap. Make sure to give your LO lots of fresh air and physical activity before nap.

      Best of luck Mama!!

      Best, Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  11. Amanda Sailor

    My little boy is almost 10 months old. And his naps have always been bad! He sleeps great at night about 12ish hours at night. But during the day he is pretty grumpy. I try to keep him awake for 2 hours or more but sometimes he is so unhappy I don’t know what else to do but put him day for a nap and hope and pray he sleeps for more then 30 minutes. Normally his naps range from 30-45 minutes. I get nothing done in the day especially since I also have a 4 year old girl. I do all the things for nap just like suggested from dark room, sound machine, and sleep sack. He normally falls asleep pretty good just doesn’t stay asleep. He still takes 3 naps a day because they are so short. If he took better naps I feel like he would be happier in the day and I could keep him up longer. But for my sanity I have to put him down for naps a little earlier then 3 hours. He gets a bottle when he wakes up and normally a meal around 30-60 minutes after he wakes up. Do I need to feed him again before he goes down? Also I don’t get him up right away either after he wakes up in hopes he falls back asleep but he never does. I need help! Not sure what else to do.

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Amanda,

      Check out our 10 month old sleep guide for helpful tips. If you are looking for more step by step advice, I would definitely recommend signing up for our naps program so we can help you get your LO taking 2 good LONG naps during the day!

      Best, Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  12. Liane

    Any tips for getting LO to lay down to sleep in his crib for naps? My baby boy is 3.5 months and sleeping decent at night for his age (5-6 hour stretch followed by waking every 3-4 hours; nurses then goes right back to sleep), but his naps are a struggle. He takes a long time to fall asleep (at least 20 min) and then will cry the moment I lay him down or within minutes. We then play the pick up and put down game for sometimes up to an hour. By that point he often needs to nurse again and will fall asleep nursing. If I do manage to lay him down to sleep on the first attempt it’s usually the first nap of the day and lasts for only 30-40 minutes. By mid afternoon I give up and nurse+hold him through every nap (he takes anywhere from 5-7 short naps).

    I’m doing what I can to make napping easier for him (watching wake times, nap routine, dark room, white noise, etc) but it doesn’t seem to be helping yet. He likes motion and used to take some naps in his swing but has recently outgrown it. He’ll sleep in the car or stroller occasionally, however, I’m stuck at home without a vehicle in the middle of winter so those options aren’t usually available. I would wear him too if he wasn’t such a hefty baby lol (it kills my back!).

    I feel stuck, my only option (if I want him to sleep and me to keep some thread of sanity) is to hold him and rock him Since every nap is so short (20-30 min), his awake times are also short. The fact that he takes longer to fall asleep and then doesn’t *stay* asleep means I’m basically helping this baby to sleep almost the entire day. I NEED to be able to put him down for at least more than one measly 40 minute nap every day.

    Any suggestions?

    • Micaela

      Dear Liane, I completely understand your frustrations but your baby is still young and it’s totally normal for his naps to be pretty inconsistent. It’s all gonna change soon, I promise. Awake times of 1–2 hours work best at this age. This means your 3-month-old baby should be awake for only 1-2 hours at a time during the day. Young babies need to sleep often. So avoid the temptation to keep your baby up all day, hoping he’ll sleep better at night. This often backfires! Instead, allow your baby to nap often throughout the day. Some 3-month-olds will take three naps each day, and others might take five naps. The number of naps your baby takes is not important. What is important is making sure your baby naps frequently and for 3-5 total hours each day. Your baby should nap 3-5 hours every day. Check out our 3mo old sleeping guide here for more tips <3 Micaela BSMS Support Team

  13. Miriam

    Hi! I’ve been following Jillys tips for a few months already and my son has improved so much. However naps are still an issue. Last week I focused on independent sleep and he only cried about 2 days. I lay him down and he no longer fusses or cries, but he just takes so long to fall asleep. Sometimes up to an hour. Especially during his first nap. He stares at his nanit camera, he is moving around, making noises. But at the same time he keeps yawning and rubbing his eyes. I do a wake window for his first nap of 2 hours, but since I know it takes him so long I place him on crib before. Ive waited closer to the 2 hr mark too to see if that helps and it doesnt. Even before working on independent sleep his 1st nap is always so short. (26-32 on a good day 40min). He is missing on that morning sleep. He will sometimes take a longer nap on nap 2 or 3. He turned 6 months today. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Miriam,

