When did your baby extend their naps?

(8 Posts)
deathb4decaf Thu 04-Feb-16 11:05:19

DD is 7mo and her naps are so short, sometimes as little as 15 min but usually 25 min. She seems constantly tired, I spend all my time getting her to sleep, or trying to get her into next sleep cycle. (Naps are in the sling or pram.) Night time she sleeps fine in with me but wakes early. I feel like I need to 'help' her but I don't know how. Any advice? Or stories of hope?!

FreeButtonBee Thu 04-Feb-16 11:11:16

Oh god I hope soon! Ds2 is almost six months and the short naps are killing me. I think last time it was around 6 months for mine. Definitely by 9 months we were having a good long lunchtime nap

deathb4decaf Thu 04-Feb-16 11:18:58

The thing I don't get is, sometimes she'll do an hour or more, sometimes two (rare, very rare!) and I think 'yes!' Then we're back to cat naps.... I know sleep begets sleep so if she has long naps does that mean she's more rested?! Haha free I hope so too, if I could say in two months it'll definitely be better i'd be a lot happier!

FATEdestiny Thu 04-Feb-16 11:19:31

My youngest started extending naps around 5 months and it was established by 6 months. I used the bouncy chair to help baby learn to extend naps, then once established and baby was no longer waking after a short sleep cycle, I moved the longer naps upstairs into the cot.

I feel like I need to 'help' her

I think you probably do. I mean, she will eventually learn how to sleep longer but she could learn sooner if you actively teach her.

This is all tied into learning how to go to sleep too, it is the same skill set. Is she going into the pram awake and falling asleep stationary? On a walk? Being rocked back and fourth in the house?.

If it was me I would work on making sure the 'getting to sleep' was the same as the 'getting back to sleep when not slept long enough'. So I would do dummy, into pram, rock back and fourth indoors. Then at the very first sign of stirring awake (this is not noise, it may be a face scrunch for example) I would repeat dummy re-insert and rock back and fourth.

What happens at bedtime? If she can and does go to sleep in the cot at night (as in going into the cot awake and falling asleep in there, with your reassurance) then you can mirror this for naptimes.

Also - is she over-tired? An over-tired baby is much, much, much harder to get to sleep than a just-tired baby. Likewise an over-tired baby will sleep more fretfully, less deeply and so wake more easily than a just-tired baby. So poor sleep becomes self-perpetuating.

With naps of just 30 minutes, I would be looking at no more than 1 hour awake between one nap and the next to avoid over-tiredness.

deathb4decaf Thu 04-Feb-16 11:38:31

Hi fate thankyou so much for the detailed reply. I do think she's over tired. I wish I'd read your advice about dummies and bouncy chairs a few months ago! she took a dummy once but I panicked it was a bad habit and took it away. She treats them as a toy now and has teeth coming through so I think they're out? I'm trying to introduce a comfort object in place of the dummy (a muslin cloth) she's not taken to it yet...

In the pram on a walk she goes to sleep but not indoors. She does cry but will nearly always go to sleep after about 20 mins. She wakes up after 40-50 mins.

I feed her to sleep at night, she falls asleep in my lap. I put her in the cot asleep and she wakes after an hour usually. I feel like I've got it all wrong..

I will try reducing awake time and the pram indoors.

FATEdestiny Thu 04-Feb-16 12:16:16

It's all tied in together. She's used to falling asleep in your arms at night time, in your arms (in a sling) at naptime or outdoor in a moving pram (after crying). None of these are conducive for mirroring what will happen between one sleep cycle and the next, assuming you want her to make this transition independently.

Its normal in babies (and indeed adults) that there will be a brief 'environment check' within the sleep cycle, when sleep lightest. This isn't really a wake-up. In an adult it might just be turning over, shuffling around and going back to sleep.

Its an evolutionary state of making sure you are still safe and secure, that nothing has changed since you were last conscious when you went to sleep. Left over from hunter/gatherer days. A baby is doing the same and by 7 months old could be learning that all is well so they can go back to sleep.

But this environment check does actually work. If baby stirs slightly and her environment has changed, if she feels less secure than when she went to sleep - then it functions exactly as you would expect an environment check to do - she will wake up properly.

This is why how a baby goes to sleep is all linked in with longer sleep.

I'm trying to introduce a comfort object

Mine have been about 9- 12 months old when they 'bonded' with a comforter. If at all. Two of my four children never took to a comforter at all, just a dummy.

FreeButtonBee Fri 05-Feb-16 11:44:51

He's slept for over an hour!!!! We're at 1hr15 now. I have done nothing different. Fed him before his nap and put him down almost asleep, he roused and I patted him back over. He was asleep within 3 mins. I don't know what to do with myself!! Please please please may it continue!! Even once a day would make my life sooo much better!

Natsku Fri 05-Feb-16 11:52:20

When I started sticking her outside to nap. Up until 9 months she napped inside unless I was out walking with the pram when she fell asleep and she would only sleep for 30-45 mins but once I moved to a place with a garden and started leaving her outside for her nap she slept for at least 2 hours every time, usually 3.

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