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Advice re naps

10 replies

veejayteekay · 25/03/2020 11:14

Hey guys

I just wondered if I could ask for advice about something that seems generic but I guess there's probably a bit of an adoption element to it. Basically I adopted my little boy who is now 17.5 months when he was 13 months. Apart from when he's ill he's a pretty good sleeper. Will generally sleep right through about 11.5 hours and for as long as we've had him he's had 2 x naps during day, usually about 45 mins in length. He's never been one for napping for a long time unless unwell as he sleeps well at night and quite active during day.

The nap thing isn't really an issue for us but I have become increasingly aware that "conventional" wisdom on general baby websites etc is that by 18 months they are expected to have dropped down to one long mid day nap of around 2-3 hours and I have to say I'm getting quote conscious of the fact that he's the only baby I know of his age in my circle who didn't drop down to one nap some time ago.

For some context although he is a good sleeper we have had to do a lot of work on trying to get him to be better at self soothing as he was brought up by foster carers to be dependent on falling asleep on them, being rocked, having a special blanket etc, and even at one stage he was dependent on falling asleep to a TV programme. We've made big shifts with these things so don't generally have too much performance to get him off to sleep for either naps or night time now but he is still to me not showing any signs of wanting just one nap.

I'm really confused by advice. My health visitor and some ppl I talk to imply this is something that naturally happens (although I don't really understand how it does without some kind of intervention?) But a lot of online resources seem to suggest that you need to train them into it. I've tried both letting things take their course and trying to get by on one later nap but neither really works. I have noticed he is getting better at being able to tolerate being awake for longer (when first with us was more like a 3 hour window he can stretch to about 4 hours now but by 4.5 will be really grunpy) but he seems noticeably tired for 2 naps still and when I've tried to string it out it's just turned into a nightmare. He has the occasional day when because of circumstances he will fight a nap and we get by but always feels stressful when he doesn't. Finally he had quite an early bed time (around 6.30)

I guess my Qa are how does this compare to your little ones? How concerned should I be that he doesn't seem to be shifting to one nap? Why is it considered the thing to do? And do I really need to step in and train him in to it?

Thanks xxx

OP posts:
Sugarfreejelly · 25/03/2020 12:25

The most important thing is that a child gets enough sleep. When they get it is less important. Your child is still very young and if he wants two sleeps, I’d just be led by him and continue as you are.

We adopted our child at 8 months and although they slept through the night from day 1, they were never much of a napper. Even at 1 they only had 1 x 30 minute nap per day. This was fine for them and they dominated like that until about 2.5 when they stopped napping altogether. Still sleeps brilliantly at night.

My point is, there is no right or wrong and what others do is irrelevant. This reminds me a little of panicking when other children were toilet trained and mine wasn’t. My husband kept saying to me that it wasn’t a race and he was right. Just do what’s best for your child.

Ted27 · 25/03/2020 12:44

I adopted my son at age 8 so not really qualified to give baby advice but what strikes me about your post is that he has only been with you a few months.
I really wouldn't be worried about comparing him to other babies or conventional baby advice.
At this stage in your placement you give your child what they need and don't worry too much about what you should or shouldn't do according to conventional wisdom.

veejayteekay · 25/03/2020 13:29

Thank you both I appreciate the reassurance. My gut is telling me exactly as you say to leave him be to have the sleep he needs and not be too worried about it. There's just some odd things in the baby world isn't there that quite young children seem to be expected to do and regardless of adoption I do wonder whether it's a social thing that we project on to them rather than something they biologically need! I remember reading that babies as young as 6 months were being taught to self settle and finding it all a bit odd! I'm also not sure whybthe one nap thing is seen as such a big deal? Feel like I'm missing something?! You're right that tho it doesn't feel like it it really is early days still and I think I'll not get myself too worked up!

