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9 month old terrible napping

(15 Posts)
Me624 Sun 27-Nov-16 16:13:03

I posted on here a little while ago about my DS's adult night time sleep. Thankfully that has sorted itself out - nothing I did in particular, he just started sleeping better again after about 2 months of terrible sleep. However now his naps have gone to pot.

He was in quite a good routine of having a morning nap about 2 hours after first waking, lasting 1-1.5 hours, and then an afternoon nap after lunch, lasting again about 1-1.5 hours. He self settles at bedtime and often during the night but has always needed to be rocked to sleep for naps since he learned how to roll. Otherwise if he's not asleep when I transfer him he just rolls around - or now crawls and pulls himself up to standing.

Lately nothing is working. He resists napping whether I try and rock him to sleep, cuddle him or push him in the buggy. It is taking me 30 minutes sometimes to get him off ... and then he usually wakes up after 15/20 minutes. I think this is a classic overtiredness symptom but I have no idea how to break the cycle.

Today is typical of the last few weeks and he has had 1 hour 15 of naps in total (one 45 minute nap and one 30 minute nap). As soon as he woke up from the last one he was rubbing his eyes but he just won't go back off and now it's getting to the point where it's too late for him to nap or he won't go to bed.

Someone please help me! He is getting 11-12 hours sleep a night (he generally sleeps 7pm-5am, then has a bottle and is awake for a bit before going back to sleep until 7/8am) but as I said above only 1-1.5 hours a day worth of naps lately which is clearly not enough.

Timetogrowup2016 Sun 27-Nov-16 16:33:34

Hi me,
I'll join you,
This is my dd as you know she's been like it since 5 weeks.
Nothing works for her either.
She sleeps 12 hours. 7pm-7am at night straight .
But today has had 1 times 10 minute nap.
Can self settle for nap but still will not stay asleep.

Hope we find some answers

Me624 Sun 27-Nov-16 16:42:55

Hi Time, as I've said on the March thread before I have no idea how you cope when your DD has been like it since 5 weeks, you poor thing. Hopefully someone will have some ideas for us!

LaundryQueenHatesIroning Sun 27-Nov-16 16:50:25

Could you perhaps try to push his bed time to 8pm? My DS has to have his good naps to sleep well at night so he goes roughly like this:

7.30am wake
9.30 -11.30am nap
3.30 - 5.30pm nap
8.30pm bed
7.30am wake ... Etc

Sorry if it's not much help, just thought as your DS sounded similar to mine it might help?

LaundryQueenHatesIroning Sun 27-Nov-16 16:52:13

Sorry, meant to say my DS is nearly 12 months but has been in this routine since maybe 6 monthish.

He'll probably drop a nap soon and destroy my world grin

Me624 Sun 27-Nov-16 19:03:24

THanks for replying Laundry, wow I am so jealous of your 4 hours of napping a day! You must be able to get so much done. I would happily push DS's bedtime back if he took a decent length nap at a later time but I couldn't at the moment because he's so shattered by teatime from having napped so poorly all day. Most days recently bedtime has been coming forward to 6.30 because he's so tired. I just don't know how I can get him to sleep for longer - he's not even getting a full sleep cycle most of the time when he just has 20 or 30 mins. Has anyone tried wake to sleep? How does that work? I've seen it mentioned a few times on here but not actually seen anyone saying it's worked?

I possibly should have mentioned that the only semi-reliable way of getting DS to sleep where he does then have longer is the car. Several times I've given up on trying to get him to nap, gone out and then he's fallen asleep in the car and I've ended up sitting in the car on my phone for an hour in the supermarket car park while he sleeps as I'm so desperate for him to have a decent nap!

PontypandyPioneer Sun 27-Nov-16 19:22:24

No help really - my now 2 yr old didn't nap from the day he was born! I had to go out for walks in the rain/snow/sunshine! He hated the car so that didn't work either. Now he will go in the car (now refuses the buggy!) but usually after about an hour of driving! If he doesn't have a nap he's soooo grumpy. Also hard to get him out in the car because I have DS2 who is almost 5 months.

Now I'm having the same problem with DS2 - he refuses naps but sleeps well at night (usually!) - problem is that I can't go out walking with him as DS1 would have to come! Arrrgh! I must be doing something wrong to have two babies who don't nap confused

user1474565301 Sun 27-Nov-16 20:55:36

I'm interested to read what people say about this, as my LO is exactly the same. I could have written this myself.

LittleTalks Sun 27-Nov-16 21:44:27

I'm another one who could have written the OP themselves. DS (8m) will do 12 hours at night, but 30 mins tops during the day. It wouldn't bother me but for the fact he is obviously tired and grumpy, particularly in the afternoon. Again the exception to this is in the car where he would sleep for ages, but will wake up as soon as the engine stops. These babies eh? They just don't know what's good for them!

LaundryQueenHatesIroning Sun 27-Nov-16 22:05:19

'Wow I am so jealous of your 4 hours of napping a day! You must be able to get so much done'

I should clarify, he only naps like this if it's on me so the only thing I get done is watching a load of TV and mumsnetting! If I put him in his cot to nap he only stays down for 30 min! I don't mind, though, it's time for me to relax and means he sleeps better at night. I admit I am lucky in that respect though, and lucky he is my only baby!

It's so difficult though, sleep, it's such a fine balance. I am jealous of the fact that your DS self settles on a night! I guess it's swings and roundabouts though.

