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It depends on why your baby's naps are being cut short. If she's waking up after she's had the rest she needs — even if it's before you're ready for her to be up — there's not much you can do. But if your baby's waking up for another reason, you can take the following steps to help encourage her to get more daytime rest:
Know your baby's sleep patterns. If you put your baby down before she's ready, she may just catnap. If you put her down too late, she may not sleep well because she's overtired.
Every baby has her own sleep schedule. Some take two long naps a day of an hour or more. Others take three shorter naps of, say, 45 minutes each. Both patterns are completely normal. Use trial and error to figure out when your baby's ideal nap times are, then try to stick to them.
Rethink your nap-time routine. Some babies who wake up early from a nap will go back to sleep with a little encouragement, such as a loving pat. But if your baby's waking up cranky and staying awake, the problem might be that she doesn't know how to fall back asleep on her own.
Think about how she's going down for her nap. Do you rock her, nurse her, or let her nod off in your arms? Helping her find ways to soothe herself to sleep as part of your nap-time routine may solve the problem.
Make sure your baby's napping place is quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable. If she's sleeping in a swing in the living room rather than in her bedroom with the shades drawn, it's likely that her nap won't last as long. In general, babies nap best in the same place where they sleep at night.
Consider dropping a nap. True, moving from two naps to one means your baby's sleeping less overall during the day, but the remaining nap is likely to be longer. If your baby's waking up early from her morning or afternoon snooze, that may be a clue she's ready to switch to a single nap. Most children make the transition between 12 and 18 months, but younger babies are sometimes ready to make it, too.
The same idea applies if your baby's napping three times a day. Babies are typically ready to drop down to two naps between 3 and 6 months old. Although your baby will be sleeping slightly less overall once she makes this transition, her remaining naps will likely be longer.