Light: Light stimulates a baby’s eyes to tell them it’s time to wake up. Try using blackout blinds on the windows and roll up a towel or blanket and place it outside the foot of your baby’s door to block out any light streaming in. Make sure no visible lights are coming from your electrical appliances, such as your baby monitor, and use Blu-Tack (Prestick for my South African friends) to cover any lights which could disturb your little ones sleep.
Noise: Use white noise to block out and counterbalance your everyday household noise and outside noise, which may be waking baby. Just like us, a little one’s sleep can be disturbed by surrounding noise. You baby has a better chance of sleeping deeper and for longer when you create a perfect sleep environment for him in which he can fully relax.
Timing: As babies get older they are naturally able to stay awake longer. Make sure you adjust your timings to suit your little one so that you are not putting her down too early, understandably making nap time a struggle. Be aware too that you don’t let baby get so tired that she reaches the overtired mark, making it so much harder for her to fall asleep.
Stay present and tuned in to figure out what your baby’s perfect awake time is, before needing to go back to sleep.
Pain/illness: Treat accordingly and help your little one feel as comfortable as possible.
Developmental: If you come across a patch where sleep seems hard where it previously wasn’t, know that your little one is probably going through a developmental leap or experiencing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can be especially hard for your little one at around the eight-month mark; this phase is typically known as 8-9 month separation anxiety. It usually lasts for about four – six weeks but can go on for longer. During times like these, know it will pass, hang in there, give your baby the love and reassurance they need and make sure you factor in self-care for yourself, as times like these can be particularly demanding.
Temperature: Make sure to dress your baby appropriately for the temperature of his room and to use the correct tog sleeping bag. A baby who is too hot or too cold, will understandably not sleep very well.
Dress baby in 100% pure cotton and make sure baby is dressed comfortably for sleep and not the stylish jeans he wore to his play date or park.
Overstimulation: Life is super exciting for little one’s, and they need a chance to be able to transition from awake to sleep. You can’t just expect them to go down for their nap without any pre-warning.
Establish a naptime routine. Take a few mins to help signal to your little one that his nap is about to happen. Just like you have a bedtime routine, which helps to show baby what’s coming next (sleep), a naptime routine does the same. It helps take baby down a notch, help him calm and relax before sleep and will help him transition from awake to sleep more quickly.