      Thank you so much for your post! It is so great that your LO is falling asleep independently at night. That is always our first step. Naps start to lengthen around 6/7 months, so your LO is getting close. 2-3 hours of awake time is appropriate for a 6 month old, so I would be consistent with 2 hours before nap 1, 2.25 hours before nap 2, 2.5 hours before nap 3 and 2.75/3 before bedtime. I am attaching our guide with more helpful tips. If you are looking for more step by step guidance, I would definitely recommend checking out our naps program! We could help you evaluate your schedule and awake times and get your LO napping independently and for longer stretches! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  14. Mel

    Hi there,

    My LO has just turned 6 months.
    She has always slept well at night, she’ll go down at about 7.30pm and wake at 6pm for a feed then possibly even go straight back down after until 7.30-8.

    Her naps in the day are not as good, she will settle herself easily which is good but only sleeps 30-50mins. I’ve tried everything to get her to sleep longer but doesn’t seem to be working.
    I’m wondering if because she sleeps so well at night long naps in the day are not needed ?
    She can be quite moody at the end of the end of the day around 6.30/7.

    Also, do naps need to be in tha dark? Could this be where I’m going wrong ?


    • Micaela

      Hi Mel, at 6mo we can expect babies to sleep 11-12h at night. I suspect that by feeding her at 6am you are extending her “night” sleep by taking time from daytime sleep. Check out our 6mo sleeping guide to have a good picture of what you can expect from your 6mo baby
      Micaela BSMS Support Team

    • Nicole

      My baby 4 months wakes up after 30 minutes every nap even evening, when I do get him down he is down for the night it’s just getting passed the 30 minutes. He is happy after 30 minute naps during the day if I can get him passed into the next sleep cycle he will go for 2 hours during the day. Please help with the 30 minute wake up. He uses a pacifier and in a sack. Has white noises and in the dark for all his sleeps. Doesn’t like to be rocked settles on his own but with a pacifier so constantly putting it back in. Night put him down at 6 then wakes after 30 minute and eventually goes back down at 8pm once resettled him and sleeps until 7/8am

      • Alyssa Taft

        Hello Nicole,

        Thank you so much for your post. I am attaching some resources for you! 30 minute naps are very common for 4 month olds (especially when going through a regression). It is definitely a great idea to help you LO extend these naps when possible. The pacifier is a tricky one! The short version is that if you can offer the pacifier to help baby fall asleep AND she doesn’t need you to replace it during the night- keep it! But if you’re having to replace it several times a night, that’s a sign that you’ll need to wean your baby off the pacifier as a sleep aid. You can still offer it during the day while awake or when sick for comfort. Once your LO is 5 months old, he will be developmentally ready to learn how to self-soothe and you can work on breaking the pacifier sleep association. This will really help! I would definitely recommend checking out our 21 Days to Peace and Quiet program when the time comes! Please let me know if you have any questions! Best, Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  15. Roberta johnson

    My LO is just coming up to 6 months and I am at a loss with her sleeping schedule.

    I have followed the above steps religiously but nothing is helping.

    My baby will self settle in her next to me crib during the day but will awake after just 20 minutes on the dot during every nap and then will not re self settle back to sleep.
    We use white noise and she has a comforter.
    This is the same when I put her down for bed at 6pm. She will
    Sleep for 20 minutes and then will awake. I try to leave her for as long as possible until she starts screaming and then I will go and try to settle her back down but she will not have it until we go to bed.
    She is breastfed and co sleeps with us at night otherwise she wakes up every half an hour.

    Any advice would be much welcome.

  16. Stella Mary

    Thank you for sharing the chart about the nap timings of the babies. This truly helps. Thank you for sharing all the valuable suggestions as well to maintain the sleep timings of the babies. A schedule for all the specified tasks will always help in a peaceful lifestyle.

    • panagiota

      Thank you so much Stella! Happy to help mamas to get their little ones sleeping better. And thank you for the suggestion, will put it on out to-do-next list! It’s great to get your feedback. Panagiota, BSMS Support Team

  17. Ana

    Hi! I joined the exausted mom kit on your website but now I don’t know how to access the videos, I just keep stumbling upon the sign up part everywhere, but I don’t know where to find the actual kit. Please help?! Best regards!

