Friday, December 21, 2007

Naps: Troubleshooting

This post may contain affiliate links.
PLEASE NOTE: I have revised and updated this post since its original publishing. See the revised post for the most current advice. For this reason, comments are turned off for this post.

This is a topic I see more problems with than any other. Here is a list of things I would check if I were having problems with naps. If there is anything in BW I have down it is creating a good napper. Both of my kids nap perfectly, no matter where they are, how sick they are, how many teeth they have coming in, etc. Yes, there are naps that aren't the ideal, but they are few and far between. I have had difficulties getting to that point, though. So here are my thoughts.

  • Easy fix number one is to analyze the amount of waketime. If your baby is up too long, he will wake up early. For a young baby, 5 minutes too long can do it. BW suggests moving your waketime back by 15 minutes if your baby isn't sleeping well. Try it. It is an easy thing to fix. (see Easy Nap Fix for more information on this topic:
  • I have heard some moms say that the child needed more waketime, and then started napping well. This is always a possibility, but I would first try cutting waketime back before I lengthened it. Adding waketime would be one of the last things I tried while trying to fix a napping problem.
  • Growth spurt? See the growth spurt post ( for more information on the subject.
  • Maybe the baby is hungry and just needs the food increased. This happened with Kaitlyn around 8 months. On day two of short naps, I started troubleshooting. She wasn't at a growth spurt where she needed more food for a while then backed off, she just needed more solids offered at each meal. Then the nap situation was fixed.
  • Another simple thing to consider is sickness or teething. Children handle these situations differently. Both of mine don't really get phased. They will sometimes wake up early, but it doesn't affect their naps consistently. It might affect one nap a day. Some babies, however, could wake up early. Do what you can to soothe and wait for the pain/sickness to pass. See the Comforting a Sick Baby/Toddler post for more information:
  • Environmental factors. Is there some noise that could be waking the baby up? A dog? I have a friend whose son woke up whenever she cooked. The smells got him up. Pay attention to your environment.
  • Is the baby too hot? Too cold? Be sure to dress the baby appropriately for the season and for your home.
  • Babywise points out being sure they don't need to burp (see page 176).
  • Babywise also says a common problem for early nap waking is over stimulation (see page 176). I kept a log of our waketime activities so I could see if there was a common trend with good naps and waketime activities and bad naps and waketime activities.
  • Gas? See Got Gas post:
  • Are you consistent with your schedule? I will write a post dedicated to consistency, but for now let's think about if you are home for naps or if you are usually out and about. A baby won't sleep as well out and about as at home, so if he is used to being out and about, his body will be trained to short bursts of naps.
  • I am a firm believer in Cry it Out (CIO). Did you do it? For real? If not, and you are willing, do it. Once he is capable of soothing himself, he should start making it through the transitions (which typically happen 45 minutes into a nap).
  • 45 minute intruder?
  • Sometimes they just can't sleep. I have nights like that. I am not personally a napper unless I just gave birth, and in those times I also have days I can't sleep. Babies are humans. Therefore, they aren't perfect.Even if she is really good at something, she is going to have difficulties at it at times. Even my husband who can pretty much sleep anywhere, anytime, has a night that he can't sleep every so often. This is rare, but it does happen. So if an adult who wants to sleep can have a hard time on occasion, then a baby will, too. They are just learning.
  • Are they learning a new skill? Sitting, standing, walking, a new word or consonant....babies like to practice their skills, and many times those new skills take precedent over their naps. See Nap Disruptions for more information on this topic:
  • Is your baby comfortable enough? I sometimes have Kaitlyn nap in her play yard, and those naps often are not as good as her naps in her crib.
  • If you are on a 3 hour schedule, remember that BW says a normal nap is 1-1.5 hours. Maybe your baby is on the 1 hour end.
  • Once your baby hits 5 months, he should wake up happy if he is well-rested. If he is waking early and crying, something is wrong.
Now some commonly asked questions:
  • My baby only sleeps one hour for the last nap--is this okay? Yes, it is okay and it is normal. If your baby is going to sleep only one hour try keeping them up until it is one hour before the last feeding. If they are too fussy for that, put them down when they need to and just play with them after they wake up until dinner time.
  • My baby is waking early from naps. Should I get him up or let him CIO? First, let's address all of the issues listed above. Let's be sure the early waking can't be fixed easily before we move to more emotional tactics. When Kaitlyn was a young baby and waking early, sometimes she would wake after 30 minutes of sleep. At one point I decided she needed to CIO, so she did. After a few naps of that, she was fine. Other than that, I have never done CIO to get back to sleep after a nap. Emotionally I just can't hack it. The book says to do it, so there is nothing wrong with it, but I couldn't make them CIO twice for one nap. There is only so much I can take! I would give it 10-15 minutes to see if they are just having a rough transition and were going to fall back asleep. If not, I got them. I am going to do a post of what I did when the child woke early. Coming after this one.
  • My baby is waking early but is happy. What do I do? This is a nice thing--when the baby is a the point that they wake up and play and wait for you to get them. If it is early and they are happy, I leave them there. A baby will be more patient for food if he isn't staring in the face of the one who provides it. It is also more relaxing and restful in a bed than out playing and getting stimulated. Don't leave your baby in there forever, but give them more rest time if they are happy. If it is earlier than normal but close enough, get him up and feed him and move on with the day.
  • My baby just can't seem to sleep through the cycle. Why? So far as sleep through a cycle goes, I thought about this when Kaitlyn was not sleeping through, and came to a conclusion. I think it is nearly impossible to expect a baby to sleep through on a 3 hour when they are so young. The way the cycle is described in the book seems impossible to create in the real world. Here is why.The routine is 2.5-3 hours. Your young baby can stay awake at best for 1 hour. The nap is to be 1-1.5 hours on the routine. So, if they are awake for 1 hour, the best you can expect according to BW would be 2.5 hour routine all day, and that is if they took the 1.5 hour nap. Some babies can only be awake 45 minutes. What is the answer? Don't sweat it. Keep to the schedule as closely as possible and with time your baby will get it.
Something good to realize is that sleep issues are not the main and end-all point of BW. It is more about raising children who have self control, are respectful, are able to focus and self-entertain, are moral...I would bet things will just work out as far as sleep goes so long as you stick to the schedule the best you can.
Is it important to have good sleep habits? Yes! Is it worth working on? Absolutely! You will have much bigger fish to fry as your child gets older. If they are good sleepers, they will have an advantage. But remember Babywise is more than sleeping. Sleeping is the first stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Enjoy your baby. Cherish every moment. Pretty soon he will think you are so lame, then soon after that he will realize you are wise, but will be off on his own with his own children. Don't get so caught up in things you forget to enjoy what is in front of you at the moment.
Poll Results: Did Baby Seem to Experience Any Kind of Sleep Troubles Around 4 Months of Age?
Yes! Naps!: 23 votes (42%)
Yes! Night!: 9 votes (16%)
Yes! Naps & Night!: 19 votes (35%)
No: 3 votes (5%)
Total of 54 votes
95% of responders experienced sleep problems around 4 months of age.
Reader Questions:
  • Courtney said...
    Thank you so much for your blog. I really appreciate the help. I have a son, Ethan, who is 14 weeks old. We've been doing CIO since he was 9 weeks. He does very well at going down for naps and bed time, needing to cry only a few minutes (at most 10). He has been waking up, however, after 40 minutes of sleeping. I can set my watch to him. He's not hungry, not wet nor soiled. I've tried putting him down 15min earlier. I've tried keeping him awake 15min longer. I've let him CIO when he does this but I can't bear to do it three times a day. And it happens at every naptime. Thankfully not at bedtime! He will sleep from 7pm - 5am without a sound. Why the short naps? And any other suggestions for making them longer? He's been doing this now for about 6 weeks. I know you've posted a few times about this occurance, but I can't seem to get it to work.
