Saturday, September 6, 2014
Short naps, Oh my nemesis. Also referred to as catnaps: a nap shorter than one hour.
Hunter has been living in this cat nap world since he was about 10 weeks old. Now he is 20 weeks old and still cat napping.
Per babywise, he is put down 3-4 times a day after his awake playtime for what babywise recommends as a full nap of 1.5-2 hours long (psh I wish!) his morning nap's used to be this long and then got progressively shorter as the day went on. But over the last month this morning naps have shortened as well.
He would sleep about 45 minutes and then wake up usually crying. Now he's has been sleeping around 30 minutes waking up usually crying.
Troubleshooting: what could cause that short naps?
1.) Feeding issue. Well I originally thought this was a feeding issue since Hunter had issues with my milk supply. So we started supplementing with formula. This helped him to get back to sleeping through the night but did not improve his naps. Babywise Suggests that if that baby continually wakes up 30 to 45 minutes into his nap and to feed him right away because he must be hungry. I tried to feed him right away and put him back down but he was wide-awake and did not nurse very well so I obviously knew it was not a feeding issue (also rule out a growth spurt)
2.) Room environment. Since he slept so well at night, I thought there might be something happening in his room during the day. So I put up an extra sheet over his blackout blinds to make it practically pitch black during the day. I made sure the temperature was the same as at night as well as the noise machine. Unfortunately this did not make a difference for Hunter.
3.) adjusting the time he goes down for nap. An easy fix is to put the baby down 15 minutes before you normally would for his nap. The thought is that this would prevent baby from getting overtired and that they would sleep longer. I adjusted his awake time back-and-forth a few times within a week span and it made no difference for Hunter.
4.) tummy troubles. Babies often times wake up in the middle of their naps crying because they have gas or possibly a delayed form of reflux. When Hunter wakes up at 30 minutes crying I go in there right away pick him up, and burp him. This has worked once or twice within the last couple weeks. He lets out a burp and then I rock him for a 1 to 2 minutes and put him back down.
5.) baby's first feeding of the day has too much flexibility. I try to stay within a 30 minute window for Hunters first feeding of the day. Anything more than that in their schedule can be off causing their naps to be affected.
6.) sleep hours. Each baby needs a certain amount of sleep hours a day to grow and be healthy. According to my pediatrician that's anywhere between 11 and 14 hours in a 24 hour period for his age. Hunter just began extending his sleep (when we cut out his dream feed) to 10 1/2 hours a night. which explains why his naps turned from 45 minutes to 30 minutes. He is very consistent about needing only about 12 to 12 1/2 hours of sleep a day.
So what conclusion did I come to? Since he is alert and happy when he is awake, that he is getting to sleep he needs even with the short catnaps. In a perfect world he would sleep longer maybe two naps an hour and a half each. BUT this is what is best for him right now since he cannot stay up for longer than two and half hours of time without getting tired.
I hope these factors help you in discovering what is causing your baby's short naps. Hang in there!! It's just a season and they grow soooo fast! Xoxo-B