5-month-old only catnaps - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-20-2006, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I need advice on how to encourage my 5-month-old dd to take longer naps. She is in that mode of falling asleep and waking up 15-20 minutes later. It is driving me nuts! I want her to nap because I need that time to either get things done or to spend one-on-one time with my older ds, who has a hard time with all the time/attention baby sister gets. I have read the No Cry Sleep Solution about how naps less than 1 hours in length mean that the baby isn't completing the sleep cycle. The question is, how to get her to sleep longer? Since I have an older child who can't be left unsupervised, co-napping isn't an option. (Though believe me, I would love to co-nap, since I am exhausted all the time!) We do co-sleep at night.

Up until now she has usually napped in the swing. I nurse her to sleep, sometimes wear her down in the sling, and then put her in the swing to nap. It has worked fine. I do want to transition her to napping on our bed, where she sleeps at night. Sometimes I let her have her entire nap in the sling, but it doesn't necessarily help her sleep longer, and plus, my back starts getting sore after so many hours of slinging (between naps and just regular baby-wearing).

Occasionally (maybe 1-3 times/week) she will sack out and sleep for 2-4 hours. But it's completely unpredictable. I can't plan on anything. I can't ever even get a semblance of an idea of what my day will be like or what I can plan to do. I do a lot of things with her in the sling, awake or asleep, but there are some things that are just plain easier to do without a baby in your arms. And like I said, my ds really would like to have one-on-one time with me w/o baby sister.

I know that NCSS says to anticipate their awakenings and go back and pat her back to sleep before she wakes up all the way. Occasionally I can manage to do this, but again with having an older child to care for, I get distracted, and if I miss that tiny window, there is no chance of getting her to go back to sleep.

At night she sleeps about 10 hours, with 1-2 (40-minute) feedings during that time. Since I nurse with a lact-aid, I have to get out of bed and go downstairs to get her milk and nurse her, and I am soooooo tired. I wish I could just roll over in bed and latch her on. I think she should be getting a little more sleep than she's getting, just based on the charts, though she doesn't seem overly cranky.
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#2 of 4 Old 12-20-2006, 01:57 PM
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I feel ya mama. My older DS even gets a bit frustrated sometimes because every time we get special 'mommy' time, she wakes up! Now she's 7.5 months and will sleep for 30 minutes at least....up to like 2.5 hours but there's no telling when.

I don't know how you can get a baby to sleep longer, really. I know my DD is getting better....so maybe if you think a few months down the road? I know, not much help by saying that!

For some reason she sleeps better in a different bed than she sleeps in at night
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#3 of 4 Old 12-20-2006, 02:09 PM
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For months my dd would only nap long and deeply if I were cuddling with her. Otherwise it was only a few minutes of napping per day. She did outgrow it but not by 5 months.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#4 of 4 Old 12-20-2006, 04:11 PM
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my ds is the same way... and the same age. This morning he did take a long nap in the swing, but I see you have already tried that. It was new for my ds because I had just gotten the swing back out after having up since he was 3-4 weeks old.... he didnt like it. This morning he slept for 1.5 hours in it!
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