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Two naps to one... how the hell to do it??

(12 Posts)
Tumtitum Fri 03-Mar-17 11:59:57

DD is coming up for 13 months. Monday to Weds she is with a childminder (in our home) and has refused her morning nap, so has had an early lunch then a long buggy nap, 1.5-2 hours. When I was home on thurs she was clearly tired around 10 so had a 30 min morning nap then a buggy nap in the afternoon (afternoon naps are very difficult in the cot, no matter how little sleep she has had in the morning!). Today I decided to try a later morning nap as she only slept 30 mins yesterday but she was still tired from around 10 so I gave her a big snack at 10.30 then nap at 11. She has woken after only 40 mins 😖 means afternoon nap now won't happen before 3 which is getting late, she can take a while to drop off and needs to be awake by 4 at the latest otherwise bedtime is a nightmare!!!!
So what do I do?! I'm thinking buggy naps to encourage this longer midday nap but to be honest I've tried that with other naps and she still never sleeps as long in the cot as she doesn't in the buggy. I know it will probably flip from one and two naps for a while but how to judge it and know when to push back the nap and when not to bother if it's only going to be short and screw up the rest of the day?! Sorry for garbled post, hopefully someone will make sense of it and have some words of wisdom! grin

FATEdestiny Fri 03-Mar-17 13:03:46

As you mentioned, during the transition there will be days of 2 naps and days of 1 nap.

On the 2 nap days, a late morning nap is probably the worst possible timing, it'll really throw the afternoon nap out. An earlier morning nap is what is needed. Which requires you to decide and commit to a 2 or 1 nap day fairly early in the day.

I would start to set the time for afternoon nap as a routine, with an hour window. Say that the aim is for afternoon nap to start at 11.30am, with an 11-12 window. Or whatever times works for you.

Then if you are adding in a morning nap, it has to work with the routine of the established afternoon nap. For example:

- Baby clearly tired, definitely needs 2 naps:
9-10am nap
12pm nap for as long as possible

- Baby grumpy but not terrible.
9.30-10 limited nap (ie you wake her)
12pm nap for as long as possible

- Baby a bit grumpy, but manageable
11am nap for as long as possible

- Baby in good mood, not tired
11.30am nap for as long as possible

I would also accept that bedtime needs to be very flexible through this transaction. So while I would want baby sleeping at least 2 hours in the afternoon, if we had a sudden short nap then I wouldn't consider another nap, it would just mean an earlier bedtime. It might be that you aim for a 8pm bedtime but would consider any bedtime between 6.30-8.00, depending on naps that day.

Summerdays2014 Sat 04-Mar-17 20:02:48

I posted about this last week. My son is almost 14 months and I'm in exactly the sane position. I have no answers I'm afraid, but lots of sympathy. I remember we were both on a thread about naps months ago... it doesn't get much easier does it!

Tumtitum Sun 05-Mar-17 09:01:46

Hey Summer yes I saw your thread and commented as well!! How's it going? Thought I recognised your username!
Thanks for the detailed reply FATE, in a little dense though about working out my timings so wonder if you could help me? Naps have been roughly 10 and 2 for a while now. DD won't entertain the thought of sleep if she's been awake for less than 3 hours so a nap before 10 only really happens if she's had a very early start. The last few days she's been getting whingey and rubbing her eyes around 10/10.30. Nothing horrific, I can definitely keep her going a bit longer, I just feel bad and then worry that she'll get overtired and that'll cause a short nap!! We aim for asleep by 7, sometimes it's as late as 8 but that's when we're still aiming for a 7 bedtime but she's overtired or been overexcited or something. She has been asleep as early as 6 if she's only managed one short nap.
So what timings would you suggest I aim for, maybe a nap around 11/11.30 as I can keep her going a bit even if she's tired from 10? Then if she's obviously struggling and tired from the morning do two naps that day??

FATEdestiny Sun 05-Mar-17 10:58:24

The last few days she's been getting whingey and rubbing her eyes around 10/10.30.

I would do a normal 10am sleep then, if there are any tired signs. Personally, I would only consider skipping the morning nap if baby wasn't tired and had no difficulties staying awake.

I don't believe in keeping an obviously tired baby awake, unless in exceptional circumstances. But that is because my parenting philosophy is based on routine and structure, but baby led not parent led.

Keeping a tired baby awake is parent led, not doing what the baby needs/wants. What I'd do is let baby sleep and move around all of my timings to suit.

I might (in fact I often did) wake a sleeping baby at specific times, limiting nap length. That allows for better routine. But wouldn't stop a tired baby sleeping.

So using some things you said:
Naps are usually 10am.
Baby needs 3h awake time.

