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How long between naps for 5 month old?

(13 Posts)
Anjelika Sun 22-Jul-07 17:15:19


I'm new to Mumsnet but have been avidly reading the Sleep discussions about daytime naps!

My DS is 5 months old and daytime naps have always been a struggle with him. About 2 weeks ago I thought I was winning - I'd got him going down for naps on our bed (as opposed to only out in the pram or car) and he seemed to go down quite easily about 2 hours or a bit longer after being awake. However, this week it has all changed - I'm struggling to recognise when he's actually tired and when he does show signs and I whisk him upstairs he then seems to wake up completely. Does anyone know how long a 5 month old should be awake for? I am keen to avoid him getting over tired but don't want to be trying to get him down when he's not in the least bit tired.



oremstango Sun 22-Jul-07 18:55:11

Ah yes, the nap struggle. Sounds all to familar- a very, very useful resource if topic is of interest is 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children.' My ds had a tough time with naps until about 5 months when I realized I was always relying on the pushchair/walking to get him to sleep. Did one week of cc and he got in the swing of things. His nap times/lengths continue to evolve so I think there is a lot of flexiblity needed here as well. Generally at 5 months little ones need to nap after being up 2-3 hours but depends on the child. The book has useful suggestions on what's typical and how to work with your child to get them the rest they need.

WilkiesWizardWheezes Sun 22-Jul-07 19:37:59

Anjelika - my DS is 6 months old and generally has 2 naps per day (average 40 mins - 1hr 15mins).

7am - WAKE UP
9.30am - sleep
1.30pm - sleep
6.30pm BED


MegBusset Sun 22-Jul-07 19:53:14

My DS is 5 months and has 3/4 naps a day, and can stay awake a maximum of 2 hours (sometimes less) before he needs a nap. This has recently changed from 1.5hrs, he started crying and fussing at naptimes so I tried waiting a bit longer to put him down and it seems to be working OK for now.

Sounds like you might need to experiment a bit to see what works for you, maybe he's ready to go a bit longer between naps? Also have you got a little naptime routine to set off those sleep cues? I put DS in his sleeping bag, close the blinds, put some soft music on and give him his dummy, most of the time he gets the idea! I never leave him to cry though.

tassisssss Sun 22-Jul-07 19:54:27

both my 2 went back to bed 1.5-2 hours after getting up

at 5 months we were 2 or 3 naps a day depending on how long they were

JimJammum Sun 22-Jul-07 19:54:47

My ds is now 6.5 mths and will generally stay up for 2 - 2.5 hrs before needing another sleep.It's still hit and miss with him - sometimes he happily sleeps for one and half hours after lunch, and other times he wakes after 30 mins and I have to resettle. When he was smaller, I used to be able to read his sleep cues easily; it's getting harder and sometimes I find myself putting a lively child to bed after 2 hours, only to find he dozes off nicely. For me, having a strict routine has started to pay off as I have been putting him down for naps religiously since he was born, even though we have struggled in the past to get him to sleep more than 30 mins at a time.

Jojay Sun 22-Jul-07 19:56:01

When my DS was that age, he was awake for about 2 hrs between naps. This went to 2 1/2 hrs at 6 months, and now at nearly 8 months, about 3 hrs.


Seona1973 Sun 22-Jul-07 19:56:26

at 5 months my ds had 3 or 4 naps (the length of the naps determined how many he had on a particular day i.e. short naps meant more of them) I tried to aim for somewhere between 2 to 3 hours between them and looked for signs e.g. being a bit fussy, cheeks getting redder, etc. It was only as he got towards 7/8 months that he dropped to 2 naps with at least one of them normally being up to 2 hours long.

Anjelika Sun 22-Jul-07 20:20:04

Thanks everyone - your replies really help. It's getting increasingly difficult to know when he's tired but I think he's on a 2-3 hour awake time at the moment. He generally only goes down for 30 minutes so tends to have 3-4 short naps a day. He is resisting though when we try to put him down, which is a shame as a few weeks ago he was going down a treat after about 5 minutes of grumbling.

I do try to have a nap routine - draw the curtains and have 5 minutes or so quiet time in the room, just walking round with him.

I'm going to get that book out of the library Oremstango - thanks for the tip.


WilkiesWizardWheezes Sun 22-Jul-07 22:02:54

Anjelika - do you have a music box?? I have a Vtech one (here that plays lullaby music and you can set it to 5,10,15 mins. I use it for every nap time so he associates it with going to sleep.

Anjelika Mon 23-Jul-07 10:19:15


By coincidence we have the very same Vtech one but never use it! DS has a mobile over his cot which also plays lullabies but we tend to use that for "wake" time to contain him whilst we are getting dressed etc.

I will get the Vtech one out of the box and try it later.

One thing we have which I'd really recommend is the Prince Lionhart Slumber Bear (plays womb music). It has been a godsend and I use it every nap time and at night too.


oremstango Mon 23-Jul-07 10:45:41

I hear you on the 30 minute cat naps- my ds was doing that a lot and clearly not rested after them. It was amazing as around 6 months it suddenly changed and he's taking real naps, generally of 70 minutes. It is a huge change and from what I've read is a developmental change so not much you can do about quicker waking, though not rushing in has helped as he will often fall back asleep after 10 minutes. Good luck!

Anjelika Mon 23-Jul-07 13:01:16

Oremstango - thanks for the glimmer of hope there. I am really hoping my DS will turn a corner soon and start napping for longer.


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