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GF lunchtime nap the only missing part

(17 Posts)
inkstigmata Mon 26-Apr-04 16:16:15

Hello - I have a six week old dd2 who is on Gina Ford's routines and has been guided towards that from her first week. Overnight is virtually problem free, so is morning nap (though she would prefer to sleep longer when I wake her at 10am) She takes 4+ oz (formula) feeds during the day, though the last 1oz is often slow going, and 2-3oz feeds at 10.30 and 3am. She is happy during the day - though ends up having half her bedtime feed at 5pm and needs more careful handling after her bath.

The only part of the routine she really doesn't like is the lunchtime nap. She gets pretty sleepy by 11.45am and goes off to sleep in her room fine, but almost always wakes after 45 mins screaming and won't re-settle. When she wakes she is only just over an hour past the most recent feed, has dry nappy, and needs the sleep, but this is the only time she is having none of the routine.

The way I've been dealing with this is to get her up and take her out in the pram because that gets her an hour of sleep and keeps the routine on track. Obviously this is more of a problem when dd1 (3) is at home, as she has to hop on the buggyboard and the chariot weighs several times as much!.

Do any other GFers have this lunchtime problem? DD1 had the same trouble - everything else worked pretty quickly except this (once it did, everything was fine). There's no mention of lunchtime being a problem nap in the book - it's all about night waking. There's one case study when a nanny disrupted a 3mo's nap and getting it back took two weeks of crying out. I haven't done that but walking the streets is rather trying.

As I said, I suspect dd2 would prefer to sleep longer in the morning - as do many children of friends. But I'm worried that she would be very cranky later in the day, and more, that she would drop the naps other than the morning one first.


papillon Mon 26-Apr-04 16:52:30

Hello inkstigmata - just a quick note. Wanted to apologise for making you feel unwelcome here on MN. I myself started my *career* on MN on a fairly controversial thread.
Anyhow, I used a baby carrier when dd was young... maybe could be a way to help your little one resettle - there are alot of different types recommended on the home page of MN.
Bloss who posted after you on the other thread is the diva on Gina Ford - I hope she sees your post and offers some guidance. I am sure she would not mind you contacting her either.
Anyhow, many apologies... we just have different parenting styles that got in the way there. All the best


Evita Mon 26-Apr-04 20:41:58

You could chuck GF in the bin and let your dd sleep as long as she wants in the morning and then let her go back to sleep again when she's ready in the afternoon!

Don't mean to sound rude but I sometimes find this GF stuff gets my goat. I responded to your post on my thread earlier about this so won't go on again. But I honestly think that GF is held as a kind of magician who has this secret recipe and although she undoubtedly does give some good advice, there are other ways and not all babies fit into her schedule. My dd always had 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 again in the afternoon and it suited her fine. I just balk at the idea of trying to see our kids as little clocks or machines. We as adults don't function like that.

kiwisbird Mon 26-Apr-04 20:44:34

I am so with Evita!
At 18 mths dd still loves he morning nap!

elliott Mon 26-Apr-04 20:52:29

Hi there
I'm with Evita on this one. when I managed to get ds1 into a reasonable sleep routine I basically used the 'up for two hours, then down again' rule that GF uses, but I didn't wake him in the morning. he always liked a longer sleep then and ended up with two 1.5 hour naps which suited him well. When he did drop one nap, it was the afternoon one but I just pushed the morning one forward to about midday with no problems.
BUT if you want to follow her to the letter, I think you'll find that she DOES address the issue of the lunchtime nap being too short (its quite a common problem for babies to wake after one 45 min sleep cycle - and imo wakign them in the morning doesn't help). She suggests giving a small top up feed just before to make sure that hunger isn't an issue; keeping the room dark and the surroundings quiet at that time; and leaving for up to 20 mins to see if the baby will resettle if they wake up early. Its definitely addressed, maybe you've got an older edition?

inkstigmata Tue 27-Apr-04 09:58:17

elliott - thanks, I’ve got that part, and I basically feel I can rule out hunger at that time because she will take a full feed shortly before the nap. I have tried topping up anyway before now and she is not very interested and sometimes still won’t settle back. Because she is really good now at settling unaided in the morning, evening and overnight, I’m somewhat baffled as to the cause.

A couple of times a week she will sleep the 2 hours fine at lunchtime, but it’s the exception not the rule at the moment.

