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What do you do about missed naps?

(11 Posts)
blushingmare Mon 15-Oct-12 10:57:49

If your LO misses a nap because they can't settle down, or they fall asleep and then wake up just 5 mins later wide awake, what do you do? do you try to put them down again soon after or try to push them on til their next nap is due?

DD is not a great daytime napper, but I can quite consistently get her to have a lovely 2 hour sleep from about 12:30 to 2:30 in the sling, but she won't fall asleep in the sling at any other time of the day - she seems to have quite a tuned in body clock that knows its 12:30! I don't have any set routine for her, but try to get her to nap at least every 2 hours so she doesn't get over tired. I'm trying to make the first nap of the day the one nap that she will take in her crib, but sometimes, like today, it just doesn't happen. She woke up 5 mins after falling asleep ready to play, so I thought maybe she'd just had enough so would push on to 12 and get her in the sling. But now she's had a feed and has fallen asleep on me having done a poo so is sitting in a dirty nappy too, but this will probably mean she will wake up at 11:15 ish and definitely won't need to go back to sleep at 12:30, so she will probably miss out on her long 2 hour sleep because we will have missed the 12:30 window of opportunity! This happens quite a lot and I never know what to do.

Don't know of you're still with me after that explanation, but basically what do you do when the naps don't work put as planned?!

blushingmare Mon 15-Oct-12 20:53:22

Well just to prove me wrong, despite waking up at 11:30, she was still well ready for her long nap at 12:30 and slept for 2 hours! But I'd still be interested to know what others do!

omama Mon 15-Oct-12 22:44:56

how old is she? this may have a bearing on the suggestions offered. If she is very young, I would probably try & resettle, or get her down pretty soon after, or she will end up overtired. If she is older I'd probably bring the next nap a little earlier eg 30mins or so.

blushingmare Tue 16-Oct-12 08:02:33

She's 4 months

omama Tue 16-Oct-12 22:05:14

ok so at 4 months she will likely need a morning nap, a decent lunchtime nap plus a catnap at teatime. Yes I would try & get her down after a shortish time for another sleep.

Can I ask - when you put her down for her nap in the cot & she is waking after 5mins, do you put her down awake or do you put her down asleep after she has fallen asleep in your arms?

At this age they still have strong moro reflexes so can jolt awake very easily. I found this was more likely to happen if my DS had fallen asleep in my arms & I'd laid him down when he was already asleep (he'd wake startled & likely confused as he wasn't snuggled up with mummy anymore). Swaddling can also help to get them through the jolts, though of course not recommended.

Also, what time does she wake in the morning & what time do you put her down for her morning nap?

If she is overtired, she will be more likely to wake after a very short nap (5-30mins) but if that were the case I would expect her to be grumpy (unless she is generally happy & content even when tired!). On the other hand, if she's not tired enough, she may fall asleep fairly easily but not sleep for very long at all. If you want some help, feel free to post her routine & someone will take a look I'm sure.x

blushingmare Wed 17-Oct-12 04:37:40

Thanks omama. Her routine is as follows:
- Wake at 6:30/7, feed then dress (try to ignore her til at least 7 if she is content!) However sometimes she will wake at 5, but I always try to treat this as a nighttime waking and put her straight down again, although it takes her longer to fall asleep if she's woken at this time and then that tends to move her morning waking back a bit iyswim.

- feed and nap at 9/9:30. This nap I persevere with putting her down awake in her crib. It normally takes her 15-20 minutes to fall asleep, with me stroking and rocking her. She will then normally sleep for 30 mins, but will sometimes wake up 5 mins after falling asleep, chatty and ready to play - but then gets tired again after about 45mins

- feed at 12 and then put in sling, where she will normally have a 2 hour nap. She often wakes after 45 mins, but I can usually get her back to sleep with swaying and back rubbing, but sometimes (like yesterday!) I can't get her back to sleep. If she has woken early from this nap, I often trying putting her down again an hour later, but rarely can get her to go back to sleep - yesterday she only totalled 1.5 hours daytime naps because of this sad

- feed when she wakes up about 2:30

- 4/4:30 go for about an hour's walk in the pram, the last 30 mins of which she falls asleep. God knows what we're going to do for this nap when the clocks go back and it's raining all the time angry

- 5:00 short feed, then bath. After bath, big long feeding session in bedroom with low lights etc until she feeds to sleep (normally about 6:45/7) then transfer to crib. She'll then pretty consistently stay asleep til 10. Feeds at night are roughly every 3 hours, although she will sometimes do a longer 4 or even 5 (rarely) hour stretch in the first part of the night. Always feed to sleep during the night and she used to be very poor at settling, but, fingers crossed, this week she has been brilliant.

Any comments and ideas gratefully received!

omama Wed 17-Oct-12 14:34:08

Ok so that routine is a pretty typical naptime routine, but probably moreso for a slightly older baby. If she is awake for 2.5-3hrs before her first nap of the day, its quite likely she is already overtired when she goes down, hence why her nap is so short. You might find she settles better/sleeps longer if she is awake for 2hrs max before that first nap, maybe even a touch less (1h 45). So start preparing her for her nap around 15-20mins before you want her asleep, with the same wind down routine each time eg nappy change, feed, lullabies/story then into her cot. This will help her to learn that sleep time is coming.

If her morning nap continues to be short, another thing you could try is to bring the lunchtime nap slightly earlier too, so you feed at 11.30 & have her asleep by 12 latest. Keeping the awake time short after a short nap, is key to preventing a build up of overtiredness.

These naps can be pushed later again as she gets older & can cope better with staying awake for a bit longer.

WRT the teatime nap, its likely she will drop that in another couple of months anyway - so don't worry too much about the winter weather!

Finally, only other thing to mention is that at this age (3-6 months), short naps can be a developmental thing, many many of us encounter it & whilst it can be a difficult stage, know that it will pass. Usually by around 6 months of age they start to take decent length naps & get past the dreaded 45min mark!


Photoseverywhere Wed 17-Oct-12 14:43:24

That is the same routine I use for that aged baby.

7 Awake
7.15 Breakfast
8.45 Nap Put down just before 9 when they start showing tired signs
Wake them after 45 minutes
11.30 lunch
12 nap
2.30 wake up
4.30 power nap - no longer than 15 minutes
5 tea
6 bath
7 bed

Regarding naps I always put down awake, in their own crib/cot in their room, with complete darkness. Leave them unless they sound distressed most of my babies (I am a nanny) have whinged or moaned but gone straight to sleep after a short time.

I always put them down at the same times if they don't sleep they get up but then I try and either take them out in the pram and hope they drop off but if it starts getting to late I try and keep them awake until the next nap time.

Proffessionals believe babies tend to be tired after 90 minutes awake and most of my babies have all been like this so this is why the above routine works for us.

blushingmare Wed 17-Oct-12 18:42:50

That's really helpful - thank you so much. It definitely makes sense to move that morning map forwards - I'll give that a go. I guess my only difficulty with that is that we quite often do a baby group or class in the mornings and these usually start around 10:30/11. If she sleeps from 8:45-9:15, then she'll probably be getting tired again around 10:45, just when our activity is starting. Do you have any advice for working naps around activities - I'm sure it can't be an uncommon problem as most baby groups start at that kind of time. Similarly, when you have a day out do you try to keep to a nap schedule or do they just sleep when they happen to drop off? (dd doesn't drop off easily and doesn't tend to sleep for long stretches in her buggy, so whenever we have a day away from home I'm always very conscious that she's probably not getting enough sleep). Thanks again for your help - I really appreciate it.

omama Thu 18-Oct-12 15:35:16

tbh at 4 months I really wouldn't wake her from her morning nap, unless she's pushing 1.5-2hrs & only then, so that it ensures she will nap in the afternoon. I have woken my DS at times, in particular between 10-15 months when he was doing the switch from 2-1 naps but I have to say I found it made for a pretty grumpy day for us both. If you bring the nap earlier & let her sleep say 1-1.5hrs, you will still get to your groups & she will be much happier. Of course being the age she is, she may not sleep more than 45mins anyway but if she is still sleeping its because she needs it.

As she gets older her morning nap will get a touch later & shorter, meaning you can still attend your groups, and she will eventually drop it & take a single nap after lunch.

Good luck.x

blushingmare Thu 18-Oct-12 16:06:18

Don't worry I would never wake her from any sleep - its too hard getting her down in the first place to then wake up - horror! The issue with the groups etc is she has never ever slept any longer than 30 mins in that morning nap. In fact, as long as she has gone down and not woken after 5 mins, she will nap for exactly 30 mins - practically to the second! If I could get her to sleep for 1-1.5 hours then the morning would be much easier to plan! Have tried resettling her, but she's just very awake and perky! Oh well, I guess we just muddle on through. This morning I did put her down earlier and she settled much more easily, so thanks we will continue with that.

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