Author Topic: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day  (Read 242 times)

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Offline Elauriel

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Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« on: October 20, 2017, 16:06:38 pm »
It's been a long time but I'm back! I had a baby in July, so he's 13ish weeks. Sleeps much better than his older brother ever did, but the problem is I have to take older brother to school 2 times a day and it's messing with naps. Also...I had so many problems with older brother that I threw ALL the props at baby #2 in order to make life work while son #1 was getting used to going to school all day. So now son #2 nurses to sleep, while swaddled, while shushed, while patted, while I bounce on an exercise ball (it's ridiculous...). Like someone else on the forums here my son snacks when he wakes up and wants a full feed before nap.

I have to take son #1 to school at 9 and pick him up at 3:30, which is always when son #2 needs to nap.

Here's an example of our morning. This is pretty much every day M-F and there isn't much I can do about it.

W: 7
E: 7:30 (usually he wakes around 5 to eat so he's never really hungry in the morning)
S: 8:30ish/9 in baby carrier while we walk to school
Wake up: 9:30 when we get home. He will not sleep more than 40 minutes in the carrier and I can't transfer.
E: 10
S: 10:30

Now this nap could be 40 minutes or 3 hours. Still kinda working the kinks out. If it's 40 minutes I can go in and get him back to sleep for usually another 40 minutes.

If he takes a long morning nap he wakes around 1, and wants to sleep around 3, but we leave at 3:30. If he doesn't take a good morning nap then he wants to nap every hour and takes 40 minute naps all day.

After I get son #2, this is our evening:

S: 3:30 - go to school, asleep in carrier
4:00 - wakes up
S: 4:30
5:20 - wakes up
E
S: 6:00 (I usually give in and he sleeps on me)
7:00 - wakes up
E
S: 7:10
7:50 - wakes up
E
S: 8:00 - in bed for the night

As you can see...our nights are kind of a disaster after I get son #2 from school. This leaves me with 0 time to make dinner and I wind up spending the whole evening with the baby on my lap in the nursery playing on Facebook.

Help!!

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 10:20:24 am »
Hello, welcome back to BW forums :)

From what you've said I think it might be worth a shot at a more "set naps" kind of routine with a couple of CNs and a couple of longer naps rather than a standard 3 long nap routine. I think it might help reduce your worry about trying to get him to sleep longer all the time. What do you think?

The first A time is a bit too long for his age but clearly he has to wait until he's on the way to school to get that first sling nap so I doubt there is much you can do about that.  I would probably just plan that as a CN, then plan a long nap at home, a CN before or during the afternoon school run and another long nap at home followed by A time then BT.  If you set this up each day your LO could get into the habit of it as he'd know when he is going to get his sleeps, I'd suggest keeping to the routine on weekends too to help him establish the routine and know when he is getting the sling naps and when a cot nap.
So it might look something like this:
WU 7.00
E 7.30
A 1hr 45 a bit too long for age
S 8.50 - 9.30 (40 min CN)
E 10.30 (do not feed to sleep)
A 1hr 30
S 11.00 - 1.00 (2hr in the cot)
E 1.30
A 1hr 30
S 2.30 - 3.10 (cot or sling 40min CN)
E 4.00 (do not feed to sleep)
A 1hr 30 (including school run)
S 4.40 - 6.40 (2hr in cot)
E 6.40 before bath if needed
A 1hr 20/30
E 7.30 BT feed
BT 8pm

I think once you plan those CNs in you could feel less obliged to try to extend every nap, make use of the A time to get him fed or dinner made and the 2hr home nap in the evening should free you up to spend time with your older child, cook/eat, whatever.  At the moment it looks like you are spending the entire evening trying to get LO asleep but with a more "set" routine you would only try to sleep train and resettle during the time he is to long nap.  Initially it is not likely to give you additional Y time to spend with your older child but once the habit is establish I would imagine it should help.
By "set" times I don't mean you'd keep these times for ever, more like they are set for now then change as LOs needs change and then re-set again on a longer A time.  You could for instance see that first sling CN starting later and being cut shorter by arrival home until it is the first nap to drop and instead the longer nap in the cot becomes the first nap of the day and may be brought earlier.  Hope that makes sense.