    • Alyssa Taft


      You should get an email from Jilly with the kit videos. Please check your (promotions, spam, junk) folders since the kit can sometimes go there! Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  18. Amelia

    Hi Jilly,

    I have been having a hard time at bedtime with my 8 month old. Lately she thinks bedtime is nap time and only sleeps for about an hour before becoming wide awake again. She then refuses to go back to sleep for up to 2 hours! Thankfully at that point she usually will go to sleep and sleep well all night, only waking a few times to nurse.

    Also, I still nurse her to sleep for every nap and bed time, it’s a habit I want to change, but she is so dependent on it I’m not sure how to ease her into it. I have read a lot of different methods, and I don’t want to resort to crying it out.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give me!

    Thank you!

    • Leena

      Hi! Oh no, sorry to hear that! It sounds exhausting! I would recommend starting with our age base sleep guide which will cover all the basics and help manage expectations at this stage. Implement the guide for 2 weeks straight and you should see improvements.

      It is often useful to teach your LO how to fall asleep independently, this will lead for them STTN and thus improving sleep all around! If you’d like more detailed assistance on how to teach your LO this skill, our program 21 Days to Peace&Quiet walks you through the steps. The program has 4 step-by-step methods that walk you through teaching your baby how to settle to sleep on their own, which will show them how to resettle during night wakings too. It also covers reducing and fully weaning off night feeds.

      With 3 of the methods you stay with your baby as you teach them to sleep better. You don’t have to leave the room if you don’t want to. And you can choose a slower, more gradual method to reduce your baby’s resistance, fussing and crying. We can’t promise “no tears” but you can work to minimize baby’s resistance.

      We also accommodate for your baby’s temperament too. Each lesson has tips on tweaking the steps to suit your baby’s energy levels, sensitivity and adaptability.

      I’m confident we can get you and your baby sleeping great.

      Here are all the details:

      Happy to answer any other questions you have about the program! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

  19. Morgan

    So everything I have read says to do a eat, play, sleep cycle but but then I am putting my baby down and she hasn’t eaten in an hour and a half. Should it be play, eat, bedtime/nap routine, sleep? At night I obviously feed her before bed (working on breaking the nursing to sleep for bedtime).

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Morgan,

      I totally agree. I love the idea of Eat-Play-Sleep, but that often leads to babies waking early from naps due to hunger.

      Instead, I prefer to feed babies closer to nap time but keep feeding and falling asleep separate (by at least 15 minutes.)

      So adding in a nap routine between the two is a great idea!

      All the best,

  20. Yannire

    Hello! My baby just turned 7 months old. He is at daycare, and lately he is only taking 1 hr naps (in total, for 2 naps). When this happens I rush home to put him to bed for a nap, but because I dont have time for him to fall on his own (so he can be awake 1 hr before bed time, at 7pm) I help him fall by holding him. Is that bad? Is that going to create a need at daycare? In one of your videos you recomended to begin the night time routine as soon as you get home. Doesn’t begining one hour earlier ruin the routine or make him wake up earlier?

    During the weekends he sleeps great with me, up to 2 hrs naps but I cant recognize his sleepy signs to save my life! I go by time, when he normally would fall at daycare but then he doesnt fall…

    He sleeps good at night, falling by himself in his crib.

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Many babies don’t nap as well at daycare as they do at home. The best you can do is help him catch up on sleep on days he’s with you.

      Yes, go by awake times of 2-3 hours for his age.

      You can either let him nap in the car on the way home (but let him take a full nap there) or continue holding him so he can get in that nap before bedtime. It’s ok, you do what you have to do!

      If it takes too long getting him falling asleep on his own for this nap (or he refuses) it’s ok for now. You can try again when he’s a bit older.

      If he starts refusing this nap, then move bedtime earlier. As early as 6 pm.

      I hope this helps!

