Advice on nap places and bedtimes please

(5 Posts)
onesteptotheleftofme Mon 25-Jan-16 03:11:20

I think i need someone to tell me whether i am being too ambitous or not.
My 6.5 (nearly) month old is now is in his own room, for about a week, and haa gone 7/8 hours with no wake ups most nights. Tonight is a 4 hour wake up, the second night like tjis, which i am really pleased about.

I dont think hes getting enough sleep overall though. From Christmas, Daytime naps are usually now 30-40 minutes, occasionally 1.5-2 hours. He gets tired after 2 hours, sometimes 1 hour. Weekdays, daytime naps usually happen in the pram. Weekends my partner rocks him/we time it aroumd a car journey.
Bedtime starts at 6.30, change/bottle/sleep/wake up after 30 mims/1 hour bf/comfort sucking, asleep and left at 9.30pm.

Do i need to be concerned about daytime nap length?

onesteptotheleftofme Mon 25-Jan-16 03:20:11

Sorry phone wouldnt let me fimish the post.
I would like to have the option of putting him to sleep in his cot on weekdays and getting him to self settle in there,bu dont know how to do this. If not in the pram i bf to sleep.
Is nap length and self settling developmental? Can i do any,hing to shorten the evening put down process? He used to cluster every day from 6-9 or 11 so the eveninhs are much better than they were.

I dont know if there's much i can do to help things or if he'll just grow into a better napper.

onesteptotheleftofme Mon 25-Jan-16 03:22:57

Also (poxy phone) do i focus on extending naps as much as poss;ble or focus on getting him to settle then hope sleep times improve? We do need to go out eveey weekday else i'll go nuts.,

FATEdestiny Mon 25-Jan-16 10:17:53

There is a current thread on the sleep board about nap extending - this is another 6+ month old and might be useful in terms of what the OP has done to achieve cot naps for the daytime.

Is nap length and self settling developmental?

Nap length is, but you are about at the age when baby should be able to learn to extend naps. This happens somewhere around 5m-7m old, give or take.

Self-settling is tricky to answer. Much depends on what you define as self-settling? Babies cannot go to sleep like an adult (tired, lie down, close eyes, sleep) until they have the emotional development at around school age - so 4 or 5 years old. Until then babies need something to provide the comfort and security to be able to go to sleep. That said, the something can allow for independent self-settling - as in baby can use their sleep trigger to go to sleep by themselves.

The something babies use as a sleep trigger can vary wildly. It might require a parent - rocking, bf to sleep, movement and so on. If you establish this as the sleep trigger then baby won't just grow out of it without you teaching a new way to sleep.

do i focus on extending naps as much as possible or focus on getting him to settle then hope sleep times improve?

I think both are tied together. If you can start teaching baby to settle to sleep in the cot, you can use the same methods to try and keep baby asleep for longer when he first starts stirring awake.

You can still go out, but when he's awake.

Daytime naps are usually now 30-40 minutes... He gets tired after 2 hours, sometimes 1 hour

This is a usual routine for when baby is on short naps. I'd probably be aiming for a nap about 90minutes after waking while naps are short.

But you could encourage baby to extend the naps so that short, frequent naps changes to 2 or 3 longer naps per day.

I favour the firm hands to settle a baby to sleep in the cot. Feed baby, settle him and then lie in cot. You sit/lie right next to the cot and a firm hand across chest/shoulders helps sooth baby with your presence. A second hand over kicky-legs also helps baby calm and sooth. A tightly tucked in blanket also does a similar job.

I use a dummy, so firm hand on chest, re-inserting dummy as required and the occasional finger-pat and/or shushhhhhhh as needed. The idea is to teach baby to be still and calm to go to sleep where he will wake up - in the cot.

Similar tactics can be used to extend the nap - if you get to baby quick enough so he doesn't fully wake.

Can i do any,hing to shorten the evening put down process?

As above to establish going to sleep in the cot. Also, establish a sleep trigger that can be used by your DS independently to you. I favour dummy and comforter toy for this. It means over time baby can learn to gain comfort and security from dummy and blankie (as we use) rather than needing me.

onesteptotheleftofme Mon 25-Jan-16 16:25:11

Thank you for the response FATE. As ever, I appreciate being able to talk through these things with someone with experience.

I have realiased that what I want is for the boy to be able to sleep in the pram/pushchair and the cot. I would like to be able to put him down awake in the cot and for him to go to sleep himself, although i don't think this is possible for him yet. I need to formulate a plan for getting him to this stage, i.e. finding a way to help him help himself get to sleep.

Regarding your suggestions,
Self settling - by which I mean if he wakes up too early he can go back to sleep himself without help. he does this at nighttime, but doesn't seem able to do it in the daytime. It would be lovely if I could put him in his cot tired and he gets himself to sleep but I suspect this won't happen for a while. I'm happy to use a sleep trigger. So far his triggers are breastfeeds at the right time, his dad rocking him and the movement of the pram.

Going out - I don't drive and it takes 30-40 minutes to get into town. I can't just go out inbetween naps, he needs to be able to sleep in the cot and the pram.

Firm hands idea - that's a good idea. I've just tried that after he woke in the pram but I suspect it was too late and he was fully awake as after 20 minutes he's wide awake. How long should I try and re-settle him for? Do I give up after 10 minutes if he is not calming down? A shorter period?

I want a solution that doesn't stress him or me. I think I might try getting him in the cot for his first (9ish am nap), when we can still be in the house for it. I suspect to start with i'll need to bf him till he's drowsy, put a dummy in (which he's taken today for the first time in 3 months) then do the firm hands on the cot thing. Or bf him to sleep, place in cot and resettle through dummy and firm hands thing.

I don't feel comfortable leaving a toy in the cot in case he suffocates on it.

We won't be able to do this every day as some days we need to be out (appointments etc), but if we try with the first nap of the day, hopefully he will learn and then we can start applying it to other naps.

How long should I persevere until I see a difference? 4 days? 10 days?

Thanks for your advice, and apologies for the long post (and many other posts I've done recently).

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