Author Topic: Do I have a short-napper???  (Read 306 times)

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Offline Tabyria

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Do I have a short-napper???
« on: February 12, 2018, 18:02:24 pm »

Hi everyone,

My LO is 12weeks old and for the last month and a half we haven't managed to get her to sleep for long stretches during the day. 50min is a victory, but most naps are 30-45min long. This, obviously, makes EASY quite challenging.

I've read the three fundamental questions to know if baby is a short-napper or linked to OT/UT and I'm unsure:
* Does baby sleep well at night
yes! She used to do 11pm-9am with a feed at 5am and the last couple of weeks she's started sleeping 10pm-5.50/6am more and more often without a feed. She sometimes stirs or wakes up but goes back to sleep by herself after a while.

* Has baby ever slept for longer stretches?
Only three times. Once three weeks ago, she slept for 2h at lunchtime. I keep staring at the schedule that day and can't see anything different. A couple of times in the last month she's also stayed asleep after a walk in the pram, again reaching 1h30/2h of sleep (once at 2-4pm, once at 4-6pm). Again, no idea why as nothing was different that day.

* Is baby grumpy?
Not generally. Every other time she wakes up crying though, with real tears but she has a big smile as soon as I arrive. She sometimes still seems tired though, yawning or rubbing her eyes. Today, I could see on the monitor that she was trying to go back to sleep, putting her little head on the side as she always does when getting sleepy but it wasn't working. After 15min she started crying out of frustration so I went upstairs to help. She kept calming down, getting drowsy and even asleep (eyes closed, little reflexes and yapping when she descends into sleep) only to pop her eyes awake again and crying out of frustration of not being able to sleep. Because she was so close each time I kept trying... for 1h!
Last time we did this we ended up spending the whole 1h30 of her A time nearly succeeding at extending her nap and she finally fell asleep after 1h30 but I suspect she was then UT as she had a rubbish nap of 18min which I extended by 12min.
So today I decided to get her up to give her some A time for at least 30min (tummy time, proper stimulation) and she fell asleep easily after that...but only for 40min.

So I suspect my answer is that baby isn't a short-napper and we should be able to get over it but how?
She knows how to fall asleep by herself and that's now how she goes down 90% of the time (I put a hand on her for a couple of minutes then just stay by the basket and she falls asleep by herself).
I've been trying to extend the naps (no shusshing as this stimulates her too much, I've even stopped the patting but a firm hand on her chest works well) to no avail.
I used to give her 1h of A time, reducing to 45min if nap shorter than 45min, but we were having massive tantrums before going to sleep, it was horrible and the naps weren't any longer. The HV suggested to extend the A time to 1h30 and she was right, she now goes down happily and by herself. Maybe I should push to 1h45 and see? But I read somewhere that anything under 45min means OT baby... I'm confused.

An other point I will certainly address in another thread is that she still eats every 2h (it's changing at the moment, she can do 3h but is sometimes ravenous after 2h15...). Not a problem at all for me and lots of people have said not to try to push it back as I EBF. But again, this makes EASY all over the place - although it works better with short naps than 3h EASY.

Thanks for your opinions! :)

Offline Tabyria

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Re: Do I have a short-napper???
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 18:12:39 pm »
I guess I should add we have a proper nap routine upstairs in a darkened room, always in the Moses Basket. No swaddling as she's always hated it and no white noise as it makes her more agitated ( ??? ::))
I try not to go out at nap times or I use travel time a nap time so that she sleeps in the pram when she needs to. It used to be easier to get her to sleep for longer stretches in the pram but now she tends to do short naps in the pram too.

