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How do I get my baby to sleep for longer than 40 mins?

(9 Posts)
MabelMay Mon 21-Jul-08 14:03:23

Hi, my ds2 is now nearly 6 months old. Up until about 3 weeks ago he always took quite decent naps in the day, especially at lunchtime when he'd sleep for about 2 hours. However, over the last few weeks he's stopped sleeping well at all in the day. He never sleeps for longer than 40 minutes at a time, and yet I know he's tired and needs to sleep for longer.
Have any of you had similar and did you manage to get your dcs back to taking longer naps?
Would you recommend controlled crying?
I wouldn't mind him sleeping for only 40 minutes if he seemed happy on it. But he doesn't. He is upstairs screaming his head off at the moment (having only had about 30 mins sleep all day). Won't leave him much longer as can't bear it.

What would any of you recommend?

Thankyouandgoodnight Mon 21-Jul-08 15:32:32

Oh dear poor you i do sympathise! I personally don't think that controlled crying works for day time and it sounds like he's waking up after a sleep cycle but instead of moving in to the next one, he's getting too wakeful and waking up properly.

Things you can try are:
Being there in time to just gently stroke his back / hold his hand or whatever might work for him when he wakes after 40 mins and he may drop straight off again.

Is his room dark enough? You could try black out blinds? Is it noise that's stimulating him do you think?

Does he sleep for longer or the same if you're out and about and he's in his buggy? If he sleeps for longer, you could try putting him in his buggy to sleep (and potter off out for a walk) just for a few days until he's back in the habit of getting himself to drop off again?

Will he go to sleep again later in the day? You could try settling him for a mid morning nap (again in the buggy out for a walk if needs be) and then put him down again at lunch time. If he's over tired he'll have trouble sleeping too.

It's a nightmare isn't it

Thankyouandgoodnight Mon 21-Jul-08 15:33:20

Also - do you think any teeth may be coming through?

angel1976 Mon 21-Jul-08 16:55:16


My DS is 5 months and he is starting to do the same! He used to sleep for hours but now wakes after 40 minutes. It's their sleep cycle. He is also starting to wake a lot during the night but this is my survival tactic.

- I find that if I lay down with him to sleep, he WILL sleep longer so for his morning nap, I will lay down with him to sleep and when he stirs, I cuddle him close or pat him and he will go off back to sleep with little problem. We both get about 2 hours this way!

- Then I find that if he only sleeps for short periods through the day, it's not a huge deal! But if you really do want to get him to sleep, you will need to anticipate him waking up and go and pat him to sleep before he gets fully roused and hysterical. I find that with my DS, if I can get him through the first hour of his nap (where he might wake up 30/40 minutes into the nap, I settled him, he wakes again, I settle him, he wakes again...), sometimes he will sleep for another hour straight with no waking!

GL! It's difficult isn't it... The ironing in this house hasn't been done for weeks!


MabelMay Mon 21-Jul-08 19:28:18

Thanks for your advice. Angel1976, I have an older DS1, 2.5 years old, so sadly lying down to sleep with DS2 just isn't feasible. I wish!
I think pre-empting the waking might be a good idea, but then I worry that he'll get in the habit of needing me there after every 35,40 minutes to get him back into his next sleep cycle. I suppose it's all part of them becoming more aware of their surroundings...

thankyouandgoodnight, room is dark, yes, and no, he doesn't sleep any longer in his buggy. If anything, he's even worse in the buggy sadly.
I wondered about teething but he doesn't seem to be showing any other signs of discomfort so don't think it could be that.

It's a real bugger because I'm trying to do small amounts of study during the day and I used to rely on his lunchtime nap (whilst older brother sleeps too) to get this done.

So, CC prob not a good idea then? I don't want him to get hysterical...

kim88 Mon 21-Jul-08 20:57:22

hi there i can sympathise with you my daughter is 7mnth and i also have a 5 yr old step son with behavioural problems so me sleeping to is not a idea i found that giving my daughter a different stage milk helpd i gave her follow on milk and she slept for about 1 1/2 hrs and i gave her a bottle of good night milk that changed my 4 night feeds to 1 i don't know if that may help but hope it does and your little one calms back to his usal routine soon
good luck k xx

angel1976 Mon 21-Jul-08 21:01:20

Sorry MabelMay, my suggestion wasn't too great then! I use to rely on the long nap to do the ironing...

I wouldn't try CC but that's because of my DS's temperament. He's very headstrong. We went to a late dinner once and he cried for 2 solid hours and I ended up crying with him! Even my cousin was amazed, commenting that usually babies cry for half an hour and fall asleep exhausted!

I read that at this stage of their development, they are learning so much and are also becoming a lot more aware of their surroundings so DH and I are going to try and ride it out...

janeashersbookofspacecakes Mon 21-Jul-08 21:07:10

Their sleep cycles last 45 minsish and at that age it can be v. diffucult to get them to nap for longer. It's something you have to live with. As he gets older, he'll be able to sleep for longer. In the meantime, if he has 3 naps of 40mins each that's ok.

The Babywhisperer site is free to use. The nap advisors are excellent.

snickersnack Mon 21-Jul-08 21:19:18

It's horrible. I hated the 40 minute nap (actually it was 32 mins for dd and 37 mins for ds - I used to time it). They both grew out of it. That's not helpful, but might give you some sense that there's light at the end of the tunnel...

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