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How do you extend naps?

(20 Posts)
sunnyfields25 Fri 17-Nov-17 19:28:39


DS is 6 months old and has recently moved from 4 to 3 naps a day. However, only the first nap is a decent length (1-2 hours) and the other two are really short (30 mins). Although a catnap seems fine for the final nap, I suspect the lunchtime one needs to be longer. Any ideas how to extend it? I've tried putting his dummy back in but by then he has seen me and given me a big grin, and he's wide awake! confused

I worry that on the days when the first nap is only an hour, he ends up with just 2 hours of sleep for the whole day, and is quite cranky by bedtime. We also have to make bedtime very early to account for the short naps.

Thanks in advance!

sunnyfields25 Sun 19-Nov-17 07:09:37

Hi, is anyone able to help with this please? Any tales of how you successfully extended a nap would be greatly appreciated 😃

LapinR0se Sun 19-Nov-17 07:24:10

I Used to sneak in with white noise at the first sign of a stir and then sneak back out, ninja style. Then I got another sleep cycle at least. You’ve got to watch the monitor like a hawk from 25 mins though.
Also offer a top up feed before the nap to make sure hunger isn’t the issue.

johendy Sun 19-Nov-17 07:38:04

What about waking him from his first nap after an hour or 45 mins so he'll be more tired for his second nap and sleep longer? I've always limited then morning nap like that and had a longer after lunch nap.

Mumsiemummy1 Sun 19-Nov-17 07:44:49

No advice here I'm afraid as my dd is 9 months, and still does the same, although it's now only 2 naps, the second one always being the short one.

I felt much better once I just accepted it, because I stressed so much trying to extend it and she just didn't need the sleep.

Beyondtheshore Sun 19-Nov-17 07:52:00

Honestly, I don’t think there’s much you can do apart from waiting for them to get there of their own accord. I tried what felt like every trick in the book, with no success, and drove myself nuts in the process. In the end I gave up trying, and all three of mine just started extending naps of their own accord (including my first, who was a determined 30 minute catnapper for the first 8 months of her life... I honestly thought the day would never come!)

converseandjeans Sun 19-Nov-17 07:52:33

Short morning nap of about 45 mins - wake them up. Then they will sleep longer at lunch. There is a chart somewhere that says how much sleep on average they need per day. They are obviously getting enough sleep and so aren't tired enough.

Daisym45 Sun 19-Nov-17 10:02:07

Sams problem here other than my 6 month old has suddenly started to need 4 naps instead of 3 as he’s been catnapping.

How does he get to sleep? Can you create the same conditions after his first sleep cycle. I used to be able to go up and feed him again and he’s fo for sometimes up to 2 hours! That’s s thing of the past at the moment. Hopefully it just passes by itself.

perfectpanda Sun 19-Nov-17 12:04:35

I would also keep the morning nap shorter to try and get a longer midday nap. My ds (5 months ) has been a 30 mins napper and I posted something similar a couple of weeks back. I've had a breakthrough this last week and have twice lengthened the middle nap. I creep in at about 28 minutes and start patting him (That's how I settle him if needed) and as he stirs he doesn't actually wake. If I miss the stir though I'm buggered, and can only get him back with a feed! I'll be in there in 26 minutes from now, we have friends coming for lunch so the pressure is on as it makes such a difference to his mood. Yesterday he slept for 1 hour 45 minutes which is a record for him!

sunnyfields25 Sun 19-Nov-17 14:56:51

Hi all. Thanks so much for the replies!

This morning DS actually woke up himself from the first nap after just over an hour. So before the midday nap I fed him again and he is still asleep 1.5 hours later! Yay! Of course now I don't know if it was the extra feed or the fact the the first nap was shorter that did it. Or it could just be a fluke and we could be back to 30 mins tomorrow. I'll see if I can re-create the magic tomorrow though smile

He's been asleep so long that we're now going to struggle to fit the third cat nap in, which doesn't normally happen!

LapinR0se Sun 19-Nov-17 17:45:41

That’s fine, at 6 months you drop the 3rd nap anyway.

