Naping

Tanya - posted on 12/31/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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OKay I need help I am at my wits end! My 5 1/2 month old son sleeps soundly through the night. We put him down at 8 and he sleeps until about 630 or 7 every night. But its the naps that is the problem. He refuses to sleep more than 30 minutes. I have tried to let him cry it out for his nap time for about 45 minutes but than I can't take it anymore and go get him. If i let him cry it out he is just so tired from the crying that he just wants to go right back to sleep when I go get him! right now he is taking almost 4 or 5 naps a day and im exhausted. He is SOOOOO cranky during the day and i am so tired!

Here is our schedule:

wake up at 7 (ish), nap at 9, wake up usually around 10 and than another nap 2 hours later, and the times in between get shorter and shorter cause he sleeps less and is more tired...

What do i do any ideas? im going crazy with this baby!

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Melissa - posted on 12/31/2009

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Hi, I started cereal when my baby was a little over 5 months and it didn't make much of a difference, but now that she's 6 1/2 months, she has developped quite an appetite. She eats 3 meals a day (cereal, fruit/vegetable puree, chicken puree) and sleeps much longer. Maybe you want to start purees if she seems ready...Also, with my baby, I wait till sh'e really tired before I put her in her crib (ex., she's yawning, rubbing her eyes, is not interested in the exercauser, jolly jumper, being held or anything ! ) and usually she'll sleep better. Before coudn't really identify the tired signs, and I would sorta guess when she was due for a nap, and if she wasn't tired enough, she would cry for a long time...but now that she eats well and I put her to bed only when she is really tired, it's really made a difference, and she's even down to a routine (it came naturally, I didn't enforce particular times...) Good luck !

Emma - posted on 12/31/2009

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When I started my son on his cereal it didn't help much, in the beginning, but now that he is on 2 meals a day that has made an improvement. But I understand how you feel. My son does drive me crazy with his no long naps, and we have gone through many days of him being excessively cranky. And when I did give my son tylenol, it didn't help. But like I said, now that he's on 2 meals a day he is less cranky...even without the extra long naps lol

Emma - posted on 12/31/2009

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Some babies just don't nap well. My son, he is just over 6 mo, power naps throughout the day and he still wakes up 2-3 times a night. I help him get more sleep by doing sideways feeding, he is breastfed though, in the afternoon and he ends up getting a good afternoon nap. Also now that he is old enough he is starting to get solids for lunch and dinner, and that has also helped with his naps and being less cranky. My step daugther and husband are both power nappers, so for us I guess it's genetic and I am just used to is lol but when I do need a nap I take my son and lie down with him. As for getting stuff done around the house, I move his chair or exersaucer to where I am working and he can still be close to me while I vaccum etc.



Just some information that you might find helpful. Babies sleep cycles at this age at around 30 mins, and that is generally enough to last them for a couple of hours. Eating solids, make them more sleepy and can sometimes sleep for an extra cycle or two after a good meal. I would just keep putting him down for his naps, when he needs them and as he gets older it will correct itself. Another thing that could be happening to explain his crankiness is teething. Even if there are no swollen gums, he could be starting the process. You can try an all natural teething tablet, if that helps with his crankiness then you know what the problem has been without giving him something like tylenol or motrin.

Briana - posted on 12/31/2009

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lol I would put my child in my Moby Wrap and just let him sleep on me while I get stuff done and when he would fall asleep I could sit down and rest a minute too. Some people say that would spoil your child. But I did it and I carried my son all the time. He is a yr old now and he plays well by himself and he doesn't beg to be carried and held all the time. And he also takes good naps now. http://www.mobywrap.com/ this is where you can purchase them. I however made my own.

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Goundy - posted on 01/02/2010

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My daughter has given up taking long naps through the after noon and is sleeping a good 8-9 hours at night.
Personally I think that this is great.
But if i do need a few minute to myself what I have found that works is changing her postion: if she is playing on the floor. I put her in her swing and vice versa. I have also found if she drinks a 6oz bottle is is all cozy and warm while doing so, she is out like a light by the end.
If you have a portable swing. bouncy chair. or even a high chair. move it with you where your working in the house. Maybe the back round noise and you talking to him will relaxe him and send him snoozing for a bit and you too! Give it a try and see what works.
Good luck and dont give up!

Megan - posted on 01/02/2010

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I went through this with my daughter. I know it is hard to let them cry and then they don't sleep very long but if you just stick with it, and do your best to keep them up between naps...the nap time get longer and longer. I didn't start this fight until Isabella was about 9 months and she did the samething twice a day. She would cry for 30 mins and sleep for 30 mins. After about a week, the amount of crying decreased a little at a time and within about two and a half weeks she was just sleeping 30 mins. Then, slowly, the amount of sleeping got longer and longer until we got up to two hour long naps with one a day, sometimes being an hour and a half.

Lequita - posted on 01/01/2010

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one i am not sure your baby should sleep so often. at his age he is supposed to be spending more time awake. this is when his visual abilities sharpen and he is becoming more aware of his surroundings. also if you want his laps to last longer give him a solid before he takes a nap. this helps him feel fuller longer which makes him get a more restorative nap.

Tasha - posted on 01/01/2010

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My mum showed me something that she used to have to do with me s I was not a good sleeper during the day asa baby, it works for my sometime and to be honest you have probably already tried it. She told me 2 Wrap him in a blanket nice and tight, stand up and swing him from side to side unti he falls asleep, no matter how much he struggles and cry and whatever else just keep doing it. I have tried it a few times and have to admit it has worked, sometimes he fall asleep straight away and other im swinging for a good half an hour whilst he struggles and crys and whatever else, but always proves effective, nd if you really are desperate for your baby to sleep, half an hour of swinging is nothing lol. Hope this helps.

Renae - posted on 01/01/2010

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Tanya, this is very common.

Between about 4 and 7 months almost all babies go through a cat-napping stage.

The average nap time is 45 minutes, but anywhere from 30 min to an hour is normal. You can expect him to be able to stay awake for about 2 hours MAX between naps while he goes through this phase. I post a lot about methods for getting babies to sleep. But in these cases, I do not think you should do anything except wait for this phase to pass.

Sorry I know that's not good news now, but it is very likely that within a month or so he will start sleeping longer again.

Jennifer - posted on 12/31/2009

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I am kinda in the same boat as you.

My son is 14 weeks old (exlusively B-fed) and has always been a night sleeper and a wide awake grumpy boy during the day. He only wakes for feeds at night (right now it is one feed around 4am and he sleeps from 7pm to 7am). He had lots of belly troubles as a infant and used to wake at night farting and screaming but now he seems a bit better. He also does not like to nap during the day and I get exhausted trying to entertain him. I have recently found that I wasn't recognizing his tired signs early enough so he was getting over tired. We also found out that he lies awake for almost an hour each morning and talks to his toys and pictures on the walls- no wonder he gets tired so quickly after he wakes! I now feed him and change his nappy first thing then have some tickles/ cuddles etc and he is back to bed shortly after (as soon as he gets grizzly-sometimes after being awake for only 20mins). Sometimes I have to sit in a chair beside his cot while he cries and stroke his foot/head or tummy and sing to him to mellow him out. Sometimes he gets himself so worked up!! He will usually fall asleep and often wakes after 30-45mins and is grumpy shortly after but recently has graduated some sleeps to 1 hour. I read that babies sleep in cycles and around 30-45mins they move into a light sleep and often wake. They need to be taught to self settle and go back to sleep as they are often not ready to wake up yet. I am not 100% how to teach him to self settle but I think this is what his problem is.

I am really making an effort now to do what it takes to calm him so he feels comfortable in his cot and can relax and fall asleep. If I leave him to cry it out (never a bad cry though) he associates his bed with being left alone. But if I reassure him or sing for a few mins etc he seems happier. During the day i also put a soft cot book/bumper in his bed so he has something else to look at. He seems a bit happier and doesn't mind spending time in there. Let me know if you get any good tips as i would love to develop some sort of routine so I can nap or get things done!! When he has his grizzly days as soon as I am falling asleep for a nap he wakes up and I have given up because I am grumpier from my attempt than if I just stayed awake and had a cup of coffee!

So after my rambling here is what i think with my little fella:

I do believe they need to be taught to sleep during the day. I use a soother/dummy and give him a 'comforter' (a little square teddy blanket) so he is starting to associate these items with 'time to sleep'. You can also play the radio softly in his room so he feels like he is not alone- sometimes this works for my guy. Then when he wakes he will go back to sleep.

Secondly- try to put him to nap as soon a he is tired. my guy tends to get over tired because he gets grumpy but when he refuses to nap he starts smiling and tricks me into thinking he is ok then he is grumpy again 5 mins later! Try sitting with him when he wakes to get him to go back to sleep if his nap seemed too short- maybe it will work?



As for food- my guy has had 'silent reflux' since 6 weeks and is on medication which I will be attempting to stop this week. My paediatrician said refluxy babies are best to start solids at 4months as it helps their little tummies. I have been told to start with avocado and slowly introduce other foods mixed with avocado (the good oils in avocado help their little tummies digest easier). I will try pumpkin cooked &pureed, apple cooked and pureed, pear cooked and pureed, mashed banana and rice cereal. I have also been told not to avoid nuts and eggs for a long time as many people do. My paed advised many doctors are now going back on their allergy theory and are advising NOT to avoid peanuts etc as this may actually encourages allergies. Once they are old enough (not sure what age) to physically eat peanut butter and eggs try a small amount to see how your baby goes. I have been advised to avoid cows milk for as long as possible though as I have a mild dairy allergy and had ezcema and asthma as a child- apparently cows milk may be related?



