Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Nicole Clancy says

    Hi there,

    I wanted to ask about a slightly different technique than wake-to-sleep. When my daughter was young she’d wake at the 45min mark of every nap. I used a dummy at this stage and would replace the dummy and pat/shhh her back to sleep. This initially would take up to 40mins but did get quicker but only a handful of times did she make it through a sleep cycle on her own. When she was 4 months we did sleep training and got rid of the dummy after help from this site. She straight away started to sleep longer naps 1.5 to 2 hours at a time!
    My question is now I have a new bubba 6 weeks old who is also starting to catnap. He’s less interested in the dummy than his sister was but sometimes does like to suck it to sleep. So (when I’m free of the toddler) I have been trying to get him back to sleep after waking at 45mins. But is it worth it?? Do you think my first child learnt to have longer naps by resettling or would she had started longer naps after sleep training anyway? If I do get the baby up at 45mins how do you keep them happy? He’s not ready for a feed and is just grumpy unless he has longer sleep!
    Sorry lots of question! Just trying to work out if it’s worth doing what we did first time round, as naturally it’s much harder to dedicate the time to settling/resettling when there’s a toddler around!

    Many thanks, Nicole 🙂

  2. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Maddie — this is a great question, and I think I can safely say that your’e not alone here. In my experience (and in the experience of some other moms, I think), getting a baby to sleep well at naptime is harder than getting a baby to sleep well at bedtime.

    In terms of how to nap train, you may want to check out our free napping guide ( our our Mastering Naps and Schedules e-book ( Both offer great, practical tips to helping your baby nap well, and Mastering Naps and Schedules contains many sample schedules you can use to tailor your daughter’s nap plan.

    Hope these resources help, Maddie! And best of luck to you and your daughter 🙂

  3. Maddie says

    Hi, I’m not sure where to post this question about nap training. I have found that there is very little information about nap training out there. We have done CIO for night sleep with success (7-month old daughter). We started nap training after 9 nights of night training (we were down to no crying before bedtime and that has been the case ever since) and nap training has been ongoing for 7 days. It has been much more erratic than night training with some naps involving no crying and others still taking a long time before my daughter goes to sleep. Sleep site folks – can you provide some words of wisdom and encouragement? How long does nap training typically take? By the 9th night of night training, we were already down to no crying before bedtime. Does that ever happen for naps?

    Your website has been such a wonderful source of information and strength and I would love to hear from you guys.

  4. Emily DeJeu says

    @ [email protected] — I think your comment translates into “Interesting case, thank you very much for your article!” If I’m right, then you’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Les — glad to hear your baby’s usually a good napper! Consider yourself blessed 😉 In terms of cuddling him longer during the times when he’s having a hard time falling asleep, I don’t think that’s necessarily “bad.” Cuddling is a beautiful part of being a parent, after all! Just exercise some caution and make sure he doesn’t get into the habit of needing you to cuddle him to sleep for every nap. Sleep associations like that can kind of snowball and become problems. You can read more about sleep associations here:

  6. Les @ LPN Salary says

    Okay, this is the part where I say I am happy to have a baby that sleeps for 2 to 3 hours. Lately, he’s been down to an hour but it’s his growth spurt, so yeah.

    The method seems difficult because it really is hard putting a baby to sleep, especially the fussy ones. What I know is if that the little one can’t sleep at times, I’m fine cuddling him longer than usual. Is that bad?

  7. Emily DeJeu says

    @ JD — I think you’re right about this working for some but not for everyone. I’ve personally never tried this method with any of my kids, and to me, it seems risky (because, as you mentioned, if you don’t hit the timing of the sleep cycle just right, you end up waking your baby from a sound sleep — bad, bad, bad!) But of course, what doesn’t work at all for some can end up working miracles for others. 😉
    Thanks for sharing your insights, JD!

  8. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Lacey — thanks for sharing your experience! I know your story is going to be encouraging to other moms who see this comment. Sounds like you educated yourself about good baby sleep habits and then did the hard work of implementing them with your son. And from what I can tell, it sounds like all your hard work is paying off! So glad to hear that your little guy is sleeping well 🙂

  9. JD says

    I tried this method a few times for naps, but it didn’t work for me. However I know other ppl for whom it did work!

    I think you have to know exactly how long your child’s sleep cycles are so that you aren’t going in too early or too late.

    I only tried it a few times (just very lightly stroking my daughter’s hair so that she stirred in her sleep as the whole point is to not wake them up) and then gave up for exactly the reason you mention Emily. It was so much work to *get* her to sleep, I didn’t want to risk waking her up! Which, I did a few times.

    Some ppl say you need to do it for about a week or 2 for every nap for it to work, and then spend 20 more mins shhing them back into a deep sleep, but my thinking is, if you do anything for 2 weeks with a baby, they are just going to change anyways in that time, regardless of what a parent is doing. 😉
    However, like I said, I only tried it a few times.

    I think a good routine and short wake times are probably a better, less stressfull way to go, especially if short naps are occuring in that darn 4-6 month period (or more like 3-7 months if you have a child like mine!). 😉

  10. Lacey says

    My 6 mth little boy sounds just like Nicole’s! We have been following this sleep site for some time and the only method that has worked for him was/is putting him down before he is overtired, before he shows tired signs, cuddling him til he is calm then putting him in his sleeping bag in his cot with his comforter. We used to swaddled him but no longer need this. He used to cry for up to an hour or more each and every sleep/nap time but after a few months he is now happy to go to sleep and occasionally even naps for 2 cycles in the day. We tried sleep schools and all different settling techniques but as he was such an alert bub, if we were in the room there was no way he would settle to sleep. He didn’t respond to any patting, shooshing etc. I have no concerns about the crying as he is such a happier bit now that he sleeps more! His nights are improving too, I just have to watch that I don’t feed him to sleep too often or he reverts to waking frequently! I just want to thank nicole for sharing her experience and reassuring me that I am doing the best thing for my bub! Thanks so much!!!!