12 week old and naps

(5 Posts)
PopcornFiend Thu 04-Feb-16 19:51:26

A few weeks ago we had a brilliant week where DD had got herself into a routine of 3 daytime naps - 1 hr in morning, 2-3 hrs at lunchtime, and 1 hr in afternoon.

Lately though she has started waking at end of her sleep cycle, 40-45 mins like clockwork. She naps either in pram, bouncy chair, or cot upstairs. If we're out and about the movement of the pram sends her to sleep. At home, I'll usually put her into pram in the hallway, or cot upstairs, in her sleeping bag and with dummy, and she will fall asleep by herself with no movement needed.

Wherever she is, 40-45 mins into the nap and PING she opens her eyes and is instantly wide awake. I have tried rocking pram back to sleep, bouncing in bouncy chair, putting in the swing, shush pat, leaving for 5 mins to see if settles by herself. Have also tried to anticipate her waking and resettle before she actually wakes. But nothing works, she simply won't sleep longer!

So we've gone from 3 naps totalling 4-5hrs, to 4 naps totalling max 3 hrs. I'm sure this isn't enough daytime sleep?

However.. Her nighttime sleep is pretty good. Asleep at 7ish, dream feed 10.30/11, then one night feed 4/5am.

So I guess my question is, am I worrying needlessly? Are these short naps seemingly all DD needs? Or should I be tying to reinstate naps of 1hr plus, and if so, how?? As all my efforts so far have been fruitless.

FATEdestiny Thu 04-Feb-16 21:03:02

In the first 3 or 4 months of live, sleep is passive. Baby will only wake up if a need isn't met (ie food, nappy) and as long as all needs are met, baby will be asleep. This time is often called the fourth trimester - it mirrors how things were in-utero when baby basically slept all of the time. In this passive state, sleep does not need to be thought about, it is not something that is actively done.

Once the first 3 or 4 months pass, sleep matures and starts to develop the physiology of sleep we are more used to, in sleep cycles. These didn't exist previously. Now sleep is active (no longer passive). It is now that you and baby have to start actively working to get baby to fall asleep and also actively keep baby asleep between sleep cycles. Sleep is no longer passive, so the hard work begins.

This age, as you have found, is when shorter 30-45 minute naps become normal. Baby's sleep will mature again around 5-7 months old when baby can start to learn to link one sleep cycle into the next. Until then, daytime naps are usually short. The key is to keep then very frequent. So at this age I would expect around 50-70 minutes awake between one nap and the next, raising to about 60-80 minutes awake between naps at 4 months. As long as daytime naps are frequent, you should avoid over-tiredness.

PopcornFiend Thu 04-Feb-16 21:23:58

Thanks FATE, is reassuring to know this is normal. I will try putting her down to sleep a bit sooner as currently she is awake for 1.5-2hrs between naps, so will try and encourage a bit more 'little and often'.
Thanks for replying.

24hourM0MMY Thu 04-Feb-16 23:00:05

I have an almost identical scenario. 35 mins nap tops. And night sleep is exactly as you describe OP. DD is also 12 weeks.

My days are spent either frantically doing things in the 35 mins she's asleep, or entertaining her. I am very tired.

PopcornFiend Fri 05-Feb-16 08:30:06

24hourmommy - I know, it's so tiring! It feels v selfish but I really miss when she did a 2-3 hr midday nap as it just gave me that bit of me time, not having to wolf down a meal for once.

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