    February 1, 2008 7:29 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    So I am guessing you have read the troubleshooting naps post and other posts similar.Once you have tried everything, the best advice I can give is to just keep trying but relax about it. As I have said many times, 4 months seems to be a difficult time for people. Keep working on it and trying different things, but chances are one day it will click and you will have no idea why it did. That is what happened with my son. He just suddenly started sleeping well. I can only guess the reasons why, and those are the resons I list. Many people say one day it just clicks! Good luck!
    February 1, 2008 10:11 AM
    Kate said...
    Courtney,My son Blake just turned 5 months. I had the hardest time getting him to take naps longer than an hour. Just like you, I tried to follow all the advice from BW. I didn't see any immediate results. But I am so happy that just this week he's caught on. He's consistently napping for 1.5-2 hours. I would love to say that it's because of the expert mother I am...but my guess is that it finally just clicked for him. This is meant to be an encouragement. Stick with it, and he'll get it!My one piece of advice: keep a close eye on him near nap time. I've noticed that Blake starts "squawking" when he's ready for his nap. I used to think he was just talking. But now I have begun to use those as my cues for naps. This has worked great for us. For his first waketime, Blake can only stay awake for about 1 hr 10 min. I hear the "squawks" and then put him down for a nap. This is his 2 hr nap. Other waketimes I don't hear the "squawks" until 1 hr 40 minutes. He takes 2 other naps that have consistently been 1.5 hrs. Keep observing and learning, but don't stress. I'm saying that to myself as much as I am to you.
    February 8, 2008 8:36 PM
  • sharonsaad said...
    I am completely discouraged about my kids naps. Can you really train a baby to take longer naps? and regularly? Daily? What am I doing wrong? She is 4 months old, she nurses, she sleeps in her own room, she takes a pacifer some of the times (can often fall asleep without it), she does very well at night but daytime naps she wakes frequently and I either put her pacifier back in, or reposition her. In all of these cases she usually will go back to sleep for a total of a 2 hour nap -but in that two hours I can be in there 3 or 4 times! Some times I will let her cry it out - some times she will go back to sleep - I don't let her cry longer than 10-15 mins. As her brother is sleep in the next room. I guess this kind depends on her volume. So much for mom get daytime rest. I also have a two year old (just turned two) he takes 1.5 hour naps. Some days I wish it was a little longer. He also sleeps well at night. Any suggestions? I guess it is more the little one that I am frustrated about.
    February 1, 2008 2:19 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Sharonsaad, yes, you can. It might take time and effort, but your baby will get there. I would watch the paci use. Moms who use a paci and report it as not posing a problem to sleep habits say they either don't reinsert the paci during a nap or at night, or they only do so once. If you are reinserting the paci several times a nap, baby is not learning to sleep on her own. You can continue the "game" if you want to, but you will have to wait several months for her to be able to do it on her own. Or you can either drop it or limit your reinsertion so she learns some self-soothing. I put my daughter in a pack and play in my room so neither child can wake the other. It seems one of them decides to be noisy at some point in the nap!Your son's naps do seem short, but if he is happy afterwards, that must work for him.
    February 1, 2008 8:34 PM
    sharonsaad said...
    So you think I should allow her to cry it out once she wakes in a nap? How long do I let her cry? Another q. I am laying her down for naps about 2-3 hours from her last wake up time. Does this sound right? sometimes it is longer other times she can't hold on that long. What can I do to keep these consistant? I feel so wishy washy.
    February 1, 2008 9:47 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    What you do after she wakes early from a nap is going to have to be your call. I have never done a full CIO with my kids consistently. I have given them 10-20 minutes. See the Waking Early From Naps post for more ideas: 2-3 from her last wake-up time, do you mean that is how long she has been awake? At that age, Kaitlyn could only be awake for 1 hour total to have a successful nap. At 9 months, does 1.5 hours, 2 hours, then 2.5 hours for her long wake times. Her last wake time is less than an hour right now--I am weaning her off of the last nap. Wake time will vary from baby to baby, but I would guess three hours is too long for a 4 month old, at least for the first couple of wake times.
    February 2, 2008 10:37 AM
    sharonsaad said...
    At 4.5 months old, how long should the naps be? How many naps? How long should wake time be?
    February 2, 2008 12:24 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    That depends on the feeding schedule more than the age. 2.5-3 hour schedule is 1-1.5 hours of sleep. As your schedule gets longer and baby gets older, naps would range from 1.5-2.5 hours.I base waketime on 1-how long baby can stay awake happily and also take a good nap and 2-the feeding schedule. If you are on a 3 hour schedule, you want baby to go down anywhere from 1-2 hours after waking (some babies will do a 2 hour nap on this schedule). You want to calculate the time naps starts so that baby has enough time to get a long enough nap in.Number of naps also depends on the feeding cycle, but my guess is that most 4 month olds are ready or will soon be ready for 3 naps a day. If you are on a 3 hour schedule, this will mean that there will be one interval there is no nap between feedings (that wake time around 5 PM). This will only last until you move to a 4 hour schedule. Then you will be back to eat/wake/sleep between feedings until baby is ready to drop nap 3.
    February 2, 2008 1:35 PM
  • Aggiemom said...
    I have a sleepyhead 6 week old who is still having trouble getting in any waketimes, except for maybe one a day.Also, we are comfortable with CIO from our 3 other kids. My problem right now is the first cycle of the day after morning waketime. If I miss the "good window" of getting him down and he cries the whole time, then he falls asleep as soon as I start nursing him at the next feeding time. This means he doesn't get a good feeding and it throws off the whole day. Any recommendations? He hates the swing and will not sleep in it.
    February 19, 2008 12:42 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    This post will likely be of help to you: Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps: I missed that window with Kaitlyn, I just went straight for the swing. If I knew I would just be getting her out of her bed, I didn't put her there. I figured fewer bad things would be taught that way.
    February 19, 2008 1:39 PM
  • swanny said...
    I have a 11 week old daughter. The last three days she has not been going down well for her naps and waking up early. She hasn't seemed tired for her naps, but I don't want to keep her up too long. I have had her on a 3hr schedule, but when it is time to feed her, she doesn't seem exceptionally hungry even though she has been up for 0.5hr before I feed her. Nothing has changed much in her routine except for her sleeping pattern. Is it time to move her to a 3.5 hour schedule even though she is not sleeping through her feedings like the book says that she should?
    March 14, 2008 6:09 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    There are a few possibilities.One is that she just finished a growth spurt and needs to get more sleep now, so her waketimes would need to be shorter.Another is that she is entering a growth spurt. Babies have one around 3 months, so watch for that. Have you tried feeding her as soon as she wakes? I guess, though, that she would eat at the 3 hour mark if she really were hungry.Another is simply the time change. My baby has been thrown off by her times being off. They take some time to get used to changes like that.Another is that she is ready to extend her waketime. Does she have good nap cues? My daughter doesn't, so every now and then she will take a long time to fall asleep. If nothing else has changed, I try extending her waketime by about 5 minutes to see if she needs a longer waketime. Sometimes all she has needed is an extra 5 minutes. You don't want to extend by too much at a time because you could add too much and she would still wake early because she was up too long.You could try a longer schedule, or combo 3-3.5 hour schedule. Some moms do find a longer schedule fixes their nap problems. However, I personally wouldn't do it until I had tried everything else and it had been going on for a while. Sometimes they just go through phases of not sleeping well, and the recent time change could be your culprit. I just think adding 30 minutes to your schedule when she isn't sleeping long enough already is going to throw you way off. Your eat/wake/sleep patter will be off and everything. Good luck in your problem solving!
    March 15, 2008 10:12 AM
    swanny said...
