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"The books" v reality: amount for 3 month old

(27 Posts)
squizita Wed 24-Dec-14 15:44:22

My 3 month old is perfectly happy and healthy. She tracks the 9th percentile so is small but not concerning so (she was born on the 25th).
At night, she sleeps 11-12 hours bar 2 10 minute feeding wakes.
In the day however she is 100% NOT tired every hour and a half as the books say. She won't nap thar often: all thar happens is she is happily awake in the crib/sling/arms for another hour till she sleeps.
If I rock and put her down its always 3 times a day she has a good proper sleep.
It totals 13-14 hours - which many sources say is the lower end of ok.

She has no signs of over tiredness. GP, nurse and HV all state she is textbook healthy and we'll developed.

But some sources say 18 hours is ideal. They all say they can only go an hour and a half.
I feel so guilty and anxious: maybe she is 9% not 25% because she doesn't sleep enough. Maybe she will not develop properly. fsad But when I look at HER it does seem she's sleeping enough for HER. And experienced mums nod and say "oh she's just a non napper ... does she sleep ok at night?" Which she does ... as if it's a harmless quirk. But am I neglecting her?

Sorry for the long rant. Anyone else feel this guilt or stress about the books (especially the sleep ones saying more is needed than the basic 14-16 hr most books say).

Redling Wed 24-Dec-14 17:16:40

Well this wasn't my intention...

Redling Wed 24-Dec-14 17:18:07

All I can do is repeat what I did on the other thread "Remember, everything is an average and should only be used as a reference point—your child is a unique little person.". If that can't help them I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention to upset you. I can take averages with a pinch of salt but not everyone can.

Redling Wed 24-Dec-14 17:29:35

And (sorry to go on!) you have already answered your question, your baby is healthy and happy! All the information out there, ALL OF IT is a guide, as your baby is unique. I found that my DS really was an absolute mess if awake more than 90 mins. It worked for us. It might work for someone else. If it doesn't work for your DD, then discard the info and go with what is best for you. These things aren't meant to be taken as a kind of manual for babies and it's not the intention of the authors that people get upset if their babies don't folllow it. Please trust your instincts which tell you that you know your daughters sleep needs. Advice and sharing experiences is just that, no need to be angry at sources that happen not to tally with your experience. I could be angry with othwr sources who said babies don't need to sleep every 90 mins at 4 months and if they do they are over sleepy, something's wrong, but I dont because I know what my son needs and it doesn't bother me.

squizita Wed 24-Dec-14 17:30:51

fsmile It's not aimed at your sharing of the link.

It's not just that blog I went and looked at several and a book... They all say it varies ... then all use words like "optimum", "healthy" etc. And it's always left hanging ... less is "unhealthy" but no how's or whys or what could happen ...fconfused

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 24-Dec-14 17:51:09

Squiz- do I remember rightly that you suffer from anxiety? I think you need to step away from the expert advice and look at what your baby is telling you, which is that she is doing well.

And why on earth would sleeping more make her grow bigger? And why is being on the 25th and not the 9th a good thing?

Honestly, you'll give yourself a breakdown if you assess everything against some fictional normal. You have a whole load of tiny milestones to come - sleep, interest in solids, sitting, crawling, walking, teeth, first words. Some your baby will be bang on average, and some one end of the spectrum or the other. smile

Redling Wed 24-Dec-14 17:56:13

I know, I just want to clarify that I wasn't claiming that 18 hours was the norm and that when I share info it's not to claim my way is the best and other babies not fitting that is wrong. You know your baby isn't overtired because she's happy being awake. I knew my baby was because he screamed like a banshee. I had literally no idea how long he was supposed to sleep as I don't have any parenting books so someone linked to that site and I started trying to nap him every 90 mins and he was much happier. He now goes longer, but tbh can go a day with hardly any day sleep or a day with loads. I don't think it makes any difference to his development, I'm sure only chronic, long term overtiredness could affect growth and clearly your DD doesn't have that! I'm honestly sorry if I've added another bit of 'helpful' info to worry you, as I said I can take things with a pinch of salt so I wouldn't think it would worry anyone to a massive extent. Anyway, far too much waffling for Christmas Eve! If I can prise my baby off grandma I ahod get back to him!

squizita Wed 24-Dec-14 18:30:29

Mine has decided she MUST sit on me and feed. Oh dear (not) dh must bring me prawn sarnies and a small beer. fgrin

Yeah I think I'm getting all anxiety/guilty again.

GoogleyEyes Wed 24-Dec-14 18:38:22

I had a baby at the same time as a close friend. Mine needed the upper end of what all the books said was normal in terms of sleep, hers needed right at the bottom of the range. Same now they're at school. It's just how they're made - and as long as you follow their cues (which you clearly are) then it's fine.

If you had a wailing, eye rubbing, grumpy baby then you might want to reconsider nap timings. Since you don't, enjoy!

squizita Wed 24-Dec-14 19:17:33

Also I wonder if it's genetic. I'm one of those people that don't need the full 8 hours. As a child it was drummed into me this was a "problem" (because my dad is rather rule-driven when it comes to kids - though he too is a light sleeper) though i wasnt tired off it. In my younger days I would go clubbing every night and college/work by day just fine. Now I've got a baby it's still useful!

