Why is it so hard for my baby to re-settle themselves after one sleep cycle during the day than it is at night?

Why is it so hard for my baby to re-settle

Trust me, if I could have a magic wand and solve this issue for my clients, I would be the world’s most famous sleep consultant! But truthfully, short naps during the day can take time (and a lot of patience!) to fall in place!

Your baby may be able to re-settle themselves throughout the night AND fall asleep independently at the beginning of naps during the day, yet you’re still faced with a nap that lasts only 30-45 minutes.

Why is it so hard?

  • Firstly, to reassure you, it is a completely normal and common occurrence amongst babies. (To learn more about short naps, you can read our short nap blog post HERE)
  • It is so much harder for our babies to fall asleep during the day in the first instance
  • There is far less sleep drive and physiological need to sleep during the day than it is at night
  • Their sleep drive has been reduced after one sleep cycle which makes it difficult to fall BACK to sleep
  • This is a BIG skill that they have to learn over time

So what influencing factors are there to help your little one re-settle after one sleep cycle during the day?

    • Their ability to self-settle: If your child cannot fall asleep independently on their own at the beginning of their naps in the first place, the chances are incredibly high that they will not be able to self-settle on their own for their second sleep cycles. 
    • Awake times: They have the right awake time that is appropriate for their age before their nap so that they are tired enough before their nap and need more than the 45 minutes of one sleep cycle. We have created a free ideal wake chart from newborns right up to 3 year olds that you can download HERE.


  • Sleep environment: The sleep environment can be such a huge contributing factor to little ones not being able to re-settle after one sleep cycle. The room might not be dark enough. Have you done the wave test? If you can see your hand in front of your face, it’s not dark enough! There is not white noise, or it is not loud enough so an external noise could wake up your little one. Their room is too hot or too cold so they are not at a comfortable temperature. The consistency with their sleep environment is to important so however they fall asleep in the first instance, their ability to fall back to sleep will be helped if their sleep environment is exactly the same. 


As frustrating as these short naps may be, remember you are not alone and your little ones are continually developing their skills to be able to achieve longer naps during the day. They will get there! xx


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