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I can't figure our new tired signs and awake time for afternoon nap. Please help!


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#1 flamenco-lover

Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:49 AM

My baby will be 11 months in a few days. He self-settles since he was 5 months (gentle training). He transitioned to 2 naps late, almost a month ago, because his awake times were so short. Since then his awake times have been extending quickly. At the same time, his tired signs (that used to be eyes rubbing, moving head from side to side, and finally yawning) are so unclear. He's always on the go (recently started walking) and even during the pre-sleep routine he would get out of my arms when reading his book and singing his sleep song, even if tired. Usually I have to pick him up at some point when I GUESS he's getting tired, walk him around calmly for a bit, say goodbye to pictures on the wall, and if he's tired he'll start rubbing his eyes, maybe yawns, I put him in his cot and he falls asleep fine. However, sometimes I don't guess it right, he's UT or OT and fights sleep.

I figured out that his current awake time for morning nap is 3 h from waking. This helps immensely as I don't need to rely as much on tired cues. Bedtime is ok most of the time. I've capped his morning nap to 1 h (or 1 h 10' when he wakes up a bit earlier) and that has helped with the actual length of the afternoon nap. But the awake time before the A nap is a big problem. For a week or so 4 hours was working. Now it varies, anything between 3 h 30' and 4h 15'... once even 4 h 30' (these are awake times followed by great naps), even when everything else has stayed the same including similar activity level. But because I can't figure out his sleepy signs, that is open to mistakes and frustration!

I guess I'd like to hear whether other people have gone through a time when it was difficult to figure out tired cues for your babies and how you managed/whether it was just a phase etc...?  

Thanks a lot in advance!

Edited by flamenco-lover, 14 July 2018 - 06:58 AM.


#2 BBC

Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:09 AM

Personally, I'd move towards a clock based schedule at  11 months and only vary it if there is a special reason, such as a really disturbed night resulting in a late morning. And I wouldn't wake a child up before 2 sleep cycles in general, so an hour and a half ( although fine if they wake earlier).  So assuming they wake at about 7, first nap at 10ish and second nap about 2.30.
I found sleeping later than 4pm caused trouble with the evening routine, so I would wake them up at 4 unless there were special circumstances.

Slowly push the first sleep back until it's more in the middle of the day and don't limit it when he seems ready to move to one nap.

Edited by BBC, 14 July 2018 - 07:11 AM.


#3 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:13 AM

My first son had no tired signs, ever. Even the child health nurse couldn’t spot them. He went from active to over tired in a minute. Only sign was red eyes once he was over tired.

So like supermombie I just went by the clock, used trial an error each time he dropped a nap to find his new awake time and basically set my watch, then start the wind-down routine and put him to bed. If he wasn’t tired enough he would generally just play in his cot, so that was lucky, no screaming. And that was better than him being over tired, cause he wouldn’t nap at all once over tired.

#4 Caribou

Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:32 AM

It sounds like your DS is on the way to one sleep which the translation is a mind ****. They’re tired, but not tired enough. And you do that stupid sleep dance until one day, BINGO! it all falls in place.

So yea. Trial and error.

Also, when I could see DS was over tired but not willing to sleep, I’d load him up in pram or car if DH was home and go. He’d fall asleep without a fight. And mummy got her 5 minutes peace with coffee!

#5 WaitForMe

Posted 14 July 2018 - 08:10 AM

For both of mine, the stage that they had just 2 decent naps didn't last that long, and it was a bit painful when they moved from 2 to 1.

Personally I would start lengthening the morning awake time, but you could also try waking after 30-45mins. I hate to wake a sleeping child but I know it worked for others.

For an overtired child that just won't go down, we would pram walk or drive to sleep. In fact with my eldest when she was getting close to dropping naps altogether, we went through a phase of her only sleeping in the pram or car. Personally I'd rather be stuck sitting in a car reading a book for an hour or so than dealing with an overtired child all afternoon.

#6 RochelleRochelle

Posted 14 July 2018 - 09:50 AM

A bit of a left-field suggestion, but could he be having a harder time settling in the afternoon because he’s a bit hungry? I only mention it because he sounds like a very active baby who is probably burning a lot of calories. My similarly energetic 8 month old has recently dropped to two naps, and I’ve had to really increase his solid food intake to keep him happy. He now has a milk feed, a snack and lunch between the first and second nap, which seems like a huge amount of food for just over 3 hours, but it keeps him happy and he pretty much always settles well. I’ve also found he won’t settle for the first nap if it’s too long after breakfast, no matter how tired he is. Depending on how he’s eating, more food could be worth a try?

#7 Hands Up

Posted 14 July 2018 - 02:48 PM

I’d go to napping by the clock at eleven months.

