Author Topic: 20 month old - just 1 hour naps for the entire day  (Read 690 times)

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Offline andymcpandy

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20 month old - just 1 hour naps for the entire day
« on: February 08, 2016, 21:28:32 pm »
Hello

My son is 20 months old and has never been a long napper - even when he was a newborn.  He was the ultimate cat napper.  Even when he was on 2 naps, they would both be 30 minutes in length.  It wasn't until I got him down to 1 nap when he was around 17-18 months old that his nap lengthened to 1 hour - SOMETIMES even 90 minutes.

I think because of a short vacation we went on and perhaps just him getting older, he started to wake up earlier than usual (5:45 instead of the usual 6:30-6:45).  I found some advice on one of the sleep forums that around this age, sleep needs start to decrease and it's better to go by the clock with set times rather than by wake times.

I then pushed for a later nap time and a set bed time and his early wake ups have resolved.  But I still get short naps of only 1 hour.  He used to make it up at night if I gave him an earlier bedtime, but he doesn't make it up at night anymore.  He used to get a total amount of 13 hours of sleep, but now it has gone down to 12-12.5. 

Right now he gets up between 6:15-6:30 and I put him down for his nap at 12:30.  Today he fell asleep at 12:45, and woke up at 1:45.  Bedtime is at 7. 

What can I do to help extend his nap?  I don't want to overtire him.  He has suffered from 3-4 sleep cries (which happens with him often, but happens especially if he's OT.  But giving him an earlier bedtime just enforces an earlier wake up at this point).

He doesn't do well with sleep reminders from me or the nanny, because once he sees you he just wants out and then will cry.  Sometimes after an hour nap he will just sit in the crib quietly for 10-15 minutes.  In those cases I leave him just to see if he'll go back to sleep but eventually he'll stand and cry cuz he wants out, which then we will get him.  The couple of times I've tried to remind him to go back to sleep he cried his brains out the minute I left so that doesn't help.

Any advice?  TIA!


Offline katie80

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Re: 20 month old - just 1 hour naps for the entire day
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2016, 05:21:49 am »
If he's only ever done short naps, he may just be programmed for that. :-\ My DD wasn't a long napper either... she always did 1-1.5hr naps and preferred the night sleep. I spent ages trying to get her to do longer naps and nothing ever worked. ::)

For how long have you been home from your vacation? I think it takes some kids longer to recover from those blips than others.

When he cries out at night, do you need to go to him or does he just resettle? Does that happen throughout the night or just in part of it? Is he teething at all?

It might be worth giving the nap another nudge to 12:45 and then 1pm. It may not make it longer, but the shorter afternoon could help with the crying out at night, if indeed it is from OT.



Offline andymcpandy

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Re: 20 month old - just 1 hour naps for the entire day
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 17:21:43 pm »
Thanks for the reply!

I figured he just might be programmed to be a short napper.  He always preferred night sleep even as a newborn.

I've been home from vacation for about 9 days now.  The past two days he's been waking up at 6:30, which is great.  However, he still has a couple of night cries still.  He puts himself back to sleep within 1-2 minutes.  However, the sleep cry that usually happens between 4-5:30 AM is usually more intense and lasts a couple more minutes but luckily he's been able to go back to sleep.  I'm not sure why he always acts up around that time period.  His room is pitch dark, white noise machine, comfortable temperature..just not sure why!

Teething hasn't really been an issue with him.  I never knew new teeth came out until I would see him laugh and then all of a sudden he has new teeth!  He's never been fussy or changed behavior due to teeth.

Bumping his nap time to 12:45 might help and I will try that in a couple of days if things don't work out.

What should be his total wake time for the day (not including the nap)?  11 hours?  Should the last wake time be a certain amount of time?  I'm a little worried about his total sleep decreasing...

Offline katie80

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Re: 20 month old - just 1 hour naps for the entire day
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 04:45:38 am »
However, the sleep cry that usually happens between 4-5:30 AM is usually more intense and lasts a couple more minutes but luckily he's been able to go back to sleep.  I'm not sure why he always acts up around that time period.  His room is pitch dark, white noise machine, comfortable temperature..just not sure why!
I think that can be really normal for some kids. It's a typical time to change back into a lighter stage of sleep. If it changes to where he's staying awake for longer or not going back to sleep, then you probably need to reasses routine.

Teething hasn't really been an issue with him.  I never knew new teeth came out until I would see him laugh and then all of a sudden he has new teeth!  He's never been fussy or changed behavior due to teeth.
Wow, consider yourself lucky!!! ;)

What should be his total wake time for the day (not including the nap)?  11 hours?  Should the last wake time be a certain amount of time? 
These things can really vary for each LO. At his age, with a nap of 1hr, I'd say total A time for the day could be anywhere from 11-12hr and be considered normal... low sleep needs, probably, but definitely normal. The last wake time is also dependent on the LO. Some like a longer morning at this age, and then a shorter afternoon. Some like the opposite. I'd say with a push to your morning and the wake-up getting better, you're on the right track.

I'm a little worried about his total sleep decreasing...
I can understand that, but it's not a definite thing. With tweaking, his morning wake-up has come later and he may get back to more sleep eventually. If not, and you're not seeing signs of struggling with OT, than it might just be all he needs.



Offline Bella89

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Re: 20 month old - just 1 hour naps for the entire day
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 18:43:50 pm »
Hi there,
just letting you know, that I will be moving this thread to Sleeping for toddlers.
You will find a better advice from moms of LOs the same age :)