Author Topic: First time mom...40 minutes nap... Difficulty connecting sleep cycles  (Read 850 times)

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Offline Bcav15

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Hi all,

My son is 13 weeks old and has encountered the 40-minute nap intruder.  This has been going on since he was about 7/8 weeks.  He takes four 40-45 minutes naps a day.  I try my best to have him in his crib for the first three naps.  The last nap usually happens in his swing.  On a rare occasion, he will nap on the go in his car seat.  I'm a pretty big stickler about naps in the crib.  If he's in the stroller being pushed constantly he is able to lengthen his nap to 1.5-2 hours.  At home for naps, he goes down super easy!  I swaddle lower half, sing to him and rub his back, and then he is placed in his crib awake.  Nap routine is 5 minutes max.  No binky either since he was looking for this when he would wake and cannot put it back in his mouth yet on his own.  He typically goes to sleep within 3-5 minutes.  Then the clock starts!  40-45 minutes later, those eyes are open and he's moving his arms and lifting his legs.  I have seriously tried everything, read everything, and spoke to many of my family/friends who have kids.  I've even called the pediatrician.  The only conclusion I have come to is that he is having difficulty connecting his sleep cycles- this is according to what I've researched.

I have tried the following to extend his naps: blackout curtains, white noise (we use a loud purifier), adjusted temperature of the room, tried the weighted sleep sack- but went back to swaddling lower half, increasing/decreasing wake time, played around with feeding times, tried wake to sleep for a week (no success), gone into room at the end of the nap and shush/pat, give binky when he wakes (we now banned binky from the crib for both naps and night time), played around with schedule, CIO.  As long as he is okay and just talking to self in the crib after the 40-minute nap, I will keep him in his crib until he reaches 1.5 hours for the first two naps.  I would say about 50% of the time during the first nap he will fall back asleep, but it can take him anywhere from 20-40 minutes to do so.  I am seriously at a loss!  My heart breaks for him because when he wakes up, he cries, rubs his eyes, and I know he is still tired. 

At night he goes down at 7:30.  We have a 45 minutes nighttime routine with bath, stories, and nursing.  By 8:10 on the monitor we see legs and arms move, head whip back and forth and sometimes eyes open.  He always goes back to sleep though.  He again rouses at the end of his sleep cycles all night long. He will move around quite a bit, but always end up falling back to sleep.  Then 40 minutes later, it all starts over again.  He will never fully wake like he does after his nap, only once during the night for a feeding anywhere from 2:30-4:30 and then back into bed until 7:00.  It's weird because he is able to connect sleep cycles at night (even though he is super restless while doing so), but struggles tremendously connecting them during nap times.

I would love to hear your suggestions/advice on this topic!  Is this a developmental thing that he will grow out of or is there something else I can do to help him?  Or is this the start of the 4 month sleep regression?  Thank you in advance. 

Offline becj86

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Oh, so sorry I've missed your post! Welcome to BW :)

The only conclusion I have come to is that he is having difficulty connecting his sleep cycles- this is according to what I've researched.
Well done! You're spot on. This can certainly be developmental - sounds like that's part of it and you've done great work watching him and noticing his transitions. Often we suggest doing the same thing you did to settle him to sleep to resettle but given you're not there and he *can* resettle himself overnight, perhaps the answer is in how tired he is. How long is he awake for before he goes for a nap? At 3 months, usually this would be 1.5hr for most babies. Sometimes its worth increasing the A time a little bit (5mins) past where he is comfortable and resettling the 30min OT waking which then will help him learn to sleep through that cycle and within a few days usually the new A time is something he's settled into and naps stay long until he needs more A time again.

The restlessness is not a bad thing - you may have seen some information regarding REM sleep in your reading - babies have way more REM sleep than adults and that's where we dream and move about and talk, etc. Its an important part of sleep and doesn't mean he's not getting good rest.



Offline Bcav15

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Thank you so much for your response.  I currently have his A time at 1.5 hours.  Usually, by then he has a yawn or two and appears to be sleepy.  I've noticed that at night when he hits the 40 minute mark his eyes are closed and he moves around a bit before falling back asleep.  During naps, his eyes open almost immediately.  Do you suggest I go in there right at the 40-minute mark when he wakes and try to resettle, or give him a few minutes to see if he can do it on his own?  If so what technique should I use?  Right now to get him to sleep at the start of his nap, I sing him a quick song and rub his face.  Night routine is different and longer.

Yesterday with a busy 4th of July, during his afternoon nap, he woke at 40 mins, but his eyes stayed shut.  He wiggled around for about 3 mins and then fell back asleep for another sleep cycle!  That was seriously the first time he has done this in weeks!  I don't know if it is because his morning nap was in the stroller and not very long. (I rarely let him sleep somewhere other than his crib).  Also, do you recommend letting them lay in the crib after they wake as long as they are not crying, and if so for how long?  Would you start their A time from when they wake up in the crib, even though they are just laying there resting but not sleeping?

I can't thank you enough for your advice!

Offline becj86

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Do you suggest I go in there right at the 40-minute mark when he wakes and try to resettle, or give him a few minutes to see if he can do it on his own?  If so what technique should I use?
I would suggest you go in at 35mins and watch him. As he rouses, you can sing and rub his face as you did you get him off to sleep. That should help resettle him more easily that giving him a chance to do it on his own and waiting til he's wide awake. His sleep cycles are more pronounced at this age than they have been previously when he's slept longer naps, so this is a new skill that you can help him learn. Ideally, you'll then reduce your assistance, so after a few days you may go in and watch and just sing without touching him and see if he'll go back to sleep. He'll be more used to sleeping the longer naps at that point and you're essentially giving him cues that its still sleep time.

Also, do you recommend letting them lay in the crib after they wake as long as they are not crying, and if so for how long?
You can do this if he's not upset, for the rest of the nap time. I would count it as sleep though, not A time.

Offline Bcav15

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Hi there,

I've tried to go in for a couple of weeks now at the 35 minute mark to help him get back to sleep.  Still no success :(  Should I just chalk this up to being developmental?  I have tried everything for the past two months and am making myself crazy!  When do you typically see babies grow out of this?

Offline Mammazzilla

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Hi! I just had a long cry over this matter... Ethan always slept fairly good, I give him his paci, cuddle him for 5 mins and than out him down drowsy and he normally goes down and seeps within 5/10 mins. If he's not overtired he even goes down without the paci and falls asleep in few minutes. But since he was 10/11 weeks (he's 15 weeks old now) he only sleeps 45 min which to be honest is a total mess... We run on a 2.5 hours schedule cause he can hardly reach 2 hours A. when he wakes he wants to be fed but he's not so hungry to eat for mire than 15/20 mins and only has one breast. I'm desperate.. he's not cranky or anything but we end up having 4 naps a day and in the evening he's wrecked and the last feeding of the day it's way to early (6pm). I feel like I do something wrong, I just don't know what..  :'( :'( :'( :'( Let me know if you can conquer the intruder somehow!
 

Offline Pwestbrook

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I donít have any advice but Iím here with you! When my son hit 8 weeks, itís like a switch flipped. He went from being an awesome napper to waking up after 45 mins.

Offline babiiprycess

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Hi there,

I've tried to go in for a couple of weeks now at the 35 minute mark to help him get back to sleep.  Still no success :(  Should I just chalk this up to being developmental?  I have tried everything for the past two months and am making myself crazy!  When do you typically see babies grow out of this?


Hi! Curious to see how youíre doing? Did anything work for your LO? Iím currently struggling with 30 min naps with my LO who is now 15 weeks old. Weíve had this problem since he was about 8 weeks old. Iíve tried everything too from decreasing awake time to increasing awake time. There are days where he will give me 1.5-2hr naps for one of his naps so I know he can do it. Short naps suck!

