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7 month old early waking and nap issues!

(9 Posts)
clurina32 Wed 27-Jan-16 10:14:34

hey all, so my 7 month old is finally settling herself at night after a bit of sleep training and getting rid of dummy. I suppose she is 'sleeping through' but our daytime routine is slightly off due to nap schedule and she's always ready for bed by 6pm and then wakes in the morning anytime between 5.30am/6am.
We really need her to wake later than 5.30am as she's ready for her morning nap by 7.30!! We only have one car and some mornings our routine consists of having to drop my husband off at work and my son off at pre school. So she doesn't actually get to nap until 9.30am. I often find that she has a 5 min nap in the car then refuses to go down for a nap once we're home which results in a very cranky baby!! When she does manage to nap in cot its only for about 30mins, 45 if we're lucky. She normally has an afternoon nap around 12.30pm and again it ranges between 30mins and sometimes an hour in length. She will not have a nap later in the afternoon, no matter how hard I try so she's extremely tired by 5 and its a battle to keep her awake until 6!
So basically naps are all over the place. This has only happened since she stopped waking for night feeds. We used to have a good routine and she would have enough sleep during the day.
Can anyone suggest how we can get her to sleep later in the mornings? I feel like we need to shift it along a bit. Any advice I have read says to try and make the morning nap as late as possible which is kind of what we're doing, but she's having none of it. its exhausting for me and her!!

nottheop Wed 27-Jan-16 10:51:20

It is hard when you're in the car because it is so easy for them to fall asleep in the car then. Ideally, I'd go for the following timings;

7.30am wake up, dressed, milk and breakfast
9.30 nap
11am awake lunch, play etc
2pm nap
3.30 awake
7pm start bedtime routine - bath (if req.) pjs, milk, teeth (if there are any) gro bag, book then into bed wide awake and settle in cot.

When you're out of sorts I think its better to just go for it and have a grumpy few days getting into a better routine.

clurina32 Wed 27-Jan-16 10:56:28

thats the kind of routine we would love, but she's waking at 5.30 most mornings and refusing to go back to sleep again! Its near on impossible to get her to stay awake until 9.30am for a nap.

Any tips on how to get her to sleep for longer in the mornings or will she just grow out of this?! I can't even remember what happened with my son, it is all such a blur!

nottheop Wed 27-Jan-16 11:01:38

What time does she fall asleep in the car? In babies at this age they tend to wake up about 2/2.5 hours before their usual first nap time so to get a later wake up time, you need to get the nap pushed back IYSWIM

FATEdestiny Wed 27-Jan-16 11:02:04

t sounds like you need to start working on re-settling as a means to extend her naps.

This involves getting to her super-quick (ideally instantly, if you can anticipate when she will wake up and be right there when it happens) and re-settling her back to sleep when she first stirs. This first stirring isn't actually 'waking up', it is just the gap between one sleep cycle into the next. If your child has no ability to re-settle, then this gap becomes a wake-up.

So get to her as soon as she first stirs, before she actually wakes up. A firm hand on her chest/back and long, quiet shushhhhh may be all that is needed. Maybe sometimes a gentle finger pat with your firm hand on her chest/back. Leave your hand there and try to keep her still and comforted. Do similar things you do to settle her to sleep at bedtimes.

In time she will start to naturally link her sleep cycles and this re-settling wont be needed. But you often do have to put in some work to teach her to sleep longer.

The timing of your naps sound all over the place and you are right, this is all likely to be affecting her bedtime and wake-up time in the night.

You do have to fit baby's naps in with your family routine. If she has a long car journey in the morning then I would use that as naptime. It is pretty impossible to keep a tired baby awake on a car journey, I find! So I'd just go with it and for now have this as naptime and aim for getting this nap as long as possible.

If you establish this car nap (what time would that be? Say 8am-9am?) then I would go for another nap at 12pm and try to extend to 1.30pm if possible. Then a third shorter nap at say 3.30pm-4.15pm.

This is just an interim suggestion as a means to move bedtime later and so mornings later. If you can get bedtime closer to 7.30pm and wake-up at 7am ish, then aim for cot naps after the morning car journey instead. A later morning wake up should mean she's less tired on the car journey so that she's still awake at 9.30am when you get home. Then you can aim for naps of 9.30-11.00am and 1.30pm-3.30pm. You can't realistically get straight to that point though, there will be an period of transitioning naps moving.

Diddlydokey Wed 27-Jan-16 11:02:30

I found that the naps become more consistent when they are on 2 naps per day. We transitioned to 2 naps at around 7 months.

clurina32 Wed 27-Jan-16 11:03:56

if we're in the car normally about 9am. There's nothing I can do about it as we have to bring her with us to drop my husband and son off. When I dont have to drop them off she will go down for a nap after 2 hours which is normally 7.30am/8am....then only sleeps for about 30mins.

Diddlydokey Wed 27-Jan-16 11:10:16

I would do the nap in the car for that one then, keep her awake until you go on the nursery drop off and task your other DC with keeping her awake until you get to nursery. Take a book to entertain you whilst you sit on the driveway!

clurina32 Wed 27-Jan-16 13:49:17

this is the other problem....we always have to drop my husband off for 9am and she ALWAYS falls asleep just after we drop him off, then it only takes about 10 minutes to get to my sons pre school and I have to take her out of the car, I can't leave her in there sleeping. So therefore she always wakes up! Then it only takes us 5 mins to get home and she refuses to go down for nap even though shes only been asleep in the car for 10 mins max!! Argh its frustrating. I think I need to talk with husband about other methods of him getting to work etc
Thanks for all your suggestions!

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