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7 month old - the dreaded 30 min naps!

(20 Posts)
sunnyfields25 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:13:51


I'm hoping someone can shed light on whether we're going through a phase, or if I've broken DS's sleep in some way...

DS is 7.5 months old and although he's never been a predictable napper, I've always known that at least one of his naps per day would be a decent length. However, this past week he's started only napping for 30 mins each time.

I've tried putting him down sooner thinking he was overtired, and later thinking he wasn't tired enough, but neither have made any difference. It's getting harder and harder to settle him.

His night-time sleep is quite good (touch wood) so I maybe shouldn't complain, but I used to run round the house getting chores done during his longer naps and now I barely have chance to go to the loo then grab some food before he's up again!

Did anyone else experience something similar around this age? If so, please tell me the longer naps returned grin

FATEdestiny Sat 13-Jan-18 14:48:09

I would say that by 7 months baby starts to need the structure and routine to their day, much more do than when younger. This might be baby telling you he's ready for a more structured routine.

I'd start making sure naps are always in the same place (cot) and at the same sorts if times each day.

A typical routine for a 7-8 month old would be:
9am nap
12.30pm nap

Then either a 6.30-7pm bedtime if naps were good.

Or a 4.30pm powernap limited you 45 minutes at most and then an 8-8.30pm bed time.

KatnissK Sat 13-Jan-18 15:02:33

I'm the same OP! Although my DS isn't great at night (but better than what he was).
Sorry to butt in but Fate - what would you class as a good nap? How long should we be aiming for?

FortheloveofJames Sat 13-Jan-18 15:37:20

How long are your wake periods? I know with my DS if I’ve ruled out teething/illness and his naps are not going to plan then it’s time to tweak the schedule. As advised by PP your wee one may be ready for a more predictable schedule. My DS is exact same age and we do

7.30ish wake
Nap at 10-10.45
Nap at 2-4ish
Bed 7.30

Obviously it doesn’t always work out this way, if we are out for the day we swap the naps as DS will only sleep longer than 45 mins in his cot, but normally when we are home this is how the day is. It’s kind of like the 2/3/4 schedule but tweaked a bit to fit DS as he just isn’t tired after 2 hours.

sunnyfields25 Sat 13-Jan-18 15:46:21

Nice to know it's not just my DS who is being uncooperative @KatnissK! smile Has your LO just started refusing longer naps too or have they been doing it for a while?

Thanks for the suggestions @FATEdestiny and @FortheloveofJames, really appreciate it. I've always gone by awake time since last nap rather than time of day, and knew that once we got to 2 hours DS would be ready for a nap. However recently he's got very difficult to read - I can put him down when I think he should be tired and an hour later he's still wide awake. So maybe the answer is a more predictable schedule.

How does a predictable schedule work though, do you put them down for a nap at the same times each day even if the awake time has been shorter or longer that usual?

KatnissK Sat 13-Jan-18 15:59:50

Mine was awful but before Christmas he really improved for a couple of weeks - would nap for 1.5-2 hours in the morning and afternoon. Now we are back to the 30 min cat naps and he is beside himself by about 5pm needing bed time - I do my best to keep him up til 6pm or he wakes super early but it would be nice to have better naps and a less miserable baby!

FortheloveofJames Sat 13-Jan-18 17:30:28

Could be he’s ready for more awake time and the 2 hours, I know my DS won’t sleep after 2 hours it’s just not enough.

Basically yeah, we go for the naps at roughly the same time give or take 15 mins. But because I know his wake times it just works that way most days. In fairness my DS is really good for day time naps and mostly follows the routine. He’s the same he’s very difficult to read, he rubs his eyes all day even after waking in the morning after a great night. It only really changes if we need to be somewhere during a nap time. For example if we had an appointment during the morning nap I might cut the morning nap to 30 mins but will still have the same awake time for the next nap.

