can't work out what naps DD wants/needs

(18 Posts)
minipie Mon 11-Mar-13 19:25:19

its more about being able to resettle herself in the night - I think feeding to sleep is fine if you have one of those babies who doesn't wake up till morning after being put to bed - doesn't work so well if you have one who wakes frequently in the night!

aufaniae Mon 11-Mar-13 12:50:12

I guess it depends how long you intend to feed for (sorry, I know that's a how long it a piece of string thing! Hard to know when they're so little and you're new to this baby game!)

DS fed to sleep until he was about 14 months or so, when we discovered he would go to sleep perfectly fine if DP put him to bed, without making any substitute for feeding. He might have been able to earlier, I don't know as we didn't try. This wasn't a problem for us as I wanted to follow the WHO guidance to BF till he was 2 so I was quite happy to feed to sleep.

Also the feed-sleep thing worked so well for us I didn't see the point in spending a lot of time battling with "retraining" DS. It really was like a sedative!

Of course different families needs are different and babies react differently to the things. However personally, I feel I have better things to do with my time - and my baby's - than spending a lot of energy on training my babies to "self-settle" when they're so young, as I know they'll grow out of needing feeding to sleep of their own accord when they're older anyway.

Not trying to have a go at all, or say everything should do things like me! I hope it doesn't come across like that! I just think there's too much emphasis (especially in books) on training your babies to behave in certain ways (e.g. self-settling) when actually, for many of them if you just go with the flow the baby will sorts itself out with time anyway. Disclaimer: I appreciate this isn't true for all babies!

minipie Mon 11-Mar-13 09:30:58

thanks kx - will try that. I do wonder if the reason she sleeps so long in the pram is because she is super warm... only one way to find out!

aufanie, i presume the rationale behind EASY is teaching the baby to go to sleep without having to be fed to sleep every time... so that they wouldn't need feeding back to sleep in the night for example. but I haven't read it!

yes it does seem to go against what they do naturally, but then if left to her own devices DD would probably not nap at all in the day save for a quick 5 minute post feed catnap and would be crazy by the end of the day, so "do what comes naturally" wouldn't really work for her...

aufaniae Sun 10-Mar-13 18:03:43

I'm not keen on EASY for the simple fact that DS (and most of my friends' babies) did it ESYA, left to their own devices.

BFing made DS (and me!) very drowsy, it's nature's magic sleepy drug IMO smile
I don't see the logic in trying to put DS to bed after an activity, and then trying to keep him awake when his body is screaming out for sleep after feeding!

And anyway, the whole "EASY" thing the cynic in me - would they have gone for ESYA if it spelled a nice word like "easy"? wink

However I must admit I have't read the book, just skimmed it - so I'm not saying don't read it! The stuff on sleep cues could be useful of course.

Just don't worry if your baby doesn't do EASY.

kx147 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:52:00

mini - I used to worry about dd overheating when I came in from outside. Taking off her hat/blanket would wake her so about 200yards from the house I would remove hat and blanket, then the short walk would be enough to get her off again and I'd have a sleeping baby in the pram without excessive layers!

minipie Sun 10-Mar-13 17:43:57

thanks Kat. its good to know its common for naps to be short at this age! oddly enough she will often stay asleep for long periods in her pram (but I worry she is overheating in there once I bring the pram indoors...)

KatAndKit Sun 10-Mar-13 16:23:55

Ditch Gina. So many babies, mine included, didn't do long naps at that age. It is apparently a phase they go through. Mine tended to have 4 lots of half an hour at 4 months old. He would wake up after precisely 30 minutes and it was impossible to get him back to sleep. Long naps were rare, perhaps one or two a week and certainly not at any standard time. It's all do do with their sleep cycles and stuff.
As a general rule she will probably need to be back asleep within 2 hours approx of her last wake up so after 90 minutes keep an eye out for signals (read up on tired signs) and as soon as you see any, do whatever it is you do to get her off to sleep.