In terms of sleep training I would suggest beginning with nap 2, stop the feeding to sleep and sleep train in the cot using shush/pat.  As that becomes a little more successful then work on nap 4 to get that established in the cot.  At the same time work on independent sleep for night sleep.

What do you think?


Offline Elauriel

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 15:02:15 pm »
Thank you for your wonderful response! Since I posted this 2 days ago I've been working a bit on some of the methods. I'm now waiting the 3 hours to feed during A time and that's been fine (since obviously he didn't really need the snack he just took it because I was offering). I've been more conscious of his awake times, so I haven't needed to bounce on the exercise ball like I have been - I bounce for a minute while nursing him (he wants to suck but won't take a pacifier), but then I stop and just shh/pat when he's drowsy. That transition has been going fine. He really, really wants to suck, so not letting him suck for 3 minutes (he doesn't really eat) before I put him down is going to be very hard, but we're working on it.

I like your suggestion of the set naps. I wasn't sure if it was too early for that, but I really think it would work best for us. The anxiety of "is he going to wake up or not" has been giving me stomach aches for the last week and a half. I run an Etsy store as well, so I have work to do as well as keep up the house work, so I hate starting a project and then having to drop it to go resettle him. Then when he can't resettle him he can only last 30 or so minutes before he's whining for another nap. I spent 7 hours on 3 different days just putting him down for a nap, resettling him, and then repeating. It was awful :(

I often put him in the sling early before we leave for school, so if he woke at 7 I try to have him in the sling at 8:30 and walk around the house before we leave. I try. Or we leave a little early for school and son #1 just plays before going in, so a nap from 8.50-9.30 would be perfect! Usually when he wakes at 9.30 he is whining for a nap around 10, and often times I've gotten a 2-3 hour nap out of him by putting him down at this time with only a 30 minute A time. He then often wakes around 12:30. I've tried putting him down around 10:30 and he will take a 10 minute nap and won't go back down and the rest of the day is off. So maybe I could try that with a set nap at 10 and wake him after 2 hours? But then I'm back to insanity from 2:00 on until bedtime. I do like the 2 hour around dinner time to prep and *gasp* eat though! What do you think of a nap at 10:00?

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 20:07:31 pm »
he wakes at 9.30 he is whining for a nap around 10, and often times I've gotten a 2-3 hour nap out of him by putting him down at this time with only a 30 minute A time.
I can't honestly see this working BUT if it does work then great!  You go with whatever works for you and your LO :)
I could better understand the nap starting in the sling and a transfer to cot once home so that although it was not a continuous nap it would be almost so, although I know you said you can't transfer.  Have you put some serious effort into this?  I'm thinking at the 40 min mark he fully wakes in the sling but what if you were in his bedroom at that point and lifted him from the sling telling him to stay asleep and go to sleep and did an immediate WD (rocking on the ball if that's needed or straight into cot and shush/pat if you can) and tried to get him right back off before he fully woke?
See, I could see that working better time wise to create a long first nap 8.50 - 10.50 (or even a bit longer than 2hr) because then you could have another long nap at say 12.20 - 2.20, do the school run and be back before the third nap around 3.50pm.  The day works out if you get all long naps.
What you want to try to avoid is this habit where he doesn't take a long nap but then wants another nap only 30 min later, you need the sleep cycles joined for both your sakes really.

If you think the 10am nap is predictable enough to get in the cot and him stay asleep for 2hs then go for it.  Whatever you find predictable so that you can a) teach independent sleep and b) eventually get that Y time you need, is fine.

