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    Default Catnapping help

    DS is almost 6 months and he still catnaps during the day. It's starting to drive me a little bit crazy as I need some decent time to myself during the day to get stuff done and have a break.

    I don't do a rigid day routine with him but I do at night before bed. He is an ok night sleeper (still wakes between 1-4 times a night though). I'm a little hesitant to do rigid day routines as I have so many friends/family members IRL that do this and their babies absolutely refuse to sleep anywhere but at home in the cot, so they are chained to being at home x times per day so their kids go to sleep. I like to be out and about with DS doing activities so I'm not sure that this suits me. Even though DS catnaps he will at least sleep while I'm out in his pram and in the car (often much better than at home).

    Is there anyway to help with catnapping without having strict routines?

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    My ds is 6mths old. He goes through stages of being a catnapper but generally he's happy not too grizzly so I don't worry too much. I am also out and about during the day and he sleeps well in the car or pram. When I am home though I do put him down to sleep at the same times through the day. I have started dropping the middle of the day sleep this week so now he will have the 2 sleeps rather than 3. He wakes at 6am. He goes down for a sleep at 8.30-9am and then goes down for his afternoon sleep at 2ish. He is ready for bed and goes down at 7pm and either sleeps through or wakes once during the night. How often are you trying to put bub down through the day? Sometimes if you wait for bub to be tired he could be overtired and won't settle or sleep well which is why I have always had set times to put them down for sleep.

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    I try and get him down 3 times a day, so morning, lunch, afternoon nap, but not at set times, I go along with his cues. If I'm out and he's sleeping I wont wake him, I just let him sleep. He fights his day sleeps but will go down at 7pm without too much of a fight. He's not completely exhausted at night but I do think he could do with a bit more throughout the day. I'm also thinking if his day sleeps improve his nights will too.

    I'm struggling to get him to stay asleep more than getting him to go to sleep in the first place. He doesn't resettle most of the time. If he wakes that's it, it's time to get up according to him even if I can see he needs more.

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    Sorry to say it, but I think it is the out and about all the time that is causing the catnapping. IMO they are little for such a short time and their sleep is so important for their development. I can never get more than a catnap out if my DS2 if he sleeps in the pram or car, and I don't think you can expect much more.
    My poor baby has to be dragged out of the house for school drop off/pick up every day so I ensure that he gets one decent sleep in the middle of the day. So he wakes at 6- 6:30, has a nap in pram at 8:30 until he wakes up, then a sleep at home from about 11:30 - 1:30/2 and then might have another nap in the pram at 3, depending on how well he slept in the other 2 sleeps. Bedtime is 6.
    If you can just commit to one sleep at home during the day you might be able to work on getting him to resettle and have a longer sleep.

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    I agree with little bugs mum, you need to try for 1 good well timed sleep at home each day. To be honest my 2 were cat nappers till I moved to 2 sleeps at about 7 months. Until then out and about or at home they only slept 40 mins. The difference is once they did start sleeping longer they would still only cat nap out and about.

    I know you don't want to be tied to home but in reality you kind of have to be with a baby. DD2 is 15m now and on 1 day nap. We do get out and about when we have to, but I keep it for special occasions, not every day. Would you prefer to sleep in the car overnight or in your bed? That's why they like sleeping in cots. While you're out and about you will never get a moment to yourself.

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    Sorry I think people have misunderstood.

    I like to go out and about, this does not mean that I am out all day every day, I am actually home more than I am out. What I was trying to say was that I didn't want to be tied to home every day at certain times and miss out on activities that I like to do (swimming, library time, going out on weekends etc) because he has his sleep time at x every day and I must be at home for it, does that make sense? He sleeps exceptionally well when we are out, it's the home sleeps I have trouble with.

    Anyway it's ok. Thanks for the responses.

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    Just wait it out then. Sometimes only time can fix a cat napper, it was in my case anyway.

    Two sleeps a day is the most constricting I found on going out, but 1 sleep works better for me.

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    Both my babies were catnappers. My eldest would sleep for only 40 minutes at a time at that age. I tried to sleep when he slept but 40 minutes was enough time to get sleepy but not enough time to actually sleep. Then I had my second child and she only slept for 15-20 minutes x 2 a day and I would dream about having a baby that would sleep for 40 minutes. I tried every combination but nothing worked with any consistency. If they happened to fall asleep in the car they might stay asleep for a little longer but that's not terribly helpful if you want to be at home. They both grew out of it at around 12 months.

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    Catnapping can be a sign of:
    1) Putting bub to bed when bub is tired enough to 'nap' but not tired enough to sleep. At 6 months bubs are usually heading towards giving up the third nap and having 2.5 hours gap between day naps
    2) bub is cold - what is the temp in bubs room and what is bub dressed in/bedding do you use?
    3) bub is hungry - how are solids going?my ds2 started catnapping just after 4 months and nothing I tried bar solids (just after 5 months) would help
    4) bub is falling asleep with a negative sleep aid (feeding/patting/rocking/music/dummy to sleep and when bub stirs after a sleep cycle bub cracks it and thinks "where the heck is that bottle/dummy/hand to pat me. Try using a positive sleep aid that doesn't rely on human intervention such as one of those teddy head comforters - use it at every sleep and only at sleep time.

    So check bubs bedding, get rid of negative sleep aids, make sure bub has a comforter, up the solids (especially protein - aim for 1/3 protein at lunch and dinner). And if after a couple if weeks bub is still catnapping then look at getting rid of the third nap and giving bub more awake time between sleeps - a routine can help with this.

    I think to a large extent your fears about routines are unfounded. My boys are on routines and have both been able to sleep anywhere - at concerts, major sporting events (footy etc). Part of the trick is when they were still having the third nap (late afternoon) to let them have it somewhere outside of their cot (pram, rocker etc) so they get used to sleeping somewhere different. Just keep the bedding the same and use bubs comforter. And routine doesn't mean you can't get out and about. Just either plan your activities and errands around bubs naps or if bub has a shorter morning nap because you are out shopping, just make sure you are home for the second nap. The key thing with a flexible routine is giving bub a place to sleep at nap time (with comforter etc) and ensuring appropriate gaps between naps (eg 2.5is hours at 6ish months).

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