2.26.2008

Cat Naps or Rather, Baby Naps


My little one is 4 and half months old now, and I can't seem to get her on the 9/1 nap schedule. She wakes up about 7, then I try and put her down and 9, and she won't have it. it maybe will last for an hour at most, and then I have to get her up, and then she'll be tired again by 11, and then she'll take a good nap, but then I have to give here a later nap around 3. So she takes 3 naps a day instead of 2 long ones. Is this just normal, and I should be glad for the extra time on my hands, or is there something else I can do?

I don't think normal is a word that ever works with naps - oh, how I wish. But, waking up at 7 - that's not too bad to start with! And, I think that it is still fairly common to be on three naps.
I think transitioning from three to two, and from two to one is one of the harder things to do.

The only advice I can offer is that the first nap of the day is the most important nap. If you can get a good first nap in, the whole day goes more smoothly, including following naps. So, here's something you could try: give an earlier first nap. I've always noticed that little ones get tired so quickly in the mornings (literally 45 minutes or an hour after they awaken). So, watch your little one, and the first time she yawns or rubs her eyes, put her down then. And then do everything in your power to be perfectly silent that first hour. It is your best chance for her learning to take a two hour nap. Once she gets into deep sleep, she'll stay asleep that next hour.
So, to recap, put her down earlier! Be as silent as you can (while you are experimenting) to give her a chance to stay asleep longer.

I know it is our nature to think, I've got an hour, what can I get done. But, if you read or stay really quiet, you can let her natural sleeping habits take place. Of course, third and fourth babies don't get the luxury and still turn out wonderfully. But, while you have the chance, help her take that longer nap, because it will ultimately make your life easier when you don't feel tethered to the crib.

Anyhow, does anyone else have ideas?


Painting: Road with Cypress and Star by Van Gogh

1 comment:

Jess, Dust, and Wyatt said...

I've read so many books about babies and their sleep habits/schedules/rhythms and yet, the best thing that I have ever done with that is just to WATCH for tired ques. Does s/he yawn? Act uninterested in what we're doing? Get restless? Rub her/his eyes?

When those signs happen, I run through our normal BED TIME routine and lay him/her in his/her crib. Most of the time s/he nods right off and s/he's a happy camper. If s/he doesn't fall asleep within a few minutes, I pick him/her up and try again the next time the signs appear...and without fail, naptime comes.

The point is that a babies sleep schedule doesn't always follow the clock, but it ALWAYS follows some sort of pattern. Just pay a little more attention to your baby and not to the clock. :)

That's my advice...