View Full Version : Naps-how to make them last longer
03-22-2009, 04:11 AM
Hi, my son is 17 weeks. Each time he goes down for a nap, he will wake 45 minutes later. He is then tired again in about half an hour. I think he is waking after one sleep cycle instead of going into the next, and never really gets enough sleep not to be tired. So I end up putting him down all day long, and he has about 6 naps as they are never long enough to stop him feeling tired! Please help with any ideas of how to make him sleep longer, I feel like we never get any time to just play as its such a short time he is awake for. I have tried tickling his lip to make him stir and move into the next sleep cycle, but he just wakes up 5 minutes after I've done this. HELP!!!! Thanks :)
03-22-2009, 01:36 PM
At 17 weeks he needs between 14-17 hours of sleep a day; which only leaves about 7 hours of broken up awake time. Is he sleeping through the night yet? If not that means even less awake time during the day. Once he hits the 6 mo mark you will notice that he has much longer peroids of awake time.
03-22-2009, 03:16 PM
45 minutes isn't bad for a nap. An hour and a half would be better, but that's tough to work to :p
What you may want to try if you already haven't (because it does sound like he's waking up while going between sleep cycles) is to make sure his room is dark as possible. I always keep a white noise maker going in my son's room during naps and bedtime to block out the outside noise. We live in a noisy neighborhood. He just associates sleep with the white noise. Though he's still not keen on naps.
I'm not a schedule person... except bedtime, so we kind of just go with the flow around here. Today he did not want to take his morning nap... the one he usually sleeps the longest during! So we gave up on it after he woke up after 10 minutes.
I know the sleep experts always say before they take their nap, trying winding them down with gentle, soothing activities... never worked on my son. I always rile him up as much as possible before a nap, get him laughing, kicking, and rolling around, until he's spent his energy then take him into his dark room with the white noise on and nurse him til he falls asleep. He wakes up when I put him in his crib (he's supposed to, I put him down drowsy not asleep to learn to self sooth through his sleep cycles). If he naps, he naps... usually I get at least an hour even if he skips the morning nap, then about 45 minutes to an hour in the afternoon. Then he catnaps in the evening before bed.
I like to make sure he averages about 14 hours of sleep total for a day. He sleeps 12 to 13 hours a night, waking usually only once, so as long as I get two good naps in for him during the day,he's fine.
They say how much sleep the baby gets at night will effect their napping. Too much or too little with keep them from sleeping during the day. Also the time they go to bed makes a difference. Too early or too late will affect it. So you might want to play around with his bedtime and see if that makes a difference too. I tried all different bedtimes and found 8:30 works the best.
Also... don't do what I just did and check on him when he's going between cycles (bad Becca!), you said you tickle his lips... I hadn't heard of that one before, but I do know that if my munchkin is going between cycles and I open the door, it'll wake him enough to wake up a few minutes later. I've also waken him by getting too close to him when he's coming out of deep sleep (never stick your finger under their nose when they're sleeping! :p it was too dark to see him breathing and he had a cold, I was just checking his breathing!) and if he does wake up, before he REALLY wakes up, try to sooth him back into sleep. I stick back in the pacifier and shh him if he wakes up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
04-01-2009, 01:26 AM
try buying a sound machine that has all different soothing sounds on it- both of my boys wouldnt take a pacifier so i had to find something to soothe them at night and this seemed to help depending on where you live you can usually buy one of these at your local walmart for about $12.00 its well worth the money and if your room or whereever he sleeps isn't dark enough think about buying blackout curtains you can get those on smartbargains.com for about $30.00. i done it and now my boys sleep from about 9:00 pm - 8:30-9:00 am and i can get caught up on all the things i needed to do during the day. also im no expert but try laying him down for a nap after lunch say 11:30-12:00 and then also at 4:00pm and see if that works let me know if im of any help. good luck and god bless u!
04-01-2009, 01:08 PM
I'm not sure there is an answer to this...although I am in your shoes and wish there was. They say you can't make them sleep - and that seems to be true. I've read book after book, and all the "experts" contradict themselves. Put them down earlier, keep them up longer...etc.
My little girl can self soothe back to sleep at night but doesn't want to do it during the day. So often naps are 30 min. Although sometimes they are over 1 hour but I never know which day will be which. Tough for me since I like a schedule, but since I can't make her sleep, we just deal! I keep hoping once she gets crawling around she'll tire herself out more!
so bascially i have no help for you...just saying I'm with you!
As she cries now...
04-04-2009, 08:44 PM
You're right! He's getting tripped up by the transition to the next sleep cycle. It'll take some training. I recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, because I'm sure he'll have a method that will work for you (he offers 3). You're also right that the 45-minute nap isn't enough to have the rested/recharged effect. Weissbluth says why in his book and also says that no nap shorter than an hour counts as a nap. ;) I really think you'll find his book helpful. I and so many of my friends have LOVED it. Good luck!
04-22-2009, 10:36 AM
I have always gone by this method for naps: If she wakes up crying, she didn't get enough sleep and i put her back down for a longer nap. If she wakes up quiet or happy, then she got enough sleep. My DD only naps for 45mins most of the time...very rarely she will nap for longer than an hour. She is perfectly alert and rested after 45mins.
04-29-2009, 11:52 AM
Routine is KEY! I take my son-9months-to the gym every morning and he's ready for a long nap when we get home because they wear him out!! :) He wakes up and we play so then I wear him out so he's ready for nap #2 before bed!
I run a company called My Cradle Tunes www.mycradletunes.com. It takes mainstream music and turns it into lullabies. My son has been listening to them since day one and has slept through the night since he was 4 weeks old. So when its naptime i turn them on and he is out almost immediately- kinda like a pavolian response.
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