Wednesday, March 28, 2012

nap issues

Naps save the day.  They allow you to get things done and have time to yourself.  They are your sanity some days. :)  If your baby isn't napping well or napping at all, it can be pretty frustrating and exhausting.

I feel pretty confident in diagnosing nap problems with Duke now.  To start, the basic things are always taken care of when I put him down for a nap - he's been fed, burped, changed, and had his waketime.  Here are the most common issues I've run into with naps:

What if he cries when I put him down? 

That means he's tired and he wants to nap.  At about 3 months, he pretty much stopped crying.  Now at 5 months, it would be really odd if he cried.  I put him down and he goes to sleep.

What if he wakes up after 45 minutes?  

This is what Babywise calls the 45-minute intruder.  The sleep cycle is changing and most of the time, it doesn't phase Duke.  But sometimes, he will stir or make some noise.  I let it go because he'll fall back asleep.  If it persists for 15 minutes (which is rare), I get him up.

I've heard a lot of moms say, "My baby only takes 45 minute naps and I can't get him to nap longer."  If Duke wakes up at 45 minutes and does not fall back asleep after 15 minutes, I know his waketime needs to be adjusted.  He was most likely up too long before his nap, making him overstimulated and overtired.  So, if you're noticing a trend of short naps, try putting your baby down earlier.  You may be surprised!

One other thing that may make naps shorter is a growth spurt.  At Duke's growth spurts, he will usually take shorter naps and want to eat more often.  There is a difference between the cries at 45 minutes if that is the case.  I can tell if it's a "Oops, I woke up and I'm fussy because I want attention" cry or a "I'm really hungry!  Feed me!" cry.

To swaddle or not to swaddle?

We swaddled with the Swaddle Me wraps.  We actually still use them, but we leave Duke's arms out now that he's older and can roll over.  Swaddling really worked for us but I also know that some parents say it doesn't work for their child.  So, trial and error is your best bet for this.

What if it's time to eat and he's still asleep?  

I wake him.  Some people firmly believe in not waking a sleeping baby.  But with Babywise, if I didn't wake Duke, we would have no schedule.  It would all be dependent on when he wakes from naps.  At 5 months, if he's slept for 1.5 hours, I wake him to eat.  It keeps us all on track and that way, we know what to expect.

What about sleep props?  

Sleep props are anything that help your baby fall asleep (pacifiers, rocking, noise makers, etc.).  This is all a personal preference thing.  Babywise discourages the use of sleep props.  For us, when it's time to sleep, we put Duke down in his crib, awake and alert, and walk out of the room.  At first, it was hard because we had to let him cry it out.  Now, we lay him down and he hardly makes a peep.  It has all paid off!  It is really freeing knowing that he can go to sleep without a specific prop or environment.  Of course, everyone does things differently.  Do what works for you.  This works for us.

Happy napping!


  1. I have been reading several other BW blogs out there, and yours is the first that has really been super helpful to me. I thought I had finally gotten everything figured out from a few of your posts when I read above that you wake your baby no matter what after 1.5 hours. I have a 6 week old-- and I'm feeding her at 7, 10, 1, 4 etc. So, let's say I feed her at 10:00, and she goes back down at 11:00. You would wake her up at 12:30, but wait to feed her until 1:00? I thought you wake up and feed right away, but I must have a figured wrong. Any help would be super helpful! Thank you!! Now I'm going to keep reading your blog!

    1. Hey! Good question - let me clarify. I only woke him up after 1.5 hours because that would mean I'd be at the 3 hour mark. (1.5 hours of waketime plus 1.5 hours of sleeping means feeding every 3 hours). So, it depends on the age/waketime of your baby. If you're feeding every 3 hours, whenever you hit that 3 hour mark, you wake your baby to feed. Does that help/make sense? Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope it continues to help you1 :)

  2. I have read many BW posts, blogs etc and find yours very insightful! My dilemma is my 8 month old son is having a really hard time sleeping consistently through the night and with length of naps. My daughter who is almost 3 was a textbook Babywise for the most part, started to sleep 10 hrs at night at 6 weeks old and never looked backed except for a few times when teething or sick, but for the most part never had issues with night. Her struggle was more with 45 minute intruders for naps, but we eventually got through them and she was good napper. Now my son on the other hand I can't figure out. I nurse him, I also nursed my daughter until she was 1 and had no issues when sleep training. I started Babywise with my daughter about 4 weeks old and my son 3 weeks old. Right when I started it with him he started a really fussy stage, not full blown colic, but pretty close, at least in my mind it felt like colic, and it lasted until he was about 10 weeks. It was hard to sleep train him during that time because everything I tried was useless, he was still fussy and clingy and we could never really figure out why. I remember shortly after his fussy stage stopped he had a really good night sleep, I think he went 10 hrs so I was excited I thought this it! We made it, he is finally sleeping through the night and then teething started early and he had a really difficult time sleeping while teething and it was hard for me to let him cry it out when I knew he was teething, he got 8 teeth in 4 months. What I also found difficult is when we finally wanted to tackle aggressively his night sleep he was a night pooper for a good while, maybe a couple of months, that was hard because I always went back in forth in my mind if he had a poopy diaper when he woke up at night, 75% of the time he did and so that made it hard as well. Both my daughter and son didn't respond to the dream feed. But my daughter seemed to still sleep consistently through the night even without dream feed. Another thing that is different with my son is he is an early bed time guy, he is usually asleep by 7, sometimes 6:45.. my daughter was more like 9 early as a newborn and moved eventually back to 7:30, 8. He is now almost 9 months, tomorrow, and I have finally been able to really be aggressive with the sleep training because he isn't teething anymore, etc. but it is still difficult. Even through the ups and downs with him I have always put him on a schedule so he does well with feeding, going down for naps and night on his own without crying, his problem is staying asleep. He usually goes down at 7 and can wake up anywhere from 9:30 to 11 and then again usually 4 to 5. Sorry for the long post, I just can't seem to find anything on his issues when it comes to baby wise, if you have any new insight for me I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!


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