Author Topic: What to do when baby wakes early from nap occasionally - feed or let go?  (Read 621 times)

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Offline Aem492

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Hi everyone,

My 6 month old sometimes will only sleep for an hour when he usually sleeps for 1.5-2 hours. He doesn't wake up crying or anything; he's completely content. He'll roll around and talk to himself (or his bear). I've been leaving him go until his next feeding time hoping he falls back asleep, which he does maybe 20% of the time. But the majority of these instances he just lays there awake & happy until we go get him.

My question is: do you think it's okay to let him be awake for an hour before feeding him in these instances? And do we push the next nap up or keep it where it is? I try to be as consistent as possible and not put him down for his next nap until the usual time (unless he is obviously very sleepy before then). This doesn't happen every day but at least a couple times/week, usually in the afternoon but today it happened this morning. Also, he is a VERY social baby and since he isn't upset at all, I don't think PU/PD is a good idea here. I think it will ruin any small chance of him going back to sleep. He falls asleep very well on his own.

For example, his usual morning is wake up around 6:30/7 and nurses at 7. Naps 9-11ish and has milk again at 11. Today he woke at 6 and my sleepy self was hoping he'd fall back asleep and I didn't go get him & nurse until about 6:40. He went back down for a nap at 8:15 and was asleep by 8:25. But then he woke up at 9:40 when I would have expected him to sleep until 10:30. We just let him go until 10:30 and he was completely fine rolling around his crib, happily talking away. I guess I just need someone to confirm that this is okay to do occasionally. And he usually goes down for another nap around 1:30 but I'm not sure he'll make it 4 hours; but if I put him down earlier and he still only sleeps 1.5 hours, he'll have a long stretch in the evening before bedtime (bedtime routine starts at 6 and it's just not possible to put him down any earlier).

Offline creations

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Hi there
What you are doing is fine. If he is happy to entertain himself and not crying for attention or food then you can wait to see if he nods off again.  You can feed at his regular time if he is not asking for food before then.

I'd probably tweak the routine though so that he naps longer again rather than spending so much time awake in a dimly lit room on his own, although he is not unhappy he isn't getting any stimulation and the shortening naps are an indication he could do with a change.  As you've already said, if WU and the first nap comes earlier, then the second nap earlier, you end up with a long time before BT.

Looks like his A time is around 2.5hrs and it might now be more appropriate to increase up to 3hrs.  You can do this in stages, 2hr 45 min for a few days (if the nap lengthens you can stay there) before moving to 3hr.  This should help him be tired enough to sleep his normal 1.5 - 2hr.
Waking earlier than normal in the morning can be a sign of UT, it can mean the morning nap is too early for him, rather than bringing the nap earlier try instead to keep him up to close to his usual nap time to discourage the earlier waking.  The aim is to get the nap more like 9.30am (with 6.30 start) or 10am (with 7am start).  If you bring his nap earlier it is likely to encourage the earlier WU which makes things harder for you.

Hope this helps.