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Nap conundrum

(8 Posts)
fififrog Thu 21-Jul-11 21:23:29

Just seeking some opinions... as far as I see it, I have a choice: either

1) DD (17wks) can nap in my arms, which means she sleeps longer but is sometimes rudely awakened when I need to pee or move my legs or cough or something


2) she can nap lying next to me on the bed, enabling me to rest too and save my arms from falling off, and gradually teach her to sleep on her own. The downside is that despite trying to gently extend her naps, they are invariably 45 minutes or less. Most commonly 30 minutes exactly.

Is it better for her to nap for longer, or to be in charge of her own sleep? I favour the latter, and am just hoping that her naps will naturally get a bit longer as she drops one (currently 4 a day, the first one is more variable in length and can be 1.5 hours or even 2). She doesn't often wake up crying from these short naps and is usually bright and alert when awake.

Can those with older DCs tell me whether I am right that the naps will get longer in their own good time?


Angie1983 Thu 21-Jul-11 21:53:22

Sounds like your DD is doing exactly what my DS did. He started going for the 1st nap a little later. That 1 became atleast 2 hours, but then he would only have 2 more naps later and they were only about 30/45 minutes long. He was the same in that he would sleep longer if he was in my arms too. I found it was best in general to let him be in charge.

fififrog Sat 23-Jul-11 08:48:11

Thanks angie good to know! Any other positive nap-lengthening stories to share?

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 23-Jul-11 08:55:14

Yes - both of mine would only sleep for 40 minutes and would have lots of little cat naps throughout the day. They both then started doing an hour and half in the morning and 45 in the afternoon from around 8 months.

DD was about 13-14 months when she went to long nap in the middle of the day (about 2 hours, sometimes a bit more).

BellaBearisWideAwake Sat 23-Jul-11 09:01:39

For us, it was went weaning and meal times were properly established (so about eight months) that naps also sorted themselves out. Up to then it was as you describe. DS2 is 16 weeks and is also on four naps, recently down from five! Because he can now stay awake a little longer

CountBapula Sat 23-Jul-11 09:31:21

I posted this not very succinctly on another thread yesterday and thought would repost in case it's useful.

My DS was the same at that age - he was having 4-5 shortish naps a day, though would sometimes randomly throw in a long nap when we were least expecting it, just to confuse us smile

Some kids just catnap at that age and there isn't a lot you can do about it. I drove myself nuts trying to extend DS's naps with limited success (my finest moment was probably lying on the floor next to his moses basket so he couldn't see me and patting him when he stirred between sleep cycles - only worked a couple of times).

If you can get hold of the Weissbluth book (some libraries have it) it's worth a look - he did a seven-year study into babies' naps. The emergence of fewer, longer naps happens naturally as a biological process - not so much to do with movement or solids, it's a developmental thing I think. The morning nap is the first to emerge, and Weissbluth says you often start to see a longer morning nap around four months - so not long to wait.

FWIW my DS has always been a couple of months behind sleepwise, and he started doing a longer morning nap around six months, with 45 mins at lunchtime and a 5-10 min doze late afternoon. Then around 9 months the lunchtime nap started to extend, and he's just dropped the late afternoon one and has two naps of 1-2 hours.

The other thing to mention is that as they get older they can stay awake for longer. When he was three months old DS could only manage an hour and a half awake before he'd get overtired and grumpy. Now, at 10 months, he goes 2-3 hours between naps so he doesn't need so many. Much better than having to wrestle him to sleep 5 times a day!


fififrog Sun 24-Jul-11 21:20:52

THanks all, seems like you all pretty much agree. Yes I have Weissbluth too. We've had a good-length morning nap for quite some weeks now - I rely on it to catch up on my sleep smile

At least the 30 minute jobs are just right for walking into and back from city centre so it's not all bad, if a little exhausting.

Can't wait to spend less of my day trying to get her to sleep!

RitaMorgan Sun 24-Jul-11 21:27:20

I did a combination of short naps and long naps, ensuring ds had at least one long nap a day even if it was in my arms. Generally 45 mins in the morning, long nap after lunch with me, 45 mins late afternoon. I felt he did need an hour+ nap a day, even if I couldn't do anything during that time.

Nothing I did extended his naps, until suddenly at 7 months he started sleeping for 2 hours by himself. Nowadays I have to wake him from naps shock

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