Please help me figure out a nap routine

(17 Posts)
ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 13:50:04

I have a 3 month old who is incredibly difficult to predict or put down for naps during the day. Until recently they were sleeping through the night but they're now waking roughly at 2am and 4am. They usually wake around 5.30am and will normally go down for their first nap no problem at 8-9ish. But then I really struggle throughout the day. I've tried the easy routine but what ends up happening is that they'll feed after waking for 40 mins and then want another 40 mins feed just before sleeping. I've tried not giving her boob before sleep but I just can't get her down. I'm at my wit's end. My husband thinks o should be following my instinct more which I'm trying to do. Im with her constantly and feel exhausted. Any ideas as to how to improve the situation would be great .

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stopchewingeverything Sun 13-Jun-21 14:00:28

At 3 months old, their awake windows should ideally be about 1.5 hours so your initial one of 2.5 hours is probably far too long and is resulting in an overtired baby. Overtired babies then tend to be harder to put back to sleep and often wake earlier than they should. I would start putting them down for their first nap at 7am and taking it from there. Have no awake windows of more than 2 hours throughout the day. Hopefully this would also have the result of your baby sleeping later than 5.30am too. I tend to follow a sleep, feed, play routine but I wouldn't stop another breastfeed at some point in that if baby wanted it. Waking in the night at this point is totally normal. Babies will have some nights of waking more than others but realistically I would expect night waking for at least 12 months and any night that your little one sleeps through is a bonus!

ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:06:00

Ahh that's interesting, thanks. Do you start putting them down for a nap at 7 or to get them asleep for 7am?

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biddingwar Sun 13-Jun-21 14:07:41

We have been really struggling with this recently but the last week I've really tried to work on it and it's getting a lot better.

He will usually have a long nap in the morning say 1.5 hours and then the rest are usually 30/45 minute cat naps. I struggle to get longer naps the further into the day we get.

In my experience the longer the nap, the longer the wake window. So after his long nap in the morning he can go up to 2.5 hours without getting over tired but in the afternoon when the naps get shorter the wake windows are more around the 1.5 hour mark.

I'd watch for signs such as rubbing eyes, yawning etc.

As for the nights.. have you tried a dream feed? This has really helped my LB.

MySocalledLoaf Sun 13-Jun-21 14:13:18

We stuck exactly to wake windows according to age with two very different babies and naps were always easy. It’s not a gina ford like routine because you change every day based on when they wake up. We never woke them up so when they had long naps, bedtime was later.
If you want to schedule things you might end up doing things like leaving the house 30 minutes before you would need to because it’s the end of the wake window, and you need the nap to be in the buggy rather than at home, but that’s the only real inconvenience. Might not suit someone who wants to schedule a lot of meet-ups and classes, though.

ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:23:42

God I would love her to nap for 1.5 hours. I have tried the awake window but I think I must be doing it wrong. At around 90 mins I start looking for sleep cues and then as soon as I see it I start getting her ready for a nap. Is this wrong? So let's say she wakes at 5.30am should I start putting her down to be asleep by 7am or start at 7am? Sorry I probably sound like an idiot.

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ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:24:28

@mysocalledloaf - that's what I want to do but sailing miserably!

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Fiestyfish Sun 13-Jun-21 14:28:06

I learnt way too late that it’s meant to be asleep in bed at the end of the wake window. So if you’ve got a 90min wake window then they need to be in bed, ready for sleep (preferably asleep) by the 90min mark

biddingwar Sun 13-Jun-21 14:29:29

@ProjectBaby87 every baby is different so I find these "wake windows" are likely different for every baby. If I put my baby down in his crib every 1.5 hours he wouldn't nap and would just kick off.

Id try and track it all (I use baby tracker app) and you will likely start to see a trend and will know your babies wake windows through the day.

I've also found putting him in the same place every nap has really helped. Before he'd have naps in his rocker, car seat, crib etc. But now I just put him in his crib every nap with his blanket and white noise.

ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:32:46

That makes sense.

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ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:33:36

I've tried tracking but there isn't any consistency at all

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biddingwar Sun 13-Jun-21 14:34:07

I also try and do a few minutes tummy time before a nap to burn any last energy!

ohthejoysoftoddler Sun 13-Jun-21 14:39:01

I used the huckleberry app recently with my second, as my first was a crap napper. It worked really well. They also have useful schedule recommendations.

I agree with PP, shorter awake windows. If they go down overtired, they are more likely to struggle and wake after a shorter nap.

ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:41:32

Was the app worth paying for?

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ProjectBaby87 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:41:47

Good idea about tummy time

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FATEdestiny Mon 14-Jun-21 13:00:28


God I would love her to nap for 1.5 hours. I have tried the awake window but I think I must be doing it wrong. At around 90 mins I start looking for sleep cues and then as soon as I see it I start getting her ready for a nap. Is this wrong? So let's say she wakes at 5.30am should I start putting her down to be asleep by 7am or start at 7am? Sorry I probably sound like an idiot.

Awake windows are the time baby is awake for in total - so from when baby first wakes up from one nap until baby is asleep for the next nap.

They are a guide, to give you some degree of predictability for when baby is likely to be ready for the next nap. A basic estimation for awake window is:
- Double previous nap length
- Give or take 15 minutes
- Never more than 2h
Use awake windows until consistently getting naps of 90 minutes plus.

To find your baby's "sweet spot" within that give-or-take-15 minutes time frame, you need to have already fed and winded baby in the awake window. The idea is that baby is fully fed then well winded and has had a nappy check (all done straight after waking, a la EASY). Then baby has floor time. From that point you know that any crying or clinginess or instance on being held is not because baby is hungry or has wind - so therefore must be sleep.

After waking and being winded, I would generally take baby's nappy off and give baby independent floor time (I use this time to do household chores - laundry, washing up, cooking/prepping, tidying etc). Then at the first sign of grumbling/crying pick baby up and see if there is an obvious problem - maybe a burp will come for example, or lump in clothing. Then put new nappy back on and put baby back down for floor time. It might be that now baby is comfortable again that he/she will carry on playing. But if not, the second incident of crying means sleep time. So if crying or insisting on being held again, straight into bouncer with dummy and bounce bounce bounce to sleep.

ProjectBaby87 Mon 14-Jun-21 13:33:32

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response. Today I've kept to a 90 mins awake window and she's had 3 naps already......she never naps longer than 25-30mins. The issue I have now is that I'm boobing her to sleep but she will end up taking a long time then isn't hungry when she wakes up so it's throwing me off a bit. She's now at 2 hours for this awake time because she's refusing to go down but I'll keep trying. Thanks for all your tips, it's much appreciated.

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