      Good luck,

  21. Kataya Hutton

    Hi Jilly
    My 5 and a half month old is a terrible napper waking up after 30 minutes – at the moment he is on a three hourly feeding schedule and I put him down to nap in his cot in the bedroom 2 hours after he’s woken up (to be honest he would happily go to bed after 1.5hours but I stretched it out when he turned 5 months). So he currently is having four 30 minute naps a day. When I put him down in the cot he self soothes to sleep but when he wakes up I can see he is still tired but he fights it – I have tried everything – leaving him to cry, putting the dummy back in and shushing him, rocking him etc.
    He has also now started waking at night at about 3 and 5ish – I think he is hungry but he used to sleep through until 7am. Maybe it is just that he can’t help himself back to sleep. He has to sleep with a dummy so I often get up to put that back in and shhh him a bit. He only really goes back to sleep properly after some milk though. We only feed him once overnight.
    Do you have any suggestions for how I can extend the length of his naps? Should I put him down at a fixed time each day eg 9,12,3? Or stick with timing it from when he woke up?
    I have just bought a blackout blind for the bedroom I’m going to put up too. Also he’s on solids (an ice cube worth twice a day). He’s also an ex-preemie.
    Thank you

    • Baby Sleep Made Simple

      Hi Kataya,

      If you think he prefers 1.5 hour awake times, I’d go with that for 3-5 days consistently and see if it extends his naps.

      Short naps call for shorter awake times.

      That’s great that he settles himself to sleep! Keep encouraging that. Also, from now on put the pacifier in his hand for him to practice replacing on his own (while he’s awake and during sleep.) You want him to be able to eventually grab the pacifier in his cot and replace it by himself. Most babies can do this around 7 months. (You can add extra pacifiers around his cot so he doesn’t struggle to find one.)

      The blackout blinds should definitely help him nap better AND sleep later in the morning (especially with DST ending just around the corner.)

      Keep up with feeding him every 3 hours during the day so he isn’t hungry during the night. Babies go through phases and growth spurts which can make them temporarily hungry more during the night.

      I think you have a great plan and are doing all the right things Kataya. I hope these tips help! Let us know how it worked!

      All the best,

  22. Rachel Hurry

    Hi Jilly!

    Rachel from South Africa here!
    My little girl is 8 weeks and has always been a pretty bad sleeper during the day.
    She is formula fed and goes about 3 – 3,5 hours between feeds during the day with one 5-6 hour stretch at night and then feeds every 3 hours again. Sometimes she’ll drop a feed at night and sleep another 5 hour stretch – no real pattern yet.

    During the day she will only sleep longer than 30 mins at a time if I wear her in a wrap – she sleeps like a log! I wear her for both her morning nap and lunch time nap because otherwise she doesn’t rest. She will go down easily into her cot drowsy but awake, and fall asleep in minutes. But always wakes up crying and upset about 30 mins later. This happens regardless of altering her awake times (she can manage about an hour to hour and a half most days).

    She is also a very gassy baby, and wriggles and fusses a lot, despite burping her frequently.

    Do you have any recommendations on improving her day sleep? Her nights are hell if she doesn’t rest during the day.

    Thanks so much from a desperate mama!

    • Angel

      Hi Jilly,

      My newborn is 11weeks old and he have trouble taking naps. Bedtime was good as he is able to sleep from 6.30pm – 6am with 1 to 0 night feed.

      However in the day I watch his wake time not more than 1 hour and 30mins (including putting him down to crib) but most of the time he will not sleep longer than 30mins and would fuss till his next feeding time.
      Turns out he didn’t nap more than 3hours in the day. So I had to move his bedtime earlier and he was able to catch up.

      I’m not sure what can I do to help him nap in the day as he always gets overtired and fuss.

      • Leena

        Hi Angel! Thank you for your message and congratulations on your LO!
        It is completely normal for your baby’s sleep to be all over the place at this stage. When naps are all over the place, we recommend following the awake times closely as possible. The morning gap can be shorter and slowly extend it towards the end of the day, maybe this tactic could work? The recommended awake time for this age is 1-2h. I’ll link three guides for you that I think could be of help. Let us know how it goes! Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook since Jilly has live calls every tuesday. Like the page to get a notification and you can ask her all your questions directly. We love this call, it’s very popular!

        Here are the guides for you:

        Start here, good luck! / Leena, BSMS Support Team

  23. Emily Presley

    Hi Jilly!
    First time mom to 4 1/2 month old girl. Started babywise “schedule” around 4 weeks, with success of her sleeping through the night pretty consistently starting around 7/8 weeks. However, she is CONSISTENTLY a 35 min napper, on the dot, never any longer. I’m pretty sure we just made it through the 4 month sleep regression finally this week (Hallelujah!) but her naps have stayed the same. Even at daycare, home, in the car, etc.
    I don’t hold her to sleep, haven’t for a while, she is in a halo sleep sack when at home, in crib, room darkened, sound machine on, etc.
    Is this just “the way she is” or do you think there’s anything I can do to help stretch the naps? She takes about 4 of these 35 min naps during the day and sleeps about 10-11 hours at night.

