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Nap training - what works?

(34 Posts)
Tumtitum Fri 30-Dec-16 14:46:30

DD will be ten months in the New Year when I go back to work and we will have a nanny of sorts looking after her at home. Naps have always been hard work although as recently as two months ago she would go to sleep in her cot for both naps, after some whinging and careering around, and sleep for a good hour so I know she can do it!!
Since she's gotten more mobile naps have become very hard again and we have gone back to feeding/rocking/buggying to sleep. I have the house to myself first weekend in Jan for a long weekend so as DH is hopeless as hearing DD whinge or cry I'm thinking of trying some nap training to see if I can get her self settling again.
Hit me with what has worked for you please! Thanks grin

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 16:43:13

I'd sit or stand by the cot and lie her back down every time she gets up. A firm hand on her chest/back reasserts the lesson that in order to go to sleep, she needs to be still.

Once they are mobile it's not unusual that getting to sleep becomes difficult. It's hard for a toddler to learn when it's time for the off-switch much the same as my puppy cocker spaniel. You may need to actively teach things like "now is not the time for crawling/standing/climbing" and "when you are in the cot you need to lie still to go to sleep".

BoredOnMatLeave Fri 30-Dec-16 16:49:00

Shamelessly following as I have a nap fighter who starts nursery in Jan sad

Tumtitum Sun 01-Jan-17 20:11:59

Thanks for the suggestion FATE. I'm not convinced that she will sleep with me in the room as she's an incredibly sociable baby... I can but try though!!

Anyone else have any other experience of nap training?

QuandryQueen Sun 01-Jan-17 20:14:41

I got mine used to napping in the buggy. I put it in a darkened room and for the first couple of weeks rocked them back and forth in the dark til they fell asleep. I also used to go in after about 40.mins and rock them again so they went into a second sleep cycle. Both very quickly got used to the buggy as their nap spot so didn't need the rocking.

They both had comforters - dd had a dummy and a favourite soft toy (she still sleeps with the toy at 5), and ds has a giant Muslin he rubs on his face.

user1480105008 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:14:44

Hi there,
I used sleep training with my 10 month old over a year ago.(she is still a good sleeper) Make sure you have a proper ritual before nap time, go upstairs draw curtains, change clothes or put sleeping bag on. After that have a nice long cuddle, (I used to sing twinkle twinkle 3 times, and walked around with her in the room) then just put baby down say good night and leave the room. If baby starts crying, leave baby for 2 min then go in, say it's nap time, lay baby down, stroke her back for a few seconds ad leave the room again. If baby cries, wait for 5 min then go back in the room, say it's nap time lay baby down, stroke back for a few seconds and leave the room. If baby cries, wait 10 min then go back in the room, don't say anything just lay baby down stroke back for a few seconds then leave the room. After that go in every 15 min until baby is asleep. If baby wakes up after a while, start the sleep training all over again. It sounds tough but it worked for my baby after two days. I used to put headphones in to listen to some loud music, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do it. Also you can always change the times for example just wait 1 min for the first time then 2 min then 3..Also there are usually some relapses but all you have to do is start the sleep training over again. Also listen out for the cry. If baby cries and stops and cries and stops, then it's all about attention. If baby doesn't stop, and sounds very distressed, it could be teething pain. My health visitor suggested this method, and it really worked for me. She said, I should keep going even if baby is throws up from crying. (luckily that never happened) Before anyone things I'm a heartless mum, after 10 months of not sleeping I just got really really fed up and determined to change things around. I hope this helps, and just ask me if you have any questions.

Itsjustaphase84 Wed 04-Jan-17 22:40:48

I did exactly what user1480105008 advised and it worked fairly quickly and dc is a sound sleeper. You must be persistent and know your child's cries and do not give up. I did go back in after 1min, then 2,5, 10,15,25,30 mins and kept reassuring them.
I usually made sure my phone was charged and surfed the Internet on the stairs in between or whatever.

Tumtitum Thu 05-Jan-17 14:16:14

Thanks User and Itsjustaphase, I think this is the sort of method I am going to have to go for. It's pretty much what we do for bed time, although she rarely properly cries, it's more shouting and whinging (and when she does properly cry I fall to pieces!!!).
I think we have an okay routine, we go upstairs to her nursery, I change her nappy and put her into her sleeping bag, and currently we are then breastfeeding although I think I might have to knock that on the head sad I was wondering about adding a quick book in to help her relax before putting her into her cot? She's not a hugely cuddly baby and to be honest once she knows it's sleep time (she starts whinging the minute I start putting her into her sleeping bag!) she just starts thrashing when I try to cuddle her!!!
I have a couple of questions if you don't mind mind...
Do you think it will only work if I don't pick her up out of the cot? The reason I ask is that I have always found her really hard to comfort in the cot as she is busy crawling around and reaching up for me so I can't really pat her. At the moment at bed times if she gets really upset I pick her up and give her a cuddle and a jiggle until she is calm, which can take a good few minutes, then put her back down and leave.
Also do you just keep going and going until they fall asleep, or if it's been going on for say, an hour or longer (which has happened with DD!) do you just give up and get them to sleep whatever way you can? She is prone to overtiredness which then makes it even harder to get her to sleep so I worry about her missing naps entirely, or taking her first nap so late in the day that it's hard to squeeze in another before bed.
Thanks very much for the replies

Itsjustaphase84 Thu 05-Jan-17 16:54:52

You're halfway there with the routine and a book is a lovely way to wind down. Yes there will be lots of whinge/whiney type cries but listen out for pauses in between. if she pauses she's not truly upset and testing you.
The first time you go in, pick her up, reassure her and tell her what you are doing. Any other time you go in after that do not pick up but reassure her shortening the amount of time you spend with her on each re-visit.
My ds wouldn't lie back down either and would stand up after u left but again do not give up but stick with the times. Even if it takes more than an hour. I've had this. It will pay off and you will benefit but it's bloody hard work and It does tug at you emotionally.

I'm glad I did it as even when other people puts dc to bed he shows them the routine of milk/teeth/book etc!!

It's upto you on your timing but you could just add a minute each time but make every moment away slightly longer.
I usually start bed routine about 6.15/6.30 and in bed for 7ish.

Also I think there are sleep regressions mine was at 18 lasted a few weeks but routine/and same method paid off.

Good luck.

Itsjustaphase84 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:01:13

Everyone is different but my routine at that age was
Say night to everyone
Teeth brushed
Choose/read some books
Cuddle/talk about day (all one sided)
Sleep bag
Blow out 'big' light together. Or just me.

But I'd tell them what were doing now and next throughout.

user1480105008 Thu 05-Jan-17 20:06:35

I wouldn't pick her out. It's all about reassuring them that you are there and it's not about comforting them until thy are settled. If you want a more gentle approach try the pick up/put down method. This can also make a difference but it takes much longer. I'm doing it with my 3 month old as I can't do controlled crying until she is 6 month at least.
Don't give up after an hour, just keep going. If you give up she will know that if she puts up a big enough fight you will give in. Maybe use the same method for bed time as well so she will get used to the method. Maybe start with bed times in the evenings then do nap times. Mine cried for at least an hour on the first night then she woke up evey hour so we had to do the same thing every hour. Second night she cried 20 min then she didn't wake up. 3 night no cry just sleep. Use head phones, have support there, ask your husband to do it...whatever it takes. It will be worth it. Good luck!

Tumtitum Thu 05-Jan-17 20:43:43

Thanks for all the tips guys!
I think pick up put down would be a disaster as I think it would wind her up, I think I'm just going to have to get tougher and not pick her up!!!
Ironically more often than not she goes down just fine at bedtimes, I guess because she's more tired. She was a bit more unsettled as we'd had guests over Christmas but two nights ago I let her cry/whinge, went in twice and cuddled her each time and eventually she settled herself, then both last night and tonight she settled herself just with a bit of babbling. Who knows if it's anything to do with toughing it out that one night or if she's just settled a bit now that the house is quieter!! She does still wake in the night, usually once or twice, which I must admit I'm a bit worried about once I'm back at work, but I'm far too soft to tackle night weaning just yet... watch this space for more desperate posts in a few months time!!! grin
I think I will start with the morning nap as I've read before that should technically be the easiest... the next question is should I just stop her from feeding when she starts to look sleepy, or should I drop the before nap feed completely?! Technically she shouldn't really need it as she's only had breakfast an hour before... but I don't normally feed her from then until after lunch which seems like a long gap! Sorry I'm just rambling now smile Thanks again for all the tips! No doubt I'll be back with more questions! grin

Tumtitum Thu 05-Jan-17 20:44:56

PS laughing hysterically at the idea of asking my husband to do it... I'm trying to do stuff this weekend because I know he's away! I have to hold him back to stop him from rushing in the minute she makes a squeak!!! grin

Tumtitum Sun 08-Jan-17 15:30:27

Anyone around for some advice? So we started nap training yesterday. Miraculously she went down in the morning with hardly any crying. We were out in the afternoon so she slept in the buggy.
This morning she cried pretty hard for an hour, with me popping in at intervals, but then slept for 1hr 30. This afternoon I put her down at 2.30 and she's still crying now, I've been in every 10 mins, now stretching to 15... my problem now is that if I carry on for much longer then if she does sleep I will have to wake her almost straight away as she won't sleep tonight otherwise!! Do I just give up and bring bedtime earlier? Do I risk her getting overtired? Should I have woken her from her morning nap earlier so that I could start her afternoon nap earlier? I don't want to ruin this morning's hard work but it's so hard listening to her cry sad

Itsjustaphase84 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:45:21

Sorry just seem this
I also had this
Yes. I did give up and put dc to bed earlier. Tomorrow is another day but don't give up at night. I found day time harder and sometimes I just thought forget it and took him back downstairs. I even cried that day but some days are like that.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 08-Jan-17 21:55:19

When I nap trained I was told that if the child isn't asleep within 45 minutes then to abandon the idea and just do an earlier bedtime.

I sleep/nap trained my DS when he was 10 months old and I did it under the guidance of a Sleep Consultant so had very set plans to follow.

Tumtitum Mon 09-Jan-17 09:09:19

If I gave up after 45 mins she might never sleep!! grin in the end I decided to get her up after an hour then she fell asleep just as I was climbing the stairs!! I then had to wake her up after 20 minutes otherwise it would have buggered up bedtime and I felt so mean, she was so fast asleep!!
I'm not changing anything at night at the moment, she's actually pretty good at going to sleep initially and for now her wake ups are manageable. I'm going to save tackling nighttime wakings until my husband is on board with the idea of taking over for a few nights!!!!
Thanks for the replies smile

Tumtitum Tue 10-Jan-17 14:40:10

This doesn't feel like it's working sad She's settled slightly easier for her morning naps but the afternoon nap is still taking upwards of an hour for her to go to sleep and I'm finding it very tedious and stressful sad I even cut her morning nap short this morning to see if being more tired would help but it's exactly the same story this afternoon.... I've just been reading that it can take up to two weeks for CC to work, I don't think I can manage this for two weeks, not unless it suddenly drastically improves... how long did it take for you guys to see an improvement??

Timetogrowup2016 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:47:38

How old is baby ?
My dd is 11 months and she has one afternoon nap of 30-45 minutes.
She manages 7am-12pm
Without any tired signs or grumpiness and goes to bed 6-7 .
She may need one nap at 12-1:30/2 and bed at 6 ish

Timetogrowup2016 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:50:22

Fwiw I tried cc for naps for a month and it never made any difference

Writerwannabe83 Tue 10-Jan-17 15:20:18

I tackled night times first with CC which worked in about 4 days and then I used the same technique to address nap times which took another few days.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 10-Jan-17 15:23:27

Meant to say his routine at 10 months was:

Wake up at 6am.
Morning nap for 1.5hrs at 09.15
Lunch time at 12.
Afternoon nap for 1.5hrs at 1.30pm
Evening meal at 16.30
Bedtime at 7pm.

He stayed on this routine until he was about 20 months where he then dropped a nap and instead had one two hour nap after his lunch.

Jokeaboutmyhotchoc Tue 10-Jan-17 15:30:24

We hired a sleep consultant and even she said naps were often impossible to crack for some babies

My ds was a shite napper until 6 months when he dropped to two naps, at which point he inexplicably started sleeping in the cot for 1.5 hours twice a day. He's 10 months and still doing that now but I'm sure at some point it will stop. I think you just have to do whatever works with naps tbh.

Jokeaboutmyhotchoc Tue 10-Jan-17 15:31:33

Also be aware cc often works like a charm for night sleep and not for day sleep

Tumtitum Tue 10-Jan-17 15:54:45

Thanks for the different experiences. I have a feeling DD might be one of those difficult ones! In the end I gave up, fed and rocked her to sleep, she slept for 40 mins but woke up crying and still obviously tired, gargh!!

I've thought about dropping to one nap but generally she's going down readily for her morning nap (after showing signs of tiredness) after being awake for around 3 hours and sleeping for up to two hours, so it seems like she needs it then, then I could be keeping her up from latest 11.30 until 6 or 7 (her bedtime was 6pm at one point as her naps were so shocking) which just seems too long...

She also had a few blissful weeks around 9 months when she started sleeping twice a day for 1/1.5 hours, but then she learnt to crawl....

Feeling very conflicted about what to do..... tbh my gut is telling me that this is too stressful for both of us and I should just do what works for now as she may not be long going down to one nap anyway... but then I remember that prior to starting this her naps had gone back to being just 40 mins, not long naps and I worry that not letting her get herself to sleep will mess with her linking sleep cycles eventually and I'll end up with a cat napper again - argh! I'm also very aware that she is such a happy cheerful baby, even when knackered she doesn't grizzle so it would be easy to push her into one nap when really it's not the best thing for her.... or could end up buggering up her night sleep (which isn't the best anyway, 1-3 wake ups and wake time variable) is she ends up overtired.

Sorry for the rambles, just thinking out loud now!!!

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