    Thanks for your advise! I cut her wake times back by ten minutes and now she is back to her old ways of sleeping well(2+hrs). She is still talking to herself for about 10 minutes before she falls asleep, but there is no more crying and she is back to sleeping until I wake her to eat:)
    March 22, 2008 2:06 PM
  • sawyersmom said...
    I have a 4 week old infant who simply *won't sleep*- I would estimate he sleeps MAYBE 7 hours a day- usually a good 3 hour session at night, followed by a 2 hour session, and the other 2 hours spread out in VERY short naps throughout the day. It's probably a little early to try the BW schedule, but was hoping to get the eat, play, sleep cycle started.... the sleep part is missing. I love the awake time, with exception of the 6-8 fussy hours in the evening which I understand are fairly unavoidable, he's very alert, and fairly pleasant and curious about his environment- as long as he's being held or carried somehow most of the time.I am breastfeeding and am of course not consuming caffeine- I have also eliminated almost any other potentially irritable food, I've now eliminated dairy, citrus, and most all spices, etc. He does eat well- but of course tends to want to eat more often b/c he so rarely sleeps. I can sometimes (not always) get him to sleep with a carseat ride, swing, or by carrying him in the bjorn- but those are always very short-lived and really only a bandaid to the problem which I can't figure out. Plus, all of those require active supervision, and that doesn't help me sleep. I'm running on about 3 hours sleep total each day for the past week- and rarely shower- I smell terrible.Do you have any suggestions or ideas?
    May 6, 2008 5:52 PM
    sawyersmom said...
    by the way- regarding my last post... he is getting a full feeding each time and eats roughly every 2 hrs in afternoon/early evening and 3 hrs for the rest of the day. Not on a real schedule yet...
    May 6, 2008 11:04 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    sawyersmom, Your son sounds just like mine was before we started Babywise. He would sleep very little for days and then crashed every few days. It is definitely not too early to start the Babywise schedule if you want to; I started at birth with my daughter. When I started with my son, we did the eat/wake/sleep cycle at first. Once he starts to get some rest and more of a routine, he will be less fussy in the evening. See this post: Starting Babywise Late:
    May 7, 2008 8:32 PM
  • Sassycams said...
    First of all, thank you for your blog! It has been very helpful over the past few days. My son AJ is 13 weeks old. We loosely followed BW from birth and had him on a 3-hour schedule since then. We've come upon a few issues recently, and I decided to post my questions under Nap issues. At week 10 I decided to do CIO- I couldn't take the constant rocking to sleep/not taking naps, etc. We had five hard days of sleep training and then it seemed like he "got it"- naps were going well and he started sleeping through the night (from 11pm-7am). Then right at 12 weeks, it seemed like he was going through a growth spurt. We fed every 2.5 hours and added a feeding or two and he seemed more content (still slept through the night throughout the spurt). Then we had a few days of almost hibernation-type napping, extra sleepy. Then back to screaming his head off when going down for naps. I give him 1.5 hours of wake time (which includes his usual 45-min feeding), then down for a nap. He either goes right to sleep with hardly any fussing or screams his head off for a while- then sleeps 40-45 minutes on the dot and wakes up. What did you do with your son when his naps were this long? Feed him right away? Play with him? Extra wake time? I'm going nuts trying to figure out what's going on.We don't think it's a hunger issue either. When he's awake for the feeding, he seems to be eating faster (rather than the normal 45-min, he's feeding in 25 or 30). In the midst of this, we tried one day of 3.5 hour schedule and while he had terrible naps, he fed well and slept through the night. The past two days has added another issue. We are still on 3-hour schedule (I thought the 3.5 day might have screwed up his naps so we went back to the norm)but when I go to feed him, he'll feed like an animal for a few minutes and then abruptly stops and screams his head off. This can go on for however long, and sometimes I can get him back on the same side and other times I have to switch sides completely. Have you ever heard of this? It's quite frustrating. Then, once he starts feeding, he'll fall asleep if he's had a bad nap (or no nap at all because we let him CIO and he never went to sleep). He has pretty much lost all his early hunger cues too- no rooting, etc. He's constantly sucking on his hands/thumb (his new toy) so I can't tell if/when he's doing it because he's hungry.I feel like we had a great thing (for the most part) up until we started CIO. The STTN is a total blessing, and I wouldn't trade that, but my days are spent in tears (both of us) trying to figure out what to do with him. Other than crying during naps and now these "crying spells" during breastfeeding, he is a really good baby- always "talking" and smiling and looking around at his new world. (Oh, he's also a big kid- he's gaining weight and growing above par.)Any advice would be much appreciated.
    May 11, 2008 6:58 PM
    Sassycams said...
    Oh, and to add to my previous post. Because of his crazy nap/wake times and crying spells while eating, my normal 7-10-1-4-7-10 times are all screwed up. Help!
    May 11, 2008 8:01 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    sassycams, You are welcome! It sounds like your son went through a textbook growth spurt.I would recommend trying a shorter waketime. I would also recommend a log to analyze the situation. See:
    Easy Nap Fix:
    45 Minute Intruder:
    Problem Solving Tip: Detailed Log :
    For early waking, see:Waketime When Baby Wakes Early :
    Waketime When They Wake Early:
    Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:
    Do consider a medical reason for him pulling off (like reflux), but it also might just be that he is more proficient. See:
    Nursing Woes :
    Also, see this post: CIO Bootcamp:
    and this: Getting a Consistent Schedule:
    Good luck!
    May 12, 2008 2:06 PM
    Sassycams said...
    Valerie-Thanks for your reading suggestions. I've read your WHOLE blog over the past few days, and have read some of your suggestions over and over already. As I am typing this, AJ started crying at 45 minutes on the dot again from his nap. He calms himself for a few minutes and then is back to crying again. I am crying again as well. I am overly stressed by trying to get his schedule "right" and it almost makes me want to go to demand feeding. I don't know what else to do.Today, I've been testing his waketime and putting him down when he shows cues- fussiness or rubbing eyes. This morning, he was awake and happy for 2 hrs- then fussy and I put down with no crying. Took a 40 minute nap. This past nap, he was awake and happy for 1hr 40min- then fussy and I put down with no crying. Now he's awake after 45 minutes. Again, thank you for your suggestions but I still haven't found an answer for what's going on with him. This BW thing seemed "easy" until last week, and now I feel hopeless in trying to figure out what to do.
    May 12, 2008 2:47 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Sassycams, I am sorry you are having such a rough go of it right now! I would recommend the post I just did today. Do be aware that around 4 months is a common time for babies to have difficult sleeping patterns, even babies who had been textbook up to that point. You sound like you are working through your problem wisely and systematically. Hang in there! You will get it figured out.
    May 13, 2008 3:48 PM
    Sassycams said...
    Thank you for your concern. Last night, he totally refused to nurse. We took him to Urgent Care and he was diagnosed with reflux (GERD). After one dose of infant Zantac this morning, there has been minimal (normal) spit up, no screaming/crying, went down for both naps without crying and slept for 2 hrs. each. He's been on a normal BW schedule all day and has been very happy. Thank you for your advice!!
    May 13, 2008 4:54 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I am glad you got that figured out! Medication makes a big difference for babies. Kaitlyn had reflux, and I actually just took her off her meds completely about a week ago. The reflux will be good for you to know!
    May 14, 2008 1:52 PM
  • djwagaman said...
    My daughter is 7 weeks old and for the past week she has been consistantly waking up 30 minutes into her nap. She takes a pacifier to sleep, and previously once she was asleep she wouldn't wake until it was time to eat or until I got her up to eat.I know she is still tired because I put her pacifier back in her mouth and she immediatly quiets (her eyes are never open yet). Is there anything I can do to help her nap better? The rest of her nap after that first 30 minutes is broken by fussing every 10 minutes or so.
    May 12, 2008 1:36 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    djwagaman, I would consider the possibility that the pacifier is the culprit of your nap problems. See this post for more on that:Pacifiers :
    May 12, 2008 2:07 PM


Jessie Walker said...

I love your blog! It has been a big help to me being a new mom. I have a seven week old son and he has recently been waking up early from his naps. He has been on a three hour schedule and it was going perfect. I was a total BW fan. He has been a good napper. He will put himself to sleep quite well with just a little crying. But lately he has been waking up 30 to 40 minutes into his nap. I usually have to wake him up when it is time to feed. So he is use to getting fed right when he wakes up so now when he is waking up early he is demanding food. So when he did start waking up early I was feeding him and would start the three hours over again. But it was throwing our schedule completely off and I didn't know when I could do anything. Plus I don't think it was helping his night schedule because he isn't dropping a feeding. So now I am making him wait till the feeding time even if he shows signs of hunger. Because I am not sure if he is hungry or just know that that is the routine. Eat wake sleep. I am not sure if that is correct BW. I also am not letting him totally CIO. I will let him cry for 15 minutes but he starts to choke and it scares me. I don't think he is getting overstimulated because he just puts himself to sleep when he is tired. Am I doing it correctly by keeping to the schedule? Do you have any other suggestions about nap time?


Kim said...

I have a question concerning switching my son from 3 naps to 2 naps. I know in Babywise it says that starting at 6 months, most babies take one long nap in the morning and one long nap in the afternoon. Right now, my son is a little over 7 months and is still (normally) taking 2 long naps and one catnap. The problem is that his shorter nap could happen in the morning or in the afternoon, its not always his third nap. So in transitioning to 2 naps a day, how do I handle it if his first nap is short? Do I still keep him awake until his afternoon nap? He doesn't seem ready to stay awake for that amount of time, so I'm not sure when I should transition him to a new schedule.

Plowmanators said...

Jessie, Thanks! I would guess you are at a growth spurt. You always want to feed baby at a growth spurt. See this:

Growth Spurts:

Plowmanators said...

The ages for dropping the nap are usually arout 8 months. Some babies go earlier, some later. Kaitlyn was 11 months old when she dropped it completely. See these posts:

Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process:

Dropping the 3rd Nap (evening): Action: Dropping the Third Nap:

Corzine family said...

As you know from previous posts in CIO Bootcamp we are in the middle of sleep training with our 8 week old son (started CIO at 4 weeks). His waketime is about an hour then I notice his sleep cues (fussiness) and put him down. His CIO is getting better-he doesn't cry as long or has hard as he has been in previous weeks but lately he'll get himself to sleep after about 30 minutes of whining/whimpering but then wakes up 30-45 minutes later. Most of the time I just move him to the swing so he'll at least sleep until his next feeding. I know you said this is pretty normal during sleep training but I thought I might try cutting his waketime to 45 minutes to see if it helps. Do you recommend I cut his waketime to 45 minutes even though I don't notice his sleep cues until 1 hour? This problem isn't nearly as hard as hearing him scream like he was when we first started sleep training; however, it is very frustrating. It's like a get a glimmer of hope for 30-45 minutes and then the crying/whimpering starts all over again. This happens every single nap and has been happening for a week now. I wasn't sure whether to chalk it up to sleep training or if I should start troubleshooting his naps. I should also mention that he sometimes does get himself back to sleep but it is short lived and he is back up again. Any advice is appreciated.

Plowmanators said...

Be sure to check out the troubleshooting naps post, but I think shortening the waketime is worth a shot. Try 45 minutes. If that doesn't work, try 50. Then try 55, etc. If he is awake for one hour then taking 30 minutes to fall asleep, he is likely waking because he is overly tired. A shorter waketime might help him to fall asleep faster.

Corzine family said...

Thanks for the advice! I actually tried a waketime of 45 minutes yesterday and while it still took him 30-45 minutes to settle in and stop whimpering after I put him down he eventually feel asleep and stayed asleep until the next cycle. I actually had to wake him 2 out of 4 naps. Today hasn't been as successful but I think it is because we were out his first nap of the day and he only slept 30minutes. When I laid him down for his 2nd nap he fell asleep pretty quickly but only stayed down for 45minutes so I moved him to the swing to finish out the nap. I am pretty certain it was because he was overtired from having a bad first nap. We are trying for the
3rd nap of the day so we'll see how it goes. I appreciate your advice very much! Hopefully we continue to see success!

Plowmanators said...

That is wonderful! Thanks for sharing your success!

Jessica said...

Your blog has been so helpful with our daughter! Thanks. We have been implementing BW since our daughter was born and we maintained a great 3 hour schedule from week 2 and started getting longer stretches of sleep during the evening. Our typical schedule is her first feeding is 6am, then 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm. At 5:45pm we start her bedtime routine: bath, feeding, swaddling, rocking to sleep. She would sleep from 7/7:30pm until 1am or 2am, wake for a full feeding and then sleep again until 6am. Well in the past two weeks her nighttime schedule has gone crazy. She stays on her normal daily schedule (although her naps are not as long in length as they previously were) but after she is put to bed for the night, she no longer stays asleep. She's waking between 10pm to midnight/1am (completely inconsistent times each night) and then again at least one more time during the night. And it's becoming increasingly difficult to get her to eat a full feeding at these times. She has reflux and is being treated for it and if we keep her awake sometimes for a 20 minute feeding she spits a lot back up and is very fussy and it takes forever to get her back to sleep. I'm just wondering if you have any advice because I feel like we are regressing and she will never sleep through the night at this point. Thanks.

Plowmanators said...

how old is she?

Jessica said...

She is 11 weeks old.

Plowmanators said...

That is a growth spurt age, but it is also a good chance she has outgrown her dosage. Consult with the doctor about that. She might need her dosage increased.

Jessica said...

Thanks. She's going to a GI doctor and the dosage on her medicine is correct. Can you give us some tips to help with her napping and not sleeping through the night?

jencwu said...

Hi, I've been using BW for 2 weeks now. My 4-week old is having quite a difficult time with naps. He will show signs of being tired but when I put him down in his crib he just cries forever. He often misses an entire naptime because of this, or else ends up sleeping for only 30 mins. I've tried going in and comforting him, etc., but it doesn't seem to work. One thing I am going to try is shortening his waketimes--I was keeping him up for 1.5 hours because the book says naptime should be 1.5 hours (he's on a 3-hour routine), but now reading through this post I see he should only be up for 45-60 mins. Do you think that's the problem or is there something else I should do? Is this normal?

Plowmanators said...

Jessica, you might try adding a dreamfeed. Sleep regression is always for a reason, the trick is finding that reason. My ideas are in this post and also the following:

Nighttime Sleep Issues:

Plowmanators said...

jencwu, It is normal to an extent. As they are learning, there is a period of rough patches. Definitely shorten his waketime. Also try to find his sleep cues.

See this post also:

CIO Bootcamp:

Lorri said...

I know you've written about this but can't seem to find it.
I've been working on naps and while they seem to get worse he all of a sudden started sleeping through the night-go figure!
So my little guy has no problem going down for naps. I lay him in bed and for maybe 5 mins or less he talks to himself and then falls asleep.
So I know he can self soothe-and with him sleeping through the night he HAS to be able to put himself back to sleep.
But lately he has been waking up 40-45mins into his nap. Sometimes he just wakes up and within 5 mins he starts crying, or he will wake up crying. He cries for an hour and won't go back to sleep. I put him in his swing like you did Kaitlyn-but he likes his swing and won't go to sleep.
You say this didn't work with your boy-what would you do for him?

And I have tried feeding him and he isn't interested in anything but a snack-so he isn't hungry.

And then when he wakes up early like that after 45mins and won't go back to sleep, our feed/play/sleep schedule is off because by the time feeding time comes he has been up for his hour and wants to sleep right after eating and then the whole day seems to get messed up.

Where do you write about what you did for Bradyen?
I'm not sure if its because he is overtired because we don't have a problem at all with him going down for a nap.
And I'm not sure I should extend the waketime because he doesn't play for long in his bed before falling asleep.
Is this just a phase that I need to just go with the flow for a while. He will be 4 months on monday and I keep hearing about naps going to pot for a time sometime around 4 months but then they get back on schedule.
Thanks for suggestions!

Christine said...

Hi there. I have a questions. My son is 15 1/2 weeks and is on a 3.5hr schedule. 8/11:30/3/6:30/10(df) We have been CIO for almost 3 weeks and it seems that its not getting better. He sleeps great at night. 7:30p-7:30/8a with a dreamfeed at 10pm. He wakes out of every nap usually at 1/2 hr-1hr. I keep him up for 1.5 hrs of the 3.5 schedule. He might have one good nap a day but the other 2 he pretty much CIO. I have found that he is like your son where you couldnt go in and interrupt his nap. It doesnt seem to be a food issue or anything else. I just am not sure what to do. Do you have any suggestions?

Plowmanators said...


I think I wrote about it in one of these:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

Waketime When Baby Wakes Early :

Waketime When They Wake Early:

See also this post:

4 month Sleep Problems :


45 Minute Intruder:

Plowmanators said...

Christine, have you read through this post:

CIO Bootcamp:

see also:

Problem Solving Tip: Detailed Log

Nap Cues :

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:


When Does it Get Better?:

those should help you figure this out.

jencwu said...

Hello again :) For the past 4 nights now, my little guy (he'll be 7 weeks old tomorrow) has gone to sleep at bedtime without crying or fussing at all. I am not complaining about this at all, but am confused why he does so well at that time and not earlier in the day for naptimes. I can't think of anything I do differently at bedtime except that we've tried to keep a pretty consistent bedtime routine of feed, burp, change diaper, change into jammies, put on J&J's bedtime lotion, swaddle, mom & dad kiss and say goodnight, then lay him in his crib. All 4 of these good nights he looks wide awake and not drowsy at all when we put him in his crib. During the day though he often does look drowsy or is even falling asleep while I change him. That routine above is the same at naptimes minus changing into pj's, the lotion, and daddy kissing him goodnight. I usually kiss him when I put him down for naps though. His waketime is the same amount of time as during the day, and even about 10 mins longer if it's a bath night (2x/wk).

During the day when I put him down for naps though, he will sometimes lay awake in his crib for 30ish mins then cry. Other times he just goes straight to the crying. Sometimes he cries through the entire nap, other times he falls asleep 15-30 mins before the next feeding, sometimes he does better and gets a 1-1.5hr nap, but almost always cries. Very rarely he will fall asleep instantly when I lay him in his crib for a nap.

Any idea what is making bedtimes work but not naptimes, and how I can apply that to naptimes?

Lorri said...

jencwu: I find that my little guy can stay up a little longer at night time-possibly because he has had the afternoon naptimes.
During the day he can't stay up as long-barely making 65mins right now. Try shortening the amount of wake time before naps even by 5 mins-could make all the difference in the world.
So during the day he is down for a nap within 65 mins of wake time.
After his 3rd nap is finished at 4:30pm we don't put him back down again until 6-6:30pm (dropping his 4th nap has been interesting) depending on how well he napped.
Sounds to me like you've done a great job nailing that bedtime window though-congrats!

jencwu said...

To add to my previous post: I am getting extremely tired and frustrated. He had been getting better with his naps--he wasn't crying as long before falling asleep and would always stay asleep so that I had to wake him for the next feeding. We had probably about 2-3 good weeks of that. Then last week he started waking up about 30 mins early so I just fed him since I figured it was his 6wks growth spurt. That kind of passed after a few days, he did pretty well the end of the week and over the weekend. This week has been awful though. Monday & Tuesday he would cry, more scream, for an hour or so and would fall asleep here and there for 5 or 10 mins but wake up crying again. He would finally fall asleep about 30 mins before his next feeding, only to wake up after about 20 mins. That was for his first 2 naps of the day, then his 3rd we were out and he slept pretty well since we were in the car. Usually if we go out and he falls asleep in his carseat though he's out till his next feeding. He was even waking early in his carseat though. He did have longer naps those times at least. Then his 4th nap went pretty well and as I said above, he has been doing excellent at bedtime and nights. Today has been going about the same so far, maybe a tiny bit better but not much. What I've been doing is letting him cry 15 mins, go rub his head and say comforting things, then leave the room and repeat as necessary. This was working before. But lately he's been crying so hard that I will pick him up and hold him for a couple of mins and he doesn't even totally calm down from that. Shouldn't he be stabilizing by now (he's 7 wks now)? What is going wrong???? I don't think I can take much more of this. He doesn't have a fever or any other signs that he's sick, except that he's not sleeping. I'm also worried about his health since he's getting so little sleep during the day. He's probably sleeping about 12 hours total a day. (oh and I've tried tweaking the length of his waketimes anywhere from 45-65 mins. the only thing I can think with this is maybe I need to try each time for a whole day rather than fluctuating within a day?)

Lorri said...

jencwu: I would say yes, work on a whole day if not a few days of nap time because if you don't get it right for one nap, the next nap will be off and so on.
It took me a whole week and a lot of log pages to figure out nap time for my little guy.
And nap times change for him during the day depending on the sleep before.
From wake up to nap 1, if he slept the whole night through, he can go 1 hour and 15 mins. But if he didn't sleep well the night before he can only go maybe 60 mins of wake time.
Then from nap 1 to nap 2 even if it was a solid 2 hours he still can only stand 1 hour, maybe an extra 5 minutes.
But from nap 2 to nap 3 he seems to be able to go 1 hour 15 minutes no matter what.
So the times for nap are consistent day to day between naps, but not consistent with each other if that makes sense.

It could also be as Valarie says-it gets good, then worse before it gets better.
After his immunizations last week I made the mistake of giving him his pacifier for the nap after we got home from the doctors because he not only got shots but missed a nap. Then we had to work back to getting good naps because with him, 1 step back means a few days of work again.
We are back to sleeping all night and taking a 2 hour nap in the morning. Afternoon naps are still a little iffy, but I can tell we are improving.
My sister comments on how well he goes down for a nap now. I remind her that it has taken a month of work and tears from both of us.

Plowmanators said...

jencwu, my guess would be that you have found the optimal waketime for that time of day for your son, while other times of day are not yet on. You just need to keep expirimenting with waketime lengths to find the right one. Be sure to keep a log. Also, have a naptime routine if you don't already.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Lorri. She is right, 5 minutes can make a HUGE difference, and it sounds like your other waketimes are too long (jencwu).

Plowmanators said...

jencwu, something has to be wrong if he is regressing consistently. It is normal to have a bad day every so often, but if every day is getting worse, then either something is medically wrong or something has changed. Since he is taking a long time to calm when you go into him, especially after only 15 minutes, my first guess would be there is something physically wrong. Does he have reflux or gas? If you breastfeed, have you changed anything in your diet at all (including just more of something)?

As you are problem solving, it is a good idea to try something more than once to see if it is the fix.

You also need to keep in mind that needs change over time. When Kaitlyn was young, I could go in after 20 minutes of crying and she would go to sleep, but as she got older, if I went in at 20 minutes, things got worse. I had to change it to 30 and things were good again.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Lorri, all so true. It takes time, effort, troubleshooting, and trial and error to get to know your LO well enough to get things working well.

jencwu said...

I wondered about reflux or gas as well, but the thing that doesn't make sense with that is that he sleeps so well at night. We're going in next week for his 2 month check up so I will definitely bring it up to the dr. though.

Is it possible for a growth spurt to be spread out over a couple of weeks? I thought he had hit his growth spurt at 6 weeks, which is when naps started getting worse again, and it hasn't really gotten better since then. He has some good naps, mostly later in the day. As the week goes on he seems to do better and does really well at the weekends, then Monday comes around and he struggles again. Could it be that he's upset that Dad isn't around? He's a teacher and was home with baby and me for the first month or so every day. Now that he's back to work it seems Noah does better when he's home. Could he be perceptive enough for this to affect him? I just don't know what else it could be--I've tried shorter waketimes, longer waketimes, nothing seems to make a difference. What works one day won't work another day, or even from one nap to another.

Steph said...

Hello -

I started BW last week - unfortunately we went away and it got disrutped after 3 or 4 days. She was only sort of getting the hang of it. My baby is 6 weeks old. I started again on Monday - and I'm having issues with napping. My baby didn't really nap before - I know she should WANT to fall asleep after only being up an hour or two, but this is not the case. So I'm trying to teach her. It is not going well.

What do I do when she cries through EVERY NAP? Is this normal in the beginning of BW scheduling? Should I plug through for a few more days/week or 2? I feel like she is never going to get the hang of napping. She'll cry through them all - except once in a while she'll doze off for 20-30 minutes. I guess that is an improvement, but I know for her health she needs more. If she doesn't sleep she is terribly fussy when she is awake. I looked at all of your nap troubleshooters - but I couldn't find an answer. I don't want to rely on music or a pacifier to get her to sleep - or is that oK? How long should I expect her to take to fall into the eat-wake-sleep routine?

Sorry for all of the questions!

Thank you!

yingamanda said...

Hi! I am a big believer in the BW method. I used the method with my daughter, and had great success. I started the napping routine at 8 weeks and she would cry for only 10 minutes max and would sleep until I went to go get her. She was so easy and the happiest baby. So I assumed with my new baby boy things would be the same. Well, he is 7 weeks and we have the eating routine down pretty good (although he is a way bigger eater than my daughter ever was). I am down to one nighttime feeding (I feed at 9pm, he gets up at 2am and then sleeps til 6:15 or so and wakes to eat again). But, he won't nap during the day without being held! The minute I lay him down in the same routine I used with my daughter, he screams. I have tried to cry it out and he will actually cry until it is time to eat again and gets into such a fit he can't breath! The minute I pick him up he nods right off, only to wake up the second he is in the crib. I know how important it is to get sleep so I end up putting him in the bouncer or swing, which works, but I know it is not teaching him to self soothe. I figure at least it is alone in the room and I am not holding him or around so maybe he is at least learning that? Any ideas. Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

jencwu, sorry, I just saw your comment. Are you still having difficulties?

Plowmanators said...

Steph, for some babies, that is normal. See this post:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:


CIO Bootcamp:

Plowmanators said...

yingamanda, It sounds like you really need to figure out your son personally. You had an easy first baby, and now have a more difficult second baby. When you first get that second baby home, you think he will be just like the first baby was, but they are very different. In my case that was a good thing because my first was much harder than my second :) But I still had to figure her out individually.

You need to figure out his individual waketime lengths, his nap cues, his best sleep routines, how best to deal with crying, etc. You can't do things the same way you did with your daughter.

See this post:

CIO Bootcamp:

Jennie said...

I am a huge Growing Kids fan, have taken all of the classes, read all of the books and have a 2 year old that is a wonderful sleeper! However I have a 5 week old who I started Babywise with right away and he is still not napping! I don't mind letting him cry it out but often he will cry his whole nap! (I go in there, check on him, etc. every 5-10 minutes sometimes the entire 2 hours!) So then when I finally get him up to feed him, he is of course so tired and falls asleep right away after eating (which means eat, sleep, wake) and so on. I have tried everything (even letting him sleep on his tummy which sometimes works and the pacifier which sometimes works..I would have never done that with my first but Im SO desparate!) Any advice? When you talk about "crying it out" did you do this with either of yours? Thanks!

jencwu said...

Well, things had gotten better toward the end of his 8th week, but now for the last week or so he's gone backwards (he's now 11 wks). There are a few things at play I think--we moved to a new house and I was giving him more sleep props around that time because I figured the move had him all messed up. Around 8-10 weeks naps were getting pretty good, he was sleeping 7-8 hours at night, and going to bed at 8 without crying. When we moved all that went out the window. Now, about a week and a half later, he has gone back to going to bed without crying, still not STTN consistently but getting there, but naps are still difficult. He's had a couple of naps this week where he went to sleep on his own after crying for about 15 mins. Other than that he's been crying, even with me going in every 15 mins or so, so when he does that I either put him in the sling (he falls asleep immediately) or his swing (falls asleep within 15 mins), both with his pacifier so that he can still get about a 45 min nap in. I've kept a log and have tried both shorter and longer waketimes, and nothing seems to consistently make a difference.

Plowmanators said...

Jennie, Something to remember right now is why vs. how. Why is always most important. Right now, why is getting a good nap in to get a full feeding and establish metabolism. See this post for accomblishing "why":

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

be sure to also see this post:

CIO Bootcamp:

Plowmanators said...

jencwu, give it another week or so with consistency to see if he can get back into routine. Also keep your eye out for the 3ish month growth spurt.

Jennie said...

My are doing CIO for every nap for my 5 week old and he will cry the whole nap (swing doesnt work..actually nothing works!). After crying for a full 2 hours (of course I go in, etc) I feed him at the 3 hour make. After feeding him he is so tired from no nap that he falls asleep very easily and often takes a 2 1/2 hour since he didn't sleep any the previous cycle. This happens all day (no nap, long nap, on and off). Will this super long nap mess him up so he is not tired at all for the next nap? Thanks!

jencwu said...

Jennie, that was my 12 week old to a tee at that age. I felt like BW wasn't working but then at about 8 1/2 weeks it was like someone turned a magic switch and he started sleeping through the night and going to sleep for naps with little to no crying for the most part. We moved shortly after and it all went downhill again until just the past few days he has started getting back on track.

I know it's hard to hear people say just wait it out, it'll get better, but it wasn't that long ago that I was in your shoes! I remember being in the heart of difficulties and thinking something had to be wrong and that it wouldn't work, but it did.

Also, to answer your question about whether the long nap will mess up the next nap, it didn't seem to for my guy. Honestly I think during those difficult weeks almost nothing worked for the time being, but trying to be as consistant as possible I think is what helped him get to the point he is now. What I would do is if he had only had one bad naptime, I wouldn't let him sleep so long but if he'd had a couple of naps in a row that he hadn't slept, I would "cheat" and try not to wake him much while he ate and was being changed so he could get at least one or two good naps in.

Jennie said...

you are so sweet to help me..thank you....this too will pass!!

jencwu said...

Well it's my pleasure because I know what it feels like to be where you are. I know it feels like it will never pass but try to wait it out a little longer and hopefully you will have the same results as I did :)

Mamaof1 said...

My 6-week old son, who has been very alert since birth, has difficulty going to sleep for his naps in his crib. After analyzing our log, it appears that most of the difficulty time is during the late afternoon/evening (anywhere between 4 and 8pm). But, sometimes during the daytime, he also has trouble going down for his nap. Usually, if he misses one nap, he will sleep during all or part of the next nap. His night sleep is great (10ishpm to 4ishpm) and he rarely cries when I put him down at night after nursing him. We have worked on shortening his waketime- 1hr including feeding. We wait for him to show signs of being tired, like yawning and crying. When we put him down, we will either cry HARD or will be awake looking around & quiet. We let him CIO for at least 10 mins before going into his room and patting him. If he continues to cry HARD after this, we will wait even longer until the next time we go into his room. We have let him CIO for 1hr, but he doesn't fall asleep even after 1 hr. If he does finally fall asleep, he may wake up crying HARD w/in 5-10mins. So, I have some questions: 1-could the late afternoon/evening be his fussy time? If so, any suggestions on working through this time? Is it ok if he sleeps on me or in his swing during this time; sometimes that is the only way he will calm and get sleep? How long will this fussy time last - months? 2-Is it something that we are/are not doing to get him down for his naps? We are trying not to use the swing in fear of "sleep prop". 3-Why does he go down easily at night? Could it be because it is dark and he can't see what is happening around him?
Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Plowmanators said...


