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8 month DD & 20 minute naps

(30 Posts)
teaparties Wed 17-Oct-12 19:16:14

After trying the gradual withdrawal technique I am hugely grateful to have an 8 month old DD who quite reliably (touch wood) sleeps through. I feel extremely lucky in this respect, after 6 months of terrible nights I am fully appreciating a good nights sleep!

However, naps are almost non existent and I am wondering if anyone can share some wisdom with me. DD has always been a cat napper - 30 minutes average. However, now naps are around 20 minutes long and she is only taking two a day (used to be four) - leaving us both shattered.

Our 'routine' at present:
8am : Wakes, 7oz milk
9am: Breakfast, porridge with any milk left from bottle/ cow's milk
10.30: may offer little snack (solids)
11: Nap, 20 minutes, prompted by tired signs
12.30: Lunch, BLW lasts nights dinner- incl. protein - she eats well
2.30: Nap, 20 minutes, prompted by tired signs
3: Bottle 7oz and solid snack if interested
5.30: Tea, BLW sandwich/ pitta bread and veg
6.30: Bath followed by bottle, 7oz offered but drinks 5/6
7: asleep until morning (will cry out in night but self settles)

I used to put her down for her morning nap two hours after waking, but she began to really fight this so it seemed best to wait and watch carefully for tired signs - when she did fall asleep earlier it was still a short nap.

With so much of her sleep at night I know she is unlikely to need a lot in the day, but at the moment she seems constantly exhausted and I'd love to try and help her if anyone has any suggestions on how I might improve her day times?

Sorry this is so boringly long, I wanted to include everything that might possibly be of use and realise I am clutching at straws here!

TIA

Suchanamateur Thu 18-Oct-12 08:31:21

Hi teaparties - great news on your overnights. I'm also struggling with 8 month old sleep. Have you tries putting her down a little bit earlier for naps? 20 minutes might indicate overtiredness?

teaparties Thu 18-Oct-12 11:28:09

Hi such, I did used to put her down religiously two hours after she woke, so much earlier. But since she's been sleeping better at night she hasn't been tired enough to nap until a lot later and attempts at getting her down earlier result in lots of crying and even less sleep!! Uhhhh, I just feel like I shouldn't be quite so clueless 8 months in.

Today she woke at 7.45 and has just fallen asleep at 11.15, so 3.5 hours later. She's crawling around everywhere so the morning has been spent distracting her from the tele/ bookcase/ curtains/ wires etc. I am loving watching her explore but it's also much more tiring having a mobile baby.

Funny little ones aren't they! What are you struggling with?

Suchanamateur Thu 18-Oct-12 14:22:30

I'm certainly not one to give advice. Not only did I think I might be clearer by 8 months but DD is my second!

How did you 3.5 hr awake time to nap-wise? Does she self settle for naps?

Our struggles are many and various but basically I can't work out wake times and since learning to roll some time ago, DD can't self settle. She just plays and rolls forever. So I've been patting her to sleep, which is taking longer and her naps are shorter. Grr. She doesn't really show tired signs. Like you I'd been working on 2 hours but I'm now trying, gingerly, to extend. I'm so nervous about overtiredness and it impacting on our nights, which aren't as good as yours, but still much better than they have been. Plus we've got teething, a two month long cough and desperately trying to crawl. And a mother who doesn't know her arse from her elbow!!

teaparties Thu 18-Oct-12 15:49:59

Is 8 months known as a difficult period? It's one thing after another isn't it! I hope your DDs cough clears, teeth emerge and she manages to crawl soon!

I think sorting out wake times is my issue too. 3.5 hours seems too long to me though and it makes sense what you say about short naps being a sign of over tiredness, but I don't know that I can make her nap earlier if she's not tired?! Should I put her down for a nap regardless of tired signs? What's 'typical' at this age? I live in fear of messing up nights by creating negative connotations with the cot during nap time. Ridiculous short nap as usual this morning!

At night I lay her in the cot awake and walk away and she self settles. I never properly did gradual retreat for naps as can't bring myself to stay in every day for long enough! So for naps at the moment I stay by the cot and help as little as possible, today I lay her back down a few times and then stayed until she was asleep. I'm hoping to gradually move away again.

Suchanamateur Thu 18-Oct-12 19:00:40

8/9 months definitely a tricky time for sleep- there is so much going on and according to the Wonder Weeks book, 2 huge developmental spurts in quick succession.

I think tired signs can be unreliable at this age and it may be DD is only showing them when she's overtired, rather than tired if you know what I mean? So you could try for a nap around the 3 hour front and see how that goes.

