son is taking shorter naps... please help!

Amy - posted on 03/12/2014 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My son has recently started taking shorter naps for some reason and it's starting to irritate me. I would say his naps are now averaging about 30 minutues or so and he used to sleep more like an average of about an hour per nap. I don't know if it's a growth spurt....just plain crankiness....maybe because he's had a touch of a cold (but he was taking these shorter naps before the cold happened)...teething...I really don't know. He takes these short naps...won't go back to sleep of course...and then is cranky again shortly after he wakes. What's going on???

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Rebekah - posted on 03/17/2014

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Hi Amy, my little one started having the same issue with short naps through the day, at first I thought maybe she just needed less sleep and went along with it but I found the oppsite was true - she was overtired. Early wake ups can often be a result of over tiredness as well. Maybe try an earlier bed time and earlier nap put downs. My little one usually gets tired at about 1 1/2 hours after she has woken up so I put her down while she is still happy at 1hr 15m and let her play for 15 m until sleep. Good luck

Amy - posted on 03/17/2014

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brittany--oh my gosh. no naps at 6 months??! yikes! mine sleeps pretty well at night--according to all things baby--he just likes to wake between 4-5am every morning and it's pretty frustrating. yeah my son is pretty alert and aware of things, too---which makes things hard sometimes at night because say i have to get up and give him a little bottle at 5am and then i put him back down in his crib to sleep (he pretty much always goes back to sleep after having those couple ounces) but then our bed makes a bit of noise when you get back in it which will make him move around/wake up (he's pretty sensitive to sounds so I always try to make sure everything is quiet and it makes me mad when my bf does things around the house loudly, a door closes too loudly, etc) so sometimes I just totally avoid it and go sleep on the couch (if i can even get back to sleep). he's also learning how to do a lot of things so i do see that he's always wanting to stay awake and play, look at things, just be awake to see what's going on so i'm sure that has something to do with his lack of sleep/waking up issues. or at least i hope that's what's going on and he's not back-tracking/not remembering how to put himself to sleep or something.

i also try and make sure my son is pretty full at his bedtime feeding as well.

i also have the same situation with my boyfriend as far as work is concerned...so it def does get pretty exhausting being home with him by myself most of the time and me trying to allow him to experience things, read books, learn, eat, crawl, stand up, walk....

so when you started the cereal at 4 months did he take well to it? was he eating it from the time you started until you began the baby food at 6-7 months? i'm trying to stick with the rice cereal and not get so frustrated about him not eating off the spoon like a pro because I really want him to be on track and learn. i just need to be more patient i guess... (my son also kind of sucks on the spoon like it's a bottle---i don't know if that's okay or if that's his way of learning and figuring out what the spoon is or if something is wrong??...)

with the cereal, at least when he first started, if he didn't finish all the cereal you made would you just throw it away afterwards or save it for a next cereal feeding? Im not sure what to do with any that's leftover--I've been throwing it out, but i hate to waste it!

Jodi--yeah i suppose maybe i am. i just want him to be on track (or better!) and i always worry that he's behind on things---in all reality he's really not, i guess i just want(ed) him to be above average. i mostly worry it's something i'm doing wrong---like he isn't chowing down on his rice cereal because I haven't introduced it to him enough/soon enough...he sometimes seems to think his spoon is a bottle because maybe i'm doing something wrong with that...he's only able to push forward and backward and rollover and back but he's not crawling because i'm not practicing that skill with him enough...maybe he hasn't said mama or dada yet because i'm not teaching him those words and others enough throughout the day...can't sit for real long without help otherwise he slowly topples over (he's such a mover and shaker and he'll get so excited about things with sudden movements that i feel like that kind of hinders his sitting on his own or his standing skills--or maybe i'm doing something wrong with that too!).... so on and so on...

Jodi - posted on 03/16/2014

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I'm not annoyed Amy. I just think you are expecting too much. As a first time mother, maybe you need to recognise that your baby is not behind and is behaving in a perfectly normal way that one would expect a 5 1/2 month baby to be behaving, with both his solids AND his sleep. Your child is progressing normally. Relax a little and enjoy it. It goes quickly, so don't be in such a hurry to make him grow up. It's your kid, ultimately you do as you choose. However, you can't get these days back, so my advice is to enjoy them and don't stress over them so much.

User - posted on 03/16/2014

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Oh and on a side note, my son is very headstrong so he tried cereal at 4 months and was eating baby food by 6-7 months, when he felt like it. LOL It was a VERY messy affair. Now he is still on the baby food, because of his molars, but he still is a messy eater and likes to spit food out. My two cents? You sound just like me, you have goals and your a first time mom who feels a little lost. I so get that and I think that if you just keep offering him solids a little at a time that he will soon learn that they taste a lot better than formula/ breastmilk ( which ever you use) Good luck!

