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  1. #1
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    Default Ongoing issues with morning nap - 5.5 month old

    Hi there, just wondering if anyone has any advice or suggestions for my nap problem with my 5.5 month old. A bit of background - he is healthy and well, no medical issues. From 5 weeks old, he would only nap if being held - about a month ago, we did 4 nights at sleep school - and he hasn't been held for a nap since then. Hooray!

    Sleep school (and just about every other book about baby sleep) tells me that he needs at least 1.5-2 hours sleep in the morning and early afternoon, and a catnap in the late afternoon. I can count the number of times that he has slept that long in the morning, since coming home from sleep school on two fingers. Their advice is just to keep trying to resettle him until the time is up - but 4 weeks down the track and there is no improvement on that front. He usually just squawks and squeals and chats to himself.

    I've tried earlier nap time, later nap time (each for a few days)...I've tried turning the heater up. The room is completely blacked out.

    Some things that I think may contribute to the problem:
    - I have a toddler and our house isn't very big. The baby's room comes right off our lounge room which is the only play area for our toddler. Also with floorboards, sound travels straight into the baby's room which I fear is disrupting him.
    - I know he doesn't last very long in the morning and I'm trying to put him down as soon as I see tired signs, which is usually between 1-1.25 hours of awake time.

    If I am to be honest, his sleeping stresses me out to no end. I am worried about my own emotional state because I seem to spend so much time resettling him with no benefit. If he doesnt spend the 1.5-2 hours in the cot in the morning, we are chasing our tails the rest of the day and I am too scared to leave the house in case he falls asleep in the pram or car, ruining another nap.

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  3. #2
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    Default Ongoing issues with morning nap - 5.5 month old

    I have no suggestions, but my dd hasn't slept more than 1.5hrs total in the day since 6 weeks old.
    She slept 10hrs in a row at night from 14 weeks. After a small nap 7-8pm ish
    She's 15mths now and went to one 1 hour sleep a day at 10mths
    How many hours in total does he sleep over a 24 hour period?
    Last edited by Kazza78; 08-07-2015 at 10:14.

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    mummyChubbles  (08-07-2015)

  5. #3
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    Will he eventually fall asleep on the floor if you left him? My dd used to do that for a while. But we don't have an older sibling

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    mummyChubbles  (08-07-2015)

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    I could have written your post word for word minus the toddler part. We did sleep school at 4 months of age because DS was just like yours.

    To be honest I think his awake time in the mornings is a bit short for his age and he's probably not tired enough to sleep so long. I was an anxious mess with the 2 hour nap rule so I flexed it to suit my DS. I found his afternoon nap was the tricky one so instead of fighting it, I went with it. Anxiety turned down 10 points instantly.

    Sleep school taught us 2 hours awake at that point but I found in the mornings 1.5 was about all I was getting and that's fine but I think you might benefit from stretching that awake time a bit further?

    I'm happy to discuss this as much as you like either through this thread or via pm. Whatever makes you comfortable. My DS is now 15 months and he still is a tricky sleeper but I'm hoping my experiences might help you out a little?

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    mummyChubbles  (08-07-2015)

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    My suggestion would be more awake time in the morning, at that age my DS2 was up for 2 hrs (or even longer because we had to do the school run!) and was dropping the afternoon nap. But with my other 2 I would have been too scared to keep them up that long for fear of over tiredness, and they were both catnappers (not totally sure if this is because I didn't keep them up long enough, or they were just cr@p sleepers). Someone on here suggested for me that when they show tired signs to take them out for a walk in the garden, something that will keep them happy but not overstimulated, for 15mins or so and then to bed, worked well for me.
    With the noise thing, I often wonder if DS2 gets woken by his brother and sister, and I'm forever telling them to be quiet- we also live in very small house with creaky floorboards. But we recently had our roof replaced and DS2 slept well on the days they were here drilling, throwing sheets of colour-bond to the ground from a great height etc. So who knows! Have you tried a white noise app?
    My DS2 doesn't always have a 1.5 to 2 hr sleep. Occasionally he'll have a bad day and only get 2 catnaps, but I find the following day he will have a 2 hr sleep and seem to catch up. I would go more by how happy he is at the end of the day, my DS2 can be a bit of a monster if it has been a 2 catnap day, but I just put him to bed a bit earlier and hope for better sleeps the next day.

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    The reason I've been putting him down at 1-1.25 hours awake time in the morning is that the two days when he actually slept for 2+ hours in the morning - I ignored the clock and just went by his tired signs, and it turned out that he was only awake for 1-1.25 hours. He struggles to stay awake for 2 hours - occasionally he has to stretch this long between his evening nap and bedtime, and he's usually a frazzled mess by the 1.5 hour mark, that I put him to sleep earlier.

    Even if I just leave him in the cot, he rarely goes back to sleep. Yet every time I have called sleep school to discuss, they tell me the same thing - that I need to persist with re-settling or he will not get the idea that he is meant to be asleep. If he gets too worked up, I'm meant to get him up for 10-15 minutes then put him back down. I think he's fallen back asleep this way once. I feel like I spend my whole morning trying to resettle him for no result other than to send my stress and anxiety levels through the roof. And to be honest, I'm too scared of making things worse to not take this advice and keep trying.

    He sleeps about 12 hours overnight with one feed. He does about 1.5-2 hours in the afternoon and 45 minutes in the evening. Occasionally he needs resettling for the afternoon nap, but will more often than not do a longer nap then.

    Before I go to the point where I just go with "maybe he just doesn't need that much sleep in the morning", I just want to make sure that I've exhausted all options. My gut tells me that he does need it. Maybe its just that I need it - by having 1.5-2 hours of downtime (even if not asleep) in the morning, he naps at approximately the same time as my toddler in the afternoon, which gives me some much much needed down time.

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    We also live in a small house and white noise worked well to mask the sounds of our toddler playing. Could you try that?

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    mummyChubbles  (08-07-2015)

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    The total hours he's doing over 24 hours is fantastic.
    What time does he wake in the morning?

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    mummyChubbles  (08-07-2015)

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    I'll give the white noise a try - did those of you who had success with it use a particular noise? I will be interested to see if his sleeping changes next week and school holidays are over, and the toddler isn't home some mornings.

    Thanks for your feedback everyone. I'll give the longer awake time a go as well.

    Here's another question: even if he isn't sleeping, he's usually pretty happy to stay in the cot. Should I just continue to keep leaving him in there and resettling him if he gets cranky and hope that one day he just gets it and sleeps longer?

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    I would aim for having him not sleep after 3.30pm and see how he goes the next day

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