Ready to Sleep Better?
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together.
welcome back to the kids sleep show. Courtney Zentz here, founder of tiny transitions, and I am so pleased that you’re joining us today. In this episode, we are actually talking a little bit more about why your baby may be waking up from naps crying. So naps I will say as a sleep professional are probably the hardest part of my job contrary to what many people think. And it is really because naps are so finicky, especially the whole first year, when your little ones awake windows seemingly change every single week. So if your little one is waking up from their naps, upset, crying, fussing, or frankly, if they’re waking up in the morning crying, versus calmly waking up and sort of just chilling out in their crib or bassinet, it typically means that they are overtired, or that the nap wasn’t restorative enough for them to feel refreshed, right make sense, they’re kind of pissed off, that they didn’t sleep really well. And I can certainly understand how that’s frustrating because they’re tired, right? To them, they obviously don’t know they’re still tired, they’re just sort of frustrated at not really feeling their best. So what I want to do today is talk to you a little bit about the timing, because that’s going to be the biggest thing that you can shift or adjust to ensure that your timing is set up, so that your little one has nap success. They take a nice long nap, and they wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated without those tears.
so for the first four months of life, naps are hard, right? Because children are only sleeping in REM sleep or non REM sleep. And they’re doing both about 50% of the time. It’s the only time in our life that as a newborn, you kind of sleep in these particular stages, either deep sleeper light sleep, and then around four months, your day starts to take a little bit more of a bit of structure to it right? You know, you’ve got four or five naps happening in a day, they’re kind of happening at consistent times. But the durations may be all over the place still, right? Somewhere around four months is when babies start to consolidate naps, they start to be able to settle a bit easier independently. And developmentally, they’re now sleeping in the same similar cycles that they’re going to keep with them through their adult life. Okay, so if your little one is waking upset, the first thing I want you to do is to look at the timing of their day. Now, out in my website, tiny transitions.com. At the top, there’s a banner, like many websites, and the second banner in is right now a sleep generator, right. So it’s a sample schedule generator, that’ll help you to figure out what your little ones ideal day should be. You can also go to tiny transitions.com forward slash tools, and all of my downloads are there. And then schedule generator is out there as well. So that is going to be your first step is making sure you’re mapping out the right awake windows. If your little one is not mapped at the right awake windows, they could be going to bed for their nap or frankly bedtime, overtired or under tired so their sleep pressure isn’t set up properly. Meaning that they’re not set up for success for that nap. If a child’s under tired, they’re going to take a 20 minute nap and be like, Okay, I’m cool. And then they kind of go up and go about their day, when in theory, they really needed to sleep more, but they weren’t quite ready enough to go down. Okay? The same results happen if you go to bed overtired and you have too much sleep pressure, the result of too much sleep pressure basically triggers adrenaline and cortisol, which are stimulant hormones. And so, you know, a great example is like try to sleep after you slam a cup of coffee most people can’t write. That’s kind of the same thing that happens to your little one. So if you’re overtired, and then you put them down for the nap, and then they wake after 20 minutes. They’ve basically been flooded with hormones, it’s not restorative and they’re waking up upset. That’s kind of where those short naps come in when your timings off. The awake windows are probably the single most important thing that frankly, no other sleep consultant talks about from an important standpoint. But it is the single most important thing that you’ll want to pay attention to, for the whole first year of your child’s life. Those sleep windows are going to change drastically as your little one ages and out on that tiny transition. dot com forward slash tools site. There’s also the age and sleep need breakout that whole first year, frankly, all the way through like adulthood, so that you can understand how to properly set up your day. You know, between six and seven months, most kids are going to move to two naps a day. If your little one is still taking three naps a day and they’re eight months old, it’s likely that your timing is screwed up. So the naps are screwed up. So they’re short and they’re all over the place, it’s time for you to make that transition and move down to two naps a day. Again, somewhere between kind of 12 and 14 months, I would say in my professional opinion is when children are ready to move to one nap a day doesn’t mean they have to no doesn’t mean their body’s gonna start to tell them to
