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Need help extending naps for 5 month old

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

DD has been a catnapper since she stopped her constant newborn sleeping at around 8 or 9 weeks.

I've tried extending and shortening her wake periods. Tried "wake to sleep". Tried letting her fuss till she goes back to sleep. Tried putting her back to sleep right when she wakes. Nothing works. She is tired, barely lasting through 2-hr wake periods and I think it's affecting her night time sleep rather negatively lately.

Also, I am really REALLY fed up with having to put her down to sleep 5 times a day. It's exhausting and I sooo time-consuming. Not only are her naps too short for me to get anything done (30 mins) but then I spend 20-30 minutes every 1.5 hrs putting her back to sleep. Seriously. It's a hellish and monotonous existence over here.

 

No, it's not possible for her to regularly nap on me. And when I'm out and about and she does nap in the ergo she still wakes at 30-40 mins.

 

Anyway- is there something I haven't tried? 

What worked for your catnapper?

post #2 of 7

I remember this and it really sucked.  We finally had some success following the 2-3-4 rule.  She would wake at 7, go down for a nap at 9, be up for 3 hours, nap again, and then go down for bedtime 4 hours after her last nap.  We finally got two hour-long naps a day by around 9 months and now she's 13 months, dropping the first nap and it's all lost again.  But a lot of the ladies in my DDC had success with the 2-3-4 timing too.  It's something to try.  I don't know how to make naps longer though, since we tried everything: white noise, temperature control, a consistent routine, etc.  Sometimes she'll nap for 1.5 hours and other times 20 minutes.  It's really frustrating.  Hopefully someone else has some ideas too.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyTiger View Post
 

I remember this and it really sucked.  We finally had some success following the 2-3-4 rule.  She would wake at 7, go down for a nap at 9, be up for 3 hours, nap again, and then go down for bedtime 4 hours after her last nap.  We finally got two hour-long naps a day by around 9 months and now she's 13 months, dropping the first nap and it's all lost again.  But a lot of the ladies in my DDC had success with the 2-3-4 timing too.  It's something to try.  I don't know how to make naps longer though, since we tried everything: white noise, temperature control, a consistent routine, etc.  Sometimes she'll nap for 1.5 hours and other times 20 minutes.  It's really frustrating.  Hopefully someone else has some ideas too.

 

Huh. I'd never heard of this before! I am intrigued since I've been posting a lot lately about timing DD's last nap as a nap or as "down for the night."

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I think I landed in this schedule with my son and it worked well, but he was older IIRC. 4 hours awake time seems like a lot for a 5 month old- won't she be overtired by bedtime? Especially if she is still only napping for 30 mins... And if I implement this schedule with her current nap lengths, she'll be in bed waay to early. Wakes at 6, naps at 8, naps at 11:30, bed at 4 pm! LOL. Hmm... I'm willing to try anything but how would this work???

 

When you used this schedule did the longer naps naturally follow somehow?

post #5 of 7

Here are a couple excerpts from my baby diary so you can see the evolution of my DD's sleep.  I'm not sure this helps, but I honestly can't remember enough offhand now to know what we were doing at 5 months.  It looks like the 2-3-4 thing didn't really start working until after 7 months.   

 

5.5 months

Sleeping has been a bit of a struggle and we’re sort of all over the place.  For a while she was sleeping almost five hour stretches, but now it seems to be back to three hours at a time.  Our new plan this week is to try to feed her before I go to bed and then let her fuss when she wakes up at 12:30 but feed her at 3:00 or 4:00am when she wakes up again.  Hopefully we can eventually get down to one feeding a night. 

 

Her schedule at almost six months looks like this:

Wake up at 7:30 am.  Nap from 9-10, nap from 12:30-1, nap from 3-4 and down for bed by 6:30pm.  Wake up at random times before 10pm for quick feedings and then up again at 12:30, 3:30, and often 6:30am or so.  It’s a little exhausting, and I had no idea I was capable of living off so little sleep. 

 

7 Months:

Her nap schedule hasn’t changed substantially since 5-6 months.  She still naps about an hour to 1.5 hours after getting up and then takes a nap in the middle of the day and maybe a short nap in the late afternoon.  During the “wonder week” last week she was taking much more frequent naps and they were shorter.  She’s definitely starting to resist naps more since there’s so much for her to look at. 

 

So, long story short, it doesn't look like we were on the 2-3-4 schedule until after 7 months.  By 6.5 months she was sleeping through the night, which made things a little more predictable. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

LilyTiger, Props to you for keeping a baby diary!!! That's crazy cool- I wish I had done the same with my first. I try to remember how things went with him, but all I remember is being a sleep deprived mess. A record of any methods I tried wouldn't help me now though because nothing ever worked!

 

Right now DD looks like she is on a pretty similar routine as yours was around 6 months with shorter naps and maybe a few more wakings at night. You are so lucky that yours slept through at 6.5 months. Sigh. We are trapped in the "4 month" sleep regression. I'll stop calling it that when DD is maybe 7 months and just accept that it's just the way she sleeps (or doesn't sleep) just like I did with DS. gloomy.gif

 

I'm still trying ever so hard to believe that she will be a better sleeper than he was... hope is fading though. Along with my sanity...

 

Thanks.

post #7 of 7

The baby diary is pretty much the only thing I've done "right" in terms of my expectations of parenthood, so thanks!

 

I know people have mixed results with it, but I found the No Cry Sleep Solution really worked for us. It got us out of the 4 month regression (which in our case, like yours, lasted well into 6 months) and then she gradually started dropping night feedings on her own.  We stopped co-sleeping around 5 months and that helped too.  I'd hear her cry out on the baby monitor and by the time I got to her door, she'd be back asleep already (or winding down).  So it was clearly just sort of light stage REM cycle waking not "I NEED FOOD NOW" waking.  I don't know if any of that helps, but that's what worked for us and we saw a huge turnaround in just a month or two. 

 

I hope you get some sleep and your baby starts napping longer soon!  I felt like when I finally got sleep was when I finally really started LOVING being a mom.  Sleep is so important and so tough. 

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