OP posts:
sunshineandskyscrapers · 25/03/2020 13:37

I would definitely be following your child"s signals on this. If he is sleeping well on his current sleep plan then don't rock the boat. Also it's not the case that they simply go from two to one. My son went down to one (his choice) and then back to two a couple of months later (also his choice). I'm very pro nap. I think if a child needs to sleep, and you're confident it's not going to impact on your own nighttime sleep, then let them sleep.

Jellycatspyjamas · 25/03/2020 16:39

Work with his developmental age rather than his chronological age - he’s been recently placed with you and some regression is to be expected. This is only the start of you looking at your child and thinking “they aren’t doing X yet”, try not to compare - which isn’t to say ignore differences but give them due consideration. Extra sleep is to be expected - it’ll help him process all the change in his wee life.

EmbarrassingMama · 03/04/2020 14:23

I think this is something that kids fall into when they start nursery.

Our son had a morning and lunch time nap (45 minutes each) until he started nursery at 13 months old. At that time they didn't encourage a morning nap and would keep him up till 12:30, where upon he immediately starting sleeping for 2 hours. He had never done this at home. Doing that 3 days a week meant he gradually shifted to this pattern with me the other 4 days, until he stopped morning naps altogether at 14-15 months.

All children attending nursery are channelled into this routine since it's hard for some to manage a morning nap whilst others are still charging around, then for them to need a 2 hour nap.

If your LO isn't at nursery they wouldn't have had this put upon them and so may be quite happy with their schedule. If he's happy and you are then I'd leave him to it. But you might enjoy a 2 hour break at lunch time!

CabbagePatchCheryl · 03/04/2020 17:41

Hiya - just to say don’t worry! If you read the advice around dropping to 1 nap, most articles will say the golden rule is don’t force it! We adopted our son at 12 months and he was showing signs at that stage - the second nap got very hit and miss and he was waking up very early in the morning. At about 14 months, we started making the transition (happy to explain how we did it if it helps) and it only took a week or two. But I wouldn’t have even considered it if I hadn’t been pretty sure he was ready. It did make life a lot easier because all his baby groups/activities were in the morning and were hard to fit round that morning nap, but don’t think it is something that is important in and of itself in terms of development - if two naps works for your LO then leave it as is. Trust your gut - there are no rules round this!

Je123 · 05/04/2020 22:53

Hi- I really wouldn’t worry. I was thinking the same not long ago. My little one (2yo now) dropped her 2nd nap at about 20ish months. I’m sure she was the only one still having 2 naps in the day out of my friends children of similar ages. The only sign she showed was that she started messing around at her 2nd nap time or would take longer to fall asleep so that’s when we decided to drop the afternoon nap. Trust your gut- your LO will show signs when they are ready. We then gradually moved the morning nap to the afternoon and she will sleep 1.5 hours now in the afternoon. As long as your LOs night sleep isn’t affected I Would go with the 2 naps for now. At least you get tea break! Your doing great!!

Wintersun13 · 07/04/2020 22:42

Agree with everyone else, I don't think there are any rules per se.

My son's slept through the night from 3 months. He's 18 months now and still has two naps. Usually sleeps 1-2h each nap. I've wondered whether I should drop one but I've seen him still getting tired. As long as he's happy to nap, I'm happy to let him !

When your son stops getting tired or doesn't fall asleep during nap time, is when you'll know you should drop one. Just follow his cues.

Jannt86 · 13/04/2020 13:16

My LO dropped her 2nd nap at around 14MO after a few quite awkward weeks where we had to wake her from her first nap after half an hour or so otherwise she'd be refusing the 2nd but tired and grumpy til bedtime. I agree with prev posts. Your child will definitely let you know when they don't want that 2nd nap any more so just follow their lead. When he starts to seem to want to drop it I would do as I did and try waking him early from his first nap or try and keep him going til lunch and try and get him to sleep shortly after that. He's more likely to suffer not sleeping enough than too much so if he's happy you should be too Smile xx

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