“My baby won’t sleep longer than 40 minutes during nap times or during the first half of the night”
If this sounds like you then, the good news is, is there is a very simple explanation and (the even better news is) it can be simply solved!!
What’s going on:
Between 3-6 months your baby’s sleep cycle develops to include some nonREM deep sleep. So they cycle looks something like this:
0-10 minutes - falling asleep
10-20 minutes - light sleep
20-30 minutes - deep sleep
30-45 minutes - coming back up into light sleep
At this 30 - 45 mins point you baby can be very easily disturbed (especially if they are overtired - keep an eye out for my upcoming blog on over-tiredness). So they will either transition into the next sleep cycle on their own or wake up and need support getting back to sleep.
How to help:
You could try going to your baby 5 minutes before they usually wake up and lay a hand on their tummy (perhaps with a gentle jiggle or pat) or you could shhhh or put on some white noise to help them sleep through into the next sleep cycle without them even awakening.
If they do wake as oppose to transition into the next cycle, give them the opportunity to self settle with your presence or offer a comfort through your hand by patting or stroking on their tummy or face. (The sleep sweep baby massage stroke might just do the trick!). Try not to pick them up so they realise it’s still sleep time however ensure you offer the right level of comfort to avoid distress.
Ensure a good sleep environment - make sure it is dark, play white or pink noise, ensure your baby is the right temperature and no distractions.
Stay calm and consistent!