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20 minute naps

(8 Posts)
KimberlyMediaMummy Mon 03-Apr-17 06:57:23

Hi everyone,
My 11 month old has always been a bad napper. Night-time, not too bad, but very early starts - 5am quite often, and she's not happy about it. Neither am I, of course.
But my main problem is that in the day, she can only nap for 20 minutes before waking up screaming! She won't resettle. Just wants to be up, but then within a couple of hours she's exhausted.
She's almost dropping the morning nap (not if she's been up at 5am!) so I can sometimes get her through to early lunch then go for the afternoon nap, which should be 1-2hrs right?
At the mo she averages 2 x 20 min naps. It's stressful, she's not well rested and I don't get any time to myself! I have a 3yo too so he doesn't get any time with just me :-(
Any tips or anyone having the same issue?
Thanks everyone,
Kimberly x

MaverickSnoopy Mon 03-Apr-17 07:46:22

Has she always only had 20 mins each nap? Where does she nap?

I empathise!

KimberlyMediaMummy Mon 03-Apr-17 08:35:37

Thanks, it's so frustrating!
Probably once a week - 10 days she'll have a longer nap, up to an hour. Tops. But it's totally random. Sometimes in the buggy, actually rarely ever in the cot.
As a newborn she had trouble staying asleep, she'd fall asleep then wake herself up a few minutes later crying. As if something had disturbed her.
I think the cot is the issue. It's there that she has the biggest problem sleeping longer. I'm doing all the sleep cues things, blinds, sleep sack, music, and she can fall asleep by herself after a few mins crying if I get the timing right. But then that's it 20 mins later, screaming blue murder.
I would just get on with it and accept she doesn't need much daytime sleep if she was happy on wake up...
Whenever she wakes in the morning it's hysteria too - like she's just been knocked out all night as she's SO tired then suddenly realises where she is!
thanks for any advice or support x

MaverickSnoopy Mon 03-Apr-17 09:45:40

I can't help you really but i can share what I have learnt. My dd is 9mo and is much like this - it's certainly her natural pull. The 20 mins is a sleep cycle and she's struggling to get into the next one, probably because she's so overtired. DD refused to bap in her cot until 7mo. Until then she was in the sling and would nap sometimes up to three hours but 1h 30m on average each nap. Since 7mo she will go in the cot sometimes for naps but goes through distinctive periods where she needs the sling. She will only very rarely sleep in the buggy. I have tried everything.

I have been writing down when she sleeps and how much milk she has/when and there is a definite correlation. If she sleeps more than 9 hours between midnight and last nap of the day then she will sleep through the night and nap in the cot the next day. If she has even 5 mins less she simply won't. I have been tracking since birth so am confident of this. There is a caveat that I have to put her down on her tummy to sleep (which when you think about it is how she is in the sling). I then put on an annoying glowing purple vtech doll that plays songs and she goes to sleep. Have you tried her on her tummy? I also find that singing lullabies until she is very sleepy (before putting her down) helps a lot.

Incidentally this only started working well once we moved to three (from four) bottles. If she wakes in the night I try to get her back to sleep without milk. Otherwise she will drink smaller more frequent quantities dyeing the day and only naps for 20 mins at a time.

There is a definite pattern to all of her behaviour and every small decision can have repercussions for weeks. My first was not like this at all.

My advice would be to try and figure out her pattern and work out what suits her best. Once I realised I needed to get 9hrs into dd between midnight and last nap, I got the sleep into her via the sling and then the next day (after a good night sleep) I tried the cot on her tummy. I think to some degree I got lucky that it worked on the day that I tried. Gradually she is getting used to it. However i know a developmental leap will throw her off course too.

Other thoughts...cranial osteopath? Sleep trainer? Our health visitor is a qualified sleep trainer and offered to help if needed but it's not come to that yet.

Out of interest how long are you leaving it between naps. At 8 months dd would go 2hrs between naps if in the sling but 3 hours between naps if in the cot. If i tried to put her down in the cot with a 2hr gap then she would take an hour to get to sleep and only sleep for 20 mins, but putting her down after 3 hours she would sleep for 1h 30m. She seems to have an inbuilt clock and slowly I'm figuring it out.

I really really feel for you. I know how your whole life can revolve around it.

KimberlyMediaMummy Mon 03-Apr-17 22:11:59

Thanks so much for your lovely reply Maverick!

All a lot to digest. You're right - my day at the moment is filled with - ugh she shouldn't fall asleep in the car because that will ruin my attempt at a long nap / how long will she cry for this time / Will it be 15 mins or 20?! etc And all the mental exhaustion that goes with it.

she seems just like yours - very sensitive to any overtired/not quite tired enough-ness. Crazy babies!

I might try a noise sheep thing, or lullaby/light show cot thing that might con her into zombieland, or soothe her when she does wake. A friends' sleep trainer might be able to help too actually, although I feel very loathe to ask/pay!! It's all a phase and all that. And actually I go back to work very soon...

Anyway, I will re read for tips and thank again for such an empathetic response.

Kimberly x

FATEdestiny Mon 03-Apr-17 22:43:01

Remember that there are two ways to get baby having more sleep in the daytime. You could:

(1) Encourage / hope for longer naps
(2) Have more naps per day

You don't only have to focus on longer naps. In fact short naps usually longer naps by reducing awake time between naps.

Instead of fighting a (losing) battle against 20 minute naps, you could instead ensure she's only ever awake for 1h between naps. Then she has more of those 20 minute naps per day, so that she gets increasingly less over-tired.

KimberlyMediaMummy Tue 04-Apr-17 20:50:49

That is a really good point, FATEdestiny. Thank you!

MaverickSnoopy Thu 06-Apr-17 07:55:41

How's it going OP?

FATEdestiny makes a good point. My friend who had a 25 min napper tried this and it worked like a charm. I tried it and it didn't work for us. Regardless of what I did she would either just scream the house down or lie there playing with her hands for two hours!

Interestingly we went out at the weekend and she only napped for 20 mins (she doesn't like napping out of the house) and it's taken until now to start to settle back down. It effected her so much she started waking at night again and only napping for 30 mins. Yesterday morning she had a good nap in the morning and then it was a huge battle in the afternoon for just 25 mins sleep. It's mad how particular she is but she needs what she needs I guess!

Good luck I hope you figure something out. Life really does stop doesn't it.

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