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Lengthening Naps

  1. #1
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    Lengthening Naps

    I have been reading the Sleep Lady's Guide for tips on helpiing my infant sleep better and am having problems getting my baby to take longer naps. She sleeps for exactly 45 minutes and wakes up bright eyed and cheery. I have tried leaving her in the crib for a while longer but she just gets more and more frustrated until I give up and take her out of the crib. My question is has anybody tried to lengthen nap time? if so, how long does it take for the naps to actually lengthen? and how long should I leave her in the crib before taking her out?

    I have one more experience not pertaining to naps and was wondering if anybody has had the same.....my baby has learned to roll on her belly but starts screaming minutes after she does this. I try rolling her back but she instantly rolls back on her tummy again and starts screaming again :( Has anyone experienced this? If so, what did you do? Thanks so much for any advice

  2. #2
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    Gosh, if your baby sleeps for 45 minuts and seems happy, well rested and sleeps through the night, then it sounds like it's the perfect length of time for her. Why mess with something that's going well? It would be a different story if she wakes up hysterical every time.

    I think some babies are just better nappers during the day with others, but in the end, if she's getting a good night's sleep then that means she's getting what she needs during the day. Daytime sleep directly affects the night one.

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    cyberfish88 is offline Registered User
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    Megan2008,

    I was in the exact same situation where my daughter only took EXACTLY 45 minute naps. It would drive me crazy because I could only get her down for 3 of those a day and was worried that was not enough. My advice now is do not worry about it at all, especially if your LO seems fine with it. I think they grow into longer naps. I would try to leave her in the crib at least an hour (as long as she wasn't crying). Anyways my daughter is now 9 months and a great napper. She now sleeps 1.5 hours at a time and wakes up happy. These things just evolve!

    Sorry can't comment on the tummy thing though! I assume she would grow out of that too!

  4. #4
    MLBW Guest
    My experience is that depending on your baby's personality type they may never become a "good napper." Some babies don't like to nap. My son is a classic example--not really big into naps and never has been. But...now that he's 14-months-old and I've acquired some "tricks of the trade" I can get one 1.5-3 hour (3 is really, really, really rare) nap out of him a day--usually in the mid-morning (starting between 10 am and noon).

    I think everything is connected. I know that for my son, if he doesn't get to bed at a decent hour (his bedtime is no later than 7:30 pm and usually a lot earlier) then it throws everything off for him. If he gets a good night's sleep he is up by 7 or 8 am. Then I make sure he gets a big breakfast (or as big as he'll eat)--then some playtime to "drain his batteries" as we call it. Then I know the signs to look for when he is truly tired--yawns, will lay his head down on the couch for 30 seconds with a spaced-out look.

    Lately what I do is take him in our room. I have a bottle prepared for him. He drinks his bottle and then we do about 10-15 minutes of what I call "Tickle Therapy." I basically just play with him, wrestle with him,tickle him until he is so worn out that he kind of gladly lays down and pretty soon sleeps. Once he sleeps, I leave the room. However, it sounds like your baby is quite a bit younger.

    My experience is that you can try lots and lots of things as far as naps go but if your child has the personality of a "non-napper" you'll probably just have to ride it out and see if it changes with time--it may or it may not. My son rarely slept more than 20-30 minutes, once or twice a day until he was probably about 9-10 months old.

  5. #5
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the advice. The only problem with the short naps is that the bright eyed and cheery phase doesn't last long and she becomes pretty fussy. She really scratches at her eyes and yawns quite a bit so I assume that she needs to sleep more yet doesn't do it. It makes the day harder for both her and me. Last night she could barely keep her eyes open for her last bottle at 5:45pm but then woke up 1/2hour later and did this the whole night (woke up after 30 mins-hour of sleep).

  6. #6
    mel_g20 is offline Registered User
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    Hello Megan, how old is your daughter? My son was a 45 minute napper. Babies go through a 45 minute sleep cylce. Sometimes its about how you put them to sleep that helps them go back to sleep - but what you do about this really depends on the age of the baby. Patting a younger baby or gently rocking to sleep (not in arms) can help a younger baby - because when they wake after 45 you can simply try and pat or rock them back to sleep. If you carry your baby until they sleep then it can be much harder. Some extra info mya help answer your question.

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    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    I used to rock her to sleep but now she gets agitated when I rock her so I just put her in the crib. She cries for maybe a minute and I will rub her eyes and give her a pacifier and she will sleep. Then 45 minutes later she's up again. I try to rub her eyes and sh sh but she resists.

  8. #8
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    I know this feeling so well! Bub used to do her 2 hours at lunch time when she was young, then suddenly began waking at the 45 mins mark on the dot, which is exactly one sleep cycle. This is really common.

    The advice was to go in at the 40 min mark and as they wake up, gently do anything you can to get them back off to sleep again and into another cycle. For me this involved rocking and patting her as soon as she stirred and trying to get her back off to sleep into another cycle. Sometimes it worked, sometimes she woke fully and we had to get her up.

    It actually fixed itself completely when we did some controlled crying at night as she learnt to properly put herself back to sleep after waking.

    Does she fall asleep herself in the crib and put herself back to sleep at night? It could be part of a wider pattern of learning to fall back to sleep (or she if knew it before, she could have forgotten the trick of it).

    Can you put an extra nap in so she's getting good day time sleep in total even if its in 45 periods? The overtiredness in the evening will only encourage the night waking.

    Take heart though, she went straight back to 45/1hr in the morning, 2 hours at lunch and a afternoon cat nap as soon as the 'trick' of going back to sleep after 1 cycle was learnt.

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