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Almost 5 month old - people are very bossy when it comes to naps

(19 Posts)
NotTheBelleoftheBall Wed 08-Mar-17 13:02:57


DD is nearly 5 months old, her sleep routine is pretty good, usually asleep by 9pm and wakes between 6:30 and 7:30am. Sometimes she throws in a 4am wake-up, but it's infrequent and manageable.

However she still likes (needs?) to nap every 1.5 or 2 hours during the day. If we're at home she naps in her cot, when we're out she sleeps (often longer) in her pushchair. Naps at home are usually 30-45 minutes long.

I'm quite happy with the set up, obv I'd love some longer naps so I can get shit done, but she's generally an easy going baby and I tend to think that 'if it ain't broke...'

My problem is that people (largely those with toddlers) are obsessed with telling me how I need her to cut the number of naps down to three a day (two long ones and an evening catnap).

Is that really necessary? Will she do it on her own, given time? I've tried to keep her awake for longer and it ends in tears and just seems unnecessary.

She isn't due to start nursery until she's 1, so I'd imagine her naps will be fewer and longer by then.

I think if anyone else asked me the same I'd say 'if you're both happy, carry on' but I don't want to look back in a year and wish I'd sleep trained her sooner.

What do you think?

Afreshstartplease Wed 08-Mar-17 13:04:43

My baby is same age and has roughly the same routine! I think it's fine

randomsabreuse Wed 08-Mar-17 13:08:44

If it works don't mess. My DD never napped well but slept and still sleeps at night and self settles unless she's soaking or has pooed. I didn't risk making life worse for the vague possibility of something better...

Hedgeh0g Wed 08-Mar-17 13:21:21

Do they have any practical suggestions about how you could magically make her sleep longer?!

Honestly? Nod and smile, nod and smile. She obviously doesn't have a problem getting through sleep transitions as she does it at night, longer naps from what I've heard are a developmental thing and usually by around 6 months they will naturally be napping longer. Over-tired babies sleep less not longer, so you're doing the right thing capping her wake time.

I read a book when ds1 was little that said that short naps were 'bad' and naps should be at least an hour and a half. I spent god knows how long sat by his cot trying to pat him back to sleep after each short nap. I look back and think shit I really was crazy what a waste of time. It didn't work by the way, and he naturally started sleeping longer at around 5/6 months.

NotTheBelleoftheBall Wed 08-Mar-17 13:35:17

Thanks all, that's what I needed to hear. I was pretty sure that I was right just to carry on doing what mainly works for us but it's good to have that validated.

Hedgeh0g you're right, no one can actually describe how to stretch her catnaps into the famed 1.5 hour jobbies, other than to keep her awake (and grumpy, probably crying) for longer which sounds miserable.

And randsom you're right that it does feel like people are recommending that we change something that works quite well for something that might be much much worse, or only marginally 'better'.

I do dream of a 1.5 hour nap though, that's two loads of washing on the quick setting 🤗

welshmist Wed 08-Mar-17 13:42:15

Ah babies are all different, do what works for you and your baby.

ineedwine99 Wed 08-Mar-17 13:47:49

They should keep their noses out, your baby naps as she needs smile. My baby is 7 months, she wakes c6:30am, has 2 30 min naps AM, around 1pm she then has 60-90 mins, last nap is c4:30 for 30 mins, bed at 7pm

Oysterbabe Wed 08-Mar-17 20:15:42

I've never tried to make mine nap at particular times or frequencies, just when she needs to. She has gradually dropped naps and slept longer on her own.

loztredders Thu 09-Mar-17 11:04:27

From the mother of a toddler....Ignore them!!

There's no magic number of naps or time that baby should be sleeping in my opinion. If you and baby are happy on your schedule then keep it. All babies have different sleep requirements so it's ridiculous to say you should be doing this or that.

