My baby doesn’t seem to nap for long in the daytime

If your baby shows signs of tiredness in the day but doesn’t nap for long, try these easy steps

How to help your baby get the daytime naps they need

Ways to encourage your little one to get the sleep the need in the in the day to help them sleep soundly at night

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Babies and toddlers need their naps to help them get through the day, but what if your baby or toddler refuses naps or wakes quickly and still seems tired? These tips can help.

Don’t force it

Young babies need to nap when they need to nap, so don’t try and force a nap if they don’t seem ready.  

Watch sleep cues carefully

Don’t get too caught up in insisting “it’s time my baby had a nap”, watch for your baby giving you sleepy cues, like yawning, eye-rubbing, staring off into space, etc. 

Limit on-the-go naps

If it’s possible, discourage your little one from dipping in out of catnaps when you’re out and about, as the nap they have is likely to be less relaxing than sleep that happens in the cot. On the whole, your little one will sleep better at home in their cot.

A snack can encourage a nap

As your baby becomes a toddler, they are growing rapidly and developing quickly which means they burn a lot of calories so hunger can stop them from being able to sleep, so a little snack may help.

No screen time when they are ready for a nap

If your toddler is tired, discourage TV or playing on a tablet or phone screen as it may lead to a too-short nap. End all form of screen time at least 30 minutes before you think your child may need a nap.

White noise 

White noise from the washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer (or a ‘white noise’ phone app) may help your baby drift off to sleep soundly and for longer. Naturally, noises such as dogs barking, phone ringing, traffic will disturb your baby’s sleep, so white noise is a great way to block out these sounds, and help your child sleep deeply.

Encourage “rest time” when naps are done

When your toddler is ready to stop taking naps, you can still encourage quiet time in their day with books and quiet toys in their room as a way of ensuring that they get some rest if not sleep.

My baby doesn’t seem to nap for long in the daytime