So my wonderful DH and his family follow the theory that a baby needs to be kept awake longer, and awoken from "long" naps in order to rest better at night.
I left DD for the first time last week with her gma. When I returned she was already awake because she had been napping "too long". I was really angry. Who wakes up a sleeping baby? (A grandma getting ready to leave, that's who)
But anyways, it spawned a discussion about whether or not baby should be awoken or kept awake?
Depends on how important a night's sleep is to you. I personally sometimes set alarms when I take naps since otherwise I could mess up my schedule and not sleep well at night. Since DD can't tell time yet, it's up to me to set nap limits for her.
So, I don't think it's always crazy to wake a baby, though I try my very best to avoid it. If it's becoming a long nap too late in the afternoon, then I'll start talking loudly nearby or turn on a light or something to encourage her. On a few occasions, I've had to touch her fingers or toes to help her stir. She always wakes pretty happy when I do this, and it does help her night sleep. I do get conflicted if she's napping after 4pm especially, since I hate to wake her, but I know the effect on night sleep can be huge for her, and therefore for the whole family.
But you're the mom, so if you say don't wake your baby then they should follow your rule. Simple.
When DD used to take a late afternoon nap I would occasionally wake her if it went unexpectedly long in order to preserve her usual bedtime and routine. DD is a terrible napper, so nighttime consistency is really the mainstay of her sleep. Waking her up when she was actually, miraculously sleeping felt terrible, though, and I would always try to wait until one of her usual light sleep times before waking her.
My daughter has never slept better if I wake her up, so I don't do it. I figure that her body knows if it needs sleep or not. On the rare occasion I have to wake her up (doctor's appointment, etc) I feel terrible doing it. She isn't the kind of baby who transitions well from bed to carseat, so once I get her up, she's up. So yeah, unless I absolutely have to, I never wake her up.
bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!
There is a stress hormone that is filtered out of the body when children are sleeping that can back up and create poor sleeping if not allowed to be filtered out. Hence the weird occurance that sleep begats more sleep. aka your toddler took a massive nap and then sleeps solidly at night. I have no idea at what age that hormone becomes less.
Home birth to Eirwen Claire on 1-06-11
Yes, that sounds insane to me.
So if you never wake her and she sleeps fine at night with the long naps, isn't that proof enough that there's no need to wake her? Can't you just tell your inlaws that it works fine and she still sleeps well even with the long naps?
Man, I wish I had your problem! DS rarely naps more than 1/2 hour at a time.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe