Can anyone help me work out a nap schedule?(6 Posts)
My baby is nearly 3 months old. I'd been trying to follow a loose feeding / sleeping routine.
So far I had:
7:15 Wake and feed
6:00 bath and cluster feed
He's been going down by himself for naps but wakes after 40 minutes on the dot. I can resettle him if I rock him for 20+ minutes but can't then put him down again.
I've been doing some reading and now realise that it's not normal for babies this age to put sleep cycles together yet for naps and so I wonder if anyone could help me by suggesting a day's pattern with more short naps in it?
Sorry, this is probably like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but I'm so tired I can't think logically.
Also, what age might he start to extend his naps?
Before reading the rest of the post, I was going to say your awake time is too long. But I see you realise that. Naps at this age are usually short so you have to make them frequent.
Looking at the one you use already, I'd go for a 1 1/2 to 2 hourly repeating cycle routine. This is based on EASY.
E - Eat. Full feed.
A - Activity. This is your happy/awake time. The moment grumbling and wanting to be held starts, it's sleep time. Awake time should only be happy and grumble-free. At this age Id expect awake time of 30-60 minutes - from the time you noted as they woke up. Limit to no more than an hour.
S - Sleep. Include the time it takes you to settle baby to sleep in "awake time", not "asleep time". So shorten awake time accordingly. Expect 30-45 minute nap lengths.
Always, always try to resettle back to sleep when waking (if sleeping in a bouncy chair or pushchair this is easier by gently rocking them again). Just for a few minutes as soon as they first stir. Once properly awake give up though. But by trying to resettle is good habits to lengthen nap times.
Then when baby wakes - go back to the start of the cycke cycle and start again.
Repeat, repeat, repeat. From morning until you go to bed. Structure your day in these 2h (ish) repeated cycles.
I forgot to tell you about the Y in EASY.
Y is you-time while baby sleeps (apparently). Really it's just there to make the acronym work.
Do you need a strict routine? In my experience there's no need to start imposing a schedule so young as it only causes frustration for mum and baby . If you watch your baby you will see the tired cues and hunger cues so just go with them. My dd showed me her own schedule but it was pretty much all over the shop until 6 months then she naturally fell into what is sometimes called the 234 routine with longer naps.
I agree I wouldn't be worrying too much about a routine at that age, in my experience they find their own when they're a bit older (took my daughter about 4 months, my twins are only just getting there now at 8 months.) It does look like his awake times are quite long tho. Does he seem tired in between naps? That's really the best guide. Personally I also wouldn't try to extend his naps - all it did when I tried was stress me
out, and again, all my babies got there eventually in their own time anyway. (Daughter was a determined 30 min napper til she was about 9 months, but she seemed fine on it!) Good luck!
I'd aim for an hour of awake time at that age so
Wake and feed 7.15
Playtime on playmat or on you
Bum change and sleep for 8.15.
Repeat all day.
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