1- it is okay to have baby sleep in a swing if needed for the fussy time of day. Just keep watch to be sure it doesn't start to affect the other naps.

2- possibly. See this post for more: CIO Bootcamp:

3- it is hard to say for sure, but they often sleep a lot better for night.

Misha said...

hello! i have a nap question. my baby is 8 weeks old today and i have her on a 3-hr feeding schedule starting at either 6:30 or 7am. she gets 6 feedings a day (seems to have dropped middle of night bottle but still wakes up - just rock her back to sleep).

my question is this: i'm still putting her down for 5 small naps (1-1.5 hours) after each feeding. her last feeding is 10pm. is this right? i've noticed that people are talking about 3-4 naps, etc but can't find that in my bw book!

Rachel said...

Hello, I have been pouring over your blog. Very helpful! I've read "Naps: Troubleshooting" and other posts, but need help targeting what specifically to do with my daughter. She is 11 weeks old. Here's her schedule:
1st feeding, 45min wakteime
1st nap (2 hours excellent!)
2nd feeding, 45min wakteime
2nd nap (2 hours excellent!)
3rd feeding, 45min waketime
3rd nap (45min - 1hr, crying hard to wake)
After this everything falls apart until the last feeding of the day. I do CIO. She is very fussy from 3:30 - 6:30pm and won't nap.
She is sleeping 10 hours at night. Should I keep her up longer in the afternoon and only do 4 naps? Any help would be great! Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Misha, # of naps depends on how you define naps. At that age, you want a nap after every cycle. So you will always eat, play, sleep, etc. until the end of the day like after your 10 pm feeding. Then it is just eat, sleep. So it sounds like you are doing things right.

Plowmanators said...

Rachel, that is a common time of day to have problems. I would first try having a bit longer waketime before that nap. She might do better with that. Start with only five minutes. She might also need a shorter waketime.

At that one nap, you can also try a swing for it if she will sleep in it.

Jennie said...

My son is 10 weeks old. After a mnoth of CIO and dropping the pacifier use to fall asleep (which was so hard b/c it worked with the nap...he would fall asleep within 1 min but I had to stop this bc he was waking up when it fell out and I wanted him to learn to fall asleep on his own. This took a long time with him crying for 30 min (at least) for each nap) we now only cry for 5 min for each nap! This is SOO exciting to me BUT he only sleeps for 45 min- 1 hour and then wakes up. When this happens I go in and put his pacifier in to get him to fall back asleep. Do you think he needs to learn how to fall back asleep on his own? I just cant imagine CIO working after he has been asleep for almost an hour since he won't be as tired. Any advice? Thanks so much! (BTW we are still on a 3 hour schedule and he only stays up for an hour before each nap. I also feed him at 10pm and then not again until 7 am which I count as sleeping through the night, but I usually have to put the pacifier in about 4:30 and 5:30 am...which Im sure I should start doing CIO for??)

Plowmanators said...


It is really normal for your child to wake at that mark. It is the transition time when he is moving between cycles. The trick is finding out the reasons. See the blog label "45 minute intruder" for help on that. You could try CIO at that point, but I think at 10 weeks it is unlikely to be successful. See this post for further ideas:

Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

For the night, I would probably try CIO at that time. Since he goes to sleep with a paci and stays asleep until desired waketime, you know it isn't hunger. See also these posts:

Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:

Baby Whisperer: Pacifiers:

Baby Whisperer: Sleeping Through the Night :

yingamanda said...

Thanks! I finally figured my son out and naps have gone great! He is 16 weeks now. for about 5 weeks he would only sleep in his bouncer swaddled. so I just went with it, and put the bouncer in the crib and at least got the routine and schedule down. Last week I officially got him to sleep all the time in the crib, but he is still swaddled. I tried him with one arm out and he couldn't handle it. I will tackle that soon. He goes down for naps and bedtime piece of cake, with a binkie. It falls out for naps and doesn't bother him. No crying and I have to wake him up. My problem is the night. He is still on a 3 hour routine because of our night issues. In the day, he takes 3 1.5 hour naps and an evening 20-30 minute nap (a great napper!). At 12 weeks, he still hadn't dropped the middle of the night feed, so I weaned him off. He has not had any food in the middle of the night now for 4 weeks. He goes to bed at 7:30pm, we do a dream feed at 10pm, and we get him up at 6:30am (due to my work schedule). Our problem is this - for the past 4 weeks, he has gotten up every night at 2:30am like clock work. At first we kept going in to soothe him and put his binkie back in (we never took him out of the crib). this worked for awhile, bu then he was getting up more frequently from 2:30-6:30am needing soothing. After one night of getting up every 30 minutes after 2:30am, we said enough is enough. So for the past 10 days we have let him CIO. It is horrible and I don't sleep through it. He literally cries for 1-1.5 hours! He finally then falls asleep and I wake him like normal at 6:30am. But 2 nights ago he cried so long he is hoarse now! I feel so horribly guilty. So last night I went ahead and went into soothe him again at 2:30am and 3:30am. I gave him 5 minutes to see if he would settle, but his voice is so hoarse I just couldn't let him go longer. Isn't CIO supposed to take less time than 10 days? Has anyone ever had the same issue with waking every night at the same time? It is so strange since he naps so well and goes to sleep at night without a peep. Thanks for your help, I am desperate!

Jennifer said...

yingamanda, my baby was swaddled for naps and night time until she was five months old. She wouldn't sleep without it until then. I wouldn't worry about it. She weaned herself off of it when she got strong enough that she always got out of her swaddle no matter how tight we did it. I was worried about weaning her off of it and it went quite smoothly. :)

As far as your nights go, have you tried feeding him when he wakes up at night? He is almost 4 months, which is a common time for a growth spurt. It is possible he is waking because he needs some more to eat. There is a post on here about 4 month sleep problems that might help. I can imagine how hard it has been to listen to him cry all these nights--the fact that it has been going on for so long really makes me wonder if it is a legitimate hunger issue because, you're right, other things should have resolved themselves by now.

Valerie might have better advice, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Good luck!

yingamanda said...

thanks Jennifer! Last night he woke several times after 3:30am and each time he had gotten out of his swaddle. He is a big boy - over 15 lbs at 3 months. Do you think I should make a bigger blanket? Or should I try double swaddling him? We live in colorado so it is pretty cold here. each time we rewrapped him and he went right back to sleep. oh he is so different than my daughter was!

Jennifer said...

yingamanda, we had to sew two blankets together to make one big enough as she got older. We did a swaddle that our pediatrician showed us. Let's see if I can explain it--it was the only one that held her arms in! :) Lay the blanket down flat and put your baby in the middle of one side, with the edge of the blanket at his shoulder level. Then wrap one side across his body and tuck the excess under his back and repeat with the other side. You'll have a lot of blanket under his feet. Bring it up and twist it until the bottom edge is at his chin, then wrap the excess under his back. He's laying on the blanket that could get loose, so he keeps himself together. More than one blanket may not hurt in the cold weather...we're in Southern CA, so we had the opposite problem! :)

yingamanda said...

Thanks again Jennifer! This is actually the wrap I always do. When I worked in the NICU, this is the wrap I learned from the nurses there when I was doing deliveries. It has worked great so far, he is just so big that the blankets I made big on purpose are already to small for him. This morning I sewed together 4 of those tiny flannel blankets you can buy that worked when he was just born. We will see if it works tonight! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Plowmanators said...

