will better naps help bed-time? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 02-05-2010, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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So, since baby turned 3 months, bed time is 4AM. (wasn't it supposed to get easier after the 4th trimester?) I cluster feed and suffer 20 minute nap cycles from 6PM until between 2-4AM. She started shortening her afternoon & evening naps to 30 minutes, with 30-60 minutes awake in between at that same time. So all day is nap/awake repeat.
If I can get her to stay down for longer than a 30 minute nap during the day, and only take 3 naps instead of the 5 or 6 we do now, will this help her set a regular/earlier bedtime and sleep longer than the 30 minutes-3 hour stretches she alternates currently at night?
She used to sleep 2-3 hours per nap, but a month ago it just changed to 30 minutes, abruptly.
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#2 of 2 Old 02-06-2010, 02:57 AM
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Does she seem otherwise uncomfortable? Have you thought about possibly looking at your diet to see if there is something that she is sensitive to?
It was at about 2.5 or 3 months when my DD's overall comfort level seemed to get really bad, and her sleep was no exception. It got somewhat better when I took all wheat and gluten out of my diet and then about 3 weeks later it got a lot better when I took dairy out. It isn't fun at all, but something like 25% of babies have milk protein sensitivities. It's something to look into.
But, as an answer to your question: yes, in general I think that the old adage "sleep begets sleep" is true. DD sleeps much better at night when she has a good 2+ hour, uninterrupted nap in the middle of the day.
Also, I've read somewhere that babies will naturally become sleepy in 90 minute intervals from when they last slept. I think it was at about 5 months or so that she settled into a day-time routine similar to the following:
Hypothetical routine:
7am awake for day
-awake for 90 mins
830-930 nap
-awake for 90 mins
11-12 nap
- awake for 180 mins (two intervals)
3-4 nap
- awake for 180 mins
7pm down for the night

I always just followed her sleepy cues and nursed her down for these three naps every day and tried to stay consistent with the night-time routine and bedtime.
Another routine that I've heard works is the 2-3-4 routine. Baby will go down for a nap 2 hours after waking up, then 3 hours after waking up from the first nap, then to bed 4 hours after waking up from the second nap.
I certainly didn't/don't have what would be considered a good sleeper. She continues to wake up multiple times a night, but has always seemed more settled and happy during the day when there was a routine.
Sorry the post was so long. Hope you find some of my suggestions helpful!
Good luck!

Wife & Momma to Echo 2/20/08 and HP 6/11/13
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