I had a chronic 30 minute cat napper until she was about 1 which wasn't ideal but just had to go with it
She's now 20 months and generally naps up to 2.5 hours in her cot once a day. However, she's started being a monkey at night so cut this down to 1.5 hours and she's sleeping well at night now.
Basically what I'm trying to say is go with whatever works for you and ignore the others!

Applebite Thu 09-Mar-17 15:49:50

there's two types of parent, in my view. those who have a rigid routine, and those who don't.

neither is right or wrong in general - but it is right or wrong for that family and child.

smile politely and ignore them, that's my advice.

jessplussomeonenew Thu 09-Mar-17 19:35:08

I wouldn't change a thing if she's sleeping so brilliantly at night! If it were 20 minutes I might call that a catnap but sounds to me like she's having a full sleep cycle and then waking, which may well be all she needs.

If you ever decide you do want to have a go at extending naps, one way to do it (think it's from the no-cry nap solution) is to go to her just before she would normally wake up and as soon as she stirs, do everything you can to get her back to sleep again. You have a short window (obviously varies but I'd say about a minute) between her stirring and being too awake to go back to sleep again, so if it doesn't work in that window, give up and go on with your day. If you can make it happen often enough, the theory is that they get used to linking sleep cycles in the middle of the nap and so naturally go longer. I hardly ever got it to work with DS but he's 2.5 and has only ever slept through once so you'll probably have more success with a baby that already knows how to link sleep cycles in the night!

I wouldn't worry about nursery btw - it's amazing how being around other babies who are sleeping at a fixed time persuades even the most rubbishy sleeper to take amazing naps.

CeCeBloomer Thu 09-Mar-17 21:29:40

She is doing AMAZING- I am off the school of 'let them get into their own rhythm with naps but she is napping well and sleeping through, fantastic

uhoh2016 Thu 09-Mar-17 21:36:51

Your baby sounds absolutely fine she will adjust her own sleeping habits as she grows. If she's a happy baby and you're a happy mum then you are winning.

Sandsnake Thu 09-Mar-17 21:48:58

Sounds like she's doing great! I'd definitely carry on as you are. Think my DS was napping similar at 5 months (although the night sleep was a different matter...sadgin). By six months ish a lot of babies will go from multiple naps to more of a '2-3-4' schedule (up, 2 hours awake, nap, 3 hours awake, nap, 4 hours awake bed). DS did but that was very much me following him rather than the other way round.

redandwhite1 Thu 09-Mar-17 21:56:03

If she sleeps at night like that don't change!

Sleep breads sleep at that age remember!!

NotTheBelleoftheBall Thu 09-Mar-17 22:09:28

Thanks so much everyone and thanks Jessplus for the advice on how to encourage mega naps!

Don't get me wrong, she's not a perfect saint child, she can be a bit of a monster if she's overtired and she is definitely having a grumpy phase the past couple of weeks (she's just cut her first two teeth). But in the main I'm really relieved (and realise how lucky we are) that she sleeps well at night. I've probably jinxed it now

It's good to know that, for now, we can just pootle on as we are and in a couple of months she'll probably develop the 2-3-4 schedule (thanks for that info sandsnake).

Allthebubbles Thu 09-Mar-17 22:13:36

My son went from this set up to two longer naps a day around 6/7 months- it just sort of happened. I think with age, crawling, eating etc. I could never be bothered to spend time when he was napping trying to make it last longer as he always seemed happy.
It was a lovely phase that lasted till about 1.

For me the most important thing is putting them down for a nap before they are overtired and it sounds like you have got that nailed.
Ignore all advice!

rainbowdash888 Fri 10-Mar-17 09:09:36

Ignore. My dd needed a nap at least every 2 hours till she was 7-8 months. They're all different just let her slee when she's tired she's tiny!!!

jannier Fri 10-Mar-17 14:37:42

sleep deprivation is cruel and often good naps make a good nights sleep, your happy lo is happy they are jealous enjoy your baby's can google recommended sleep requirements by age if you really want to,

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