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15 week old baby nap and bedtime - what is best?

(8 Posts)
EmW1987 Sun 19-Feb-17 18:07:19

Hi All,

My daughter will be 15 weeks old tomorrow and over the past week has been waking an hour and half earlier in the morning and I'm thinking we aren't getting her napping and sleeping quite right.

Over the past week she has been waking at 7am instead of 8:30am.
She then has a feed and play for an hour and half before first nap at around 8:30am which will left for 45mins.
Her next nap is then around 11:15-11:30 again for 45mins.
I try to have both these naps in her cot in our room with her settling herself to sleep with a dummy (I'll watch her on the monitor as she is now in her big cot)
She'll then tend to nap at around 2:30 for 45mins if we are lucky.
It's then after this point that we struggle to get her to nap.
I have tried to distinguish feed and sleep (as everything I read has told us not to feed to sleep) but often to get her to nap past this point I have to feed to sleep, or have her cry herself to sleep (which I can't cope with) as she seems unable to send herself to sleep.
We tend to put her to bed at around 9:15 after taking her up for bath and a feed at 8:30. I want to work on an earlier bedtime but concerned that if we take her up for bed at 7 we will be waking early as she tends to get 10hours at night at a push.
She has a dummy and very much relies on that to send her to sleep.
Before this week she was quite often linking her first nap and had an hour and half nap but this hasn't happened since her earlier waking. I'd be keen to hear other peoples napping and sleep routines and any advice on how we can manage her sleep would be appreciated.


FATEdestiny Sun 19-Feb-17 19:17:04

I would keep naps in something you can move (bouncy chair or pushchair) until they are routinely around 90 minutes in length. This allows for movement to move from one sleep cycle into the next.

Once linking sleep cycles, so not needing that movement to resettle between sleep cycles, then I'd move to cot naps.

AndIAskMyself Mon 20-Feb-17 03:22:52

I actually wonder sometimes if this is developmental. My DS didn't start a nap routine until he was about 12 weeks, and even then I was ok to get him to take the first couple of naps each day, but after a certain time in the day it was near impossible to get him to nap in his cot, and my NCT friends had a similar experience. I found that trying to get him to sleep in the pram, or feeding him to sleep in my bed for that nap helped to establish it at a set time every day, and then a few weeks later he just started to take it in his cot as normal and would settle himself. I did persist with those naps because I found a nap later in the day really helped to make bedtime so much easier.

But basically, I didn't worry about how he got to sleep at that time, I just made sure I could get him to sleep at a predictable time each day, and then eventually the rest followed and he got into a really nice routine.

Also, his naps in the cot were often only 40 minutes. He started extending his naps when he was about 22 weeks. One day he woke up from a nap, and I could see him on the monitor but I was in the middle of something so didn't go to get him straight away and he just went straight back to sleep for another 40 minutes. After that I tried it every day, and every day he would wake briefly between cycles and just go straight back to sleep.

AndIAskMyself Mon 20-Feb-17 03:28:51

Also, with waking early, my DS has been doing this for the last week - he was waking at exactly 6.42 every day when he normally wakes at 8. I tried lots of stuff with his nap, and then realised the room wasn't dark enough. And sure enough he slept until 8am yesterday when I added the gro blind to his window.

Just a thought as it's getting a bit lighter now.

EmW1987 Mon 20-Feb-17 09:58:52

Thanks @AndIAskMyself it's good to know that it worked feeding to sleep to establish a routine, I thought I may be making it worse by being a bit inconsistent but it makes sense that it was helping to establish a routine.
Can I ask what time you put your little one to bed and when their last nap of the day was? Only it seems so hit and miss whether we can get our dd to nap in the late afternoon/evening and then I think we are often taking her up too overtired as she doesn't have a big feed before bed but I don't want to bring her bedtime much earlier if she's already up at 7!

AndIAskMyself Mon 20-Feb-17 10:56:45

Well, we know we probably should have an earlier bedtime for our son, but my partner doesn't get home until just before 7pm and he wouldn't see our son at all if we put him to bed earlier. So this is our rough routine:

7.30pm - bath, feed, story, then bed (we always put him down awake). He will be asleep around 8pm
4am - he usually wakes for a feed
Between 7/8am - wake
10am - nap (up to 1 hour)
1pm - nap (an hour and a half)
5pm - nap (just half an hour)

Not every day goes perfectly to plan, if he doesn't sleep as long we try to squeeze in a 4th nap. And like I say, it's probably wiser to have an earlier bedtime, but this tends to work for us. My son is 6.5 months, but we've actually had this routine for a couple of months. But like I say, the last nap took a while to properly establish. I used to have an hours 'quiet time' at 5ish where I would take my son to our bedroom, keep the lighting dark and breast feed him lying down on the bed until he went to sleep. I'd have to lie next to him for the whole nap or he would wake up. Then one day (just after new year) he just started taking the nap in the cot. I think it helped that I didn't have a lot going on around that time, so I was at home a lot more so he got really used to napping in his cot for the first two naps of the day.

I obviously only know what has worked for my experience and I only have a sample size of 1 child. But I read these boards a LOT and I feel like there's loads of great advice, so even if what I'm saying doesn't fit, someone else will have some great advice.

EmW1987 Tue 21-Feb-17 10:54:54

Thanks @AndIAskMyself - I hadn't actually thought of doing a lie down feed for the last nap, I'll try that, because at the moment I end up trying to get her to nap in the lounge on me but there is too much going on!
Sounds like you have a good schedule going on! At the moment we are taking her to bed too late I think but I live in fear of her going to bed earlier and then thinking 5am is wake up time!

EmW1987 Tue 21-Feb-17 11:17:50

Also, I've noticed that for the past couple of days she'll be napping for 2 hours as her first nap of the day. Is this a sign that she's not getting enough sleep at night?

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