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Long naps now variable in length - is this ok?

(9 Posts)
firstgo1984 Thu 25-May-17 12:25:34

Ok so my previous post about 3-2 nap transition help turned out to be the wrong question! Thank you FATEdestiny for helping me see that my LO is not quite ready. He is 6.5months.

I still have some nap scheduling questions. My LO needs 13-14 hours sleep going by previous logging.

5-6am wake up (we are leaving him in his room in cot in the dark until 6am, we would be happy with a 6am start)

We then have a 2.5 hour wake time - this is leading to nap anything from 30mins to 1.5hrs long! Is this likely related to how good his night sleep was? This makes it very difficult to plan the rest of my day and is currently messing with all the 11am classes we are attending (or currently missing).

If Nap 1 is a short nap then a shorter wake time of 1.5-1.75 hours gives a 1.5 - 2hr nap then a 3 - 3.5hr wake time before a 20-30min cat nap before a 7pm bedtime. 2-3 wake ups for feeds (I will work on reducing these after an upcoming holiday).

With around 2.5- 3 hours day sleep and 10 to 10.5 night sleep this is probably the correct amount of sleep for him.

The confusion for me comes because a few weeks ago he was doing a 2 hour nap in the morning and an hour and a half at lunch then a cat nap at the end of the day, so getting 4 hours daytime sleep with a 7.30pm bedtime. His schedule has been all over the place for the last few weeks, with no discernible pattern because of the variable nap length.

Is a 30-40min AM nap + a 2hr second nap + a catnap enough?

What timings should I aim for?
Any thoughts appreciated!

Seachangeshell Thu 25-May-17 12:40:57

With my two I never tried to regulate their naps - they did it themselves! I let them sleep when I could and woke them up when we needed to go somewhere, e.g. School run, activity.
They dropped the afternoon nap first then the morning one when they were ready. My youngest 2.5 year old still has an afternoon nap now, thank god!
I think you are really overthinking this tbh. Your baby is getting lots of sleep so why worry? There will be loads of mums reading this whose babies don't sleep much in the day at all or are awake all night.

firstgo1984 Thu 25-May-17 13:25:59

Good advice Seachangeshell I definitely am guilty of overthinking things! I think my 11am classes are going to take the hit though if this pattern continues.

FATEdestiny Thu 25-May-17 13:26:10

I agree with pp. You are over thinking it and over planning. The best routine will come from your baby, not you. Baby just needs to be given the rudiments of a good routine - set wake up time in the morning, 7 days a week, to give a consistant start to the day. To be able to go to sleep at the just-tired point and to get plenty of sleep.

This makes it very difficult to plan the rest of my day and is currently messing with all the 11am classes we are attending (or currently missing)

Are you on maternity leave or a SAHM? The benefit of experience has helped me see the bigger picture with regards to this sort of thing.

Because I'm not in a rush to "enjoy my time on maternity leave" (I'm a SAHM), there is no pressure to do stuff. With my youngest I knew that there would be loads of time to do the fun stuff with her once she wasn't having morning naps.

As soon as she dropped the morning nap we started - swimming, playgroups, messy play, children's cafe, music groups - all those stuff you imagine yourself doing when you have a baby.

But the benefit of hindsight taught me about slowing down, there is no rush. So when I had a baby and toddler at home, baby was tagging along to these things because I as going with toddler. But these weren't really for baby. Mostly baby slept through them.

When my older ones were at school and it was just me and youngest at home in the daytime, the benefit of hindsight shows that I didn't need any rush to "do stuff". Especially in the first year. The classes and stuff can wait until her days were more predictable. In the first year, there need be no rush or pressure to do everything right now. Right now often isn't the right time in the first 12 months.

a few weeks ago he was doing a 2 hour nap in the morning and an hour and a half at lunch then a cat nap at the end of the day, so getting 4 hours daytime sleep with a 7.30pm bedtime

I would suggest that from the routine you had a few weeks ago, the next stage would be drop the catnap and add that amount of sleep onto the nights sleep.

The amount if sleep baby needs between around 3 months old and 3 years old remains roughly the same. Certainly the reduction in total sleep is a gradual change. Rather than a sudden reduction in total sleep, its more the timings for sleep change. Here's my example from my youngest:

5 months old:
1.5h morning nap
1.5h afternoon nap
1h teatime nap
11-12h overnight (broken)
TOTAL: 15-16h

8 months old:
2h morning nap
2h afternoon nap
11-12h overnight (broken)
TOTAL: 15-16h

12 months old:
2h morning nap
2h afternoon nap
11h overnight (unbroken)
TOTAL: 15h average

24 months old
3-4h afternoon nap
11h overnight (unbroken)
TOTAL: 14-15h

firstgo1984 Thu 25-May-17 16:34:15

Thanks for your reply again FATEdestiny
I am on maternity leave and a doctor... so I think I struggle sometimes with the lack of control over it all!

I booked onto a few 11am classes when he was on a nice schedule.... it's now looking a bit different and doesn't really work for the classes and I guess I am just frustrated by that more than anything.

I am just not sure why it has changed (I am sure there are a million and one reasons!) from what it was a few weeks ago. At first I thought the disruption to his naps was because he was moving towards a 2 nap day, but he is not quite ready for the long awake times with a 13 hour day.

Seachangeshell Thu 25-May-17 17:56:42

Are you having all the naps at home? Perhaps it's you that needs to get out an about for activities! Why not let him nap in his pushchair? Would he do that?

Seachangeshell Thu 25-May-17 17:57:05

And then go shopping I mean!

firstgo1984 Thu 25-May-17 18:00:16

Cat nap at the end of the day is in the pram but the other 2 at home in his cot. He doesn't tend to do a long one in the pram anymore (though haven't tested that for couple of weeks).

I think for the next few days I will try and make the booked classes by doing a nap at 8am after a 6am wake up and seeing how long it lasts. If it is a 30 min cat nap I will squeeze in another from 10ish and then hop he does a long one from 12.30ish.

FATEdestiny Thu 25-May-17 18:32:16

I think I struggle sometimes with the lack of control over it all!

I hear you. I was (when I had my first 2 children) a teacher. Secondary, fairly challenging school. I was used to planning, pre-empting, time tables and predictable routines.

Then I had children....

I massively struggled with giving up control of my life to my firstborn child.

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