From around 4 months your baby’s sleep patterns/cycles change and they can start waking fully after every sleep cycle, which is 35 to 45 minutes in the day and 2 hours at night. During the day this is what we call catnapping.
Generally, if your baby is only napping for this long in the day they are not getting enough sleep, they can be cranky and overtired all day long. If they’re waking between sleep cycles at night, this will be every 2 hours and can get very exhausting for both you and your baby.
In order to sleep longer in the day and at night, the ability to self-settle can be important. This simply means your baby is able to be put to bed when they're perfectly ready and drift off to sleep independently, much like we would do.
Contrary to some popular belief, going to sleep is not a developmental process - it's one of the most natural biological processes there is! It's not complicated, in theory, to fall asleep when you're ready to and it is something every baby is capable of, but it does need to be fostered.
Parents can very easily (and unknowingly), in an attempt to get our babies to sleep, end up establishing a sleep crutch - which is something a baby learns to rely on to fall asleep, such as rocking or feeding. If this is something your baby has come to rely on to fall asleep, they are naturally going to expect the same thing replicated when they rouse between sleep cycles in the day and during the night.
If you would like to gradually reduce your assistance in your baby going to sleep, you can certainly start guiding them to this skill and create an environment where you're respecting your child's ability to fall asleep on their own.
To reiterate the tips in the video above, here are some tips to try: