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6 month old really short naps

(19 Posts)
feekerry Mon 24-Sep-12 18:13:57

Dd is almost 6 months and always been a pretty good sleeper but her naps in the day are so short now. Today she's slept for about 1 hour in total, spread over 3 short naps. The problem is by 5pm she's knackered and I dont want her to nap past then or go to bed at that time. If I can hold her out till about 6 ish then I put her to bed then but she wakes after an hour or so which I think is a sign of over tiredness? To be fair after that she normally sleeps thru the night pretty much. Just wish I could encourage bit longer naps!

minibmw2010 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:17:44

Where is she napping? What time do you put her down for her first nap?

feekerry Mon 24-Sep-12 19:29:31

i think the main issue is i dont 'put her down' for a nap. she either falls asleep on my boob (which i am totally fine with, but she still wont sleep for long!) or she'll fall asleep in sling/pram/car seat if we are out and about.
thing is we spend about 10% of our time in the house. we are real outdoor people so i'm never in at a set time to say x time is nap time if that makes sense?!
i really want to put her to bed about 7.30 pm as we are about to start blw and would be really nice if we could all eat together but really struggiling to keep her up past 5.30pm at this rate!
for example, she's prob has 3 x 15 mins cat naps today, the last one at 2.30 pm. i tried to get her to sleep about 4.30pm but she wouldn't go. by 5.30 she was knackered and i ended up putting her to bed at 6pm, she was asleep within 30 seconds literally. but now that means she'll prob be up really early tomorrow morning confused
if i was in most of the time then i could schedule nap times but 99% of the time we are out.
her first nap is abot 2.5 hours after she wakes, but is usually only 15 mins.

feekerry Mon 24-Sep-12 19:36:46

here is a schedule of what happened yesterday.........(sleep wise)

6.30 am - up for day
8.50 am- fell asleep on boob
9.05am - woke up
11.45am - fell asleep in car seat
12.10pm - woke up as soon as i got car seat out of car
2.10pm - fell asleep on boob
2.30pm- woke up
6pm - crashed out in cot
7pm- woke and fed back to sleep
8 pm - woke and fed back to sleep
9pm- woke and fed back to sleep then stayed asleep till...
4.50am- woke and fed back to sleep till....
6.20am

minibmw2010 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:20:41

When she falls asleep what are you doing? Keep her in your arms or putting her in her cot? I see what you mean about not spending a lot of time in the house but I found that structure worked better for my DS (now 16 mths) and just accepted that I had to at least stay home for one decent nap and then Hopefully he'd sleep OK in his pram for the other. I genuinely think you need to help her learn what to do otherwise it'll be cat naps and a tired little one for the time being.

minibmw2010 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:23:10

Also my DS of 16 mths can only just about stay up until 7.30 before meltdown occurs. 6 months seems young for a bedtime (only my opinion) of 7.30. I have found with DA that the more tired/overtired the worse he sleeps.

feekerry Mon 24-Sep-12 20:42:46

ye totally see what you mean. i'm not one for routines at all but on the other hand i see that she needs some help here with the naps.
when she falls asleep on boob i just sit there and leave her, dont know why as she tranfers to cot very easily at night but so depserate for her to nap that i dont want to move her in case she wakes up!

i might try tomorrow feeding her in her room and if she starts to fall asleep then transfer her to cot and see what happens. i did try for a while feeding on my bed lying down and trying to encourage sleep that way but that didnt work either.

if she could just have a decent morning nap... roughly how long should a 6 month old baby go between naps???

Rubirosa Mon 24-Sep-12 20:57:42

At that age my ds went 2 hours between naps. He could only sleep 45 minutes at a time.

I know it's boring but if you want to get them napping well you do need to stay in and devote some time to it. I spent a week getting ds into a good routine at home. Roughly at that age ds did:

7am up
10-10.45am nap
12.45-1.30pm nap
3.30-4.15pm nap
7pm bed

About 7 months he suddenly started sleeping 2 hours at a time ans dropped to 2 naps, 3 hours apart - he'd either sleep 2 hours at 10am and 1 hour at 3pm or 1 hour at 10 and 2 at 2pm. He slept much better in his cot.

feekerry Mon 24-Sep-12 21:28:05

Ye the above makes sense. Thanks. Can I just ask tho after your dc had settled into that routine what happened if you did go out and about or had other stuff to do? I agree that I think she'd sleep longer in her cot but dont want to become a slave to it lol!

minibmw2010 Mon 24-Sep-12 21:54:47

I was lucky that my DS would sleep in his pram quite well if I could time it with afternoon bottle. He's stopped now sadly, was so handy for going out for lunch.

I personally think they need 1 good nap at home, but that's just my opinion. If they get one good then the rest is less important.