User - posted on 03/16/2014

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Sorry I probably wrote that weird. LOL At 6 months he did not take naps. PERIOD. I used to sit and cry because 3 of my friends had babies at the same time as I did and their sweet little angles took naps. By 8 months we was sleeping 7-9 hours at night ( thank the lord) and by a year he was sleep trained. Its just the last few months that he isn't sleeping well. I am not sure if its the molars that hes ( almost done) cutting or what, but I want to scream sometimes. All children are different but only you know your child best. I knew that my son was capable of sleep for long periods of time so I would get frustrated. Part of his problem is that he is and always has been VERY alert. Now I just make sure that he is VERY full before bed, like tummy poking out full, it seems to help. Sorry I cant offer better advice..... But I will say this. I am also a first time mom who has a husband who works 45 plus hours a week so its ok to be tired and what to have goals for your child. My major goal was to have my son off the bottle and sleep trained in his own bed my 1. It was a month or so after his first birthday that these things happen but if you keep at it baby will start to understand when its time to sleep and when its time to wake. :)

Amy - posted on 03/16/2014

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brittany--so now your 15 month old doesn't sleep well??? or that happened only at 6 months?

Amy - posted on 03/16/2014

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thanks for all your advice, Jodi, but if you're annoyed with my feelings and the goals I have for my son and the things I want him to have mastered by now then please stop commenting. by all means you are more than welcome to comment since i'm posting my questions to get your ladies' opinions/suggestions/advice, but at least be nice about it. geesh. i'm a first time mom trying to get answers/suggestions to get/keep my son on the right track. i just don't want him being behind in anything---they say babies can start eating rice cereal at 4 months so i would figure by now he should be a pro at that. and solids start at 6 months so soon after i would think he'd enjoy eating the solid foods and be good at it. i know every baby is different, but i want mine to be on track and not be back-tracking with sleeping and so on. i know those are only your opinions...and these are only my opinions...and the other ladies have their opinions and thoughts.... and to address a couple of your points you brought up----i did say i wished my son was one of those babies who sleeps awesome through the night (i never said i expected it). and i am a stay at home mom--but i'm pretty sure i'm still allowed to be tired, exhausted and want my son to be learning and progressing with everything adequately or more than.

User - posted on 03/15/2014

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I feel your pain girl! I just singed up looking for help with the same type of thing. My now 15 month old, who was the same way at 6 months just stopped sleeping well and I want to pull my hair out!!

Jodi - posted on 03/15/2014

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Oh, and the reason your son hasn't mastered eating solids yet....is that at this age it is only for practice. He should still be receiving most of his nutrition from his formula/breastmilk. He shouldn't be expected to have mastered it yet. My daughter refused solids until she was 8 months old - no big deal. I think you are expecting way too much too soon from your infant. You need to learn to slow down and go with the flow, rather than going overboard with your expectations.

Jodi - posted on 03/15/2014

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Actually, it is NORMAL for babies his age NOT to sleep all the way through too. It depends on the child. My 9 year old still wakes up at 6 am. Get over it!!! Jesus, what did you expect when you had a child?????? You are expecting WAY too much! Yes, some children do sleep right through for 11 or 12 hours, but many also don't. I get that you wish your son was one of those babies, and that's fine to wish it. But to expect it is a whole different thing.

You have one child. One. Are you a stay at home mother? If so, I'm not seeing your issue. If you are working, what hours do you work? I can see there may be an issue if it is interfering with your sleep due to your working hours. In which case, your husband needs to step up.

Amy - posted on 03/15/2014

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and babies at this age (or earlier!) do sleep through the night...i'd say it's more normal than not. i just wish my son was one of those babies!

Amy - posted on 03/15/2014

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and i do also go to sleep early but have trouble going back to sleep every time he wakes during the night, so i lose out on hours of sleep :( so i'm sure 6am wouldn't be so terrible if i were actually able to get the 8 or 9 hours i need, but since i don't, 6am and earlier is a rough hour to start my day