I bounce for a minute while nursing him (he wants to suck but won't take a pacifier), but then I stop and just shh/pat when he's drowsy. That transition has been going fine. He really, really wants to suck, so not letting him suck for 3 minutes (he doesn't really eat) before I put him down is going to be very hard, but we're working on it.
Sounds good.  you can move the feed away from the sleep time and keep reducing how much comfort sucking there is so that there is a slightly longer gap without sucking before sleep. This know around here as the gentle removal, it's describe really well in Pantleys no-cry sleep solution. There's a FAQ on it if you wanted to have a read?
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=52857.0


Offline Elauriel

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 01:56:48 am »
Thanks for the quick reply! He doesn't seem to have a very long A time after a short nap. He slept all day for the newborn stage, and since he "woke up" if he doesn't get a good first nap the rest of the naps are pretty crappy, and he just wants to sleep all day :/ It's also pretty consistent that he wants to sleep at 10 because I catch the end of a certain TV show that ends at 10 and we go up before I can finish it most days. I will try the transfer a few more times from the sling, but he loves being swaddled, so I'm not sure how he'd sleep without it. I could try laying him in the swaddle, doing it up, and then trying to resettle from there. Not sure if that would wake him up more or not, but since he's usually awake anyways it's definitely worth a try!

He also could be so OT from days of no naps that he's consistently tired at 10. It's possible that it's just built up and maybe it will work itself out.

I'm so frustrated that we seemed to have an awesome thing going with a 2-3 hour nap every morning, and then my sister wanted to meet me out shopping at 9:30 once and he missed a nap and has had a short nap ever since! I've been kicking myself about this for 2 weeks like I broke my baby and now he won't nap and I can't get anything done! I need my Y time back!

Ahh yes...gentle removal. I remember that with my older son. I will reread and refresh my memory. Thanks! I will work on routines this week and report back. Cheers!

Offline Elauriel

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 12:53:55 pm »
So son #2 has a bad cold - I guess I'll hold off on changing too much so he can get some sleep, but I will be working on his routine.

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 19:01:09 pm »
Sorry to hear he is poorly :(

I think if you try the transfer (I'd swaddle if he likes that. Try to have everything ready in the room before he wakes so that the moment he stirs, or even before, he is into the swaddle and being rocked or shush/patted) for several days, or as long as you can bare and get a feel if it's something that's going to work out for you.
If not though then I'd move to plan B. Leave the school run as a CN and then extend his A time gradually over a number of days until he gets a proper nap later on, not at 10am when he only CNs again  because you said your whole day ends up like this. Rather extend to 45 min A time (for say 3 days), then an hour (3 days) then 1hr 15.  1hr might be all you get to as it follows a CN not a long nap, but what you'd be looking for is a proper nap, one you can resettle and teach him to transition alone.
I know I always felt a lot better about things once i had one good nap I could rely on.


Offline Elauriel

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 02:31:01 am »
I just wanted to report back on how things are going. We hit a horrible sleep regression and he went from waking 2 times a night to 6-12 times a night. It was rough. I've been cosleeping on the floor with him and it's been going well. We're back to like 3 feedings a night with a few comfort nurses here or there to get back to sleep. At least I just feel like I'm only waking up 3 times, so that's all that matters to me right now, haha.

For naps, I have been able to get him back down after the walk to and from school, or he's been sleeping in enough and with enough awake time that I can make it back in time to get him down for a nap around the 2h awake time mark. He is almost 5 months, so he's been doing great with awake time. He can do 2 hours easily, and maybe a little past 2 hours, but I don't try to push it. We've been having many 2-2hr and 1-30 minute nap days. Up at 7 something, in bed at 7 something. It's been pretty textbook around here....except that he always wakes at 30 minutes or 40 minutes into his nap. I am still bouncing him to sleep, though, so that's on me. And he's still swaddled. We're going to work on that as soon as I'm done with orders for my Etsy shop for Christmas! (Oh that whole life thing getting in the way). I got sick of bouncing him to sleep tonight after my back started hurting, so I just put him in the crib and shush/patted him to sleep and he fell asleep without a peep in minutes. That makes me hopeful!!

Thank you again for your help!

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Re: Short naps, and forced naps on the go are ruining the day
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 19:07:19 pm »
Sounds good - great to see a positive update :)