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I was wondering whether it's possible to change Robby's nap schedule. He takes one small (45 min) nap in the morning, and then he does not sleep again until 6:30 pm. Obviously, we can't cut out the morning nap, or he'll be a monster baby all day long. I can NOT get him to go down any earlier than 6:30, but it's interfering with his bedtime lately; for a few days, he slept for an hour and then got right up and was still ready to go down for the night at 8:30. Last night, he slept for an hour and then wasn't ready for bed til 9. He's been asleep for 70 min now, and I'm gonna wake him up, but I was just wondering if there was a way to manage this so he's not miserable, but goes to bed before 9 (9 is my bedtime during the school year cuz I have to get up at 4:30 am and I'd like to visit with DH some time!).
If anybody has had any luck adjusting the nap schedule in a relatively pain-free way or has any advice at all, I'd be grateful!
We had a nap problem here too. DS would only take tiny naps (30 mins) 2 to 3 times a day. I knew he was tired but somehow he's only sleep for one sleep cycle and then wake right back up, be happy for 30-45 minutes afterwards and then start to fuss.
We started by doing a 'sleep log' to see when he slept and when he looked tired/fussy to try and pinpoint where his naps should be. Then we started doing a little sleep routine around those times and put him awake in his crib. He eventually started to identify those moments with sleep and his naps moved from his old pattern to this new one.
We also decided to let him in his crib (I always put him in his crib for his nap so I don't know how this would work if your LO naps elsewhere) when he wakes up from his nap. Most of the time he babbles, plays a bit and then goes back to sleep. If he cries, I go check on him, calm him down and leave. If he REALLY cries, I take him out of his crib. I think I used to act too quickly when I heard him wake up, not giving him a chance to fall back asleep.
So far, after a bit more than a week of this, he went from 30 mins naps to 1h30-2hr morning and afternoon. Funny this is that I thought it would make him go to sleep later at night but it did the opposite (he goes to bed around 18h45). He does wake up a bit earlier but he looks well rested so I'll take it
I forgot to say that I read Elizabeth Pantley's No-cry sleep solution and it has helped me tremendously. Also anything about sleep by Dr. Sears; I didn't understand what he meant by 'Sleep breeds sleep' but I got it when DS started sleeping better during the day.
I had the same problem with DS when he was much younger (2-3 months). The only way that we could make him sleep longer was by putting him down in his swing, and then he could nap for 1 or 2 hours. We eventually moved the swing to his room so he could nap in his room. We have since tried to make him nap in his crib, which he does, but never for more than 40 minutes (although he sleeps properly in his crib at night). I know it's not recommended, but we still put him in his swing when it's time for him to nap. We find that everybody is happier that way.
^ I often put Evan in the swing for at least one nap a day, too, because he'll only nap 20-30 minutes in the crib. He's not that much better in the swing, though; maybe 45 minutes. He's just not a good napper lately. He just took two 15-minute naps at day care today.
I haven't read all the responses, but I once they are out of infanthood I start to manage nap times. Dd took very regular naps and I found that if I kept her awake for at least three hours in the morning, she would take a pretty good nap. Then she got a little older and that time period stretched a little longer to combine two shorter naps into one long one. Ds doesn't nap quite as regularly. He is always tired by the three hour mark, but the rest of the day depends on when he woke in the morning and how long his nap was. Unless he is just super tired, I don't let him nap past about 6:00 or 6:30. (we go to bed relatively late around here -- his bed time is 9:00ish) That may sound like a long stretch, but he just doesn't nap as much as dd did. He sleeps pretty well at night though.