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3-2 nap transition advice please!

(11 Posts)
firstgo1984 Sun 21-May-17 15:14:42

My 6.5 month old is having some nap scheduling problems – we wondered if he was trying to transition to 2 naps, even though it is quite early.

He was on a fairly consistent schedule of the following:
Wake up: 5.30/6am
Nap 1: 8am for 1.5-2hrs
Nap 2: 12pm for 1.5-2hrs
Nap 3: 4.30pm for 30mins
Bedtime 7.30pm
2-3 wake ups for feeds
Falls asleep independently with a comforter for bedtime and naps, but probably has some night time sleep associations (feeding/holding).

Over about a week he started to either only nap for 30-45 mins on the previously good naps and point blank refuse the last nap of the day. We sometimes managed to get a 10-20 minute cat nap in the car/pram.

I have been pushing his wake times over the last few days and now have a schedule something like this:

Wake up: 6am
Wake time of 2.5hrs
Nap 1: 8.30am for 2hrs
Wake time of 3-3.5hrs
Nap 2: 1.30/2pm (depending how tired he seems) for 1-1.5hrs
This is leading to a wake up from nap 2 at around 3pm.

Bedtime: ???6.30pm????7pm

I think he needs around 14 hours total sleep from previous logging, so we ha been doing 7pm bedtime, but i now think he 4hr wake time before bed is potentially too long and am thinking of 6.30pm instead. But i am worried this may lea to middle of night or early waking as he doesn't need that much sleep.

He has been having slightly more disturbed nights (extra wake up and awake at 4.30, but not asking for a feed until after 5am. He falls back to sleep on us after the 5am feed, but won’t be put back in cot), but that could be for a few reasons - over tiredness caused by a few short nap days during transition, distracted breastfeeding in the day, a bit of constipation after starting solids.
I am a bit worried though that the new schedule could be causing it and wondering if i should be trying to encourage a new 3 nap with wake times somewhere in-between the old and new schedules?
Wake up: 6am
Nap 1: 8.30am
Nap 2: 1pm
+ Nap 3 if Nap 2 finishes before 3.00pm?

Any advice/experience appreciated!

FATEdestiny Sun 21-May-17 20:39:18

It's not unreasonable to move to 2-nap days at this age. Children develop in their sleep at wildly different rates. This is especially true for babies sleeping through early.

Are you happy with the 6am wake? Because I'd be inclined to push forward the morning nap, to discourage early waking.

My suggestion for your routine would be shorter morning nap and longer afternoon nap.

Wake up: 6am (aiming for 7am?)
Awake time 3h (or 2h if 7am wake up)
Nap 1: 9am for 1h only
Wake baby up at 10am
Awake time 3h
Nap 2: 1pm for as long as needed. Expect 2-3h
Wake time expected as 3-4pm
Awake time: 3-4h, depending on wake time
Bedtime: 7pm

That's giving you 11h sleep over night and 3-4h daytime sleep.

TooMinty Sun 21-May-17 20:45:33

If you can manage Fate's schedule I'd go for that - however when my DS2 dropped his third nap we couldn't convince him to move/extend the other two for a while so I used to put him to bed anytime after 6pm. Then I'd put toddler down at 7pm and go to bed myself at 7:30 because one of them was bound to wake up at 05:30!

firstgo1984 Mon 22-May-17 16:31:18

FATEdestiny, thank you for for your response. I have only just seen it.
We one for a 6.30pm bedtime last night and he woke at 5am (which was what I thought might happen).
So naps all started a bit early today

Wake up 5am
2.5 hour wake time
Nap 1 7.30am - lasted 1 and a half hours
Aiming 3 hour wake time
Nap 2 12.10pm - lasted 30mins!
Aiming wake time 3 hours
Nap 3 15.35pm - lasted 20mins!

So not the best day ever! We are going to go for a 7pm bedtime tonight with the hope of 6am-6.30am wakeup to get us back on track.

I will try increasing the 2.5hr wake time to 3hrs in the morning slowly and see what happens. Can I ask why you suggest limiting the length of the morning nap?

FATEdestiny Mon 22-May-17 17:27:01

Compared to your opening post, today's definitely doesn't read like a 6 month old ready for 2-nap days.

I think you need a degree of flexibility. After a 30 minute nap for example, 3h is a massive awake time. I'd have had my child back to sleep after about 1.5h awake following a short nap.

If that's then repeated following a short third nap, you'll have one very over-tired baby by bedtime.

firstgo1984 Mon 22-May-17 20:54:13

Like I said in my opening post the schedule used to look like this:
Wake up: 5.30/6am
Nap 1: 8am for 1.5-2hrs
Nap 2: 12pm for 1.5-2hrs
Nap 3: 4.30pm for 30mins
Bedtime 7.30pm
2-3 wake ups for feeds

But... he had started waking early from those naps and refusing the 3rd one with wake times of 2/2-2.5/2.5 and they then got longer again when I pushed the wake times to 2.5/3-3.5hrs. So I am not sure why today was different.
I will try your advice about putting down again a 1.5hrs if only as a short nap. It is what I would have done in the past when he was cat napping all the time, it'll be a bit ore of a battle now though I suspect!

firstgo1984 Wed 24-May-17 06:34:49

FATEdestiny you were right, he was overtired by bed and was a bit difficult to settle. but no extra wake-ups.
Woke at 5.30.

Yesterday we did:
Nap 1 8am-9.20am
Nap 2 12.10pm-13.40pm
Nap 3 16.45pm-17.05pm (in buggy)

Bedtime aiming for 7pm, but asleep at 7.30pm.
2 usual wakes overnight, but a 5am start today!

susannaR Wed 24-May-17 09:44:11

Same boat as me! The 3-2 nap transition is hard when then don't reliably take decent naps isn't it?! My DS also likes 3 hour wake window and wakes at 6am...so 3 naps leads to late bedtime but 2 naps he's short on sleep and can't quite make it to bedtime without being overtired 😕

MrsKCoulter Wed 24-May-17 10:10:18

Same here! She now will not take a third nap whatever I do. But it's unusual to get two good naps in the day, she wakes herself up after 40 mins for one of them. So a very tired baby by bedtime. I'm hoping she'll start to nap more reliably soon, there's not much else I can do! Have brought bedtime a bit earlier but if she wakes up in the morning earlier that doesn't solve anything does it?

firstgo1984 Wed 24-May-17 11:10:23

I tried 3 hour wake time this morning after the 5am start and he woke after 30mins... (I think 2.5 hours is his optimum)

Put him down again and he fell asleep after a 1 hr 45 mins wake time (10.10am) and he is still asleep an hour later, so fingers crossed it will carry on a bit longer, but we have missed his swimming lesson.

If this once lasts a couple of hours then Hopefully I can get a third nap in the pram at around 3.30/4pm for half an hour or so and then go for a 7pm bedtime and see what time he wakes tomorrow!

I am leaving him in the dark just playing until 6am in the mornings and he seems quite happy doing that.

I hate the uncertainty!

firstgo1984 Wed 24-May-17 11:54:40

FATEdestiny thank you for your reminder to me that after a short nap I need to reduce wake time. I think I got obsessed with how long he could stay awake for and forgot that how long the nap was will influence it. So many things to consider - you can tie yourself in knots!
I will go back to my previous flexible approach and I think we will all be a bit happier!

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