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Catnappers and 'bad sleepers' support thread

(526 Posts)
AwesomeSuperTasty Sun 06-Jul-14 18:05:40

This is inspired by this napping thread A user commented that they wanted to start a catnapping thread, but seeing as no one did, I thought I might start a 'support group' for all parents of catnapping babies and generally poor sleepers. (I hope the user who prompted this thought will come forward to claim the credit!)

Anyway, it's really just a place to vent and maybe share experiences.

So, I will start. My 7 month old son still catnaps 30 mins at a time, something he allegedly should have grown out of. He also wakes every 90 minutes at night, and wakes up at 5.30 in the mornings. He self settles to sleep and has an early bed time but can't resettle at night. Basically, since he was born, I've not slept longer than 2 hours at a stretch. I'm sure I'm pretty exhausted but stopped registering it.

I do have some questions for anyone who'd like to share.
- If you have an older catnapping baby, how long does she/he go between naps?
-Has anyone managed to sucessfully implement some kind of a napping schedule, for babies who sleep only 30 mins?

And please don't tell me to get a sling...or co-sleep wink

smokeandfluff Sun 06-Jul-14 20:18:11

Ds varies between cat naps and 1 hr plus naps. He is eight months. normally try 2 hrs awake, nap, 3 hours awake and ds can manage 4.5 hours awake before bed(very cranky though before bed). His naps are about 9 and 1. If he sleeps in past 7.30 he may not havea morning nap or only a 20 min one. Lunchtime nap can be tricky-yesterday he wouldn't sleep at all (needed a buggy cat nap at 4), today took about 25 mins to settle and didn't sleep long. Other day he didn't take a morning nap and went for midday one early only to wake after 20mins, took 45 mins to resettle him.

Sorry for rambling. If he has a short morning nap, he normally survives the morning fine, I try for a second nap around 1, (even if he is tired before this) as he never naps for more than 1.5 hours, and if he wakes up before half two he won't last until a 7pm bedtime, and getting him to take a short nap after this is tough. I hate naps!

mrsmugoo Sun 06-Jul-14 20:23:09

Oh I'm so glad this thread has been started!

I will come back to post my situation in a bit, I'm just going off to bed...yes I go to bed at 8:30pm which should give you an idea of how bad my sleep is!

WhatsMyAgeAgain Sun 06-Jul-14 20:39:58

Awesome... I thought you were me for a moment. till I read that your baby can self settle and you don't co sleep.

I feel awful but he's having a 5 minute cry in his cot. He needs to let of steam and tire himself out. Hate doing this as we have had such a lovely day, but he just can't wind down.

The catnap at 5pm in the car didn't help.

I think I had 4 hours last night- he had a little comfort feed but I didn't wake properly as we do coslEep. I wish there was another way though. I miss sharing my bed with my husband.

AwesomeSuperTasty Sun 06-Jul-14 21:18:49

How old is your dc, whats?

Ah, nothing against co-sleeping, of course, it just gets trotted out sometimes as a silver bullet to sleeping problems. smile

Self-settling - honestly, DS was such a Velcro, colicky baby that I thought there was no way he would ever self settle. He had to be taught of course (wasn't one of those magic babies who suddenly sleeps well etc), and he cried a lot at first so five minutes is nothing, don't worry!

AwesomeSuperTasty Sun 06-Jul-14 21:25:13

Mrsmugoo, I was going to do the same! Then I got side tracked tidying up some crap in the spare room.

Early bedtime is the only way to get through it!

I have to add though, I've had several hugely annoying times when I had an early night and then couldn't fall asleep till midnight. Of course these were the nights that DS actually sleep longer than 90 mins at a stretchz

AwesomeSuperTasty Sun 06-Jul-14 21:31:33

Smoke, do you find that he wakes a lot in the early parts of the night? Or no?

Also how do you find he manages a 3 hour wake time on a short nap? I'm thinking of stretching out the naps by trying to stretch the wake time as my baby seems to be dropping the last cat nap (I don't know how it's possible to sleep any less than he already does). So the third catnap now tends to be over by 1-2pm and bedtime has to be at 17.30 otherwise, chaos. And he's way over tired anyway as he wakes up very hour.

Anyway I'm just wondering whether to start some kind of a schedule or just keep going with a nap after every 2.
-2.5 hours.