Rubirosa Mon 24-Sep-12 21:58:45

He would have a short nap in his pram, but I did try to be home for one good nap a day. We do occasionally skip the nap or it has to be later, but generally he is happier and nights are better if he has a good nap.

minibmw2010 Mon 24-Sep-12 22:06:26

Same for us Rubirosa. That said I think my DS was 5/6 months before we really 'cracked' naps so there's time to try and change how she sleeps. If you're home I'd put her in her sleeping bag (assuming she uses one) and then of she falls aero on boob you can put her in cot and she'll be lovely and cosy, that could encourage her to stay asleep longer?

Or if you're out and she's in her pram, a lovely fleecy blanket under and over her. It's all about being cosy in bed for me so I assume it's the same for them? grin

feekerry Tue 25-Sep-12 17:28:08

thanks folk. okay so today i cancelled all plans to see if i can crack this nap thing. interestingly dd slept from 6pm last night till 9am this morning (woke 2 times for feed at 12.45am and 6am)!!! not sure if this is too much night sleep???

anyway, today went like this-

9am - woke for day
11.15am - fed to sleep and placed in cot till
11.45am- woke
1.45pm - fed to sleep and placed in cot till
2.20pm-woke

she showed some signs of tiredness at around 4.30pm but wouldn't go. did leave her in her cot for a bit of quiet time but she wouldn't sleep. she seems quite contented now and only hour or so till bed time, but, thats still only just over an hour in naps today?? what do you think? should i have not let her sleep so much at night??

Rubirosa Tue 25-Sep-12 17:42:48

If she's content then I wouldn't worry about the exact proportion of day and night sleep, so long as she gets enough overall. Whenever my ds did a monster sleep like that he was either coming down with something or on a growth spurt so obviously needed the sleep.

Don't expect miracles straight away though - it's like potty training, it takes a week (or two) for the routine to fall into place.

minibmw2010 Tue 25-Sep-12 21:51:59

Can you move her bedtime to say 7pm? Would she let you do that? If so then it's more likely she'd sleep more during the day, however if you're happy with her long night sleep (and who wouldn't be ??? grin) and she seems fine with only one hour nap and not grumpy, then that obv works well for her grin

feekerry Wed 26-Sep-12 12:03:47

minibmw i would love her to go to bed at 7pm but by 6.30 she is knackered.

but OMG what a shit night last night!!! she usually sleeps really well at night.

went like this

6.30 pm- bed, asleep within 3 mins
8.30pm- woke and horror of horrors WOULD NOT go back to sleep (v unsual for her!)
12.30am- eventually fell asleep
3.30am woke and fed
6am- up for day!!

shes usually such a good sleeper at night, i'm worried by making her nap in her cot yesterday i've given her the message that when shes awake she comes out of her room iyswim??
shes never ever refused to go back to sleep at night!!!
so since 6am this morning she napped for 15 mins at 8.50am then thats it so far. shes knackered, wont feed to sleep, wouldnt fall asleep in car. bum. she's currently in her cot yapping away to herself.

minibmw2010 Wed 26-Sep-12 22:03:17

Don't panic !!! It's very unlikely IMO that one day of naps in her room & bed is going to enforce that idea, certainly not at her age. It may well be that as things have been a little different she's slightly unsettled but I think it may be down to co-incidence or just your worries/nerves and she's feeling it from you? (Again, just my opinion). Or just, as is so often the way with these tiny people, just a bad day sent to try us ...

Hattieboomboom Fri 28-Sep-12 10:32:27

Hi Fee, looking at those times you mentioned near the top of this thread, I would suggest she's overtired by the first naptime. I find the first nap of the day is the most important and if I miss the window my dd gets overtired and won't sleep for long at all and also the rest of the day is buggered too. Try getting her up earlier in the morning, at about 7-7.30, and putting her down for the first nap no more that 1.5 hours after she woke, Then the nex one two hours after she wakes from that one. For that first one, feed to sleep or whatever you need to do in a dark room. White noise might help her stay asleep for longer too..there's an iphone app for it if you have an iphone.

mummybare Fri 28-Sep-12 11:01:16

Average awake times

So at 6 months, your baby needs to have about 2.5 hours awake time to get a good nap. Although of course this varies baby to baby, but I'd try it for a few days if I were you to see if things fall into place.

I'd also try and get her to have them in her cot - sorry! I know it's a bit restrictive, but once she's used to it, it should mean better quality sleep.

Short naps are very common at this age and can mean all sorts if things: over/undertired; inability to self-settle; developmental leaps. It can sometimes help to be there waiting to soothe your little one back to sleep if she is waking at the same time every nap and you think it's just that she has difficulty resettling herself.

I wholeheartedly recommend the Baby Whisperer website. I didn't particularly get on with the books when I first read them, but the forum has turned me into a convert. DD is now getting good naps and is sooo much happier (and therefore so am I!), but it does take a bit if experimentation, particularly if you come to it a bit late, as we did. It's totally worth it though.

Best if luck with it all.

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