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How can I help ds nap for longer

(10 Posts)
iloveavocado Mon 14-Sep-09 19:17:48

My 17 week old ds rarely naps for longer than 45 minutes. He's really predictable, you could set your watch by it.

The problem is that he wakes up and quickly gets tired again. On the VERY rare occasion that he has slept for longer he has been in much better spirits and I think having a longer nap would help us both. Currently as the day goes on he gets more and more tired, quicker and quicker after naps and often by the end of the day he is over tired and over wrought.

I've tried to settle him when he wakes but he quickly goes from stirring to screaming.I have tried to feed him back down (he puts himself down initially), but he wakes back up 10 mins later. If we're out and about and he's being pushed he can often go fo longer but not in his own bed.

I've heard about tickling their face or something before they wake, but don't really know when or what to do, or what this is or why it might work. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Or has anyone got any tips or ideas that I can use to extend his naps?

Thanks in advance for any help...

DrCosyTiger Mon 14-Sep-09 20:24:06

Hi Avacado,

I sympathise - I had exactly the same problem with DD, who's now 6 months. Afraid I don't have any magic solutions but I did find at your stage that the only way I could get DD to nap for longer was to either walk her round the park (she woke up if I stopped, hmmm) or to take her in the pram to a coffee shop, where the background noise seemed to keep her asleep. At the time, others suggested white noise in the bedroom or using the wake to sleep technique (wake them up a few minutes before the 45 is up and then re-settle them). Neither worked for me, but you might want to try. You should also make sure that the room is as dark as possible - do you have blackout blinds? Also what I would say is that my DD did eventually start taking longer naps in the cot of her own accord - this happened round about 4.5-5 months. So you may (fingers crossed) find this is something that improves with time. At around this time, I found that if I just left DD when she stirred after 45 mins and didn't go in to her, she would settle herself down for another 45 mins. Good luck - it's horrible when the LOs get progressively more and more over tired and you know they need to sleep but just can't get them to do it.

DrCosyTiger Mon 14-Sep-09 20:25:23

Oh and sorry, not too sure about the tickling their face thing, unless it is a wake to sleep technique. Maybe someone else can help you with that?

mcflumpy Mon 14-Sep-09 21:49:04

I'll watch this thread with interest, my 14 week old DD does exactly the same. Tried replicating night time routine etc but regardless, 45 minutes and she's awake and won't resettle with or without my help in her basket.

MamaMimi Mon 14-Sep-09 22:07:41

I'll be watching too as my dd (13 wks) does the same.

She is sleeping so well of a night but during the day will only nap for a short time in her basket.

I know that it is around 45 mins that they drift out of a deep sleep phase and if they can settle themselves back to sleep at this point they will go on to sleep for longer.

I think the best method is to leave them when they start to stir until you know they are definitely awake then go in to them and put your hand on them/let them know you are there but not talk or make eye contact. Do this until they are settled again(?)

Doesn't allow for the stubborn little terrors who are determined not to sleep tho' does it?!

iloveavocado Tue 15-Sep-09 11:52:36

Thanks for that. I tried white noise this morning and when he stirred I left him for 10 mins, but his crying started to pick up so I went in. His eyes were wide open and he gave me a huge smile, he was definately noy going back to sleep then.

Walking and noisy cafes do help but I need to clean my house and sort myself out so I'd like his long nap to be in bed at home.

It's so frustrating when they are getting tired and all they need to do is close their eyes but they just don't. Such a simple solution to a problem. I've told him that a number of times but it does't seem to be getting through!

mcflumpy Tue 15-Sep-09 19:04:02

I tried the 10 minute thing today too, no chance....tomorrow is another day!....best of luck...

dycey Tue 15-Sep-09 20:33:24

DS was exactly the same and his naps have lengthened gradually - sometimes still 45 minutes but usually at least one is 1.5 hrs. THe sling and the pram used to keep him asleep for longer.

IME naps get longer with age - 5 / 6 months. Not much to worry about as I think it is normal.

Something else that is nice is with age he has lots of energy in the afternoon / evening - even with hardly any day sleep.

It gets easier and easier (even if the nights are as broken!)

duedec2 Wed 16-Sep-09 03:49:14

In my experience also, baby just learnt to sleep longer. He was tired a lot on two 30 min naps at around five months; now, at ten, one sleep is an hour, sometimes 1.5 hrs and the pm sleep 45 minutes. I think going tobed at the same time in the same place helped, but mostly he just learnt that it was ok to keep sleeping. I used to try toget him back to sleep when he awoke after 30 mins but it was a bore for both of us. I think sometimes babies have to learn in their own time, esp about daytime sleeping, which is often harder than the night because there's so much going on. The books that prescribe day sleep lengths are incredibly unhelpful unless you are really very anal indeed ... babies learn patterns but it unsurprisingly takes a bit of time. At the time I was worried about my baby's short naps a no-nonsense doctor told me babies tend to get their sleep quota one way or another and to stop worrying about it and I think it was quite good advice.

lilysam Wed 16-Sep-09 06:46:21

My ds did the same at that age. I used to go in before he stirred and gave him gentle pats and that often got him in the next sleep cycle. I read 45mins was the average cycle and sometimes you have to help them move into the next one, and get used to sleeping longer.

If i found DS getting overtired during the day due to short napping i was known to drive him round town for an hour to keep him sleeping, which nice at xmas looking at the lights smile.

Have you tried one of those swings? I know people who have used them but i figured its giving them another sleep association (not that driving or pram pushing isn;t either i suppose!) May help if you need to stay in.

Having said all that - if your nights are ok then you;re doing good wink

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