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Getting the Nap and Night sleep ratio right - help please ........

(17 Posts)
sparksey Mon 24-Aug-09 21:35:42

My DD (21 months) is overtired at night, I cant seem to get the balance right she either doesn't nap enough and still wakes up or has too much and still wakes !. We have got to the stage where we are in a viscious circle - she wakes at night and takes an hour to get back to sleep and is then tired during the day, I let her have 30 mins nap after lunch (anymore than that and she still wakes during the night and is early waking) but she's still waking.

What am I doing wrong ?? Should I let her sleep more during the day, I've read that she should be having 1-2 hours sleep, she's never had that but then she's very rarely slept through the night (hmm)

megcleary Mon 24-Aug-09 21:39:45

my dd is 2 and a nightmare if she does not have a good 1-2 hr nap in the day

we are a firm sleep breeds sleep family

she had a busy day sat no nap and was asleep by 7 and up a 5 thought i would die of tiredness she had a over 2 hour nap sunday and up at 7 today!

sparksey Mon 24-Aug-09 21:52:17

I tried letting her sleep for an 65-70 mins the other day and she still woke up during the night and wide awake at 5 ! Did I give up too easily ? We are all so tired and it's causing probs with my DS(4)who has always slept really well and never really needed long naps.

sparksey Tue 25-Aug-09 11:36:26

Yet another bad night, wouldn't settle down to start with now and still woke at 3.30!! God it's getting worse not better. What do I do for nap today ? Should I stick to half hour and her be grumpy later on in the day and still wake or should I go for it and let her have 1-2 hours, or just let her decide when she's had enough ? Any advice please

sparksey Tue 25-Aug-09 11:54:49

Urgent please just about to settle her down for a nap !!!!!

megcleary Tue 25-Aug-09 17:06:17

how did it go?

nannynz Tue 25-Aug-09 18:18:44

How about up to two hours nap before 2pm. So if she's tired from a night waking get her to sleep earlier so she can sleep longer but make sure there is at least 5 hours between waking from nap and bed time.

Start every day the same time.

In the afternoon make sure she gets plenty of physical exercise.

A good carb meal for tea eg pasta.

Try for at least a week being consistent on all of the above.

OR if she's having less than 10 hours sleep at night maybe drop nap and get her to bed at least half hour earlier then she is going now.

blondemumma Mon 31-Aug-09 07:13:16

You don't say what time she is going to bed/getting up but sounds like she still needs her nap, especially if she is going down easily for it. Could try letting her take as long as she needs, up to a limit, say 1 or 1.5 hours.

I've noticed that there is an 'optimum' time for my DS (2 yrs 4 months) to nap, when he seems tired and will fall asleep quickly - this is around midday. He has never failed to nap at nursery at this time, yet it often goes pear for me if I leave it too late, even 1pm.

Keep a sleep diary for several weeks, noting exact times slept/woke each day at naps and night, then hopefully you will begin to see what works. Good luck!

elliepac Mon 31-Aug-09 07:20:06

i agree with nannynz. DD (18months) has a 2 hour nap from 12ish to 2ish and she is a nightmare if she doesn't get it. However the golden rule must be no sleep after half two to give her enough time to get tired before bedtime which is 6.30. Look for the telltale signs of tiredness from 11.30 onwards because i've found if i miss the half hour window she has of tiredness she fights her nap and then ends up fighting me later on when she's too tired!

Broms Mon 31-Aug-09 07:38:45

I am having very similar problem - DS (20 months)has always gone to bed at 7pm with no problems until 2 weeks ago - now takes an hour to settle, then wakes on and off all night - every 90 minutes and can take up to 2 hours to settle and then he still wakes at 5am. I have always done a 1hour to 2 hour nap at lunchtime but now I am worried that is too much. I am at my wits end as what to do - we are so tired - never seems to go more than 3 hours in a row - just feel if no nap he will be even worse at night as he will be so overtired - I just don't know what has gone wrong - he's not getting more than 7 hours a night at the moment which just can't be enough can it? Sparksey I am sorry I can't offer any advice - I need help too!

