I have a cat napper! How do I get him to take longer naps????

Tiffany - posted on 02/06/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Ok still new to FB and Circle of Moms. :) I do have a ? that I hope someone can relate too and HOPEFULLY have a solution and or ideas!?! My youngest is 5mths and will only take cat naps! He is nursing every 3 1/2 hrs during the day with cereal 2x a day. He goes to bed about 7-7:30 and will MOST nights sleep till 3-4:30 nurse and go back to sleep till 6-7:30. Then he will take a several 30 minute naps during the day! My older two took 2 long naps during the day. I know my youngest can too. He has taken some longer naps here and there, but I can probably count them on hands! Any ideas?????? Oh! I do put him down for a nap wide awake. I don't rock him to sleep

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Arielle - posted on 02/06/2010

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well i have a 5 months old to, she use to do that too. maybe you should try to feed your baby more. i feed my baby cereal mixed with baby food every time i give her i bottle except at 6-8 in the morn. she doesnt sleep to to long unless im holdin but she sleeps longer than she use to. but just keep trying

Renae - posted on 02/06/2010

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Oh sorry you did say your baby was 5 months, I need to learn to read properly! LOL

My comment still stands - he is just the right age for cat napping.

Renae - posted on 02/06/2010

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Tiffany how old is your baby? I clicked on your profile but it isn't telling me. \

The majority of babies go through a cat napping phase starting from about 4 months, lasting until around 7 months. It usually ends when they start trying to move. The average nap length during this time is 30-45 min. I know most mums say there is nothing you can do about it but wait it out.

There are a couple of sleep training methods for longer naps, which you can try, but as I said they often dont work during this phase.

1. Stand outside babies room at about the time he usually wakes up, as soon as you hear him begin to stir to wake up, run in and pat or jiggle him back to sleep and he should sleep for another sleep cycle. The theory is that if you do this at every nap for a couple of weeks his body will get used to sleeping through 2 sleep cycles and so will sleep for 1 to 1.5 hours.

I know one behaviourist who says to put them in the pram and go for a walk or in the car for a drive the instant they wake up and thinks it has the same effect. I'm not so sure about that as I worry it will just make them rely on movement in order to sleep longer - but she has been an infant behaviourist a long time so maybe she knows what she is talking about.

2. Another method which is a bit different is that of Tracey Hogg called "wake to sleep". You will need to google it to get exact instructions because you have to do it exactly right and I dont think I can remember the instructions well enough to tell you. I think the wake to sleep method might be your best chance of success.

Good luck

Miriam - posted on 02/06/2010

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All three of my kids went through a stage around that age where they would sleep about 45 minutes and then wake up. You could almost time it. I would at the beginning go in cover them up give them their soother etc (without talking to them) and then leave the room. They would sometimes go back to sleep right away and sometimes cry for a bit. But all my kids went through a time where they would do that. I think it is important to try to get your child to get back to sleep and get through this stage. Sleeping is something you sometimes have to work at. My kids were all great nappers even though they went through this stage. I've heard that it is called the 45 minute intruder.

Trina - posted on 02/06/2010

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I had to try and get my son to nap for longer periods and found that I had to stay home for a few days so that he didn't fall asleep in the buggy or car and so that I could keep him going and then put him in his cot when I wanted him to go down. Also, have you thought about introducing a third meal?

Ryan - posted on 02/06/2010

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hmmm well it sounds like he is a good eater, and he sleeps pretty good at night. i would try to keep him awake as much as you can. he is still young enough that he will take 2 naps a day. usually that is one in the morning and one in the afternoon. have you tried puting music in his room. sometimes white noise will help him sleep better. and also if you try to set a rutine for your day that might help also, because a cat nap in the car could mess up the rest of his naps. hope this was helpfull!

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