Night time sleep, naps and early starts(6 Posts)
My one year old is generally an okay sleeper but for a few months now doesn't seem to be able to manage more than 9.5 to 10 hours of night time sleep (with or without minor wake ups which happen every few nights). We generally put him to bed between 7:30 and 8pm meaning he wakes up between 5 and 6am, most of the time around 5:30am. We've tried a few things to get him to wake a bit later in the morning (earlier bed time, later bed time etc) but whatever we do we can't seem to get him to sleep longer than 10 hours. Fine, we'll just cope by going to bed earlier ourselves and hoping it's just a phase...
My question is about his naps. He has two naps - one starting 9:30-10am and the second starting 2:30-3pm. Because I've read that his night time sleep might be shortened by too much day time napping, I generally wake him up after an hour for the morning nap (sometimes 45 mins if we need to be somewhere), and after an hour to an hour and 15 mins for his afternoon nap. I almost always wake him earlier than he would wake naturally, and most of the time he is in a pretty deep sleep. However shortening his naps have made no difference to how long he sleeps at night - so I'm wondering whether I should let him nap for longer so that overall he's getting more sleep (and I'm getting more downtime!)?
Or alternatively, does anyone have any other ideas about how I get him to shift sleep from naps to night-time?! Would shifting to one nap a day help?
Thanks in advance, mumsnetters!
Early waking and night wakings = overtired and not getting enough total sleep in my experience. At 1 yo I'd let him nap longer in the day. Anything you try, you will need to give it a good few weeks to notice a difference.
Sleep breeds sleep. He needs longer daytime naps.
Baby needs to be sleeping much longer in the daytime.
Personally I would want a sleep at 9am and then I would wake up Baby, at 11am if not akready awake. The reason for waking here is because you need to work backwards from bedtime for naps. Baby doesn't really want to be sleeping after 4.30pm, so waking from the morning nap (but after a good 2h nap) mean a baby should be ready for a 2pm sleep. I would only wake from this if still adlwrp by 4.30pm.
Thanks so much for the thoughts. Really useful to know that he may be over-tired and needing more daytime sleep rather than less. I guess it didn't occur to me that he might be over-tired as he's generally a very happy chap even after 3 to 4 hours awake. I will try putting him down earlier and letting him sleep for longer.
Only problem is that three days a week he is with a childminder, because she also looks after an older toddler and does a school run his naps get a bit messed up (he naps in the buggy on the school run around 9-9:30am, but she has to wake him up after 45 mins because he needs to nap again at 1pm to be woken up at 2:45pm to do the school run again). Presume it's still worth me trying longer naps on the other four days though...
Thanks again for the help.
I have school runs to do too. Your childminder will be used to fitting babies naps around school runs.
When my DD was on 2-nap days, from 7 months until 20 months, naps were 9-11am then 1-3pm. These were specifically to allow for school runs. Naturally her nap times would be 9-11 and 2-4 but the afternon nap wouldn't work with school runs so I had to move it earlier.
The trick is having a fool-proof easy way to signal sleep time. That was being given dummy and blankie for my toddler (neither of these she ever had when awake). Once that is established you can move routines to work around your life as needed, because baby will respond to sleep cues to go to sleep slightly earlier/later as needed.
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