Amy - posted on 03/15/2014

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now ladies. i do expect to lose sleep. i'm just saying, he's almost 6 months old now so i would think he'd be on a good (sleeping) schedule by now (which i suppose is my own fault for not being more strict or what have you with scheduling). he still isn't even a pro at eating the rice cereal from a spoon yet---it's almost time for solids for goodness sake--but once again, i suppose that is my fault for kind of giving up on the whole 'feeding from a spoon thing' for awhile because he would just keep spitting it out and it was very frustrating. he doesn't need to be on my schedule--i'm not even on my own schedule i'd prefer for goodness sake--i'm on his! i'm just saying that 6am or earlier is waaay too early for a 6 month old to be waking up for the day. i'm not one to be able to function super well on like 5 or 6 hours of sleep--it's very un-motivating to feel sooo sleepy all day when my day starts at 5am. :/ i wish i knew what his reason was for all of this new behavior---- is he going through a growth spurt?...why is he not sleeping well at night anymore/waking early/taking more short naps? is he not sleeping so well because he loves to roll over from his back to his tummy all the time? is he just learning so much that he wants to take everything in he can so he would rather be awake than sleep? are his sleeping habits changing because i'm not doing something right? I mean, i just want to know what the deal is that's all. I like to know the reasoning behind everything, not 'just because'....

Leela - posted on 03/14/2014

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Amy this is going to sound harsh but here goes. It's no longer about you, or your schedule or even your feelings. Your son is a baby! He's going to change schedules and do inconvenient things. Welcome to mommyhood.

Jodi - posted on 03/14/2014

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Amy, you've been told many times on many posts that you should NOT be expecting your infant to be sleeping through the night. It's normal for them not to. Stop expecting your infant to be on YOUR schedule. Your expectations are unrealistic. This is part of having children.

Dee Dee - posted on 03/14/2014

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Hes only that small!! You should expect to lose some sleep when they are that small..if mine woke up I fed him a bottle..burped him and he went back to sleep..my youngest is going to be three n she doesn't nap anymore..went from an hr..to half hr then none..all babes are different and their sleeping varies..depends on how tired they are..sometimes mine only needed a quick cat nap.

Amy - posted on 03/14/2014

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yes i'm worried that he was/might be again in that 'i need my bottle' to go back to sleep habit. ugh! i just don't want him to be dependent on mommy (or daddy) to fall back asleep for a nap or at nighttime. i just think that would be the worst!

[deleted account]

I think it's pretty normal. There was a time where my daughter would wake up at 5 or 6 for a few hours then took a little nap. A lot of times she wanted her milk to fall back asleep. When it came to the point where I knew it was just habit for her to use the milk I slowly weened her off it. And then she slowly but surely started sleeping through the night. It was only when she was put back in her own crib/toddler bed that she would wake up to be with me or she would stay asleep there at the end of it. She was not able to put herself back to sleep usually. I would have to rock her to have her fall back asleep when she was smaller, or sit by her in bed when she was around 2ish.

Amy - posted on 03/13/2014

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sad. :( ....i mean, is that normal for a baby to 'want' to start their day before 6am??? that's so early!! he needs to be sleeping...and so do i! what did you do when she woke up? was she waking to be fed? was she able to put herself back to sleep? what did you do?

[deleted account]

I think this is all very normal even though it's not ideal and it's hard. Believe me I know! My daughter was queen of waking up all through the night until she turned 2. It was rough. I'm sorry you're dealing with it. I think he'll grow out of it sooner or later. I don't know if there is a way to make him take his longer naps and sleep in.

Amy - posted on 03/13/2014

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i know i was talking about his short naps in my original post, but i got on a bit of a rant about his changing morning routine as well. why is he having such trouble with both of these all of a sudden??? I would much rather have him sleep through the night/morning rather than have him take longer naps, but these days i'd take either one because right now he's sleeping like crap for his naps AND at night!!!!

Amy - posted on 03/13/2014

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mmmm...yeah maybe I could try an earlier bedtime i suppose. but then that means i'm gonna need to go to bed even earlier to get up at 4 or 5am when he's been waking. i don't know what his deal is (he's 5 and 1/2 months) but i am about 2 seconds away from losing my mind with this. he's up again this morning at a god awful hour! he's been doing so wonderfully with getting up and now he's started waking around 4 or 5am and not going back to sleep..... there's no way i'm starting my day that early (though that's how it's been going since I can't fall back asleep because I wait for him to fall back asleep and he never does). i don't usually take him out of his crib til 7am as that is when we start our day (or i should say when we USED TO start our day). so now it's either I still leave him in his crib til 7 whether he's awake or not/crying or not or we get up and start our day at freakin' 4 or 5am. i don't have patience for either one of those. i don't know what to do anymore...... and unfortunately i can't ask his peidatrician for her advice until his appt early next month :( why is he doing this??????

[deleted account]

I think it differs from kid to kid. My mom said I stopped taking naps completely on my 2nd birthday. My 3 year old never naps anymore and started doing that around her 2nd birthday as well, and they did gradually get shorter with time before they stopped completely.
But maybe it is teething waking him up? Could be. It could go back to the way it was in time. You might be able to put him to bed earlier now though since he's waking up earlier.

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