I do also get bouts of insomnia due to the anxiety which is why I know 6 hr a night is ok for me- because it feels healthy in contrast to insomnia.

Perhaps she is indeed just a lower end of the scale sleeper.

lollygagger Wed 24-Dec-14 19:33:06

My ds was always near the bottom of the amount of sleep the books said and still is. Now that your dc is 3 months she may start showing you cues when she's ready to nap. If you can put her down when you see the signs she'll sleep as much as she needs. My ds only sleeps between 10 and 11 hrs at 4 yrs which is less than "recommended " but he is robust and healthy so I don't worry (anymore).

ruth1104 Fri 26-Dec-14 09:58:56

my ds is 2 months old and frequently goes for hours without a sleep (no real routine yet). Hes at the 96th centile for his height, it definitely has nothing to do with the amount of sleep he gets! (up every hour last night, for example...) i would put the books away unless you think theres a problem, which there clearly isnt right now smile

squizita Fri 26-Dec-14 10:26:27

I've noticed it's not totals si much as she has a long nights sleep then a long morning nap ... then shorter and shorter naps till bed time. Which is probably why she sleeps well at night! Oh well that's just her I guess.

Redling Fri 26-Dec-14 13:24:32

I don't think nap lengths mean much at this young age. Nat can have a 30-45 min nap then 2 hours later a mega 2 hour nap. When they will only reliably nap twice a day length of sleep might be an issue, but I know with DS if he's only done a couple of 30 min naps by 3 he might need a bit more. With him it's not really the amount of sleep a day that matters, I've never counted how many hours he has in total in 24 but I know it must vary day by day. It's the amount of time he can go between naps, if he's awake 2 hours he needs a sleep, whether it's 30 mins or 2 hours doesn't seem to matter, it's more that he's switched off and had a rest from over stimulation. I seriously doubt he gets 16-18 hours sleep over 24, but he does sleep fairly often iyswim.

nc060 Fri 26-Dec-14 22:20:22

Your child is a baby NOT a robot! Step away from the books xx

FATEdestiny Fri 26-Dec-14 22:35:04


I remember your posts and recall your anxieties relating to your DD. Step away from "the books" and "the guidelines".

Trust your instincts, they will be right.

Your baby is and will be healthy.

Speak to your doctor about these anxieties. It isn't healthy to need to seek reassurance every time you come across someone or something written that suggests you could parent in a different way. This is not an automatic suggestion that you are doing anything wrong.

Everyone parents in a different way and that is OK. Your way is not "right" it is just your way. Equally my way is not right or perfect and neither is anyone elses. Perfect doesn't exist in parenting.

Your search for perfection in parenting your daughter is ultimately unattainable and so will make you ill.

Eyespy24 Sat 27-Dec-14 19:26:55

My DS was very similar to what you describe at 3.5 months. He only seemed to need /have big naps from about 5 mth.

Just go with what your baby & instinct tells you.

Artistic Sun 28-Dec-14 00:36:27

I have a 3 month old & a similar issue. My DD sleeps for a total of 15 to 15.5 hours which is again 'just about ok' by the books. Until now I believed it was ok, but last week or so am making a huge effort to get her 3-4 naps in the day of 1 hour...I can see that she is doing much better in terms of mood/ irritability / feeds etc. she does sleep 12 hours at night. So I would say - try to get her sleeping between feeds. If you find she gets better then its working for her, if not then drop it.

squizita Sun 28-Dec-14 10:26:14

Arstistic as I mentioned before she's perfectly happy ... eats well, cries maybe once or twice a day with clear cause (ie cries- poo in nappy - changed - all smiles).

If I made this huge effort you describe neither of us would ever go out, feed etc. Would that be a trade worth making? Because she genuinely isn't tired. I tried making her nap (as again I mentioned before) I just ended up trying to settle her for 2 hours ie until she was tired same as before.

Bit thanks for the anxiety boost. confused

squizita Sun 28-Dec-14 10:27:04

Artistic ...sorry. Autocorrect mega fail.

squizita Sun 28-Dec-14 10:31:19

Oh also she does nap 3 times a day already.

splendide Sun 28-Dec-14 12:50:07

Mine gets less than yours Squiz. I get maybe an hour in the morning then 2/3 at lunchtimeish if really lucky then maybe a couple of little catnaps later in the day. Then maybe a 5 and a 3 hour overnight. So not nearly enough but there doesn't seem to be much I can do. He just feeds so often that he can't fit much sleep in sad

splendide Sun 28-Dec-14 12:52:59

So definite anxiety boost for me from this thread. Your baby sounds like she's perfect and you're getting amazing night sleep. Do you honestly think it's wrong?

Artistic Sun 28-Dec-14 13:03:19

Squiz - I suppose if she is having 3 naps in the day then you shouldn't worry. It's hard to enforce the 4th nap. Didn't mean to cause anxiety. Just shared what I was trying since my DD seemed to be having lesser than the 'prescribed' amount of sleep & we were perhaps in the same boat.
Hope it all works

eurochick Sun 28-Dec-14 13:14:05

Squiz, my baby is a little older than yours. I have no idea how much she sleeps and have never monitored it. Even when she was in nicu, where they closely monitor milk intake and nappies, they didn't record sleep.

Are you getting support for your anxiety?

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