Not sure if any of this helps tyou.... I also put my guy in his swing sometimes when he wakes and it often makes him go back to sleep!

Tanya - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Tasha:

I would count myself lucky if I were you. My son doesnt always sleep right through the night and still does not sleep through the day. Some days he would hav a cat nap of about 20 minutes but thats it....really. He is fine all day until it gets to around 4pm and thats when he starts getting cranky because he is so tired. The best about it is, it is not every night that he is sleeping right through, some nights he would still get up for a bottle, and more recently to play. It is a joy having such a playful happy little man, but not at 3am lol.


For sure, I am so happy that he is finally sleeping through the night. My son has had colic since the day he was born, and until recently we have not had a moments peace. Although I'm very fortunate he is sleeping through the night, during the day he is a holy terror and angry. I love my son to pieces and I wouldn't change him for a thing, but it gets really tiring all day running my butt off trying to make him happy. I am getting desperate lol.

Tasha - posted on 12/31/2009

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I would count myself lucky if I were you. My son doesnt always sleep right through the night and still does not sleep through the day. Some days he would hav a cat nap of about 20 minutes but thats it....really. He is fine all day until it gets to around 4pm and thats when he starts getting cranky because he is so tired. The best about it is, it is not every night that he is sleeping right through, some nights he would still get up for a bottle, and more recently to play. It is a joy having such a playful happy little man, but not at 3am lol.

Melissa - posted on 12/31/2009

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Hi Tanya, here is a great website that gives you a very good idea on which types of food to introduce to your baby and when.:
http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/
Just click on "Foods for baby", then the food you would like to give your baby, and it will tell you when you can introduce it, which ones cause more allergies, etc. For instance, you can give pears as early as 4 months... There is also an allergy section that's great, it explains what to give your baby, how to give it, what to watch for...etc. By the way, 6 months is just an approximation, you can start at 5 1/2 :-) Good luck !

Jessica - posted on 12/31/2009

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I was in the same boat as you until just a few weeks ago. My son is 6.5 months and up until right before he turned 6 months old I could not get him to sleep longer than 45 min during the day and he was CONSTANTLY overtired and cranky, it was miserable. I tried everything. I really think it just takes some babies longer to start sleeping well. He finally, randomly started napping for 1.5-2 hours at a time, and he takes two or three a day. It wasn't because of anything I did or didn't do.

The only thing I can suggest is stick to a routine as consistently as possible to help him get the idea. Also if he's really overtired by the evening (mine was all the time and still is some days) try putting him to bed a little earlier. We have to put my son to bed by 5:30-6:30 at night or else he's just too tired. Being overtired can cause them to wake up more often.

Brandi - posted on 12/31/2009

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My son was/is a difficult napper. He took several naps daily until he was around 8 or 9 mos. old. Then he started napping twice. once in the a.m. and once later in the afternoon. That was driving me crazy (I have an older daughter and her naptime is 12-3) so i was up and with a child NO BREAKS AT ALL all day long. So around 1 yr. or just before, I eliminated the a.m. nap and moved the afternoon nap up to around noon (or as close as I could get) At not even 6 mos. old, I think you may need to just wait it out. He is still pretty young. And at that age, they sort of nap whenever they feel like it. I agree with one lady on here that you should be thankful that he gets a good nights sleep *my son didnt sleep all night until he was around 7 or 8 mos.old) I would suggest that you try to limit his naps to maybe 2 or 3 (One in the a.m. one in the afternoon and MAYBE one in the eve. if he seems esp. tired, but Iwould really try to limit himto 2 naps.) I think if you did whatever you can to NOT ALLOW him to sleep too many times during the day, he would sleep better when you do allow him to. Its hard and I think that with my kids situating naptime was among the hardest tasks Ive had so far. Good luck and as he gets older, it gets a little easier to get them napping on YOUR schedule.

Emma - posted on 12/31/2009

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No, unfortunatley he is still up 2-3 times a night, but before he started on solids he was up 3-4 times a night, so I guess I am grateful that it is starting to get easier lol

Tanya - posted on 12/31/2009

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Yup especially at night. My husband and I actually have some sort of a life again.. Does your guy sleep through the night?

Emma - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Tanya:

Its really hard! Yes he is sleeping through the night and trust me I thank the lord every day for that but my goodness during the day he is cranky cranky. I can't wait for the food to begin. What food did you start your son on? I'm thinking either avacado or squash.

