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5.5 month old with nap probs.........any advice please

(5 Posts)
vnmum Mon 15-May-06 17:54:08

my ds is 5.5 months old and until now i have let him nap on me after feeds and co sleep for naps when im having one. i am trying to change his routine so i can get some me time back but he will only nap for 1/2 hr at a time and is shattered by bedtime. he wakes in morn at 5.30 and i try to get him to bed between 6 and 7pm depending on when he shows tiredness.

the thing is i think he is teething badly at mo, lots of drool, chewing, grumpy, occasional reluctance to feed etc, so i dont know wether to carry on with the change of routine or wait till he's feeling better. also i am goin on holiday in 2 weeks and dont know wether to wait till after then either as i know it will upset any routine i have in place.

any suggestions and advice please

novadandypowder Wed 17-May-06 09:53:25

Hi vnmum, I had pretty much the same with my DD. She used to sleep on me during the daytime, which at first I didn't mind but like you eventually wanted some me time back in the day, along with the fact that she was getting too big to sleep comfortably on me.

Is your DS good at going to sleep in his cot at night? I think this was a big help to me as we had a fantastic bedtime routine, and she was very happy to go in her cot at night. I would say you need to have a set bedtime every night with the same routine before it. Once night is regulated it should be easier to regulate the day, although it can be a bit swings and roundabouts.

I think my DD was thankful for getting her to sleep in her cot during the day as her quality of sleep was suffering. I think I was trying to do too much with her during the day, so I took a couple of weeks off doing anything and focused purely on trying to sort her routine out (this also coincided with weaning, so it was good not to have to faff around with food whilst out and about).

To conquer the day naps I started a mini routine, so that she would learn the cues for sleep as she did for night. This would involve closing the curtains, having a bit of wind down time on the play mat (sounds contradictory I know), then taking off her trousers and putting her in her cot. I was taking my cues for nap time from my DD rather than the clock, so I'd look for yawning rubbing sleepy eyes and general grizzling.

She rarely goes straight to sleep so to begin with I would sit by the cot and put my hand on her chest, and keep putting her dummy in, but would keep talking and eye contact to a minimum. Quite often she needs a little cry before sleep anyway, so thats fine as long as I'm there. Now all I do is sit by her cot until she is asleep, I don't need to have any contact with her at all, and it usually only take a couple of minutes for her to go off.

We also have a sleep raggy that helps, it's like a hanky with a head, but she likes to snuggle into it.

My DD only sleeps for 45mins at a time, sometimes 30 mins, sometimes 60 (and very rarely 90-120). This is fine by me, some babies just need little and often. I tried making her stay in her cot to see if she would go back to sleep but she just got upset. So now her day goes something like this (she is now 7 mo, but has been like this since about 5.5mo):
6.30 (ish) wake up, lay in bed with mummy
7.30 (ish) mummy gets up
9.00 (ish) nap
11.30 (ish) nap
14.30 (ish) nap
16.45 (ish) nap
19.00 (always) bedtime

some of the day naps are flexible, but as a rule she has 4 x 45 min naps a day.

Since spending the time doing this she's a much better baby at sleeping in her buggy when we're out and everyone is a lot happier.

Personally I would start tying to do this asap as the longer it goes on the harder it will be to break. Don't wait for the teething to stop or you may be waiting a long time! and it may make your holiday a bit nicer if his sleep is sorted before you go.

As a final note, I also co-sleep during the day sometimes when I want a nap, and she manages to swap between the two very well.


vnmum Wed 17-May-06 14:03:47

novadandypowder, thanks for the advice. i keep getting conflicting info as to how many naps he should be having and for how long etc that i am at the point where i think what i am doing is wrong, but after reading your post i know it is not necessarily wrong. my ds is good at night time, we have a routine and he generally onky wakes for feeds although sometimes he can be hard to get back to sleep but i think some of this might be due to overtiredness from daytimes. i have been trying to put him down when he shows sleep cues and he was on 3 naps aday which worked well when he didnt wake after 30mins. i will give your suggestiins a try and might stick to naps instead of trying to push 2 longer ones

novadandypowder Thu 18-May-06 08:50:28

I know where you're coming from vnmum, I was under the impression that I was somehow failing because DD preferred frequent short naps to a long one.

I hope things work out for you, if not come back on here and we'll try to brainstorm.

Bozza Thu 18-May-06 09:03:14

I would wait until after holiday. Wouldn't necessarily worry about teething - they can be like this for months IME.

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