6 month naps too short

(9 Posts)
SKA86 Tue 06-Apr-21 21:09:21

So my DS will be 6 months next week. He wakes up a few times a night (not for feeds but just because he feels like it!). We are still in the 4 month sleep regression so sometimes he connects sleep cycles and sometimes doesn't.

He currently has 3 naps a day with 2-2.5 hours wake windows. These naps are mostly under 50 mins each, usually ranging from 35-45 mins. I want to drop a nap however as he doesn't have at least one long nap, this isn't possible.

I'm looking for any advice on what I can do to lengthen his naps. He naps around 2 hours in total the whole day.

Thanks!

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SKA86 Tue 06-Apr-21 21:11:49

Forgot to add, all his naps are in the cot in our room with white noise, blackout blinds and sleeping bag!

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Vicky1989x Tue 06-Apr-21 21:39:57

My DD started napping for longer around 7 months that’s when I dropped to 2 naps. I think it’s just a time thing unfortunately!

FATEdestiny Wed 07-Apr-21 14:02:05

I would do the naps in something that moves. I favour a bouncer (you sat on sofa, bouncing with your foot), but pushing a pushchair back and forth on the spot works too.

This allows you to keep rhythmic movement going as baby moves from one deep cycle into another. Over time less and less help is needed to move between sleep cycles until none is needed at all (and the nap is 90 mins plus). Only at this stage would I move the naps into a cot.

SKA86 Wed 07-Apr-21 14:15:16

@FATEdestiny he has always napped in the cot so I've always been a bit apprehensive about changing this up. Also the house is quite noisy as I live with an extended family and also have a 4 year old, so naps In the cot have been ideal with white noise.

I have tried the buggy for a few naps by taking him for a walk but he doesn't do long stretches in there either.

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FATEdestiny Wed 07-Apr-21 14:58:08

Buggy walks aren't always as successful as they night be. Its because of the non consistent movement. You get the movement on a walk, but there is change a in speed, direction, pausing to cross roads etc, sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill and so on.

Ideally you want a really consistent and even paced, even tempo movement, ideally to the beat of your resting heart rate. That sort of evenness is almost impossible to achieve on a walk.

If you want to keep cot naps, then you could do with spending a few weeks sitting by the cot during the nap and watching baby like a hawk.

To catch that transition between sleep cycles means catching baby before waking up. The "tell" of leaving a deep sleep is usually a slight movement. It might be rolling over, stretching an arm/leg, It might be screwing their face up or making fists with hands.

You have to catch that tell before it progresses. The transition from deep sleep > light sleep > semi awake > awake is quick. The ideal is to go deep sleep > light sleep > (intervention from you to help) > deep sleep. So catch baby before becoming awake or even semi awake. Semi awake might be a groan or slight noise and it's possible to get back to a deep sleep from here, but is harder. Once baby's eyes open or makes a cry, baby is awake and it's too late to resettle.

You have to be very present and attentive to spot the transition from deep sleep to lift sleep, before waking up. Then do your settling method (without moving baby) to resettle into the next sleep cycle.

What do you do to settle baby? The usual for in cot settling is hand on chest and patting.

One sleep cycle is usually 30-45 minutes so I'd guess your naps are all one cycle only.

Speaking as a mum of 4, I've a fair bit of person experience of settling a baby for nsos while having a busy/noisy house with other children. I personally found it a lot more conducive to family life to have baby napping in the bouncer at my feet, rather than having to keep hiding away in the bedroom to settle/resettle baby.

Also the added bonus of baby quickly learning to sleep through noise, helping avoid them bring a light sleeper. I didn't move to cot naps until settling was quick/easy and no resetting was needed. For me, this happened around 6-7 months, but we had been practicing nap resettles from 3-4 months.

But I appreciate all families work differently.

SKA86 Thu 08-Apr-21 19:57:22

@FATEdestiny many thanks for your advice, really helpful!

I tried to resettle today but he woke up soon after. I guess he is sniffly today too so he's been quite unsettled and I think he's teething so I guess he has a lot going on!

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Poppet12345 Thu 08-Apr-21 22:04:52

Does he have a dummy?
Mine sometimes can't link sleep cycles still at nearly 7 months, so on her long lunch nap she wakes sometimes after 1 hour, I put the dummy back in and she goes back off for another hour

SKA86 Thu 08-Apr-21 22:19:22

@Poppet12345 no he doesn't take a dummy. I've always offered it but he just doesn't like it! He sucks his thumb and and I always see him sucking at the end of a sleep cycle but he still wakes up!

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