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Nap transition problem

(5 Posts)
TS123 Sun 12-Jun-11 18:45:48

DD is now 16.5 months, and I've made a few attempts now at cutting out her short (30min) morning nap and letting her nap earlier in the afternoon (noon) but I have found her to be extremely tired by 11 am, too fussy to eat lunch, and sometimes frankly overtired by noon - result being a poor quality nap. Then she is so tired by 5pm that dinner is a struggle too. Some days it goes better than others but if I try to do one nap/day for more than 2 days in a row, she is undone. So I reinstated a nap between 9 and 10am - she goes easily and sleeps for 30min which keeps her happy until 2 or even later. Problem is, now she has started getting up really early in the morning (5:30 -5:45am). I have read (and my husband believes) that this is happening because of the morning nap - if eliminated, she will learn eventually to sleep later in the morning. However, I feel that the morning nap is necessary if she wakes early (it's a reaction to her early waking, not the cause of it) and I don't think I can "force" her to nap only once or to sleep later in the morning. I'm worried that doing so will only make her overtired. I find this frustrating though because if he is right, then I am only reinforcing her early wake-ups and this will ultimately make a transition to one nap more and more difficult the more the pattern is engrained. What is your opinion?

Mull Sun 12-Jun-11 21:57:14

I have no ideas or advice but just wanted to post that I feel your pain. DS (14mo) seemed to have transitioned well to one lunchtime nap a little while ago but, in the last couple of weeks, has been all over the place. He's started waking early (5.10 the other day sad) so needs to have a morning nap again. Yesterday he had to go back to bed pre 9am and I actually had to wake him at 11am to go out!

Its just a phase...Its just a phase...Its just a phase grin

Dannygirl Sun 12-Jun-11 22:07:14

Hi TS123 I remember this so well, DS is nearly 4 now, and each time we have dropped a nap there has inevitably been some kind of short tricky transition phase. As Mull says it is all just a phase! But for what it's worth, although I know it's really hard, I do agree that by putting your DD to bed later in the afternoon, you probably are reinforcing her early wake ups. Personally I would bite the bullet and drop the morning nap. If she is particularly tired and fussy by lunch time consider bringing her lunch forward for a while so she can have her lunch a bit early and then still have her long nap in the middle of the day. There will be a transition phase but hopefully not too long and you can push her lunch back bit by bit as she gets used to staying awake all morning. Good luck!

Iggly Mon 13-Jun-11 07:42:54

We're going through and have been for months. In the end I kept morning naps until 18/19 months as after that DS could cope better in the mornings without one. Before that, no chance.

Nothing has fixed the early waking!

Now at 20 months, we take him for a walk and he can drop off in the pushchair for a bit and have a post lunch nap at 12.30. If we don't he struggles but can last until half 12 with an early lunch. We did that yesterday and he napped in his pushchair for 20 mins then an hour after lunch and he slept until 6.15 this morning - lie in for us hmm so maybe he needs two shorter naps until he can last longer in the morning.

AngelDog Mon 13-Jun-11 08:16:33

DS dropped to one nap at 13 months. He wakes at 7am and was napping at 9.30 or 10 (for 30 mins) and then 1.30/2pm. I had to wake him from the second nap or he wouldn't go to bed till about 9.30 or later. When he was only sleeping 45 mins at the second nap and still not going to bed till 9.30pm, we changed to one nap.

I had the same problem as you with him getting overtired by midday. I got him to have his one nap at 11am and gave him lunch afterwards (he had a snack a while beforehand). He slept for 2 hours at that nap. He'd then need to be asleep by 6.30pm.

Now at 17 m.o. he can't go to sleep till 12 if he's woken at 7am.
I still do lunch after his nap though as it suits me better.

The other thing you could do is to keep going with 2 naps but shuffle the first one later by 10 mins every few days. That can help eliminate early waking for some babies - that first nap is actually being used as an extension of night sleep, and moving it later gets them to add the sleep on at the end of the night.

HTH

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