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Extending naps... how!?

  1. #9
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Yes, I've heard that many babies like sleeping on their tummies. Which is why I've really been encouraging her to roll over more (both ways). My little one is not a big paci lover, but I have tried when she's really really fussy, and it's worked. Hm..I could try again. :)

    I just tried to extend her last nap. Unsuccessfully. She slept from 1pm and I tried to pat and shush her into the next sleep cycle at 125 to 128. Left the room and when I returned at 132, it was too late :( She had already kicked away her blankets and had her eyes open. I managed to get her to sleep again, but it's as if she couldn't get into deep sleep again..after I stopped patting her (but was still humming music), she woke up at 146. It wasn't a gradual wake either. It was a bit of a "boom, I'm awake" thing.

    Will try again at her next nap. She's now sleeping 4 half hour naps every day. At night, she wakes around 3am and I settle her back to sleep pretty easily as long as I catch her early. She'll then wake up around 5am (with virtually no urge to sleep) and with a bit of milk, she'll then sleep til 8. I am trying to slowly wean her off this bottle as it affects her 8am feed.

  2. #10
    oi0io is offline Registered User
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    My son also napped for no more than 45 mins when he was 5 months, just enough for one sleep cycle. I can tell you their naps will improve as they get older. My son is now 8 months. I can't force him to nap. I have to read his sleepy cues. Once I see him rubbing his eyes and yawning, then I'll take him to his room, put him into his sleepsack, shut the black out curtains and he'll yawn a bit more and I'll cuddle him a little and tell him it's time to nap. He's usually out within 5 mins and I just put him into his crib. He can now sleep from 1 - 3 hours.

    In terms of cutting out the 5am feed, I'm not sure what time you put your baby to bed at night, but if it's early (say between 7pm - 8pm), you can try to give your baby a dreamfeed at around 11pm. Maybe your baby would skip the 5am feed. If she's only drinking a little bit of milk at 5am and going back to sleep, this 5 am wake up might just be a habit.

  3. #11
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Hi oi0io, Thanks for the confirmation and the tip! I am trying to relax about this whole thing. The only thing I am really concerned about is whether or not these short naps are a result of us holding/rocking. I try really hard not to do it until she's asleep ( I cannot say the same for my mother-in-law... so I really try to put her down for all naps). These few days, I've also been trying to extend her naps using all the ways I know how EXCEPT holding her... no success.

    She woke up at 530 this morning (result of a diaper change that had to happen), and she then napped to 1-1 1/2 hr long naps during the day. I'm pretty sure it won't repeat itself tmrw. We'll see...

    She's usually in bed between 7-730pm, and I do a 11-1130pm dreamfeed. Just when I think the 430-5am waking is a habit, she won't wake. Who knows! :) But it is affecting her first meal, as she drinks less... but so far this feed is the only way I've been able to get her to sleep til 7 or 8. Otherwise, she'll be up by 6ish.

    Should I move her bedtime til later?

  4. #12
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    One more question - so is your son on any kind of napping schedule and/or does he take the same lengths of naps at around the same times every day?

  5. #13
    oi0io is offline Registered User
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    Here is a guideline of "awake" time for babies:

    Newborn 50-60 mins
    1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
    2 months 1 hour and 15 - 20 mins
    3 months 1 hour and 20 - 30 mins
    4 months 1 hour and 45 - 2 hours
    5 months 2 hours - 2.25 hours
    Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
    6.5 - 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.
    8 - 10 months 3 - 4 hours. Some are getting more.
    11 - 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap

    The "awake" time includes diaper changing, feeding, playing etc... So at 5 months, you can see that they should be awake for 2-2.25 hours. After that, you might start to see sleepy cues, that's when you can start a nap time routine. My routine with my son consist of putting him into a sleep sack, read a book, close the black out curtains, cuddle and tell him it's "nap time", cuddle a bit more and my son would be out within 5 mins. When I put him into the crib, he'll be drowsy, yet he's tired so he'll adjust his sleeping position until he's nice and comfy. The problem with putting a baby in the crib fully asleep is that he'll last remember being in your arms, not in the crib. If you put him in the crib drowsy, he'll know he's in the crib. If he wakes up after 45 mins and sees himself in the crib, he won't freak out crying and if he's still tired, he can fall back asleep without any help.

    I start my son's bedtime routine at 7pm, which consist of brushing his teeth, wash his face, bath and milk. He's normally in bed around 7:30pm no later than 8pm. In the morning, I don't go into his room till 7:30am. Even though he might already be up, but he'll just be playing with his fingers, the toys in his crib or just staring at the wall or door waiting for us to come get him. The only time he would fuss and cry is when he's got poop in his diaper. That's when I go in and check on him and if he's got a poopy diaper, I change him and put him back into his crib and tell him to go back to sleep. He'll cry for a bit, but he'll self soothe himself and go back to sleep until I get him at 7:30am.