Mumsiemummy1 Sun 19-Nov-17 17:51:32

@sunnyfields25 agree with pp about dropping 3rd nap, we just moved bedtime forward for a month or so until it leveled out smile

sunnyfields25 Sun 19-Nov-17 18:05:43

Hmm that's interesting @LapinR0se and @Mumsiemummy1 - I just assumed it was a while later that we'd drop down to 2 naps as we've only recently transitioned from 4 to 3. I suppose it will hinge on whether I can get that midday nap consistently longer.

Out of interest, roughly how much daytime sleep does/did your LOs have at 6 months? And what time do/did you bring their bedtimes forward to while transitioning to 2 naps?

I squeezed the third nap in today but it's going to result in a late-ish bedtime!

LapinR0se Sun 19-Nov-17 18:40:23

At 6 months we were doing morning nap 9-9.45, lunchtime nap 12.30-2.30/3 and bed 6.30-7.
On a crap nap day (less than 1 hr) I did a power nap in the pram out pounding the pavements at 4.45-5 and then a 7 bedtime.

Mumsiemummy1 Sun 19-Nov-17 18:44:00

At 6 months is when DD pretty much dropped the third nap, so we were doing a 830-10 morning nap, then a 1-1:45 afternoon nap, and bed could be as early as 545...mostly 6. She has always had slightly longer awake times than average, it's just the way she is.

Over that period of time DD started to wake later in the morning, so now at 9 months she's does a nap from 930-11, afternoon 2-245, bed at 630.

FATEdestiny Sun 19-Nov-17 19:53:28

We dropped from multiple naps per day to 3-nap days at 5 months. Then started having occassional days without the 3rd nap by 7 months and by 9 months were established on 2-nap days (which stayed until 22 months).

Our routine was two long naps from the outset. So from 5 months it was:
9am - 10.30am
1pm - 2.30pm
4.30/5pm - 5.30/6pm
8pm bedtime and 7am ish wake

Which became:
9am-11am (woken at 11am)
1pm-3pm (again woken at 3pm)
8pm bed

Basically at 6 months I set a routine nap time (9am and 1pm) and routine "no later than" wake up times (11am and 3pm). If I had to wake baby up from both naps, we skipped 3rd nap. If baby woke before 11am or 3pm and seemed "demanding" when I was cooking dinner, then 3rd nap happened.

As for how to extend naps, until both morning and afternoon naps were at least 2 sleep cycles (ie 90 minutes) I kept naps in the bouncer. It meant I was right there to spot the instant baby stired from a deep sleep and could lull into another sleep cycle without baby waking up by bouncing. Only once no help was needed to link those sleep cycles (and the 9am and 1pm timings established) did I move naps into the cot

user1465146157 Sun 19-Nov-17 23:28:25

A few on this board have said to leave them to it as they clearly aren't tired enough and don't need to sleep

This makes me feel a bit better as I'm feeling guilty about my dc not sleeping enough but not sure what else to do - how do you know if they're not getting enough sleep?

Trying to make sure they're not over stimulated is so hard - mine takes ages to sleep at night so after lots of worry I may try to let them nod off when they need to - see how that goes

crazycatlady5 Mon 20-Nov-17 08:51:03

@user1465146157 my 9 month old is the ULTIMATE crap napper. I’ve tried everything to extend naps but it doesn’t work. She still has 3-4 naps a day as otherwise awake time would be way too long. I’m wondering if she’ll EVER extend grin

sunnyfields25 Tue 21-Nov-17 13:50:31

Well, it turns out Sunday was a fluke!

Today and yesterday I woke DS from his morning nap before he was ready, thinking it would result in a longer midday nap, but nope. He woke from the midday nap after 45 mins. I did eventually manage to resettle him both times but it was hard work, and meant I was hunched on the floor next to the crib for ages.

So I'm thinking I might be best just letting him nap how he wants for now (as you've said @user1465146157) so he is at least getting one decent nap a day. Then revisit in a few weeks and try again. At the moment I seem to be fighting against what his body wants to do.

I am envious of your routine naps times though @FATEdestiny - I am looking forward to the day when I know what time he's going to nap and roughly for how long (assuming that day eventually comes). It will make going out to classes etc so much easier.

johendy Tue 21-Nov-17 18:52:36

Give it at least another day OP. I keep hearing that it takes at least 3 days to see real change in sleep habits and it was that way for me when I night weened and then again when we sleep trained (not finished in 3 nights, but we had a lot more hope after night 3 than night 2). Remember you're changing his body's rhythm, so it's not going to be instant.

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