warthog Mon 31-Aug-09 08:37:34

this is my method having had dd1 who dropped her nap at 18 months and dd2 now looks like she will drop her nap soon, just gone 1 yr! don't know why i have such crap sleepers but there you go. most valuable thing to me is my evenings so i gear sleeping towards getting a bit of time to myself, whatever it takes.

first thing to do is try and work out how long they have to be awake for before they'll sleep well when you put them down at 6.30 / 7pm. so if they wake at 2, will they go down at 7? if not, try waking them at 1.45, then 1.30 etc.

that is not foolproof though, because if they sleep too deeply at lunch they won't go down in evening either. so you also need to work out how long the lunchtime nap should be.

your dc don't need as much sleep as all the books say. best to accept that they won't be having 3 hour naps and 13 hour sleeps like all your friends' perfect babies. crap, but there you go. we work with what we've got and love them anyway smile. in a few years this will all have settled down and we won't be able to wake them.

at the moment, i think dd2 needs to nap anywhere between 11.30 and 12.30 and sleeps no later than 1.15 for no longer than 45 minutes. although she was up at 5.45 this morning so might cut that back to 30 mins.

i need to have a method to function. i hate guess work and not knowing what's going to happen esp if i have a night out planned. you end up having no life then. so i err on less sleep during the day to get a bit more peace at night.

broms, i have huge sympathy for you. i don't know if my method will work for you as yours isn't sleeping for very long at a stretch. what are you doing to settle him?

Broms Mon 31-Aug-09 08:50:55

warthog - to settle him at 7pm I stay in his room for a bit til he is calm and then I stand outside the door and tell him to lie down every time he stands up - can take up to an hour - in the night we are quite strict - I don't pick him up - we just tell him to lie down its night time and reassure him we are next door. Bed time has never been a problem before so I am thinking he is having too much daytime sleep now - however I often have to wake him up from daytime nap which he hates. He has always been an early riser - I can live with that compared to what we have now - it just seems he can't re-settle himself. Also worryingly he seems perfectly fine at 5am in the morning when I give up and go and get him - not tired at all! Do you think I should just drop all daytime sleep?? I don't want to put him to bed later as like you I want an evening especially as we are always up so early.

warthog Mon 31-Aug-09 09:18:41

yes, it sounds to me like he doesn't need the daytime nap.

this phase is a bit of a pain because it means going anywhere in the afternoon is fraught with possibilities for him to fall asleep - in the car, in the pushchair etc.

so, i'd stop the daytime nap. try to limit afternoon visits out, and if you absolutely have to and find yourself travelling at about 4 / 4.30, try to keep him awake with windows open, a little snack, a cd of songs that he likes, anything you can think of that will keep him awake. i used to tickle dd1 at traffic lights to make her laugh / pretend i was a spider. if he falls asleep, try to wake him as soon as possible. get him upright, give him some water to drink, anything!

just remember, he won't want you to wake him, he will be grumpy, but keep your eye on the prize - an evening free to do what you want! <selfish emoticon>

warthog Mon 31-Aug-09 09:19:46

fwiw, i think you are doing all the right things to settle him. can you also try buying one of those bunny lights that tell him when it's ok to get up? proper name escapes me now.

Broms Mon 31-Aug-09 11:06:32

Sparksey let us know how you are getting on.

Warthog will give him a shorter nap today and gradually decrease this week - fingers crossed he doesn't go into meltdown. I just don't understand how he is managing every day. Will get a clock - have been thinking about it but thought he might be too young - they say 2 yrs old but anything worth a go. Thanks for the advice/support - it feels so much better after talking things through - dh and I are struggling a bit with it all and as a result don't agree on tactics as nothing is working but a new plan could be the way forward for the next week.

warthog Mon 31-Aug-09 14:47:19

sleep deprivation is one of the worst things i've ever had to endure. i really hope it gets better for you.

i've let dd have a 40 min nap today, waking her at 1.15. bit later than i was going to. really hope she goes down easily tonight, and sleeps til 7 tomorrow <invokes sleeping angel>

bippyhippy Fri 04-Sep-09 21:35:06

What time do you put her down for a nap at? Try making it earlier. Say, 11:00ish. So she can sleep until 1pm and then loads of time before bed so she's tired, but not too tired.

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