Offline Katkirch

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My son isnít 18 weeks old and he was only giving me short naps for a long time. I also tried switching awake time, W2S etc and nothing worked. Then a friend suggested that I put him on his tummy for naps. I know this is against SIDS protocol but I only do it for naps and I have  a video monitor so I can check on him frequently. He would always jolt his legs up so much going through the sleep transitions and wake himself up. Being on his tummy prevents this. He also has reflux and Iíve heard being on their tummy feels better. Anyways, I started tummy naps several days ago and yesterday which was day 4, his first nap of the day was 2 hours (I had to wake him up) and his second nap was an hour and 35 minutes. He had a long first nap this morning too. Just an idea if you are looking for something else to try. Itís working for us so far!

Offline babiiprycess

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My son isnít 18 weeks old and he was only giving me short naps for a long time. I also tried switching awake time, W2S etc and nothing worked. Then a friend suggested that I put him on his tummy for naps. I know this is against SIDS protocol but I only do it for naps and I have  a video monitor so I can check on him frequently. He would always jolt his legs up so much going through the sleep transitions and wake himself up. Being on his tummy prevents this. He also has reflux and Iíve heard being on their tummy feels better. Anyways, I started tummy naps several days ago and yesterday which was day 4, his first nap of the day was 2 hours (I had to wake him up) and his second nap was an hour and 35 minutes. He had a long first nap this morning too. Just an idea if you are looking for something else to try. Itís working for us so far!

Hi Katkirch! Did you place your LO on his tummy when he was asleep or did you settle him on his tummy? Iím so desperate to try anything! Same as you I tried everything to extend those short naps. Also when you tried it the first couple of days did your son do short naps on his tummy then on day 4 it got longer?

Offline Katkirch

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Re: First time mom...40 minutes nap... Difficulty connecting sleep cycles
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 03:27:43 am »
Did you place your LO on his tummy when he was asleep or did you settle him on his tummy? Iím so desperate to try anything! Same as you I tried everything to extend those short naps. Also when you tried it the first couple of days did your son do short naps on his tummy then on day 4 it got longer?

I placed him on his tummy drowsy but awake. I used the same nap routine that I had been using when he slept on his back and he usually fell asleep within a minute.  The first couple naps on the tummy, took more settling and he cried for several minutes but I did shush pat with him on his tummy and he now he goes down easy again.  I usually set him down on his tummy, give him his paci and then shush him and rub his back for a little and he goes right to sleep. 

The first 3 days, all naps were on his tummy and were short.  I also couldn't get him to extend his naps at all on his tummy so I almost gave up.  But the person that recommended it to me, told me to try it for 5 days.  Glad I didn't give up. He has had three days of all long naps now except for one.

I totally get the being desperate!  Keep trying things.  This is just a season even when it seems like it will go on forever.

Offline Bcav15

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Re: First time mom...40 minutes nap... Difficulty connecting sleep cycles
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2018, 22:05:00 pm »
Hi! Curious to see how youíre doing? Did anything work for your LO? Iím currently struggling with 30 min naps with my LO who is now 15 weeks old. Weíve had this problem since he was about 8 weeks old. Iíve tried everything too from decreasing awake time to increasing awake time. There are days where he will give me 1.5-2hr naps for one of his naps so I know he can do it. Short naps suck!


Hi there!  My little one is now 18 weeks old.  He still struggles with the 45-minute naps.  I guess I have learned to manage my expectations and need to look at the positive- he sleeps very well during the night!  But, we have made some progress with the first nap.  He is currently on a three nap schedule.  Occasionally he will take a 4th nap in his swing for 20-30 mins at the end of the day if he wasn't able to extend any of the naps.  He used to wake up crying and not go back to sleep.  During his morning nap (usually he goes down about 1.5 hours after he gets up for the day) he will wake at 45 minutes then 75% of the time, fall back asleep for another hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.  He chats to himself in the crib and that is the sign that he is going to go back to sleep.  Also, if I see him rub his eyes on the camera after he wakes at 45 minutes, that is another good indication that he will go back to sleep.  Typically he will not extend his 2nd and 3rd nap but will rest in his crib and practice rolling or chatting to self for an additional 20 minutes after he wakes.  I recently spoke to his pediatrician about my concerns for his short napping, but he didn't seem to think it was a problem since he wakes happy and is getting most of his sleep during the night.  He typically sleeps from 7:30pm-7:15am with one feeding in the middle of the night, lasting no more than 30 minutes. 