With both my kids I was also capping the morning sleep to an hour at that point. Usually 9:30-10:30 and they would then nap from 2-4pm without fail and be ready for bed at seven.

By 14 months they were transitioning to one nap and it was a nightmare six weeks!

#8 flamenco-lover

Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:44 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies so far!

I read that some babies, even older babies, do better using  awake times and this seems to be true with my baby. Having said that, when things go smoothly and predictably, awake times and by the clock should overlap really. I am really in that stage of figuring out by trial and error but it's proving difficult for the afternoon nap... I'll try to be more patient!

SuperMombie -until a few weeks ago our only enemy used to be OT. If he was UT (obviously not massively) he'd play/chat in his cot until drifting off. However, now UT seems to be a problem too, he starts protesting, sitting or standing up and crying. However, I'm not immediately clear it's UT. In fact, before he extended his middle of the day awake time, I was putting him down after around his usual 3 h awake time and I thought he was crying because of OT (I thought because of increased mobility/tiredness) until someone suggested that I'd try to extend the awake time. And that has helped. But I'm still going trial and error and still confused. When he's OT sometimes I can settle him with a quick BF (not to sleep, just to relax), or a bath... but if he's really not settling the only thing that works is the baby carrier (no pram, no car unfortunately!). I still can't find the reason for the variation (I am studying his sleep log daily, LOL!).

My DD used to have a longer morning nap that was pushed later and later and so the afternoon nap (which became a catnap before dropping it). But she was a flexible sleeper and my DS is not so much. So I thought he'd do better with a shrinking morning nap and a fixed afternoon nap especially at nursery (he'll start in a month for 3 days/week).

Happy to hear from more people!!

#9 flamenco-lover

Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:48 PM

RR -thanks for the suggestion but I don't think he's hungry. He eats well and has a good lunch and BF not longer before the nap. And sometimes the nap ended up being later and he slept fine even if he passed his usual snack time. So I don't think in his case this is the issue.. I think we're still in the trial and error phase, taking a bit longer than I'd hope for!

Caribou -I hope I'll have a bit more time before the 2-1 transition, we just went through the 3-2 four weeks ago and I'm still recovering from it, LOL!

#10 Caribou

Posted 14 July 2018 - 08:04 PM

Our 3-2 was very short :( like PPs he went from 2-1 over six weeks and it was horrible. He’s 14mths. He only went to 1 sleep around 12months. But it was a crappy six weeks with the tired/not tired, long and short sleeps. Or even no sleeps.

Good luck. Babies are the most unpredictable things and just when you think you’ve got a good routine they muck it up!

#11 flamenco-lover

Posted 14 July 2018 - 08:15 PM

Oh gosh Caribou! I agree they ARE so unpredictable!!!
So was your LO a "late" 3-2 transitioner as well? I had read that late 3-2 will be also late 2-1... apparently not?!

In a way I can't wait for him to be on one nap (easier to plan the day etc) but I am absolutely not looking forward to the transition!!! Did you do it by pushing the morning nap later or making it shorter then drop?

#12 lou246

Posted 14 July 2018 - 08:23 PM

If he can self settle I think you’ve won half the battle!!! I had a terrible sleeper and at 9 months got advice from a sleep consultant and it was the best thing I ever did. She offers a lot of free advice on her blog and also schedules for each age range. it’s all about awake times and looking at the whole 24hr period at this age. Pm me if you want the website.

#13 flamenco-lover

Posted 15 July 2018 - 07:45 AM

Please more help!

For his past afternoon nap he had tired signs (!) a bit before 4 h awake time (great), he fell asleep with no fuss in 1-2 minutes (great), then he woke up 35 mins later crying (I let him have another 30 mins on me). So he was OT!? Which confuses me because he actually showed tired cues and went down smoothly around the time I would expect these days.

Maybe I'll try a few more days with capping the morning nap and then I should consider an afternoon catnap after a longer morning nap after all! I am just worried about nursery days though: when the morning nap gets pushed later he'll have to sleep through the noise of the other children having lunch and have lunch later, and then the catnap right when other babies start waking up.. (my DD did just fine this way but she was really flexible with sleep). More experiences?

I think either way the 2-1 transition will be hard for us as it'd be difficult to know when to shorten the morning nap further (in theory even now??) and I'm not sure his afternoon nap will adjust well after each shortening (given how much we're struggling now that I've started capping it).

Any more experiences?? Thanks so much!

#14 Caribou

Posted 15 July 2018 - 08:14 AM

Same. Push the morning naps back. To ease into it, I’d gradually push it back15 mins every few days until you get where you want. It does sound like he needs to move to 2-1 naps.

Our 3-2 to 2-1 was ever so brief. and I hated it. My DD gave up day naps by 18months and DS looks to be heading that way too.

