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How to extend naps into two sleep cycles?

(7 Posts)
rrra Fri 18-Dec-15 05:49:04


rrra Fri 18-Dec-15 06:00:15

Pressed button too soon! DS is 15 weeks old and for the last three weeks night time sleep has gone to hell. He was ill in hospital at 10w with bronchiolitis and two week later got a chest nfection. He was prescribed steroids and antibiotics and since started sleep is bad. He is EBF.

He went from waking 2-3 times a night to hourly wakings. I've given it some time but things are not going back to how they were. Spoke to a lactation consultant/independent HV who suggested he is having trouble getting from one sleep cycle to the next without my nipple in his mouth. She suggested trying to work on this in the day so hopefully it would mean he'd carry it through to night. He has not had more than 45 min nap since he was tiny, unless on me and having a quick feed at midway point.

I'm so exhausted not even sure where to start! I have an older DD so need to keep house quiet for her at night, which is why I've fed to sleep each time. DH has tried settling T night but it just winds DD up. He won't take a dummy at night, but occasionally uses one go get off for a nap.

Has anyone tried to extend naps? How??!-

WineandDine Fri 18-Dec-15 12:15:20

Sorry you've had such a rough start with your DS.

My DS is 14 weeks and we're slowly starting to get through the one cycle naps. I've found that blackout blinds/dark room & white noise really help him. We also use a Love to Dream Swaddle sleeping bag (we have the 50/50 one which allows arms to be taken out) and I sometimes tuck his legs in with a lightweight sheet if he's particularly wriggly! His Moro reflex is still pretty strong so all of this keeps him nice and cosy and stops him walking himself up.
I've never tried this (too scared to wake him!) but I have read about a method called 'wake to sleep' where you gently rouse them just before they would naturally wake up from the first sleep cycle. The idea is that they then drop off back into another cycle as a result of you 'waking' them.
I notice that my DS has short naps if he's overtired and I don't get him down for a nap in time so also keep an eye on his awake times and put him down as soon as he starts showing sleepy signs.

Good luck flowers

mrsmugoo Fri 18-Dec-15 13:36:56

In my experience it's completely normal for them to wake after 45 minutes and you can either dedicate your entire life to extending naps by rocking or all manner of techniques from books or just accept them and concentrate on trying to get enough shorter naps into their day by going on walks with sling / pushchair.

They usually lengthen naturally around 6 months, usually when they drop to 2 naps and then again when they drop to one long nap.

rrra Fri 18-Dec-15 13:48:44

Mrsmugoo, that is my experience with my older DD too. But not sure how I can try and sort out the night wakings then? Maybe I can try to teach self settling in the day?

Just tried to extend a 40 min cot nap with no success. Well, got 5 more mins!

mrsmugoo Fri 18-Dec-15 13:57:36

I always tackled day and night sleep together so around 4 months I stopped rocking and feeding sleep (just went cold turkey on it, for good!) and introduced a nap routine of feed, song, put down in cot, rub his back until eyes droop then walk out. If he cried I'd just repeat until he fell asleep but never pick up/take out of the cot. He very quickly learned to just roll over and drop himself off to sleep and I never had to rock or feed to sleep again.

mrsmugoo Fri 18-Dec-15 13:59:22

I really do think trying to extend naps is unnecessarily stressful. Teaching self settling from as early as possible is the best thing I ever did.

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