WhatsMyAgeAgain Sun 06-Jul-14 21:52:22

My LO is 8 months. Proper velcro baby. By bathtime I'm just shattered so there's no chance of me being strong willed enough to do any kind of sleep training. Cosleeping gets me the most sleep at the moment.

Can't help thinking that if I did some kind of sleep training, things might improve. I just can't bring myself to do it. Things might change when I'm back at work in a couple of months. I just can't see him ever improving his sleep without some kind of intervention and a lot of crying. Sigh.

AwesomeSuperTasty Sun 06-Jul-14 22:09:56

Do you go to sleep at the same time as he does, whats?
Do you have help during the day?

The self settling thing. I know what you mean about energy for sleep training (that's why I haven't managed to sort out the night wakings yet! I just keep bfing back to sleep which perpetuates the problem, I know). But, you can follow the Pantley method (no cry sleep solution). So, for example m, if you are bfing to sleep, over a few weeks/days you do it a bit less each bedtime). It's less intense than proper sleep training.

Yes, going back to work worries me to, was hoping naps would improve by then.

Will your DS be going to nursery?

Popalina Mon 07-Jul-14 06:22:50

Thanks for starting! Got a 3 month old catnapper extraordinaire and a toddler who isn't a catnapper although we had to do an enforced drop of his daytime nap due to night waking...he woke last night though but generally sleeps through.

Anyone find themselves unable to go to sleep early in the evenings despite exhaustion?

AwesomeSuperTasty Mon 07-Jul-14 07:04:08

Welcome Popalina!

It must be so hard to look after a toddler too. But glad that he sleeps through!

Yes, I often find it really difficult to go to sleep early. I have days when I can nod off at around 9, and have intentions of going earlier but it rarely happens. I find that this stretch of time is the only real time that I have 'off' so I'm reluctant to go to sleep!

Did everyone have a good night?

smokeandfluff Mon 07-Jul-14 09:25:06

Awesome-he mostly does ok on the shorter naps, but I think it's because he sleeps well at night (at the moment! ). He was a terrible sleeper initially, ended up co sleeping, but managed to transition him into the cot by 4 months, and he was able to self settle for night sleep at this stage. Formula fed. Used to wake up 1-4 times per night. Also would wake after the first 45 minute sleep cycle of the night. At six months we would only offer milk at the first wake up, water at the other wake ups. At 7 months we started just offering water, then tryed to settle him without the water. We would also leave him a few minutes to see if he would resettle himself. last week he has slept through most nights.

His tolerance for short naps has improved with the improved night sleep (some nights he used to be awake for 1.5 hours, and still want to get up at 7am). His third nap has mostly disappeared, but if he has napped really badly, I get him to take it with a car/buggy drive. Hang in there-his night sleep has improved a lot over the past few weeks.

mrsmugoo Mon 07-Jul-14 09:40:04

Ok he is napping so I have approximately 35 minutes to myself...

I've really started to see some consistency now with being able to put him down in his cot drowsy and let him settle himself with a little piece of muslin that he likes to scrunch up and rub against his face and he sucks on his fingers.

I'm not going to beat around the bush - we did controlled crying to get to this stage even though he's only 4 months. Any method that involved picking up or any kind of presence from me just made him go into a rage. In the end what he really needed was the opportunity to work it out for himself. I never thought I'd "sleep train" this young or do any of the crying methods but this is just the way it's worked out and so far, we're seeing a great result. He grizzles for about 3 minutes now before he drifts off.

He only stays asleep one sleep cycle though! I'd don't know what to do a that. Maybe just accept it?

mrsmugoo Mon 07-Jul-14 09:45:43

My night sleep wasn't too bad last night. I put him down at 7:30 and by 7:45 he has sent himself off to sleep. He woke at 11:30, 2:30 and 5:30 and he even managed to go back off to sleep in his cot until about 7:15. It would be great if he could do 12 hours in bed, I wouldn't feel so bad about his short naps then.

I did try to resettle him without boob at the 2:30 waking but he was having none of it and in the end took a decent feed so having to accept he still wants to eat through the night. If that's what he needs then I'm cool with it as long as he goes back off to sleep well, which he did.

smokeandfluff Mon 07-Jul-14 10:48:57

Mrs-ds didn't nap for longer than 45 mins (unless in buggy/car) until he was 5 months. He napped quite well for around 6 weeks, then it all went belly up with illness/teething/crawling. Have to admit I've being doing cc with naps over the past week-pre baby I would have never imagined I would do cc, but naps had gotten so bad and he still roared with pupd/gradual retreat. Got so frustrated one day that I shouted at him sad . Decided cc was the lesser of two evils. Morning nap mostly ok now. Midday nap less successful.

mrsmugoo Mon 07-Jul-14 11:02:46

Yes he will randomly sleep 2 hours if I'm out and about with the pushchair.