It may take a bit of time to find your DCs suitable wake times but I’d definitely try a longer wake time and see how you go. I’ve always found the space between the morning wake and morning amp the shortest and then the wake periods lengthen through the day

sunnyfields25 Fri 19-Jan-18 10:42:19

Ugh well I've been trying to have DS's naps at the same time every day but he's not playing ball. We have at least regained some longer naps, but they're so unpredictable. I have been aiming for:

6.30am - wake up
9am -1st nap
12noon - 2nd nap
3pm - 3rd nap (if 2nd nap was less than 2 hours)

It's all over the place though. Some days he will have 2x30 mins and then refuse the 3rd nap. Sometimes (like today) he will take an hour to settle for the 1st nap and then sleep for ages. Given the settling times vary massively and the naps can range from 30 mins to 2 hours, sticking to any sort of routine is proving impossible.

Can anyone tell me where I might be going wrong? I'm hoping it's more obvious to someone looking in than it is to me!

One question I have for anyone reading... If your LO is on a two or three-nap day, do you go and wake them up to make sure the first nap isn't too long? Or do you just leave them to sleep as long as they want? After taking an hour to settle DS I haven't dared go and wake him, as he clearly now needs the sleep, but I don't know if I should have...

Thanks so much to anyone who has read my waffling smile

FATEdestiny Sat 20-Jan-18 11:33:42

What do you do to extend a nap?

The idea is to catch baby at the initial point when they just start stirring, before actually waking up, and resettle back to sleep at this point. If baby is often waking up after 30 mins, I'd be waiting next to the cot at 20 minutes resetting.

You want to use the same method of getting baby to sleep when resetting. This us why ensuring baby goes to sleep in the cot is important. For example you could reinsert dummy and pat

LittleJack18 Sat 20-Jan-18 21:09:26

My 8 month old is transitioning to 2 naps. Sometimes he has 3 if he woke early that day or has had short naps. But his are also all over the place at the moment. He’s resisting them and today he was up between 10-half 3.

I don’t ever wake him up from a nap, unless we need to be somewhere (like a doctors appointment or something) or if his last nap is getting too long. I try not to let him sleep past half 4 for a 7pm bedtime.

I’m hoping to get onto the schedule
6:30 wake
9-10 nap
1-3 nap
7pm bed

But at the moment it’s a little all over the place. May put in place some more routine as PP have suggested.
He’s been ill and apparently in a leap, so I’m blaming that at the moment.

sunnyfields25 Sun 21-Jan-18 12:46:19

Well @FATEdestiny I've sadly had no luck extending naps in the past. To settle DS I lay him in his cot, white noise on and dummy in, and after a few re-insertions he normally drifts off. But sometimes he will wake after 30 mins with the dummy still in his mouth, white noise still on, so there's not much more I can do. I've tried stroking his cheek or patting his chest, but he obviously sees me and then grins and thinks it's playtime confused

@LittleJack18 it sounds like we're in a similar boat then. So far I've done the same as you and not woken DS from a nap (unless I have to, same as you). It's frustrating as his tendency seems to be for a longer nap in the morning and then just 30 mins in afternoon, which means by bedtime he's getting a bit upset. He'd be better rested with a long afternoon nap, but I'm too scared of waking him up in the morning in case it just results in 2/3 short naps!

user1493413286 Sun 21-Jan-18 21:12:49

I read that you can have extend a nap by waiting until 20-25 minutes after they fall asleep then gently half waking them and soothing them back to sleep as it gets them through to the next sleep cycle.

FATEdestiny Mon 22-Jan-18 20:04:48

...he will wake after 30 mins with the dummy still in his mouth...

This is quite significant.

As baby relaxes into a deep sleep, their body goes floppy. This is when all muscles relax including - crucially here - the jaw and mouth muscles.

What should happen to a baby who uses a dummy is that they suck the dummy actively until a light sleep. Then it starts hanging limply in an open mouth and by the time they get into a deep sleep the dummy drops.

The dummy isn't meant up stay in baby's mouth. This in itself suggests a problem. I would expect baby to go from first dozing to deep sleep in 5-15 minutes (takes longer the more over tired baby is).

The fact that your baby is keeping the dummy in the mouth after half an hour, it would suggest he is night initially getting into a deep sleep. His light sleep throughout would explain waking easily and difficulty resetting.

