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3 naps a day at 9 months - too much or still ok?

(10 Posts)
ToffeeAddict Wed 05-Jan-11 10:11:38

Just looking for some reassurance really.

My nearly 9 month old little boy naps 3 times through the day, for about 1 hour per nap on average.

He sleeps for 12 hours through the night (7-7), and usually needs to be woken as it?s time to get ready to leave the house.

He will go down for his first nap two hours after waking, then we put him down for his lunchtime nap once he has been awake for 2 hours, then again for his afternoon nap once he has been awake for 2 hours. When I put him down he might not be showing any obvious signs of tiredness, but he usually settles to sleep fairly quickly and without too much fuss. If he doesn?t settle I just bring him back downstairs but this only happens rarely.

This little routine suits us really well and I feel we are very lucky as I get regular opportunities to catch up on housework, prepare his meals, etc while he naps.

However, in the back of my mind I am beginning to wonder whether I should be trying to reduce his nap time down. I suppose I am worried that I am somehow making him dependent on getting a certain amount of sleep by encouraging him to sleep when he isn?t outwardly tired. On occasion he has missed one of his naps and it hasn?t seemed to bother him, although he will usually sleep for longer during the others to make up for it.

He?s started to spend 2 days a week at my MIL?s since I went back to work, for which I am very grateful, but they are not sticking to the routine we?ve established and are waiting for him to show signs of tiredness before putting him down, which means he is ending up with 2 naps. Before I discuss this with them, I really want to know based on other?s experience whether this is something I would be right to try and insist on or whether their way is more appropriate for his age anyway.

So, is 3 naps a day still ok/desirable at 9 months? TIA

fairimum Wed 05-Jan-11 11:00:26

I wouldnt worry as long as he is still sleeping in the night!

if starts waking at night or not going down well for his naps then what i did was move the 2nd nap of the day to 3 hours after DS woke from his morning nap, so he then slept a little longer than normal (sometimes!) but was still ok to wait til bedtime - actually think bedtime came forward to 6.30 for a few days until he adjusted to less sleep during the day!

my son is now 9 months and we wake him at 7, he naps from 9.30-11 then from 2-3.30 (sometimes a bit longer), bed at 7!

Totally up to you but would say prob best you and MIL are doing the same thing! We have always had set nap times as found slept better at night that way - but whatever works!

Firawla Wed 05-Jan-11 11:01:03

It sounds fine, apparently sleep is good for brain development anyway? I'm thinking mine were having 3 naps til around that age, possibly slightly younger then went to 2, I cant quite remember but it sounds like your ds is fine with it so dont think there is any need to worry. If he has 2 with mil and 3 with you i wouldnt particularly worry about that either, as its okay for him to be flexible? unless he is getting over tired

redgecko Wed 05-Jan-11 11:34:44

TBH, either 2 or 3 naps at this age sounds fine. As fairimum says, main thing is that he is still sleeping through the night (and not getting over-tired during the day).

DS was on 3 naps at 9mo. He dropped them naturally over time, starting with the afternoon nap (around 10 months), then the morning nap (around 14 months). He's now 18mo and has one nap of 2-3 hours from around midday, and still sleeps a solid 12 hours at night. It was fairly obvious when he was ready to drop a nap; he would just giggle and play in his cot rather than go to sleep. Also discovered that he was ready to drop his morning nap by pushing the boundaries a bit (ie taking him out to morning playgroups and seeing that he was fine without the nap).

I have found it useful to have a steady routine with DS, so in your shoes would want MIL to follow roughly the same napping schedule. But if your MIL has already found that 2 naps work fine, and that your DS is not getting over-tired during the day, then maybe this is the right time for both of you to move in that direction.

Orissiah Wed 05-Jan-11 12:01:16

I wouldn't worry either - so long as his night time sleep is good and he's settling well at 7pm.

For much of her first year, my DD napped three times a day: around 45 mins at 9-ish, then 1 hour at 12pm, then 1 hour at 3pm. Then when she turned 10 months she stopped falling asleep at her 12pm nap so naps were at 9am and 1pm then around 13 months she went down to one nap for an hour at 12.30pm with all the other children at her daycare centre. At 24-ish months she dropped all naps.

Throughout all this she still slept 7-7-ish.

Orissiah Wed 05-Jan-11 12:02:34

By the way, she went into daycare at 10 months and her childminders stuck to my own routine to the letter. However, I think they were relieved when my DD conformed to a single lunchtime nap that all the other children were having :-)

ToffeeAddict Wed 05-Jan-11 12:35:52

OK thanks, feel reassured now.

He's at MIL's today, and I reiterated his nap times this morning, so I'll see how the nap situation plays out today and then decide whether to move to 2 naps or stick with 3 for time being. I would like us both to be doing the same thing for consistency's sake.

Luckily MIL is great so will be easy enough to discuss with her.

lukewarmmama Thu 06-Jan-11 09:13:08

They all do their own thing, so I wouldn't worry what other babies do if its working for yours. He'll let you know by not settling to sleep, or getting up earlier in the morning, if he wants to reduce his sleep. Similarly, if he still sleeps OK with 2 naps, and isn't too cranky, then you could just let your MIL do her thing, and you do yours - they adapt quite well to different routines at different places (and it would give him a chance to catch up on sleep with you, if needed).

FWIW both mine had a similar pattern to you, and had three naps until around the 10 month to 1 year mark. Then down to 2 naps until 18 months, now still on 1 long lunchtime nap for both of them at 3.4 and 19 months.

ToffeeAddict Thu 06-Jan-11 12:02:30

Well, he only had 2 naps again yesterday. Bless, I've only just returned to work, so I think they like the novelty of having him there and are reluctant to put him to bed if he's not yawning!

Having said that, he seemed ok, if a little tired when I got home and collected him so I'll probably have one more go at setting out his routine next time they have him (the week after next) and then if they still only manage two naps I'll leave it because frustrating as it is, it's not the end of the world, and they are doing us a massive favour having him really.

Good to read from some of your experiences that they can adapt to different routines at different places.

lukewarmmama Thu 06-Jan-11 13:44:36

I think its possibly a generational thing as well - my MIL was always massively shocked if I fed my babies before they started screaming, or put them to bed before they got really cranky. I think she thought I was trying to deprive her of precious minutes with them by putting them to bed early or something hmm. You would think it would be common sense to try to sort them out before they go into meltdown eh? wink

Glad to hear he sounds fairly settled at your MILs - as you say, the pros of having family able to look after him probably massively outweigh any small changes to his daytime routine. At least he's getting 2 naps there and they're not keeping him up all day playing with him!

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