FATEdestiny Sun 27-Nov-16 22:20:15

I've just had a read through your thread when ds was 7 months. So my understanding is that at 7m he wasnt sleeping well at night but you got long daytime naps (by rocking and holding). Now, at 9m overnight sleep is less wakeful but during the day he seems unable to link sleep cycles.

Is this a reasonable summery?

So I think you are reading successes from outcomes thay are actually due to exhaustion, not sleep improvement. At 7m he was sleeping longer in the day because he was completely exhausted by broken night sleep. Now I would say your nights sleeps are mostly due to exhaustion from so little daytime nap.

So in neither case have you actually 'cracked' healthy sleeping habits. It's just baby was reacting to needing more sleep.

Would he sleep better if you coslept for naps, lying together on your bed? Then you'd be right there to immediately reinsert dummy and shush him at the first slight murmur from his sleep. The key to linking sleep cycles is being super quick. Have a way to get him back to sleep the instant he starts stirring, before waking properly.

Him napping in the pushchair works for this too. As long as you are attentive and notice the very first stirring from a deep sleep - dumny and gentle pushchair rocking to lull back to sleep.

There is no point "sleep training" for extending naps. Sleep training teaches methods of getting to sleep. You need to help him learn to sleep deeply and not wake up.

To learn to sleep deeply he simply needs everything offered to him to help make sleep as easy as possible. Sleep training methods are effectively about making sleep harder for baby (to help them learn to sleep independantly). You are not at the point of needing that yet. You need to teach baby to sleep well. To sleep deeply. Its about the quality of sleep. To do that make sleep as easy as possible for baby.

So movement (like the car journey you mention). Pushchair. Cosleeping. Snuggling together. Dummy. Snuggle toy. Lots of compassion and down time at sleep time.

- The key is first improve the quality of baby's sleep.
- Once sleep quality is good baby will sleep for longer chunks of time
- Once sleeping for longer, getting to sleep is easier for baby
- so then you start working on independant sleeping, because at this point baby can better cope with being challenged on how they go to sleep.

Me624 Mon 28-Nov-16 06:28:18

Thanks FATE for a really detailed and useful post.

I don't think DS has never had good quality sleep. Pre-6 months he slept well at night and napped well! But certainly I think you've hit the nail on the head for why we've been having problems for the last 3 months.

Co-sleeping is something that used to work for us when DS was smaller, I often brought him into our bed in the early hours of the morning. However it gradually just stopped helping. First he wouldn't sleep if DH was in the bed (Daddy = fun times in his eyes). Then as soon as he could move he just saw the bed as a bigger play area than his cot. I haven't tried it in a while though and maybe if I try and get him sleepy first and then lie us both down it might work. You're absolutely right that I need to be there to quickly resettle when he stirs - when I'm downstairs even if I dash up at the first noise it's too late and he's standing up by the time I get to his room and way too awake to resettle. I'm going to give this a try today.

I think I just need to mentally give up on the idea of getting anything done during his naps or having any me time for a while. I need to crack this as he's going to nursery after Christmas and they're not going to have time to cuddle him for 30+ minutes or sit by his cot in case he stirs.

FATEdestiny Mon 28-Nov-16 08:03:01

I was more thinking of cosleeping just for daytime naps. You could always take your phone up with you, and a cup of tea, then mumsnet for an hour once he's asleep. It's just to teach him how to sleep deeply, rather than a long term thing.

With you there you can get to him super quick to resettle.

You can also pin him down (in the nicest possible way). He needs to know that moving around, kicking legs, flaying arms etc are not what you do to go to sleep.

So you can use your whole body to help him learn to be still. A firm hand in his chest can be used to hold his hands still. An arm over his legs to keep them still. Effectively holding him still and calm, and being there for immediate dummy reinserts.

You could always go the pushchair nap route if you at not keen on cosleeping to teach him. Naps can reasonably stay in the pushchair longer term if you want.

Thinking longer term, keep in mind how you plan to wean off cosleeping if that's what you do. Over time reduce his dependence of being physicaly cuddled to go to sleep. Then move away on the bed so it's just your presence (maybe a reassuring hand on chest) but he goes to sleep lying down without being cuddled close. Then you can start moving naps into the cot (once they've extended) once he can go to sleep lying down without being cuddled.

Me624 Mon 28-Nov-16 09:24:43

Thanks FATE. I have seen a number of your posts on the sleep board and you really seem to know your stuff!

Well we are currently 35 minutes into a cosleeping nap and I am embracing MN and games on my phone. So far so good.

I will also think about pushchair naps. He usually sleeps well in his pushchair if we spend the day at my parents or my in laws. For some reason I hadn't considered it as a long term solution but as you said there's no reason why he couldn't nap in his pushchair really.

FATEdestiny Mon 28-Nov-16 10:55:47

Some people use the pushchair for daytime naps right through until naps are dropped ages 3 or 4 ish.

It's really practical when you think about it. It means you can be anywhere or go anywhere at any time, even if baby is a sleep.

I'm a cot-nap fan. But the downside of how routined my 2 year old is means that I always have to be at home for nap time and she finds it difficult to sleep when out and about.

There's probably a happy middle-ground there somewhere - whereby baby gets used to both.

I hope your nap this morning was successful. Remember if naps are short, keep them frequent (60-90m awake time between naps) to avoid over tiredness. I wouldnt start spacing them out more once naps are consistantly longer (90+ mins asleep).

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