My DD amazingly self settled for her nap this afternoon- which hasn't happened in weeks. I put her down at 2.5 hours and she settled in 15 minutes. Still only got a half hour nap though. And tonight I put her down at just over 3 hours and she's been playing around for half an hour which is now turning to whinging. Just wish they had a sodding light on their foreheads that said 'I'm ready for sleep now'

teaparties Thu 18-Oct-12 19:13:08

A forehead light is exactly what I need (for DD, not me) that would be wonderful. I'm going to try for naps every 3 hours tomorrow and see how we get on watching the clock, you're right - nowadays her tired signs appear when she is already exhausted.

Hopefully things might be back on track for your DD with self settling, I think the worst of part is when you sit in the dark for 20 minutes for the same amount of time in nap! If only they were more predictable...

Suchanamateur Fri 19-Oct-12 10:31:53

Fancy a mini support obsess thread while we try and sort these waketimes?

I put DD down at 9.15 this am after she woke at 7 (and after a fairly good night) as she seemed tired. Thought, after yesterday's success, I'd leave her to it but a good 50 minutes later she was still kicking around. So I ended up patting her to sleep which thankfully was fairly quick and she's now been down 35 mins... So that was inadvertently a 3 hour wake time, which I suspect is a bit of a jump for her, but will be interested to see what happens...

teaparties Fri 19-Oct-12 18:02:24

Ooooh yes please, would love a place to vent share ideas.

How did this morning go in the end?
DD woke at 7 so I whisked her upstairs at 10, settled her down in her cot for a nap hopefully and workmen started drilling outside her window! They have been randomly digging up bits of road for weeks, but thought they had finally left us to it...
She ended up having a nap in her pram 10.35 - 11 as we were out for the day and she is the worlds lightest sleeper so no way she'd nap to the drills. Then she was awake until 3pm - so 4 hours, no getting her down any earlier - but had a 45 minute nap which is longer than average.

She sleeps 13 hours over night, so I know she only supposedly needs an hours nap to make up the 14 'recommended hours' - it's just she struggles to make it through the day on an hour alone. Do you wake your DD up in the morning? I'm wondering if I should wake mine at 7 so she has 12 hours overnight, would she nap longer in the day? Or am I just going to be making cranky mornings?

Suchanamateur Fri 19-Oct-12 19:29:51

13 hours is incredible- no wonder she's not big into naps!

It's not a problem I have but perhaps try waking her at 7 (loath though I am to wake a sleeping baby) for a couple of days to see if it helps?

We had good naps with 3 hour wake times today (albeit the dirt was because it took me ages to settle her). An hour in the morning and almost 2 in the afternoon. However she's still awake now, 40 minutes after I put her down... Happy but babbling and mummering away. Sigh.

teaparties Fri 19-Oct-12 19:47:13

I know, I am so so grateful for the nights and when I look back on how things were a few months ago I wonder why I let the naps bother me! But she spends a large portion of the day sleepy and I struggle to get anything done. I would like to try and improve our days now, although I suppose maybe I need to accept I can't have everything?!

I have two completing opposing plans of action - one is to wake at 7 then aim for a short nap at 10 and a longer (at least an hour please DD) nap in the afternoon. The other is to let her sleep to 8 then keep her awake until 12 for one long lunch time nap. My indecisiveness is not helping matters!

Today's naps sounds amazing- looks like 3 hours may be the way to go? Very envious of your 2 hours in the day. What did you do? Can't imagine having so much time on my hands!

Suchanamateur Fri 19-Oct-12 21:18:29

Spent half of it entertaining my toddler and the other half sitting in DD's darkened room, nervously waiting for her to wake and me to resettle. So a complete waste!!

It's very early to go for the one nap, so I'd be tempted to try for your plan 1 before plan 2. I totally understand the paranoia about naps impacting on nights. Ours aren't too bad - usually one wake although if its near the morning, that could be it. Ugh. But it could be waking every two hours so I'm grateful. But every time you make a sleep improvement, you want more!

Suchanamateur Fri 19-Oct-12 21:34:39

Also I reckon with the nights you've got, 2 naps of 45 mins would be golden. You needn't aim for more.

teaparties Sat 20-Oct-12 09:48:26

DD magically woke up at 6.50 today- as if she knew my cunning plan... We're going to introduce her to her Great Granddad today, so we'll see what today has in store for us. Agreed, two 45 minute naps would probably do us nicely!

Hope you have a good napping day today!

