Should I be limiting her afternoon nap?

Hi All,

Wrongly or rightly, I still work very much on demand with my LO at 21 weeks. She asks for feeds roughly 4 hourly, but it's no good me trying to feed her on my time as if she's not hungry yet she will not take any of the bottle, throws a proper wobbly! So I wait for her to ask for food before offering the bottle.

With regards to naps she has a loose routine, she has a short nap of about 45-60mins about an hour after breakfast. A long nap in the afternoon after lunch, anywhere from 1.5hours to 3 hours. And then a short nap late afternoon/early evening before going to bed anywhere between 7:30 and 9:30pm. Again nap times are not set it's just when she starts showing sleepy signals that I put her down.

LO no longer sleeps as late as she used to. She used to wake for the day between 7-7:30am, perfect! But now she starts stirring around 5ish, doesn't need feeding but I do a lot of dummy runs between sleepy grizzles, put the mobile on for entertainment about 6:30 and then we get up around 7-7:30am when she's had enough and needs breakfast.

Do you think I should I be limiting her afternoon nap length in the hope she'll sleep longer at night? Or does it not follow like that? I know that I am spoiled with a baby who sleeps so well, it would just be nice to cut out the dummy runs from 5am when she's clearly not hungry or awake to start the day yet.

Anyone have any tips please?
xxx

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  • That's exactly what my lo does in terms of naps except for the nap before bedtime? She also wakes around 5am now wanting to get up when she used to wake about 7ish!

    To be honest i haven't bothered changing her naps, if she misses her afternoon nap she gets herself in a hell of a state at bedtime because she is overtired? the way I see it is if they're sleeping it's because they're tired, when lo has missed a nap it hasn't changed her night time sleeping at all i'm afraid so i would carry on as you are if I were you? :\)
  • My lo is very similar, she is 24 weeks and still bf on demand and naps when she is tired, but she has worked out her own routine which works well for both of us.

    Her morning nap is somewhere between 45-60mins and then she usually goes down again around noon and will go for up to 2/2.5 hrs. I have an older daughter in school so we have to leave for the school run so I wake her so I can feed her before we leave which means she doesn't go longer that usuall 2hrs 2.5 max, then early evening she will have another short nap before bathtime. I try not to let that one go longer than 45 mins so she can still be in bed by 7.30pm.

    For a good while when she started to sleep through she was going to 7am but sometimes now wakes earlier, are you giving her a chance to settle herself before you go to her? If Sasha is just grizzling then I leave her and mostly she'll go back off again, but obviously if she starts crying then I'll see to her. It's difficult with this weather as well as I'm not sure if she's waking because of the heat and therefore thirsty or hungry. If I do feed her though I do it in bed so we still don't get up to start our day until 7am.

    Maybe you could cut the afternoon nap down a bit to around 2 hrs and make sure the later nap isnt too late so bed time is closer to 7.30, that's what works for us anyway.
  • Thanks for your replies ladies.

    The trouble with leaving her when she starts grizzling is that it often turns to crying after a short while and I feel bad disturbing hubby's sleep when he has to get up for work so I usually pounce straight on her with a dummy! But this morning when she stirred at 5 I did leave her and after a few grizzles she did go back off to sleep till about 6 and I got up with her shortly after that as she was so awake and happy this morning.

    I think on Friday night when hubby doesn't have to get up for work I'll try leaving her without the dummy runs and see how she gets on.

    I'm well aware of how lucky we are in that some mums are still getting up every couple of hours through the night. It just feels worse as she teased us with a good couple of months of going right through and the change over the last month or so isn't fun!

    I think I'll leave her to her nap this afternoon as she's always shattered after swimming on Tuesdays, but tomorrow her nap will probably naturally be shorter as we have plans for the afternoon.

    We'll see. Thanks again
    xxx
  • Its worth a try shortning her nap for a few days and see how she gets on. She sounds like my ds1, he was always up early and now at 4 and a half he is still up before the rest of us, usually be 7am.

    I would actually try and shorten the morning nap as well, maybe to half hour,leave a longer one mid day and shorten afternoon one too. Cant hurt to try

    Gemm x
  • In my experience (of my own babies) length of daytime naps is completely unrelated to length of night time sleep. My babies are always awake by 6am latest no matter what time they went to bed or how much they napped the previous day :roll: Anyway, I have an unwritten rule of never waking a sleeping baby - I NEED that few hours' peace and quiet in the daytime!

    Obv they're all different though so you could try it, just to rule it out if nothing else.
  • Thanks Gemm and PT,
    Gemm the thing about shortening the morning nap is that I already rush to have a cuppa tea, breakfast, shower and dressed during that nap before she wakes, not sure I can do it all in half hour? But I will give it a go thanks for your reply.
    PT, my poor friend has a baby who is up at 5am every day since birth, she's now started waking more in the night for feeds and if I had a baby like that I seriously would not be capable for functioning! I was always tired pre-baby, there was never any hope for me post-baby having any energy! I think I'll try for a couple of days, if it makes no difference then I'll let her continue setting the pace
    xxx
  • MummyJ, tell me about it. Both Lily and Madeleine are good sleepers at night usually, going down reliably and only waking for feeds (in Madeleine's case, Lily sleeps through) and for that I know I should count myself very lucky. But seriously, 4.30-5am (3.30am this morning!!) is killing me. It's the light mornings and the birds singing - can't shut the windows as they'd bake.

    Hope all is sorted soon!
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