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Nap guidance needed(7 Posts)
I have a 8 month old little girl who is very happy, sociable and clever. We are currently learning to crawl and pull up on things and eating lots of different foods. She is a great sleeper at night and has been since around 5 months, bathtime starts at 7 and down and self soothed asleep by 8pm (bar nights with teeth pain and a cold) she wakes between 6.30 and 7 am most mornings. However I would like to try and schedule naps. Its probably our fault as we have always been pretty laid back with nap times and places. We are very busy active family so napping 3 times in a cot really limits our daytime activities and socialising. About 2 months ago she has been having her morning nap in her cot around 8.30/9am. This nap is normally under an hr. Then the other 2 naps can be very sporadic and sometimes short and sometimes long. As I think we are moving towards 2 naps as her last nap is a really difficult one to get her to sleep I think I should start schedule day naps to morning, lunchtime and possibly a cat nap around 4pm. Could I ask how you started a schedule and will she naturally start sleeping longer for naps if I schedule then? She is due to go to a childminder in October so trying to get a loose routine set for her and the minders sake
It sounds like you've got a great routine going.
I would put the second nap after lunch around 2.5/3 hours after she wakes from her first nap. Use the same routine you do before bed (not the bath, just story etc). Put her down in her cot as you would do at nighttime.
At that age I’d do half an hour at some point between 9 and 10 and then aim for a long lunchtime nap between 12/12.30 and wake up no later than 3 and then no nap until bedtime. Found mine needed an early ish bedtime so often in bed by 6/6.30 but always slept through until 7/7.30am. I dropped my morning naps around 12 months - occasionally had a 5 min nap on the school run but other than that no morning nap just a nice long afternoon nap.
You need to keep the morning nap quite short otherwise they’re not tired enough to have a long lunchtime nap just a short one and they need a long one to get them through to bed time!
At 8 months, 3 naps seems like a lot if she sleeps well at night? We did two, 10 am and 2pm. Usually one in cot and one in pram. A snooze shade on pram is a good way to signal nap time, plus give baby their dummy/blanket/teddy. But not rigid - car naps happen, so do face down on carpet when it's tea time naps...
Thank you for the tips so far. She is an avid cat napper. I can count on one hand the naps she has taken which have lasted longer than 1.5 hrs. If I were to start putting her in her cot for naps shall I be strick at not letting her sleep till next nap/bedtime if she were to only sleep for 20 minutes? How long should it usually take for her to get the idea? I don't want to over force naps and set sleep times if it ends up affecting night time sleep
She always sleeps with a dummy, initially to go off and a muslin as comforter. Should I also take these both away and only give them to signal naps
I would only give dummy/muslin at nap time and bedtime. For pram naps I used to recline the pram and put on the snooze shade. In winter I tucked them up in a cosy toes pram liner or blanket too, a bit hot for that now though.
Sorry, I missed the bit where you said her naps were short so maybe she does need three if you can't convince her to lengthen them. Mine had two naps at that age but they were 90 minutes to 2 hours long. If you pop the dummy back in when she starts to stir, will she sleep longer?