My 6 month old is now sleeping reasonably well through the night, he does wake but self settles. However, his daytime naps have all gone to hell. He has never napped particularly well in his cot (he was a velcro baby and only started sleeping in his cot 2 months ago) but recently he won't nap for more than 30 mins a time.
I generally put him down for a nap 2 hours after he wakes, but he will only nap for 30 mins. I have tried shushing him back to sleep as he stirs but his eyes snap open and he screams. I've tried shushing him when he wakes, but he just screams at me and clutches at my clothes (and heart). I've tried taking him out for walks in his pushchair at naptime, and he does sleep, but for 30 mins.
He never completes a sleep cycle and is knackered. Sometimes he has 4/5 naps a day because he's so tired and yet come 6 when it's dinnertime, he's broken and wailing.
My beautiful sunny baby is permanently exhausted. He doesn't smile like he used to and is just beside himself with tiredness. I can't bear seeing him so upset.
Do you think we should move to 2 naps daily instead?
what time does he wake? You could attempt 2 longer naps and a cat nap in the pushchair late afternoon if he needs it.
First nap 2.5 hours after he wakes (stretch Awake time a little to see if you can get longer naps?) and the next nap 3 hours after that. so a nap at 9.30 and a nap about 1.30 depending on when he woke from the last one. whatever time he wakes from the afternoon nap, no longer than 3.5-4 hours before he is asleep for the night (not getting ready but completely asleep) This may mean a very early bedtime but that is a good thing, the more sleep they can get before midnight the better.
You might find for a while the naps are still short, and you may need a late afternoon catnap but eventually it should work. good luck.
Thanks for your advice. His wakeups are usually around 5, but if we're lucky he can be convinced to sleep on until 7ish. I think moving to 2 naps is the right thing to do, but if we take today as an example, he woke at 7, was exhausted by 830, we stretched him to 9. He slept for 20 mins. He has since had three more naps, one on me in the hope that he would sleep for longer but he starts awake very violently and that's it, nap is over.
It's very frustrating but keep at it, he is obviously not managing to get through his sleep cycles but he will get better if you stay consistent. Are you weaning? If so, give him a little snack or some milk before you want him to sleep to make sure he has a nice full belly and isn't waking due to hunger.
I'm sure you have, but have you tried shhh-patting him back to sleep when he wakes after 20-30mins? As soon as you hear him stir don't let him wake fully and just start shushing and patting. Even if it takes you 20 minutes for another 5-10 minutes sleep it is all worth it as it is persisting with trying to help him get the sleep he needs. It is frustrating and boring, and you will end up feeling like you're inside for days on end trying to get him to sleep but you might find this helps him nap for a bit longer. Let me know how you're getting on
Is his room really dark when you put him down for his afternoon nap?
I think half hr for the am nap is fine, I would then aim to keep him going until after lunch about 12ish, and then have a afternoon nap routine.
Mine was going upstaires and sitting in darkened room, change nappy, left bottom half uncovered and put into baby sleeping bag, put down in cot and make sure room was very dark, maybe put soothing music or cot mobile on.
If my dd woke after half an hour, I would do a version of cc and would leave for 10mins to see of she could settle herself, I would pop in and check she was o.kay, not pooed or anything and then leave for 10mins again.
it didn't take long for her to go back to sleep and once she had done this she regularly had a blissful 2 hour nap every afternoon!!