So you can work out some routine from that. Notably:
- Baby needs to wake from morning nap by 11am, to allow for a 2pm afternoon nap. Therefore I would set that in stone - if baby does have an AM nap, you always wake her at 11am.
- Assuming a 7pm (flexible) bedtime, baby cannot sleep after 4pm. So always wake baby for 4pm. Although having a bit longer awake time before bedtime is usual.

- Given these two facts, that means the most possible sleep baby can have with 2 naps is 3h. Is that enough to be completely content, well rested and no hints of over tiredness at all?

If the maximum is 3h sleep on 2-nap days, less daytime sleep is going to be likely on some days, if baby wakes earlier than 11am and 4pm. So - how over tired (or not) is she in 2h daytime sleep?

Your range of daytime sleep is likely to be 2-3h in two naps. It might be less on 1-nap. So before you start working out any sort of routines you need to know that this is the right amount of sleep. For comparison my 13 month old had 4-5h of daytime sleep and 11-12h at night.

If realistically, baby is not completely happy, content and very well rested on the 3h maximum sleep - them the fundamentals of your routine (3h awake time and 10am/2pm naps) need to change.

Personally, I think you are rushing towards 1-nap days before your baby is ready. Having difficulties getting to sleep is not a sign baby doesn't need the sleep.

(Sorry about the essay)

Tumtitum Sun 05-Mar-17 11:30:31

No need to apologise, I appreciate it! So the reason for trying to shift to one nap was because my childminder couldn't get her to sleep at all in the mornings the days I was at work this week, whereas she usually gets her to sleep in the mornings no problem. But then on my days off she has seemed ready for a (short) nap (no need to wake this baby! grin) at her usual time. So today we've ended up on an 11am nap, she seemed slightly tired at 10 but then we played a new game and she then seemed really energetic! (I know this could also be overtired but I'm usually good at spotting her hyper overtiredness.)
With regards to daytime sleep she will VERY occasionally have 3 hours sleep, but it's usually closer to 2. She still wakes generally once a night, sometimes more, but I reckon gets 10/11 hours at night. She seems fine by the end of the day, occasionally a bit overtired if she's had less than two hours or if we've skipped naps etc.
I guess we'll try to stick to the 10am nap with the childminder this week and only do a later nap if she completely refuses...

FATEdestiny Sun 05-Mar-17 11:37:59

Would it be possible to have 10am and 2pm 2-naps days with you, regardless of what the childminder does. Then ask the child minder to try for a nap between 10-11am, but if it doesn't happen go for 1-nap days when with her.

Tumtitum Sun 05-Mar-17 11:59:31

Yeah I think that's what we'll have to try. Her 11am nap (11.15 by the time she fell asleep) was a spectacular failure as I let her fall asleep feeding and when I tried to put her down 20 mins later she woke and won't go back to sleep confusedangry

Ladylolly Mon 06-Mar-17 13:08:56

I'm in exactly the same position with my 14 month old. He's also waking early 5.30-6am which he never used to do so that's making the early nap hard to drop. However it's the afternoon nap we struggle with on a 2 nap day. Goes down easily for his first nap between 9-10 but then won't go down for his 2nd nap at 2-2.30 with a lot of struggle he'll sleep for 3ish. Making this nap later means he won't settle at bedtime which has always been quite early 6:30/7pm.
Making bedtime later doesn't change the early wake so we aim for 11hrs at night. He also will only usually nap for 1.5 hrs max so do get worried he's not getting enough sleep I think we just have to battle through and set the new routine. It takes a long while for a body clock to reset itself.

Tumtitum Mon 06-Mar-17 22:10:55

Lady that sounds about the same amount of sleep that my DD gets, she seems ok so I guess she just needs slightly less sleep!!
Today she went down fine around 10 and then had a buggy nap in the afternoon (otherwise our afternoon naps are a struggle too!). Who knows what she'll do tomorrow! grin

LapinR0se Tue 07-Mar-17 08:14:05

There is another thing you can try.
Cap the morning nap at 20 mins so 9.40-10 for example and then do a 12.30-2.30 or a 1-3 lunchtime nap.
Eventually it will get harder to get the baby to sleep at 9.40, so then you go for an 11.30-1.30 nap and early bedtime
Or if the baby only does one sleep cycle e.g. 11.30-12.10 then you do a quick buggy nap at around 3.30-4 to tide them over.

If you let them have a longish morning nap at this age it will result in early-morning waking and a disrupted afternoon

Tumtitum Tue 07-Mar-17 10:40:58

Yeah I tried waking her a few times and to be honest it resulted in even more difficulty getting her to sleep in the afternoon, argh!! To be honest she is such an unroutined baby (despite my best efforts!) she will flip from having a really long morning nap some days to a super short one the next, I've given up! She seems to be ok with her 10am naps again the last couple of days and then we are doing buggy naps in the afternoon. I'm sure every day is going to be different tho!

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