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How do you extend naps?!

(13 Posts)
niwi1 Mon 16-Nov-15 12:35:38

My DD is 20 weeks and is a chronic cat napper who occasionally has surprised us with a long nap here and there. She wakes up crying and doesn't want to be awake but I'm not sure how to extend her naps so she wakes up refreshed. I've tried PUPD (which is what I used to get her to settle herself at bedtime) and it worked a few times but it seems to make her more upset now.

She settles to sleep by herself for naps and bedtime and sleeps from 7pm to about 3am for a quick feed and then back down until 7-7.30am.

At the moment she is only getting about 3 x 45 mins naps a day which I don't feel is enough at her age.

What technique can I use to help extend them?

nottheop Mon 16-Nov-15 12:39:56

This is really common. I resigned myself to a week of doing all naps at home in the cot and would go in 5 minutes before he was due to wake and shh - pat him through the sleep cycle.

This formed a new habit and after a week he was sleeping for longer

KP86 Mon 16-Nov-15 12:43:10

Look up Masada method. It's a sleep school in Australia (where I'm from) - I took DS there at 4.5m. Best thing I've ever done as a parent.

It's a shhh-pat method as well. Works like a charm, once you get through the first few days.

PittacusLore Mon 16-Nov-15 12:43:18

Do you put her down for a nap, or let her nap anywhere?

Mine always napped longer if I could put them in their cots in a dark, quiet room.

Also, she's still very young, the naps 'join up' as they get older and more active.

HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Nov-15 12:44:06

Unfortunately my ds did this until he was 10 months. It really stressed me out. We started doing naps in the pram, but inside the house so I would rock him to sleep a bit and if he woke before say an hour, I would rock him again and he would go off again for up to another hour. It's not for everyone but for us personally, the pram + rock worked wonders. In fact ds is 23 months now and asleep in his buggy as I type. I also found life so much easier once they were down to two then one nap a day, my ds is not a sleepy baby.

lilac3033 Mon 16-Nov-15 12:46:02

DD only did naps up to 45min until really recently. She started extending them around 24 or 25 weeks.

Queendedede Mon 16-Nov-15 13:19:21

Another one who used to do cot c naps and go in 5 mins before end of sleep cycle to pat back to sleep for another cycle.

niwi1 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:15:35

Thanks everyone.

First nap of the day is normally on the go as I drop my toddler at nursery and tend to do errands etc. Lunchtime naps I do at home in the cot during the week (weekend mostly on the go) and then the afternoon one is a variation on buggy/cot/sling (as I know this will be the first one to go I don't care how it happens as long as it does!)

I put her down at 12pm today and she woke after half an hour. I left her for 5 mins to see if she would resettle, then went in and did shhh/pat for about 25 mins, she got the message and she is still asleep now!

So in theory if I am consistent with this she will eventually get it?

futureme Mon 16-Nov-15 14:18:08

I dont think my little one ever napped for over an hour! I didnt even realise this was a problem until joining mn (later!) I just went with her sleeping when she wanted to (often in the sling or sometims the car/buggy if I used them) and usually after a feed.

I still don't quite get the fuss about extending naps now. I had my second since mn and she tended to nap around 45min -hour several times a day too!

fatpony Mon 16-Nov-15 14:21:20

My son only napped for 45 mins at a time until about six months when he suddenly started doing an hour, then hour 15 or so. Around 8 months he settled into 90 mins in the morning and 90 mins in the afternoon. Sometimes I have to wake him up. I think as they get a bit older and more active/observant they almost want to have a routine.

magpie17 Mon 16-Nov-15 15:03:52

I have the same problem - DS is 17 weeks and only ever really naps for 40 mins maximum maybe three times a day. Sometimes only 20 minutes.

He will sleep in the pram/sling if we're out but not in the house, won't sleep in the crib at all during the day but will sleep in his mamaroo seat. He fights sleep for ages no matter when and where I put him down. If I let him sleep on me (which he is doing right now) then he falls asleep easily and stats asleep for over an hour but I'm worried if I keep doing that he's never going to sleep alone!

HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Nov-15 19:17:02

OP yes I think if you can continue that you may well reset the nap clock and your dc might start extending naps. But if not, things should become easier once she's a few months older and moving about more, and becoming more tired.

mrsmugoo Thu 19-Nov-15 09:26:10

In my experience catnapping is a developmental thing - it's very normal for small babies to only sleep for 40ish minutes at frequent intervals. There's nothing you can "do" to extend this except ride it out and usually they naturally start to have fewer, shorter naps once they get past 6/7 months which develops ultimately into one long lunchtime nap.

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