The 2 hour lunchtime nap is a myth for so many babies. If you don't keep expecting to get one, you will be less frustrated and disappointed. Fortunately the short naps don't last forever. at almost 11 months my DS will do an hour and a bit in the morning and another hour and a bit in the afternoon, both in his buggy, so I get a bit of time to myself now.

minipie Sat 09-Mar-13 14:01:55

Brain, thanks, what age did the eye rubbing start do you remember? DD has just started rubbing her eyes sometimes but she has a bit of conjunctivitis so I am not sure if it is a tired sign or due to the infection...

minipie Sat 09-Mar-13 14:00:44

thanks shallwe, I have heard a lot about that book but never read it. from my understanding it recommends an EASY routine which I don't think would work with DD as she doesn't sleep for long enough ... but sounds like there are lots of other things in the book which might help, I shall see if I can find a copy.

yes Gina certainly doesn't fit DD... wish I hadn't spent so long trying to get dd to fit that timetable rather than learning her sleepy cues.

shallweshop Sat 09-Mar-13 12:14:14

I can highly recommend the book 'Baby Whisperer' by Tracy Hogg. She gives lots of info on how to read your baby's signals and her approach is much more based on your child's personality rather than Gina Ford's 'one size fits all' approach.

BrainGoneAwol Sat 09-Mar-13 10:31:52

Ds tends to rub his eyes and generally starts to get a bit sad or frustrated with his toys when he's tired. I usually look for signs after 1.5 hours since his last nap, though he's 6.5 months now so does go up to 2.5 hours between naps if we aren't at home and it's all too interesting.

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:57:36

ps many thanks for your replies!

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:57:14

I don't think I really know when she needs a nap... the times I take her out in the pram are according to Gina ford blush rather than based in observing DD. I can't follow those times in the cot because she'll only sleep for a short time or won't settle at all, which makes me think she may be overtired and actually needs more frequent naps?

this sleep thing is hard!

shallweshop Fri 08-Mar-13 14:53:39

Actually, it could have been 9.30, it did depend on what time they woke. Sorry, missed the point about you needing to take her out in her pram. It sounds like you know when she needs to take a nap but you just need to change where she has it. I guess you need to start a new routine of putting her down in her cot at the same times you would have taken her out in her pram and then leaving her for a bit to see if she will settle. It might take a little time for her to adapt. Do you normally feed her before her nap? That always helped mine to get off to sleep.

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 14:07:19

the current naps work in terms of keeping her happy but I have to take her out in the pram to get her to sleep...

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 14:06:23

thanks shallwe - so they were awake for 3 hrs in the morning before they had a nap? I think that would probably be too long for DD... maybe because she is actually 'younger' due to being prem...

shallweshop Fri 08-Mar-13 12:32:09

At that age my 2 were having 45 mins to an hour in the morning about 10.00 and then about 1.5 to 2 hours in the afternoon from 1.30'ish. The tired signs were generally rubbing eyes, getting irritable but sometimes there were no signs but once I started the 'it's time to have a nap' routine i.e. cuddle, bottle, put in cot - they would start to become sleepy.

I have heard that babies go through sleep cycles and come into a light sleep after around 45 minutes at which point they are more likely to wake up. If she is really cranky/irritable in the day and you think she needs more sleep you could leave her for a few minutes to see if she re-settles. If she seems happy on her current nap times and is sleeping so well at night, I wouldn't try too hard to increase daytime naps. My DS always used to wake up crying from his naps - even after a couple of hours!

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:15:26

I am really struggling to work out what naps DD wants or needs. I am rubbish at detecting her tired signals (or maybe she's one of those babies that doesn't really show them?). up until now I have been making she she gets her sleep in the day by taking her out in the pram, but would much prefer to follow her cues rather than forcing the sleep on her.

To make things trickier, I don't know what age to treat her as - she is 19 weeks but was born 6 weeks prem so in many ways (but not all!) she is more like a 13 or 14 week old.

she seems only to nap for 45 minutes at a time max (often less) and won't resettle unless in her pram. I am not sure if this is because she is overtired or because that's just all she wants to sleep for. sometimes she wakes from a nap crying - does that mean she needs to sleep more?

She sleeps very well at night - 7pm to 6.45 with a feed at 10.30 - but this is a recent development, she used to be a terrible sleeper at night.

So.... How often should I be putting her down for a nap? what tired signs should I look for? help please!!

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