Yes, because what will start to happen is it’s going to start rejecting essentially the second nap of the day, that’s going to be your cue as a parent to say, Okay, we’ve got to adjust some things around timing, because something’s not working. I deal with a lot of parents and also get a lot of requests through my various social media channels that talk about babies not being able to make the ideal awake window, right, and, you know, baby’s four months old, and they’re falling asleep every hour, that’s too short, I can tell you that’s too short, your naps are going to suffer. And so sometimes as nicely as I can say this is make sure they’re not bored, right kids do not have long attention spans at this age, they may do 10 minutes of tummy time, six minutes of sitting in your lap, two minutes of staring at your face, and then be ready to move on to the next activity. Right. And if kids are bored, sometimes they’re going to fall asleep, right? Like if your little one lays down for tummy time, at an hour and a half. And their ideal awake windows like an hour and 45 minutes to probably going to fall asleep on the mat, right? Because they were tired, it was cozy, they did a couple minutes of tummy time and then they passed out right? Not surprising. So when your little ones are waking upset, it’s usually that timing that you want to kind of tweak and adjust to ensure you get the longevity in the nap. So it’s restorative, but also, so that they’re waking up feeling really good. The same thing is actually true for your little ones in the morning. So if your little one is waking up in the morning, regardless of age, and they’re unhappy, crying, you know, frustrated, upset, it is likely that they are still tired. So check your bedtime. Frankly, a child under the age of five years old, in my opinion, should go to bed somewhere between seven and eight o’clock at night, every single night. Okay. And even for children that are over five years old, eight o’clock is still where I target. And then you know, they’re going to wake naturally somewhere typically around seven to eight o’clock the next morning. Okay, when you try to adjust these things, and you’re trying to figure out what schedule is going to work for your family, it is not a one size fits all solution. Okay. I had a client of a five year old that still took naps. He wasn’t in kindergarten yet. So he still took naps. But the family liked that he was a better human when he took naps. And as a result, he woke up though at 545 every day, well, the parents didn’t care because they were up early anyway, they go to bed at nine o’clock, they were up at five. So they you know didn’t have a problem with him getting up at 545. Because frankly, they’d prefer him to have the naps. There’s other parents that would say No way, right? We’re not doing that. And if that’s the case, then there’s no nap, right? You have to cut the nap out. And that can be true for children, somewhere between three and five years of age, their sleep needs are going to change. So you have to go with understanding what your child’s body is telling them, right? Some people prefer a later bedtime. And they prefer their kids to go down a little later because they maybe want their kids to sleep in a bit more. Now, I’ll tell you there’s some balance with that, because some of this is frankly, biology. And some of it we can’t manipulate. Right? The sun and natural daylight is what regulates our body clocks. So if you know a parent says, boy, I’d really love my kid to do 10 to 10. It’s like okay, well, probably not. But that sounds great if we were in college. So you know, in many cases, unless you are extremely strict about pitch dark, and excessive exposure to light at 10am. When you open the windows, your force regulating their clocks, right, you can do it. It’s just something that I find it’s kind of the the minimum or or the lesser of the options, right? Most parents kind of want their little ones going down somewhere between seven and eight, and then waking somewhere between kind of seven and eight in the morning. And that’s kind of your traditional 12 hours of day, 12 hours of night schedule.
You have flexibility. That’s the beauty of a baby and understanding what their needs are. If you’re meeting their total sleep needs, how you structure the day can work for however it works for your family, right. I had a client in New York who worked in retail till 11 o’clock at night, but her baby was with the mom in New Jersey. And so she’s like, Well, what do I do? I’m like, put her down for bed at your mom’s. And then when you get there around 1030 11 o’clock, you pick her up, you take her right into the car seat, you keep her sleeping, you transition back to your house and we transition her to the crib. And sure enough, after about a week or two of this routine every night, the baby got the hang of it, she’d go to bed at mom’s and you know, or grandma’s and wake up at mom’s right. And it was just kind of one of those things where it worked for her family. And you know, whether you call it bedtime or a late nap at Grandma’s, it doesn’t matter. As long as they’re getting the right amount of sleep, they’re going to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. But again, if you’re finding that your little one is struggling with waking up unhappy, they’re generally still tired so you either need to add some more sleep in there, look at your windows, join me out in my Facebook community slumber Made Simple or you could just search tiny transitions comm forward slash community and it’ll drive you out there I do a live q&a every Thursday. I hop on answer any sleep questions you guys have, you know, because I’m always really trying to provide support and service if there’s things that you want specifically for me to talk about in my
you know, send me an email Courtney at tiny transitions comm I do these every week. I love recording podcasts, I think it’s so fun to really help parents in areas where they’re struggling and just don’t really know the right source of record to go to. So I’m always pleased that people choose us and my team to be that source of record. So again, if you’re struggling, let us know we’re here to help. Hopefully this helps you to solve those unhappy wake ups and naps and in the morning and again, check out tiny transitions.com forward slash tools for all of our greatest downloads, you can access everything out there that you need to really build a beautiful sleeper for life. Until next week. Thanks so much Sweet dreams and stay healthy. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.