I’m sure she would sleep in a baby-carrier, as she will in the pram or the car. It’s not so much that there’s no way she will sleep – just that she finds it hard to sleep somewhere that is fine for her at other times

I don’t mean to sound rude either, but I’m obviously a Gina Ford follower as per the title of the thread, so "chuck it in the bin" and "this GF stuff gets my goat" are not the most mature or helpful statements. We’re all mums, responsible for our precious children and sometimes these threads feel like playground scrapping or something!

I’m new here, but I’m finding this bothersome

Sha1 Tue 27-Apr-04 10:07:26

Hi there, I Gina Ford too & its worked for me.
This a bit drastic but the darkness was on issue even with the black out curtains and all the light still got in. One mad day I got black bags and put them over the window it really helped. The only other thing that would wake ds up was wind and too much noise. I had my sis & here dd over last week and ds couldn't get enough quiet to go down for his lunch time nap.

futurity Tue 27-Apr-04 10:29:14

no time now but i had the same thing and it is very common..have posted a reply on a similar thread here . HTH

elliott Tue 27-Apr-04 10:47:43

inky, I think in that case you should probably just go with it at the moment - she's still very little and you'll probably find that it works itself out in the next few weeks. Again I think GF advises a short nap around 2.30 if the lunchtime nap has been too short - reading between the lines I think this is a common occurrence at this age.
Don't take the GF-knocking personally - along with controlled crying, GF arouses passionate responses! I don't think anyone was trying to be unhelpful, just suggesting that it is possible to develop a good routine that isn't exactly the same as GF, but might suit you and your baby better.

eclaire Wed 28-Apr-04 02:41:20

Whatever works for you I say! I'm new to MN as well and I see GF is very much a love hate thing on here! Anyway snap I have the same thing with ds who seems to be the same. He is still like that only sleep 1 hr at lunch time (nearly 5 months now) and I have been using GF myself (not to the letter!) but close enough. I also used a variation for my dd (2.7yrs) and it worked for her (she needed more sleep then recommended). Is your dd2 happy when awake after a shorter sleep? I found that ds just didn't need as much sleep overall and use to make it up with a bit longer in the later afternoon sleep at 4pm.
Can I recommend a book which I found really helpful Healthy sleep habits, happy child which gave some interesting info.
Have to go now as ds is waking so can't quite write what you anymore about what i do - my 1hr is up!!

AussieSim Wed 28-Apr-04 05:51:09

I don't have much advice on issue. I just wanted to lend support - I am a GFer. It is just that DSis 15mo now and I can't remember 6weeks all that well, but I think it was the morning nap and evening getting to bed I had probs with not the afternoon. I imagine it is harder to do whatever it takes to get them the sleep when you have an older child. There is no harm experimenting to see what happens if you let her sleep as long as she wants in the morning. I was always reluctant to wake up DS. The only time I would definitely make sure he was up was for his 7am. I just kept working at the routine till he was doing it - but they will always have their days anyway. Good Luck - I may be asking you for advice if I have a no. 2.

bunnyrabbit Wed 28-Apr-04 12:02:35

Hi Inkstigmata,
Oh yes I remember this well. I also followed GF loosely from about 4 weeks and defnitely had this problem. DS is a very light sleeper and even today (33 weeks) he generally wakes up at 45 mins, talks to himself for a while then goes back to sleep. Especially happens if we've been out a lots at lunchtime. He only sleeps 45 mins at lunchtime when he's at nursery too. Bit of a problem 'cos he definitely get's more tired and even with an afternoon nap, needs to go to bed earlier.

I tried everything but found that the best thing was to leave him to settle himself. If you don't like this idea, then the pick up/put down technique might work (baby whisperer).

As elliot points out, most babies enter light sleep about 45mins, some don't wake up, some do. They just have to learn to settle themselves again.

If ds gets anxious I don't leave him (He definitely has a different cry from the tantrum 'come get me now' shouting.)

You will find very different views on GF on MN. I tend to go with the flow. I don't think anyone has all the answers, but they all have some of them... use what's best for you and baby and nod politely when anyone says anything different.

Good luck


Utka Fri 30-Apr-04 16:24:39

I was really interested to see this thread as I too am having this 'problem'. DD2 is 9 weeks old. Like yours, she goes down easily for the morning and afternoon naps, but almost without exception wakes after 45 mins / 1 hour at lunchtime.