I'd work on a more effective way to get baby into a fully deep sleep when going to sleep. At 7 months I'd be prepared to use the bouncy chair help baby get into a deep sleep in the daytime.

sunnyfields25 Wed 24-Jan-18 08:33:21

Hmm my baby doesn't seem to be following the rules then @FATEdestiny because the dummy rarely drops out shortly after nodding off. It quite often stays in for 30 mins, and then when it drops out he will either writhe around, open eyes briefly and nod back off. Or, as is happening more often, just wake up.

Unfortunately we no longer have a bouncy chair, but even if we did it would feel like a bit step backwards now that DS is 8 months (only just) to go back to trying to rock/bounce him to sleep. I occasionally take him out for a walk in the pushchair which can make a nap happen, but even then he wakes after 30 mins even though he's still moving. So presumably only a light sleep.

Sorry if this is very waffly, I have insomnia so not sleeping much at night myself (despite DS getting 12 hours!) and then the lack of napping is making the days exhausting.

DS has lately settled into a routine of just over an hour nap first thing, but then only another 30 mins after lunch. This is the nap that needs to be longer, because he then refuses to sleep again until bed. He's going 5+ hours without sleep, and gets increasingly upset and annoyed as the afternoon wears on because he's so tired. I have tried putting him down for the post-lunch nap sooner, thinking he was maybe over-tired, but still no luck. Also tried keeping him awake longer, but no luck.

Really fed up sad

RaeCJ82 Wed 24-Jan-18 09:02:14

Could it be that he's ready to move to two naps? My DD is 8 months and she's been on two naps for a few weeks now. Bedtime might need to come forward whilst he transitions, but it might be worth a go. We generally go 3 hours between naps and 3-3.5 from end of 2nd nap to bedtime.
Is he teething? DD has just cut her bottom teeth and that's definitely affected her naps.

sunnyfields25 Wed 24-Jan-18 19:21:38

That does seem to be the way things are going @RaeCJ82 because on the days when I attempt a third nap I normally have to give up after 45 mins or so, as DS makes it clear he's not going to sleep. Problem is the two naps aren't long enough and it's leaving him so tired.

Does your DD have quite long naps now that she's dropped down to two a day?

Still no sign of teeth yet!

On a related note, I've been paying more attention to the dummy and have realised DS is keeping it in his mouth for the majority of his naps, even the ones that are over an hour. Does this mean he's not getting any deep sleep during the day @FATEdestiny?

RaeCJ82 Wed 24-Jan-18 19:51:16

That's what was happening with my DD @sunnyfields25. I'd struggle to fit 3 naps in and the third one was getting too late and she just started refusing to nap. I gave up cos it was stressing us both out.
She was having 2-3 hours but since her teeth have been coming through this has dropped. Today she had two 45 minute naps. She's ready for bed by 7.

RebeccaNoodles Wed 24-Jan-18 20:10:43

Do you think it would help if you woke him after 30 mins for his morning nap? Help him sleep longer at lunch?

WeeBunnyFooFoo Wed 24-Jan-18 21:00:30

No helpful comment but I feel your pain, my 6mo is the same. 35-40 minutes if we are lucky. Although he also still wakes every 2 hours during the night too hmm. He also sometimes wakes with the dummy still firmly in place, which is interesting. He’s so tired all the time —as am I—

sunnyfields25 Thu 25-Jan-18 18:15:33

Hopefully your DD's naps will get back on track once the teeth are through then @RaeCJ82 as it sounds like you had a good routine going before that scuppered things. We've not had any teeth to contend with yet so I dread to think what impact that will have - probably no naps at all! confused

I'd been wondering about waking him @RebeccaNoodles but too scared to try, and then I realised I actually do this once a week anyway for a class we attend (wake him from first nap after 30 mins). Sadly it doesn't result in a longer nap later in the day, just another piddly 30 mins.

Glad my DS isn't the only once who keeps the dummy clamped in his mouth @WeeBunnyFooFoo! You're doing amazingly well to handle the short naps PLUS frequent night wakings. I think that would break me.

I carried out an experiment today and tried shutting the blind and curtains in DS's room to see if it would help him nap longer. It didn't make a blind bit of difference to the length, but did at least help him settle a lot quicker (10 mins). And he had a third nap! So I think I'll stick with that in the (probably false) hope it encourages him to resettle/nap for longer at some point.

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