  24. Erin Peterson

    My 17 month old transitioned to 1 nap around 15 months. She’s never been a good napper even though her night sleep has been good and a consistent 11-12 hours per night. Her morning nap was always her better nap ranging from 40 min to 90 min. Her afternoon nap has almost always been 40 min, and she usually wakes up crying. When I first transitioned to 1 afternoon nap, she’d sleep from 75 min to 2 hours. It was great! For the last 3 weeks, she has reverted back to the dreaded 30-50 minute nap. I leave her in her bed at least an hour, and she always goes to bed awake. Any suggestions for breaking this short nap! I know she needs more sleep! Thanks!!!

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Erin,
      Sorry to hear about your nap struggles!
      It could be the 18 month sleep regression approaching, which disturbs sleep for 1-2 weeks. It’s completely normal and it’s a sign that your toddler is developing as she should!
      The BEST thing you can do is keep a consistent nap time (5 hours after morning wake up) and make sure she falls asleep on her own AND is in her darkened bedroom for 1 hour. You’re doing it all! GREAT work!
      Move bedtime earlier on crappy nap days, otherwise she’ll become chronically over-tired and a vicious cycle will ensue.
      Also make sure she gets outside in the morning to burn off energy and no screen time 1 hour before sleep.
      If there’s any chance she could be hungry, give her a snack or lunch about 45 mins before nap time.
      I’m running a special on my naps program this week- email me if you’re interested
      Good luck Mama!!

  25. Laina Dilling

    I currently rock my 2.5 month old to sleep for naps but nurse him to sleep for bed. How do I break these habits in order for him to nap in his crib without me rocking him? I feel like he already knows the routine and is fairly dependent on the rocking at naps and nursing at bed.

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Hi Laina.
      Assisting your baby to fall asleep in the first months is natural, normal & often necessary.
      By about 4 months, we want to wean off giving lots of hands-on support so that your baby can learn to fall asleep on his own. This leads to longer sleep stretches both day and night.
      Since he’s young, you can try rocking him fewer minutes each day and putting him down in his crib not yet asleep.
      Once you place him in his crib, rock his body gently side to side, pat his bottom or rub his head to help him relax enough to fall asleep in the bed.
      You’ll do this everyday to get him more used to falling asleep in his bed. Less rocking, more time in bed falling asleep.
      After a week or so, you’ll just be rocking him to get him drowsy, then placing him in his bed still slightly awake to fall asleep there.
      Here’s a video I made that explains the “drowsy, but awake” concept for young babies:
      I hope this helps!

  26. Jillian Johnson

    Great tips! I personally found that turning on a fan in the room (for the noise) makes a world of difference.

    • Jilly Blankenship

      Thanks Jillian!
      Yes, a fan works great for adding some ambient noise (and has been associated with a reduced risk of SIDS in young infants.)

      • Cassy

        Hello! So my son has just turned 7 months old and he was a premie if that matters. I’m actually worried he is napping to often. He only manages to stay awake for and hour to an hour and a half before he is ready for another nap. He only naps 30 mins or so and then pops back awake. He does this all day long every single day and at any given time (even if he has only been awake 10 mins) if I nurse him or put him in the car, he goes right back to sleep. I nurse him to sleep at night and we are co sleepers in my home. (I have two daughters as well) He goes to bed with my husband and I at 10:30 every night and he does okay but he still wants to eat every two hours all night long and he will comfort nurse for 30 mins or sometimes longer after he eats before he lets go. I’m exhausted but he just won’t sleep without me. He becomes inconsolable and angry. He is extremely attached to me and if he can’t see me, he calls for me until I come back. I’ve never had a baby that acts this way before and I just don’t know how to handle him. I’m worried that he won’t ever be able to sleep in his crib and I’m also worried he’s too sleepy and something may be wrong with him. Can you please help me have a bit of clarity? Thank you

        • Alyssa Taft

          Hello Cassy,

          Thank you so much for your message. It is exhausting when our LO’s aren’t sleeping. What is your LO’s adjusted age? We took take that into consideration when thinking about sleep and sleep expectations!

          Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  27. Daniel Fisher

    This is really helpful as once you get the nap routine in place and being effective its a springboard to get sleep training working for your family


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