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Worried about daytime sleeps


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#1 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

I have an 11 wk old DS who sleeps well overnight but will only catnap during the day. Last night he slept from 8.30 to 4.30am and than from 5.30 to 8.30am this morning.

He has only had a 20 minute sleep at 9.30am and than another two 30 minute sleeps this afternoon.

He isn't grumpy or upset during the day but I'm worried he isn't getting enough sleep. He will sleep on me during the day but not in a carrier.

I have tried wrapping him and putting him in his cot once he is asleep during the day but he only sleeps about 30 minutes.

I've tried to do a bit of a routine with him but I find it hard to stick to it when I need to go out or when DH is home.

#2 mandala

Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

He does sound like he's a bit short on sleep. It's easy to get into a cycle of overtiredness - DS was massively overtired, and we went from about 11 hours of sleep a day to about 15 hours once we sorted out tired signs.

I would suggest you try for a maximum awake time of 60-75 minutes - pop him down for a nap as soon as you hit the limit, or when you see the first tired sign. Then, I would try to resettle when he wakes after a catnap. We moved to a rough feed-play-sleep structure at around 13 weeks, but it was still very unpredictable, and he didn't settle into any kind of routine until around 6 months.

I found that I really had to prioritise sleeps over going out. It was hard at the time, but his improved sleeping did make life in general easier. As he got older, we've had more flexibility.

As for sleeping on you vs in a cot, that's really personal preference. If you're okay with it, and are happy with it for the medium term, sleeping on you is fine. For us, it didn't work - DS slept no better on me than in his cot, and was in some ways worse.

I know some people say that they never bother with resettling, or their babies didn't need much sleep, or that they just waited and it all got better with time.  I don't think that's always the case, and for some people (like me and DS!) I think more sleep is important.

Once you get past the period around 4 months when sleep starts to be more adult-like, your baby can start to form sleep associations, and you might want to think more about how you want your baby to sleep long term. For the moment, I think your goal would be to get enough sleep to prevent overtiredness and avoid disturbing that great overnight sleeping original.gif

#3 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

Agree with all the above. Catnaps are typical in the age, as is not wanting to sleep alone in a cot for naps (even if they sleep well at night in a cot).
Do what you can to get by, it will improve. About 4-5 months they will start sleeping better in a cot, and 5-6 months they consolidate day naps.
Until then, though, try for a 2-2.5 hour cycle. Wake and feed, nappy change, play (at 1 hour from awake, so may be only 30 min of playing) wind down, back asleep about 1 hour 15-1.5 hours later. Seems mega short - it is! Sleep for 30-60 min - back awake and repeat.
The bad news is - its hard work. The good news? All that daytime feeding should reward you with maybe dropping that 4:30 am feed (at least for a while!)
Good luck! It does get easier!

#4 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:56 AM

Thanks for your suggestions. I've noticed that if he does have a big day sleep it is usually in the morning so I think I might make that a priority and after that sleep do the feed, play sleep routine.

#5 JoMarch

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

My DS was a cat napper from about a month old and (as others have said) has just started consolidating day time naps in the last few weeks (hes almost 6 months).  Now hes down to usually only having 2 naps, usually around 1.5-2 hrs each.  I think he was over tired when he used to cat nap, but no amount of attempting to resettle etc would work, and I was only keeping him up for a max of 1.5hrs.  It can be frustrating but he (should) grow out of it in time.  As PP have said, watch closely for tired signs and try not to keep your baby awake for too long.  

On the plus side, his night sleeping is great!  My DS was the same, but around 4 months started waking a bit more at night & is still very up & down with his night sleeps (I'm so hoping he goes back to doing that glorious big stretch of sleep for me most nights hands.gif ).  Hopefully your DS will continue on being an awesome night time sleeper, but be prepared that things can change--especially around the 4 month mark.  Good luck original.gif

#6 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

I have just been watching for his tired signs and putting him in his bed as soon as I see them. I spend a bit of time settling him but we have now had 3 naps of about 45 mins each.

Thank you for all of your great suggestions. I'm just hoping he sleeps well tonight.



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