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Re: Do I have a short-napper???
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 19:49:14 pm »
Hello - so glad you finally got your registration sorted out - welcome to BW forums :)

1hr 30 is a good A time for her age, I'd probably not increase to 1hr 45 just yet although some LOs do need longer than the "average" - this is something you would learn about her over time really.  You could perhaps try an additional 5 or 10 mins rather than 15 if you feel she is UT and see if it helps.
A few things come to mind:
- she has learned to go to sleep at the beginning or her nap but has perhaps not yet learned to transition from one sleep cycle to the next, this is another part of learning independent sleep.  You can help to teach her this.  You are still in the room when she is initially falling to sleep, when she wakes after the first sleep cycle she may be expecting you to be in the room and you are not, this can cause LO to fully wake instead of sleeping on because they are not sure where you went.  If you change how she falls to sleep so that you are out of the room she will have greater confidence to continue sleeping mid nap without needing to fully wake and call for you.  You can also use a W2S (start shush/pat or adapted) before the end of the sleep cycle, you do this in cycles of 3 days (holding back on day 4 to see what happens), here's a link to info:
https://babywhispererforums.com/index.php?topic=223809.0
Although the W2S means you are in the room you do not plan to do it for ever but as a teaching method. It helps by teaching the habit of napping longer.
- Your LO might need more physical exercise to become fully tired. Instead of a longer A time it could be that she needs to be more stimulated, you mentioned her being nice and tired after tummy time, you could see if physical activity makes a difference to her nap length.  There might be a link between having lots of floor time in her A contrasted with being in a pram, car seat, bouncer, in arms for lots of A time and not having much physical activity.

she still eats every 2h (it's changing at the moment, she can do 3h but is sometimes ravenous after 2h15...).
She will probably find it easier to go a longer stretch when she sleeps longer. When she is awake she will be using more calories so need to eat sooner. I agree with you about not being concerned about this, the two things (E and S) will probably lengthen together.  it is possible to run an "average" A time and EASY routine on a shorter E time though.  Mine was on 3hr E after 4 months when the A times lengthen and most move to 4hrly E, mine needed to eat at 3hrs until he was 6 months old and had solids between milk feeds so I just timed E and A separately and watched out for any collisions in the time so I could feed a bit earlier if needed.

For what it's worth there are heaps of us who have though our LOs are short nappers or turned into short nappers - when there is some other reason for it such as UT/OT, US/OS (under or over stimulated), habit, illness, or one of the many developmental leaps which throw up sleep regressions.  I would think you can get some longer naps but it might take a bit of time and effort.

Hope that helps some. 


Offline Tabyria

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Re: Do I have a short-napper???
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 20:04:49 pm »
Thanks Creations! Yes, happy to be here finally  :)

You're right about her falling asleep while I'm out of the room. This is the plan. Until last week she needed my hand on her all the time ; we've now moved to me being next to her  (occasional hand). I'm planning on working to leaving the room next week.

I've tried W2S method 1 a few times but it didn't work. Maybe I should have persevered. I'll try method 2, had forgotten about it.

The method says that if they wake up and cry then we should put them back to sleep with our usual method. But when this fails, how long do you keep on trying for? I know consistency is key and I don't want to teach her that crying will make me give up. But trying for the full 1h30 of activity time seems counterproductive. So at the moment if it doesn't work after 30min I give up, does that sound right?

It's a good point that being awake she needs more calories. I also tend to think longer E will go with longer S and it's not a goal per se for me. Good to hear you found adapting EASY worked for you. We often end up doing EASAEAS but that's ok, the main point being to avoid the association sleep/breast.

Thanks for the help!

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Re: Do I have a short-napper???
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 20:11:57 pm »
So at the moment if it doesn't work after 30min I give up, does that sound right?
Sounds fine :)

Until last week she needed my hand on her all the time ; we've now moved to me being next to her  (occasional hand). I'm planning on working to leaving the room next week.
It's okay to go slow and gentle but just a point on this - if you go too slowly LO gets used to each stage and you can kind of get "stuck" at that stage.  If you keep moving on with the gradual withdrawal each time she is calm you are less likely to get stuck at a particular place.  So, you are always going back if called or she is upset (or verbal reassurance from outside the room or inside the room if you are at such a stage or if it helps) but then each time try to focus on leaving the room.



Offline Tabyria

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Re: Do I have a short-napper???
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 21:56:04 pm »
Oooh  :o ok for the tip, hadn't realised that! Will try as of tomorrow then. Thanks!