    I would not move their bedtime later. Babies really do need 10-12 hours of sleep. They grow and develop while they are sleeping, so sleep good for them.

    If the 5am bottle affects your baby's morning bottle, I would try to cut it. There are a couple of ways to cut it. I did it cold turkey, I just stopped feeding him. If he cried, I give him 10 mins at most and see if he could soothe himself to sleep. If he didn't soothe himself to sleep, I would go in and give him a cuddle without a feeding. After a few days of this, he stopped waking up at 5am. You can also try to decrease the amount you put into the bottle. Say you normally give him 6 oz at 5am, you can slowly cut the bottle down to 4 oz, then 2 oz, then nothing. Another way is that if your baby wakes up at 5am, you can stick a soother in his mouth and not give him a bottle and that your baby knows waking up at 5am doesn't mean being fed. Back then, my son actually cut dreamfeeding himself when he turned 5 months. He would rather sleep than take his bottle. Normally dreamfeeding should be weaned by 8 months when eating solids is well established.

    I also noticed, if they nap better during the day, they'll sleep better at night. If my son did not get his naps, he'll be too overtired at night and would have trouble falling asleep.

    In terms of my son's napping schedule. I follow the awake schedule on top. I'll start looking for sleepy cues after 3-4 hours of being awake. When he rubs his eyes, yawn, starts arching his back on me and rubbing his head against my shoulders, that means he's tired. My son now gets 2 naps a day. Once around 10am, the second one around 2:30/3 pm and his naps can last between 1 - 3 hours. If naps were close to bedtime, I would not let him nap past 45 mins (one sleep cycle), in fact if it's very close to bedtime, I'll wake him up after 20 mins because I also noticed if he naps too close to bedtime, he'll have a hard time falling asleep.

    I've attached a PDF file that teaches children how to sleep through the night. There are many scenarios with solutions. It helped me so I hope it would help others. Happy reading!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by oi0io; 12-01-2010 at 04:45 AM.

  6. #14
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks very much for the great information! I actually made an observation last night.... was looking at her log and now wondering if too much sleep at night is making her cut her day naps short. Is that possible?

    As mentioned before, she's in bed between 7-730 and wakes up between 7-8am if she has had that early morning feed at 430/5am. That makes between 12-13 hours of sleep. Baby Center's website mentions 10-11 hours a night for a 3-6 mth old. Then, she gets 3-4 naps of 1/2hr in there making a total of 13 1/2 to 15 hrs a day.

    http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-much...d-need_7645.bc

    Yesterday, she woke at 530am after a poopy diaper change woke her up completely. During the day, she took an extra 1-1 1/2 hr worth of naps. Mind you, I did nap with her for one of them which may have extended the nap by a bit, but usually napping with her makes no difference. She just "snaps out" of her nap.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks again!

  7. #15
    oi0io is offline Registered User
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    From my observation on my little one, too much sleep doesn't affect his naps. Mind you, although I start the day at 7:30am, he is normally already awake and playing in his crib by the time I get him. He's normally awake between 6:30am and 7am (when I hear him over the monitor). In terms of nap, on average, he naps a total of 3 hours a day over 2 naps. The more they nap, the less fussy/cranky they are because they aren't overtired during the day. Of course if they are teething, they are just miserable and if they are going through a growth spurt, they'll probably sleep and eat more.

    The main thing is that your daughter needs to learn how to "self soothe". Once she gets the idea and is tired enough, she can fall back asleep or stay asleep past the 45 min sleep cycle. Even if you change her diaper at 5:30am in the morning, you can cuddle and tell her to go back to sleep and place her back in the crib. Of course there will be some crying at first, but soon they'll get the idea. Even now, if I have to change his diaper in the middle of the night or early morning, he'll still cry when I put him back in the crib, but he'll cry for about 2 mins and he'll settle down. Just remember when you're diaper changing in the middle of the night or early morning, keep the room dim (black out curtains / night light) and don't talk or play with her during the diaper change. Even if you have to say something, just whisper. Black out curtains (with a foam backing) are helpful, it blocks out most of the sunlight and some sound from the outside. Every morning when I start the day, I'll open up the curtains and say "good morning" so that he knows it's time to wake up. At night, both my hubby and I would give him a **** and say "Good night" before we give him the bottle.

    I would avoid sleeping with the baby during naps because you don't want it to turn into a habit.

    It's all about routine. We don't understand baby language and they don't know what we're saying. The only way we can communicate is through routine by doing the same thing everyday until they get the hang of it. It doesn't happen overnight, it does take time. Hang in there.

  8. #16
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Great! Thank you.. yes, I'm hoping to get her to nap on her own. She does it at night without even a whimper. But for naps.. ugh. I am trying to get this done before we have to lower her crib to next level (when she starts sitting) ... I can't imagine lowering a sleepy/sleeping 15 lbs+ baby in as any fun!

    Thanks again...

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