I stressed over this all summer then finally reminded myself that I can't make him sleep, but I can continue to encourage good sleep habits.  I am nearing the end of my maternity leave and came to peace with myself that I didn't want to spend the last few weeks obsessing over this and just enjoy my time with my sweet baby boy.  Since I came to that conclusion, I find that I am a much more present momma and am enjoying things in the moment with my little guy. 

He will start half day daycare next week and I am a little stressed about that first nap- that we worked so hard to lengthen, go out the window.  The daycare providers said they will do what they can and again, we will work through it!  I will pick him up by 12:45 so maybe he will begin lengthening his 3rd nap if he wasn't able to do so in the morning. 

Another note, I did try to put him on his belly for one nap this week.  It took him about fifteen minutes to fall asleep.  He woke right at the 45-minute mark, panicked.  He usually brings his hands to his mouth to self-soothe but wasn't able to do so.  He was also pulling on the crib sheet and bringing it to his mouth.  Didn't work for us, but will try it again when he's a little older. 

Thank you, everyone, for your advice!  We'll keep plugging away at those naps!

Offline babiiprycess

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Re: First time mom...40 minutes nap... Difficulty connecting sleep cycles
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 15:33:40 pm »
So glad you were able to lengthen one of his naps! Iím also about to return to work and very nervous about leaving my son with my mom since he loves to wake up after 30 mins into his nap which will cause so much work for her. I wish I had 45 min naps! Iím sure your LO will do well at daycare!

Offline Bcav15

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Re: First time mom...40 minutes nap... Difficulty connecting sleep cycles
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 16:31:17 pm »
Looking for some advice/reassurance again. I posted back when my son was 13 weeks old and having difficulty connecting sleep cycles for naps and waking at the 40 minute mark. I had tried everything under the sun and finally decided to take the advice that it's all developmental. Well here we are now at 24 weeks, and still the 40 minute naps. Again I've tried EVERYTHING with consistency. He's also started daycare two months ago. He goes half day. I pick him up st 12:45.  So this makes it more of a challenge too. Both morning naps are 30-40 minutes. In the afternoon I pretty much have to force a long nap on him.  He will wake at 40 minute and if I leave him in there he will fuss a bit and then go back to sleep 75% of the time. I just feel like I'm going against everything Iíve read. The first two naps should be the longer one with the last one more of a cat nap at this age.

Please give me hope!  Is there anyone out there that has experienced this and now your baby can connect sleep cycles? And if so, what age did this happen at?  I would have thought coming up on 6 months, he would have been able to connect by now. Thank you in advance!

Offline Katet

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Re: First time mom...40 minutes nap... Difficulty connecting sleep cycles
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 06:13:33 am »
If he is still sleeping well at night and he wakes up happy from naps & is generally a happy child most of the time then I'd say roll with it. All children are different & while many of the books say babies should do XYZ, remember that the babies haven't read the books. More important than the "routine" is a baby who is growing well, and  spends a good part of their day happy and interested in what is going on around them.

It's super easy for mothers to get caught up in the anxiety of wanting it to be "perfect" as that helps us feel like we are doing a good job, but  in all honesty, it's far more important to work with the child you have, than it is to make the child fit the 'book' routine.

My eldest had good day sleeps, but was shocking at night & I know which way I'd rather it was. once he could crawl (which was quite late at 10months) he used to crawl to the door of the sleep room at daycare & want a nap (even if it wasn't when I wanted him to nap).  Also if you didn't have a video monitor, would you actually know he was awake or would you just assume he'd slept for the extra 20mins etc... I know that with both of mine I didn't use a monitor (noise or video) & I only went to them when they cried/called out... so for all I know the nice 2 hour naps might only have been 45mins with 1 hour plus of looking out the window. I do think it could be the monitor that is making you stressed not his sleep.
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