My 12 week baby has this kind of schedule going on now : Awake 1.5 hours, Sleep 30 minutes throughout the day. She eats at the beginning of this cycle which amounts to every 2 hours in the daytime. Night sleep is 6-7 hours then 2 hour stretches until morning.
I'd love for her to be able to take longer more restorative naps, but I end up giving in when she is exhausted and then she wakes up hungry 30 minutes later. I feel like she is fussy at night after her long stretch so from 4AM-7AM and that gets us off to a rough start in the morning. Today she woke at 7AM ate, and was falling back asleep at 8:15.
I'd love to get her on that normal 9, 1 & 4 nap schedule that everyone else seems to be on so her naps will be more restorative. Any ideas?
Things we are already doing : darkness, swaddling, white noise & Zantac. When she is tired I swaddle her in the dark room (not pitch black) turn on the white noise and bounce her to sleep on a ball. She usually goes out in just a few minutes.
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I have a 9 month old who is just recently on the nap schedule you mentioned. 12 weeks seems like such a long time ago, but it sounds very young for them to reliably do anything. It's all about nursing on demand and it's tiring, I know. That 6hr+ stretch at night sounds pretty nice though!
When my kids were tiny, I remember that outdoor time or bath time prior to naps always seemed to help them sleep more soundly and for a longer period of time. Also, some babies do wake up every 30 minutes during a nap, but you can sometimes get them to go back to sleep if you catch them before they are completely awake - I would just lie down beside the babe as unobtrusively as possible and nurse him/her back to sleep. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.
A few times (like 5 or 6 maybe) he's done a randomly freakish long nap of 2 - 2 1/2 hours without any interception from me but I can never count on it happening.
So there's my story. Personally, I became so much happier when I dropped all expectations of my baby keeping any kind of nap schedule ( we have a routine which is the same most days, but we are happily schedule free). Short nappers are a lot of fun! They're so excited about life that they just can't waste the day sleeping!