Suchanamateur Mon 22-Oct-12 14:28:59

How did the Great Grandad meet go and your earlier start? We had a good few naps - not hugely long but self settling. But she's now got a cold and its all gone to shit. So I think I stretched her too long for both naps today resulting in lots of crying (very unlike her) and crap naps. Ugh. I do occasionally think I'd be better suited to being the mother of a robot than a baby...

teaparties Mon 22-Oct-12 15:43:43

The meet was lovely thanks! Although our naps have also gone to pot as we've all managed to catch a sickness bug.
Agreed it would be much simpler mothering robots, or perhaps even a slightly more predictable child! Have given up on everything until the bug passes and am going for snoozy cuddles for now.
Hope your DD gets better quickly. Were all the good naps 3 hour wake times?

Suchanamateur Sun 28-Oct-12 10:53:57

Hi teaparties - just wondering how things are going for you? Have you managed to get over The Bug??

DD still has her cold and though the afternoon nap is ok- she's been going down herself and with a bit of help doing 1.5 hrs, the morning one is now 20 minutes- regardless of awake time. So weird and no idea how to change. Am toying with set nap times rather than awake times. Although today as she woke up super early from the click change, we're on 3 naps and all over the place!!

teaparties Sun 28-Oct-12 16:44:27

Hi such 1.5 hours in the afternoon sounds lovely! DD still seems to be sleepier since being poorly, so not too sure where we are... her first nap of the morning is 20 minutes too, absolutely no extending it. I'm sure it's not long enough as she is rubbing her eyes within minutes of waking.
Early start here too, today's going to be a long one!

What nap times would you choose? Would you go for two longish (1.5 hours) or a short and a long? I may do the same, I'm sure if I had an idea of what to aim for it would help.

poocatcherchampion Sun 28-Oct-12 21:04:48

n I join? My dd is a little younger, just 7.5 months but I'm totally relating to this discussion. She sleeps about 12 hours at night from 7-7.30am, but it is very disturbed, light sleep from 6ish.

She goes down well in the day at home, either two or three times,self settling in her cot, but only really sleeps for half an hour at a time. It doesn't seem much and like you report we spend much of the day with her seeming reall y tired. The bit that's odd is that at my parents house when we stay she sleeps one hour in the morning and two in the afternoon. No impact on her nights.

I'm interested in trying a nap after three hours or going for a set time. Or doing something! Ive also posted a separate thread about this in case anyone else can help.

teaparties Mon 29-Oct-12 09:19:54

oooh please do, not sure we have any answers but join us in our attempts to find some!

How odd about longer naps at your parents (although must be lovely when you're there) - have you looked at the environment she sleeps in at theirs, is it darker/ quieter/ background noise going on/ in a travel cot etc, could recreate that at your house?

Suchanamateur Mon 29-Oct-12 14:28:26

Hello poocatcher (great name btw). As teaparties said, we're just blundering through but do come along.

So today I had some success (after a horror of time change yesterday), with a 2 hour 35 put down and a 2 hour 45 put down. An hour for the first nap (with a resettle at the 30 min mark) and I'm just resettling her now after an hour and 10 minutes. She self settled both times. Could be a massive fluke but ill try again with this tomorrow and see what I get.

I think I'm going to go for a combination of 'not put down before' times of 9am and 1pm and then aim for naps on the 2.45/3h awake time. Almost definitely overthinking this though!

poocatcherchampion Mon 29-Oct-12 19:05:40

Thanks for the welcome! We had an interesting almost 2 hour snooze this morning, although capillary had been administered so that could be the cause. Otherwise I suspect she was tireder as she woke up an hour early.. <blardy clocks> so I'm going to stick with that and try to put the down a bit later tomorrow morning.

Glad to see the set time worked for you - good luck for tomorrow! Sleep tight babies!

teaparties Mon 29-Oct-12 20:11:58

Oh I am jealous of your long sleeps! Until reading I was very pleased with a 40 minute nap this morning - I had time to wash up and have a cup of tea...
turns out DD is still poorly and has been sleeping on and off all day. Poor girl, I think she must have gone from one bug to the next.
So no help I'm afraid, but am looking forward to trying some of your solutions when she's recovered.

DawnOfTheDee Mon 29-Oct-12 20:22:47

Just thought I'd stick my oar in and let you know what i do.

My DD (9mo) gets up and has brekkie then plays for a while then after 2 hours (or when she starts showing signs of tiredness) I give her her bottle up in her room and she goes down for a nap. She's normally not asleep when I put her down. She naps for between an hour and an hour & a half.

Gets up from nap. Play for a bit. Lunch. Play some more. Go for a walk. Wee bit more play. Bottle of milk then nap. Usually one hour.

I think some people don't like giving milk directly before a nap but to me it makes sense. A nice bottle of warm milk makes you sleepy. Hell, it'd make me sleepy tbh....why fight it!

DawnOfTheDee Mon 29-Oct-12 20:23:20

Sorry...should have said - time between getting up from first nap and going down for second is between 3-4 hours.

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