One problem is that I have to collect DD1 from nursery right bang in the middle of this sleep time - I can sometimes get round this by walking there and back with the pram, but this isn't always feasible, and she tends to wake up when the pram stops moving, unless she's settled herself to sleep (rather than falling asleep to the motion of the pram).

DD1 was a 'model' GF baby, for which I was grateful at the time, but I think with no. 2 you just don't have the luxury of always being at home for naptimes, and being able to devote yourself to getting the baby into a routine.

Although I really am a GF fan, I find it interesting that little or no mention is made of how you do things with a noisy, demanding toddler around - a quiet wind-down time before bed is virtually impossible in this house!!

Despite being glad that DD1 was so easy, I always swore with no. 2 that I'd be more relaxed, because, especially in the early weeks, I was obsessed with following Gina to the letter. I gradually learned though that it actually doesn't matter if you don't do this - as someone else says, babies have their off days, and you have to just go with the flow. One off day doesn't break the overally routine, as long as you follow the basic principles of gettin them to eat as much as possible and not sleep too much during the day. I also adhere to the waking at 7am / bed at 7pm bit (this is the one thing that does work well with having an older one - it was always a killer having to wake up at this time when you didn't have to with no. 1!)

So this time around I've just been trying to follow the basics and not worry too much with the detail. The downside may be that DD2 won't ever have a long lunchtime nap, but she settles herself in the carseat and bouncy chair herself, if naps in the cot aren't possible, and is also happy to drop off without the need for complete darkness (something that made travelling and trips out really difficult with no. 1!).

At the moment, DD2 is managing very well with 3-4 sleeps during the day - often 3 x 1 hour ones, and a shorter one towards the end of the afternoon. I'm hoping that in due course I will be able to encourage her to have a longer sleep after lunch (and after the nursery collection time). At the moment though, it's having no effect on her nightime sleep, so I'm just going with it. Second time around I feel more confident in my own instincts.


SenoraPostrophe Fri 30-Apr-04 17:17:46

Same problem here! I'm no great GF fan, but I use it as a "template". I'd be happy if he slept longer in the mornings and less at lunchtime, but he only manges 45 mins each, or 3 30 min ones, and is grumpy all day.

However the other day he managed an hour and a half in the morning, and nearly 2 hours at lunch and he was a little angel. Have you tried letting your dd sleep a bit longer in the mornings? (then maybe cut it back by 5 mins a day so you have something that resembles GF a bit more closely).

nanette Sat 01-May-04 02:52:12

My dd is 15mth and I am a true GFer and this is why I am so disappointed that my dd still won't nap in the afternoon for more than 1 1/2 hour. If I let her sleep in the morning, she won't go down well in the afternoon. If I drop the morning nap, she still won't nap for more than 1 1/2 hour in the afternoon . By 4 p.m. she is so tired. Maybe I am keeping her up too long while she is awake by skipping the rules- no baby should be awake longer than 2 1/2 hours. Do you agree?

DD wakes up at 6 a.m., when she has a morning nap it is at 9 or 9:30 and will sleep for 30-40 min., and down again after lunch between 12:20-1 p.m. down again at 7 p.m.

I've tried Ferber(controlled crying), Wiessbluth (let cry solution), and even the Pantley (gentle cry solution). Nothing has worked.

SenoraPostrophe Fri 07-May-04 14:31:57

inkstigmata: did you find a solution?

I ask as I have decided to go full GF with ds (can't do two-hourly feeding any more or I will have a nervous breakdown). I have exactly the same problem! But as I said, I don't have to wake him in the mornings, so I can't even try my own suggestion.

inkstigmata Tue 11-May-04 15:29:11

I haven't found a solution yet, and dd2 still nearly always wakes early, but now sometimes it's after an hour or more - and sometimes she will re-settle after a bit of crying, sometimes she won't but will basically just grizzle and grumble every few minutes without major discontent. So have been leaving her in her cot for almost the 2 hours. There doesn't seem to be any knock-on effect on the rest of her day if she has gone without up to one hour of the nap it seems - she still feeds well at bedtime and enjoys her bath.

This happened with dd1 for until she was about 4 months so I have two cases of this bit of GF not working. Although by 4 months dd1 was simply waking up and chatting or singing etc.

Thanks for the responses

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