Guess what my son is on hour number 2 right now with his nap. I slept with him his first hour ( i was soo tired and figured i might need the sleep today lol)



I started with carrots, today he will be trying squash or sweet potato.  I only chose carrots because of the simplicity of it, although most veggies are easy on their little tummy's I wanted to start with something more savory than the others.   He ended up liking the carrots which I was most happy with :) 



 



And I don't blame you for napping with your son,  I do when I need it too  lol  and it does work when you lie down with them for a bit!  Isn't it wonderful when they end up sleeping alittle longer?

Tanya - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Melissa:

Hi, I started cereal when my baby was a little over 5 months and it didn't make much of a difference, but now that she's 6 1/2 months, she has developped quite an appetite. She eats 3 meals a day (cereal, fruit/vegetable puree, chicken puree) and sleeps much longer. Maybe you want to start purees if she seems ready...Also, with my baby, I wait till sh'e really tired before I put her in her crib (ex., she's yawning, rubbing her eyes, is not interested in the exercauser, jolly jumper, being held or anything ! ) and usually she'll sleep better. Before coudn't really identify the tired signs, and I would sorta guess when she was due for a nap, and if she wasn't tired enough, she would cry for a long time...but now that she eats well and I put her to bed only when she is really tired, it's really made a difference, and she's even down to a routine (it came naturally, I didn't enforce particular times...) Good luck !


Yeah I wait until absolute latest to put him down for his nap. he is rubbing his eyes yawning cranky..trust me i feel like ive tried soo many things!  Its good to hear though that some peoples babies have improved with food..im really hoping it helps. I want to start him on puree's but i've heard to wait until 6 months, cause it can cause early allergies, and my whole family has brutal allergies to almost everything so im terrified. 

Tanya - posted on 12/31/2009

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Its really hard! Yes he is sleeping through the night and trust me I thank the lord every day for that but my goodness during the day he is cranky cranky. I can't wait for the food to begin. What food did you start your son on? I'm thinking either avacado or squash.

Guess what my son is on hour number 2 right now with his nap. I slept with him his first hour ( i was soo tired and figured i might need the sleep today lol)

Tanya - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Emma:

Some babies just don't nap well. My son, he is just over 6 mo, power naps throughout the day and he still wakes up 2-3 times a night. I help him get more sleep by doing sideways feeding, he is breastfed though, in the afternoon and he ends up getting a good afternoon nap. Also now that he is old enough he is starting to get solids for lunch and dinner, and that has also helped with his naps and being less cranky. My step daugther and husband are both power nappers, so for us I guess it's genetic and I am just used to is lol but when I do need a nap I take my son and lie down with him. As for getting stuff done around the house, I move his chair or exersaucer to where I am working and he can still be close to me while I vaccum etc.

Just some information that you might find helpful. Babies sleep cycles at this age at around 30 mins, and that is generally enough to last them for a couple of hours. Eating solids, make them more sleepy and can sometimes sleep for an extra cycle or two after a good meal. I would just keep putting him down for his naps, when he needs them and as he gets older it will correct itself. Another thing that could be happening to explain his crankiness is teething. Even if there are no swollen gums, he could be starting the process. You can try an all natural teething tablet, if that helps with his crankiness then you know what the problem has been without giving him something like tylenol or motrin.


trust me i am happy he is sleeping through the night. My son was pure colic the moment we brought him home up until about 4 months he screamed non stop, all the time. I don't know what i would do if he didnt sleep through the night!



I've thought maybe he just isn't satisfied with his formula so I've recently started him on his rice cereal, and when he hits 6 months we're gonna be giving him food. It hasn't seemed to make a difference. 



I know he needs more sleep during the day cause he is the biggest crank and just is not happy no matter what I try, and i feel like i've tried everything!



The only other thing like you said is teething, even if I give him tylenol he still won't nap! The first few months the only way he would stop crying and sleep was his swing, so the other thing I can think of is he hates the stillnes of his crib. (but he sleeps at night). He is good with sound and light.

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u should b happy ur son sleeps thro the nite!! my daughter is nearly 2 and still doesnt sleep all nite and she sometimes has a nap in the day in her buggy for about 45mins!

if i want her 2 sleep in the day i hav 2 go out 4 a long walk in the buggy.
could he be hungry??
he mite not need 2 sleep as long as u'd like in the day if hes sleeping 12 hours at nite.

Candice - posted on 12/31/2009

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wish i could help. my daughter wouldn't nap well unless i held her. i learned to nap with her holding her cradled sleeping laying back propped on pillows. it was the only way she'd sleep longer than 20 minutes. i sympathize though...my daughter wouldn't even sleep at night for very long. took till she was 14 mos + to sleep through the night.

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