Napping 90 minutes after waking can get your baby to sleep through the night
By following a nap schedule based on natural sleep cycles, this sleep expert believes the best baby nap schedules can lead to stress-free nights both you and your baby
There is no activity more important to your growing baby than sleep. It helps improve their health, memory, learning ability and emotional development. But it’s not always easy to get them to sleep through the night, right? One method that might help is baby nap schedules that follow natural sleep cycles.
According to sleep expert Polly Moore PhD, these nap schedules might be the key to better nighttime sleep. Using her background in neuroscience (and her mummy wisdom), Dr. Polly Moore has come up with a 90-minute program. This simple method basically follows the basic human rest and activity cycle (BRAC).
Our BRAC is defined as the “biological rhythm of waxing and waning alertness” that usually lasts for about 90 minutes. This is why adults are told to take frequent breaks (five minutes for every 30 minutes) at work to improve productivity throughout the day.
To try out Dr. Moore’s 90 minute technique:
- First note when your baby wakes up.
- After this, simply use the next 90 minutes to feed, change them or play with them.
- Once the 90 minutes are up, soothe them back to sleep.
Allow them to wake up naturally. It doesn’t matter whether they nap for just a while or for a prolonged period. Just wait 90 minutes after they wake up and allow them to take a nap again.
Sure, this sounds tedious, and some would say napping too much during the day will keep a baby up at night. But Dr. Moore believes that a consistent nap schedule during the daytime can lead to more restful nights.
Harvard Medical School agrees. Beyond making bedtime easier, frequent, restful naps can make your baby healthier, and happier. It can set them on the right track when it comes to various aspects of their development, whether emotional or cognitive.
Sarah C. Mednick, Ph.D, who is also the author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, writes in praise of the technique designed by the scientist and mum: “Polly Moore understands the intricacies of infant sleep and is empathetic to the roller-coaster of parenthood.”
One mum whose baby had colic since birth writes how the technique helped her:
“Every night I had to bounce him to sleep and this sometimes lasted for over two hours!” writes the mum, whose baby is now five months old. “He’s now napping longer than he ever has and he’s actually happy when he wakes up!”
Another mum lauded the technique for helping her fussy baby sleep through the night and fall asleep on her own. Even a first-time parent praised the technique for helping her determine that her baby was simply tired and not hungry each time she refused to nap.
But the technique didn’t exactly work for everyone, like one mum whose son napped for an average of 30 minutes:
“It got to be exhausting trying to put him to sleep five to six times a day. I also didn’t notice any improvement in his nighttime sleep,” she writes.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you mums and dads to find out what sleep schedule works for your little one in order to give you more restful nights, too!
If you’re willing to try the 90-minute technique, report back to us how it worked. We’d love to hear from you!