My main gripe with his short naps is that really he needs 4 sleeps to get through the day but the late one (around 5pm) more often than not gets refused then bedtime is a nightmare. If I put him down for bed early then I just get an earlier start he won't sleep any longer and frankly the pre 6am starts we're a pain in the ass - especially as it means a super early morning first nap and the cycle starts all over again!

Definitelysometime Mon 07-Jul-14 12:43:40

Oh this is just what I need. My baby is only 3mo but is queen of 30 minute catnaps and up every three hours in the night. She also wakes up every 45 mins for a few hours at the start of the night thinking it's another nap.

I know she's really little still but two things are really stressing me out:

1. She has absolutely no self settle mode. To get her to sleep at all, and thus avoid total meltdown, I need to rock her to sleep each and every time. Exhausting. Presumably I'll need to teach her to self settle at some point and she'll never just 'find' this ability?

2. She's a screamer. When she's overtired? She screams. When she wakes in the night, or from a nap, she screams. There's no gently muttering it hand sucking while she wakes up gradually, it's 0-60 in 3 seconds. Does anyone else have this? There's no way I can get her calm again to continue her nap beyond 45 mins and in the night I just have to feed her repeatedly to quieten her down.

No idea what to do about it, and when, to improve her sleep...

Popalina Mon 07-Jul-14 14:22:09

Omg I feel like screaming. Baby is screaming in kitchen from over tiredness and I have just sat toddler in front of TV and cried. I can't take. It. We have people coming over to play in an hour so I need to pull myself together. It's not her fault, she has been disturbed twice and taken an hour to go back each time. We are nearly into the next feed. I just dropped dinner all over the floor too. Great.

Popalina Mon 07-Jul-14 14:23:41

And mrs mugoo - I know what you mean about the last nap and super early starts and no advice for you Definitely, sorry!

Popalina Mon 07-Jul-14 14:25:30

Right, given in and given her dummy. I didn't even sterilise it. Screw it. Works like a dream.

Popalina Mon 07-Jul-14 14:27:07

Ooh, mrsmugoo - mine has a muslin too!! It doesn't seem to quite satisfy her and I have been resisting the dummy as I don't want a scenario of crying when it falls out.

Popalina Mon 07-Jul-14 14:28:17

And awesome - same here about it being the only time to oneself. Right, will stop posting now! Back to the treadmill!

mrsmugoo Mon 07-Jul-14 14:33:26

Popalina - have you tried fingers? Eversince he found his fingers it's been the key to being able to settle himself. The sound of him sucking away on his fingers is like music to my ears!

AwesomeSuperTasty Mon 07-Jul-14 14:53:38

Ah, lots of us struggling today I see! Haven't had a chance to update and reply as baby Awesome didn't nap too well. Off for a walk now in hope of a nap.

Hang in there Popalina!

cake and brew for everyone!

minipie Mon 07-Jul-14 15:07:33

DD was a 30 minute napper. The morning nap always remained at 30 minutes but I did get the post lunch nap to go longer, as follows:

1) pushing it back slightly (I finally realised she just didn't need as much sleep as other babies, so I had been trying to get her to nap too early when she wasn't that tired)

2) putting her to nap in the pram and - when she started to wake after 30 mins - rocking her back to sleep before she had a chance to wake properly. Oddly after the first 30 min wake up, she would often sleep for another hour or even longer, with no more wake ups.

I must admit that 2) was a bit of a pain - I used to sit in a quiet house waiting to hear her start to wake up so I could pounce and get the rocking over with. But it did get me a long lunchtime break, and a happy well slept baby who I could take out all afternoon, so it was worth it. Gradually, she stopped doing the 30 minute wake up (except when teething/ill) and just slept for 2 hours of her own accord.

We improved her night sleep no end by doing CC, which taught her to self settle instead of needing rocking back to sleep each time. This didn't fix the 30 minute napping though - not sure why - she would self settle for the nap but then wake up 30 mins later. Possibly because she wasn't tired enough, with hindsight.

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