Inconsistent nap due to random waking times(6 Posts)
Just after a bit of advice for my 5 month old.
We have a nice routine of quiet play, bath, massage and milk which is consistently at 6:30pm every night with my baby being asleep for 7pm. It works really well and baby will happily go down and stay down without too much fuss.
The problem is I find it really difficult to get into any routine with naps as his wake up time can be anytime between 5am and 7:30am. It's different every day although unfortunately it always leans towards the early side.
As a result I find it really hard to get into any sort of loose routine with him in the day.
If he wakes at a decent hour, say 7;00am then I pop him down for a nap at 9:00am which is 2 hours after waking.
However if he wakes at 5am I can't really put him down at 7am for a nap as that's far too early???
It then affects our whole day and the naps are so inconsistent. All at different times everyday and different lengths. Most of the time I get a max 30 mins but sometimes he will sleep for 1 hour plus!
I'm just so confused. He is formula fed if that has any bearing.
Can anyone advise on anything I can do?
No advice really, just watching with interest as I have a similar issue.
If my LO wakes as early as 5 I treat it as a night feed, but that can mean the next wake up is at 8 or 9, and that throws the day out.
Would your LO go back down if you treated it as a night feed? You then have the option of waking at your preferred wake up time (although I have never been able to bring myself to do it!)
I have mixed success with treating the 5am wake up as a night feed.
Sometimes he will settle himself back to sleep but most of the time, like this morning, he just chats in his cot until I get him up.
I should add he's never distressed when he wakes up, he just makes it clear he isn't going back to sleep.
This morning I tried to keep him awake before his first nap but felt mean and he ended up having 30mins at 7:30am!
Watching with interest too as we're in exactly the same boat here! I posted a thread yesterday for advice on how to get into some kind of routine. We also struggle as we do different activities every day and like you the inconsistent waking time and 5am starts can throw things off for the whole day. Often my lo fights naps all day then crashes out for a three hour nap late afternoon!
A 6.30pm bedtime is going to give you a 5.30am wake up time. 11h over night sleep is average this age, with a 10-12h range being normal. So it would be completely acceptable and normal to expect a 4.30am wake up time, equally as likely as a 6.30am wake with a 6.30pm bedtime. A bedtime of 7am is unlikely.
I'd suggest a later bedtime. I'd also suggest some flexibility on the time for bedtime, depending on naps that day. Anchoring your day as you have with a very early bedtime is restrictive to the routine at this age. Earlier bedtimes come with more consistant routines and less daytime sleep.
For naps at 5 months, baby is still young for the 2-nap (or 3 nap) days with a 'by the clock' routine. Better to work on awake time.
For half hour naps, 90 minutes awake time would be a good approximation for baby getting to the point where he has just started to get tired. That has some flexibility, an hour after this baby could easily manage to still be awake (although will be past the optimal just-tired point).
So if working on 30 minute approx naps and 90-120 minutes awake time - you could feasibly divide your day into blocks of 2h or 2h30m - with each block of time including a nap and some awake/play time. Then if a wake very early, add in an extra 2h block of time into your day. Or have more 2h blocks and fewer 2h30m blocks.
This allows you to predict when baby will need to sleep, based on when last waking. It also allows for some degree of manipulation if you have anchored points of the day.
For example if you have to be out the house at 3pm, decide if you want baby awake for then, or just going to sleep (so napping when out) and work backwards from that.
If you want baby waking at 3pm then you know baby needs to be asleep by 2.15/2.30. Therefore with a 90m-120m awake time, the previous nap wants to be 1pm (to allow for a 1.30pm ish wake)... and so on.
That actually makes a lot of sense. I do understand that a bedtime of 6:30- 7:00 ish will lead to early waking bit just read somewhere that 7pm is a good bedtime for a baby. I guess that might be better for when they are older and more active but now.
Thanks for your advice
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