Mine naps by the clock too now. I’m waiting for him to push his naps from 5 hours up to 6 hours up so it lines up better with dinner with family. Cos I’ve been having to prep dinner before he goes to bed and have everyone’s dinner ready the second he’s asleep! Thankfully slow cookers are the best as well as oven baking.

#15 flamenco-lover

Posted 15 July 2018 - 08:19 AM

Thanks SuperMombie and Caribou!

"For some kids capping the morning nap means they get overtired very quickly."
This is what I worry about with my DS!

Did any of you have an afternoon catnap during the transition? What time would that be? DS goes to bed at 8pm and this works very well for us... I understand he'll have to have an earlier bedtime when he transitions to 1 nap (initially) but I'd like to hold on to an afternoon catnap until it starts interfering with bedtime/night sleep.

#16 Caribou

Posted 15 July 2018 - 08:47 AM

I never let either of my kids sleep past 3pm. I noticed that was when the night time was pushed back too late if we let them sleep past that. We had a lovely 8pm bedtime too until he moved to one nap. Now he’s in bed by 5-6pm. Which is harder but it’s not forever.

#17 born.a.girl

Posted 15 July 2018 - 09:41 AM

Our daughter went from three, to two, to one sleep within a couple of months.  Just as you think you've worked something out, the routine (such as it wasn't) changes again.


Seemed to me that it was only once you got to one sleep that you could start to reliably make assumptions.


Good luck.

#18 flamenco-lover

Posted 15 July 2018 - 05:43 PM

Thanks born.a.girl -helpful to know you also had a similar experience!

One more question on the longer morning nap -did any of you find it meant early wakeups in the morning? That's what I read.. With my DS we were starting getting some (not terribly early though) and coincidentally disappeared as I started capping the morning nap. As I said it might have been a coincidence and they might have been related to the recent developmental leap (walking) but I'd be interested to hear from others.

Also, could anyone share their experience on shortening the morning nap as part of the 2-1 transition... just to have another perspective to consider!

Thank you all so much!

#19 afterlaughter

Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:09 PM

My daughter worked on awake time approx of 2hrs, 3hrs then 4 hours before bed. If she showed tired signs she was already over tired. So up at 7, nap at 9 (as long as she wanted usually 2hrs) nap about 2pm for about hour and bed at 7. Short awake time meant in morning she never got to over tired. She ran on this routine till about 16months.

#20 mandala

Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:55 PM

If he's starting childcare in a month, I would probably not invest too much effort in trying to figure it out, because it'll likely all go out the window then. It could be that he remains on two naps, or it could be that he shifts to a single nap on childcare days and two longer naps at home.

2, 3, 4 is a really normal sleep pattern for this age. Rubbing eyes and yawning are late tired signs in my experience, and he might already be overtired by the time he gets to that. At this age, the best tired sign for my kids were the first grizzles or grumpiness.

11 months through to 18 months was a challenging time for naps. My kids needed more sleep but naps were hard.

#21 flamenco-lover

Posted 15 July 2018 - 07:33 PM

Thanks Mandala, I appreciate your input, I read other threads where you've helped others :)

"If he's starting childcare in a month, I would probably not invest too much effort in trying to figure it out, because it'll likely all go out the window then"
Been thinking about this actually! Very true!

The 2-3-4 routine doesn't seem to work well for DS except 4 hours before bedtime, but I know it works for others.

Rubbing eyes and yawning still works for the morning nap and bedtime now (we seems to be back on track with those) but still not with the afternoon nap so I appreciate your point.

What's your view on shortening the morning vs. afternoon nap during the transition? And early wakeups with long morning nap?

Thanks!

#22 born.a.girl

Posted 15 July 2018 - 07:45 PM

View Postflamenco-lover, on 15 July 2018 - 05:43 PM, said:


Also, could anyone share their experience on shortening the morning nap as part of the 2-1 transition... just to have another perspective to consider!

Thank you all so much!

Our way could really only happen because she wasn't a kid who'd get overtired and not go to sleep.

She started at occasional care one day a week,  9 - 12 at about 14 months.  The stimulation there would have been enough for her to stay awake until I collected her, then it would sometimes be window open and me singing at the top of my lungs for the five minute trip home, when she'd rejuvenate long enough to eat, then sleep.

Our personal circumstances meant I let that go as long as she wanted, as with only one, and her Dad getting home at 7:30, it suited us. She'd then inevitably sleep a little later in the morning.

So all I can say about us, is that it got a bit later each day, until it was possible to hold off until lunchtme.  That's not going to work if you have a kid who loses it if they don't get to sleep when they're ready.

#23 flamenco-lover

Posted 17 July 2018 - 06:00 AM

Thanks born.a.girl, your daughter sounds like my DD. My DS is a good sleeper but more sensitive especially about naps, night sleep not so much!




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