4 Month old short napper(17 Posts)
I have posted about my 'different' DD before. Things have got a lot easier and she now naps in her cot (due to PU/PD method) and usually wakes 3 times in the night (compared to the 10-15 times we had before). At this age, she should be having 3 naps per day but the problem is she only naps for 30-40 minutes each time. This means that within an hour of waking, she is tired again and is often yawning 20 minutes after she's woken up. I try to push her to being awake for 1hr15-1hr 30 because otherwise she would end up having 5 naps a day! She is currently having 4 naps and gets more tired as the day goes on.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Some people have told me that their naps naturally lengthen - is this true? The reason I'm so bothered is that we usually only get about 30 mins of 'happy' awake time, the rest of the time she in whining because she's tired! I have only been doing PU/PD for 5 days (but it worked straight away). I know some people will say that I shouldn't be sleep training her but this method involves far less crying than anything else we've ever done, even if i hold and bounce her she still wails!
I know that when she's a few months older, she will be able to stay awake longer anyway but I am a complete slave to her naps at the moment!!
Does anyone have any experience with this?
I would say most parents have. What you are describing is typical, normal 4 month old sleeping patterns.
She's tired after 1h awake time because that is, well, normal. She is having 30-40 min naps because that, again, is normal. An average daily pattern to awake time / sleep time at this age would be 40-80 mins awake, 30-45 mins asleep, 40-80 mins awake, 30-45 mins asleep, 40-80 mins awake, 30-45 mins asleep... and so on.
It sounds to me like your baby is over tired and the cause of the screaming and wailing is that she's not getting nearly enough sleep. That was probably what was causing the excessively disturbed nights too.
Good sleep promotes better sleep.
Poor sleep leads to unsettled sleep, waking when still tired and difficulty in getting to sleep.
The answer to all of these is more sleep, more frequently, less awake time between one nap and the next.
Your baby is very special to you and is unique. But she isn't "different".
Thank you. This isn't the reason I have described her as 'different', but I won't go into all of that!
So, is it reasonable for her to be having 6 naps a day then? Everyone else I know with babies of a similar age tell me that their babies have 3 naps per day that are significantly longer than my DDs.
Yes, that's normal.
It's totally and completely usual, normal and what pretty much all babies do. You don't really count naps at this age, so it's hard to say what is a normal number of naps. It's not at all about how many naps, it is about time awake between naps.
A lot will change in the coming months, including sleep. Its not a linear progression.
I know this has been mentioned on both your other two threads - try to stop comparing your baby to others. You are doing great
4 months is right slap bang in the middle of a sleep regression. Seriously, it often goes to crap at 4 months. Give it a month or so and she might start napping for longer. I did try to encourage my lo to sleep for longer by catching them at the 40 minute mark (end of one sleep cycle) and patting back to sleep, but I have absolutely no idea whether it made the blindest bit of difference or if they just naturally started sleeping longer naturally. Honestly, naps change all the bloody time in the first year- there is no 'normal' at that age.
Thank you for your honesty! I'll put her down more frequently from now on. I've been put off as every nap is a battle and I don't enjoy it!
Sounds totally normal
My Dd was having 4 naps of about 30-35 mins per day at that age. Seemed like my whole day revolved around her sleep cues and nap times!!
She will gradually take fewer, longer naps
My 4 year old didn't sleep for more than 10-20 mins at a time at that age unless he was on me. His naps did naturally increase and he began having them in his buggy, then cot, then bed. By the time he was 2.5-3 he would nap for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. Bliss. Hopefully you'll get there too!
we usually only get about 30 mins of 'happy' awake time
As soon as happy/awake time stops - its nap time. Even now with my youngest (DC4 is 22 months old) I wont tolerate any whinging/crying at all, ever. If she's whinging, she's tired, so she goes to sleep. Regardless of the time and if she is "supposed" to be sleeping then or not.
That way, I only ever get the best bits with my child. She is always happy when up because grumpy=tired=sleep time.
every nap is a battle and I don't enjoy it
I wouldn't enjoy listening to my child upset with PUPD either. Not sure I would bother with the battle to sleep in the cot at the time when naps are short and frequent. You must spend most of your day in the bedroom! I always saved cot daytime naps for when naps naturally lengthen, closer to the 6+ months mark. Until then, bouncy chair in front of the TV with a cup of tea in my hand was my favoured method. Definitely less stressful!
It's a battle regardless of how I get her to sleep. In fact PUPD is less of a battle than when I was doing things in a more 'gentle' way. There is literally no way she will sleep without crying regardless of the method.
She sounds chronically over tired. It may be that with more sleep she is less tearful, cries less, sleeps easier. Cot naps when so young are notoriously difficult though, even for the "easy" or "good" sleepers, so good luck.
In my experience it is worth persevering with cot naps, because by the time they are a year or so they will be sleeping for a couple of hours, and if they are in their cot you can get on with stuff
sleep too. That said, have you tried a sling? For short naps you'd at least be able to do some of them on the move, and I found slings to have magic sleepy dust that meant no shouting to sleep.
Yes, my little girl was exactly the same! She's almost 7 months now and will have the odd longer nap. I always notice though that after 30 minutes she nearly always stirs, sometimes waking up but sometimes able to fall back over to sleep. It is definitely improving with time though.
My dd2 was the same. It stressed me out for a bit as dd1 never did short naps- always did epic naps from the start.
Just let her have 5 or 6 naps. It will get better- dd2 started sleeping for longer stretches at about 6 months. She's now 10 months and normally has 2 2 hour naps a day.
Sounds very similar to my DD Penny! Now 5.5 months and still short naps. Occasionally I can coax her into a longer nap or she surprises me and suddenly sleeps for two hours, I guess she know when she needs it!! It was really stressing me out too as like you every nap was a battle regardless of how I got her to sleep, she didn't/doesn't want to sleep on me, she just doesn't want to sleep full stop! ;) the difference with mine I guess is that she doesn't really get whingey. I agree with fate that if she does get whingey I try to put her for a nap straight away. Ironically the cot is where she naps best as I think she gets kept awake by stimulation anywhere else! She does nap in the sling too but I hurt my back with too many sling naps her night sleep went to shit too around 3 months and has only recently got back on track and she now generally only wakes once or twice (although most days starts the mornings a little earlier than I'd like! ;) ). Now we do 3 naps, regardless of whether she does more than 40 mins or not. If she really struggles then I'll stick another one in but we were struggling to the point t of the last nap merging with bedtime as she just wouldn't settle for it, so there didn't seem much point spending literally all of my day trying to get her to sleep!! So she probably only gets 2-2.5 hours naps in a day which I know is supposed to be less than I need, but she's thriving and sleeping okay at night so I'm not going to stress about it!!!
Totally get you about the PUPD thing, I try to leave her to self settle most of the time popping in to comfort/reassure her every few mins. Sometimes it doesn't work and I cuddle her to sleep but after all the shouting she will actually let me! Like you she would scream and scream in my ear if I bounced/rocked her which was horrid for both of us!! I dream of a baby who would let me rock her to sleep with a cup of tea
Anyway I'm going on! Here's hoping both our babies develop longer naps some time soon!!x
Mine didn't nap for longer than an hour I think until she was down to one afternoon nap.
I hadnt (luckily) got any sense of all these "ought to sleep x" so baby just slept in the sling as I was walking, in the car, or often feeding on me while I curled up and watched a box set. I miss that so much, that's one of favourite memories!
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