Yingamanda, congrats on getting to know him better!

Don't worry about the 3 hour schedule still; just move him when he is ready and don't worry about it before then.

I would guess that since CIO isn't working, there is some reason he is waking other than just needing to learn to self-soothe. It is possible, however, that he is so dependent on the paci that he is having a hard time figuring it out. Does he sleep in the day without it?

Also, it might be a growth spurt. If it is a growth spurt, you can try to add a feeding in the day or just feed him at night until he no longer needs it.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for your thoughts Jennifer! Good tips :)

Plowmanators said...

Sewing two blankets together! Genuis! I can't believe I never thought of that--I am even a sewer (sew-er, not a sewer).

Mich said...

Happy New Year to everyone! I have a 4 1/2 month old (20 weeks). He has been a perfect babywise baby (If I do say so myself:) We are still on a 3 hour schedule. 6/9/12/3/6/ dream feed at 9 pm. sttn for the last month 11 - 12 hours. My issue during the last week or so: difficulty in him taking the first morning nap. I've been playing with the amount of waketime he needs for this nap. He used to go down by 7, then 7:30, today I tried at 8am with no luck. He just doesn't seem like he needs it - he fights it big time. So, my question is, can we skip this nap?? Does there always need to be a "sleep" segment during a 3 hour cycle segment?? thx in advance.

Mich said...

I think you can ignore my last comment/question. We are back on schedule. I was keeping his waketime too long in the morning. Today, he was up at 6am, then back down at 7am with no problems.
I have another question though, if you don't mind. How in the world do you get to a 4 hour schedule if my almost 5 month old is often a chronic 45 minute napper?? His wake time would often be way too long to make it to 4 or even 3 1/2 hours?

Plowmanators said...

Hi Michelle, Happy New Year to you! You were the first comment of 2009!

For the 4 hour schedule, there are a few things that would get you there. One would be a longer waketime. The second would be to wait about 30 minutes after waking to feed (see Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle: So say he could stay up 2 hours, slept one hour, then ate 30 minutes after waking...that would put him at about 3.5 hour schedule.

This is all assuming he never starts to sleep longer.

The Batts said...

my four week old son doesn't want to long should i have waketime and what are some things i can do to get him to sleep? should i let him CIO this young, and if so for how long?

Plowmanators said...

Batts, see:

Optimal Waketime Lengths :

Should You Do CIO?

CIO Bootcamp:


Waking Early From Naps/Won't Fall Asleep For Naps:

acasiadetawator said...

I love this site!!! I have been doing babywise from the start but sometimes I find the books to vague.

I have a 5.5month old and am having a heck of a time with his naps. he goes down at night without crying and sleeps 11 hrs, but at naps he will cry for at least 20 min and wake up after 30-45 min and just cry forever...I tried reducing his waketime to 1hr45min which doesnt seem to make a difference. Also I nanny 2x a week where I bring him so he also has to be able to nap in a diff surrounding which I think is making things even harder on him. He is such a good baby and I feel awful for not being able to figure out his naps, he gets so tired!! Also when he sleeps for 45min and cries for the rest of the 1.5hr do I count the crying time as waketime and put him down for his next nap accordingly??

Plowmanators said...

See these posts for help:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

Waketime When They Wake Early:

Waketime When Baby Wakes Early :

As far as nanny-ing, if this is something you have been doing for quite a while, it shouldn't be having a negative affect on his napping. If it is a new experience, then that could be part of the problem.

Jules said...

I posted a few weeks ago, but I can't find it so I have no idea if you got back to me- sorry!

My question is in regards to this quote from the post:"The way the cycle is described in the book seems impossible to create in the real world. Here is why.The routine is 2.5-3 hours. Your young baby can stay awake at best for 1 hour. The nap is to be 1-1.5 hours on the routine. So, if they are awake for 1 hour, the best you can expect according to BW would be 2.5 hour routine all day, and that is if they took the 1.5 hour nap. Some babies can only be awake 45 minutes. What is the answer? Don't sweat it. Keep to the schedule as closely as possible and with time your baby will get it."

Ok. Can we elaborate on this? We moved into another time zone, then had daylight savings, and now we are all messed up. I have a 4 month old (previously STTN at 10-12 weeks before the move) now 16 weeks. He can make it about 60-70 min. of waketime. So, when he wakes early at 2 hours, I can keep him up for half an hour first before feeding, but then he needs to go right to bed after 20 min of feeding. How do I break the cycle? I tried to do a "reset" and just feed him at 2 hours thinking growth spurt, but then he is up 2 hours after that again.

So, we're on a pattern, vice a schedule. I'm doing a DF at 1030. Trying to do 7AM and I finally got him to do that as a waketime, but he is still up around 3. The problem is sometimes that he hasn't wet his diaper before or after the DF, and then he wakes up super wet. I can't make him pee!

Ok, so I am thinking of CIO at 3 when he gets up in the night, but I have a 2.5 y/o who shares his room. I have nowhere to put him that won't wake up my toddler (who has started waking during the night after the move despite formerly being a GREAT sleeper).

Ugh. I have all sorts of issues. I am trying to determine where to start. Help?

Plowmanators said...

Jules, that applies to young babies. At 4 months, you can expect at least a 1.5 hour nap. So with 60 minutes waketime plus 1.5 hour nap, that puts you at two hours for sure.

For night, if you aren't already I would put him in the next diaper size up. I did that for both of my kids.

If you do think it is a growth spurt, it will take more than one cycle of feeding at two hours--it would take a few days at two hours.

If you keep him up 30 minutes, then feed him for 20, that should give him another 10-20, right? And keeping him up for 30 before feeding is okay. See this post for more on that:

Eat/Wake/Sleep Cycle:

At night, can you put him in your room while he is doing CIO?

See also this post:

4 month Sleep Problems :

Jules said...

Thanks for your suggestions! Ok, so I was stressing before about feeding him right when he woke up, but I tried the delay. In fact, I said heck with it, baby, you're not eating until 3 hours! And when we did that, it was magical.

After two days of rough napping, but eating on a no kidding schedule 7,10,1,4,7, then 10:30.... he began to eat more at each feeding, sleep the full 1.5-2 hours, and not wake early. AND.... sleep 7 1/2 hours at night!

I should have done this weeks ago. When he would wake early, I would leave him in his crib making noise for 15 minutes, then get him and play with him for 15 minutes, then feed him (on time) then keep him up until we hit 1+15-1+30. He did it- he ate a ton, played happily, went right to sleep, over and over.

Ok, so we are still fighting the 5PM nap, but at least if he doesn't sleep then, he will sleep after the 6:30-7pm feeding. And this is the nap we were fighting before the move when he was 12 weeks, so we have at least recovered all our lost ground.

CIO at night is rough still, our room is very close to my toddler's room. I did set up the pack n play in there and it helps, but not enough to do a full CIO. I tried that this morning when he woke at 6:15 and wound up feeding him, putting him down, then feeding him again at 7:30.

Thank you for your helpful suggestions- Those links really helped me brainstorm this, especially the one on consistent schedule.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks for sharing your success Jules! One thing to keep in mind is that he is old enough to drop that 5 PM nap if he doesn't need it. You can just eat, no sleep, eat at that time of day. See the blog label "Dropping naps" for more on that if you think he might be ready. I am glad you are seeing improvement!

Mamaof1 said...

I have a few questions about my LO's sleep. He is 6.5months old; he's never been a "sleepy baby" but rather alert. His average nap length is 1hr20mins (seldom goes longer than 1hr45mins) with a waketime of 2hrs30mins before both naps. He used to wake up HAPPY from his naps (cooing, talking, etc); but the last week or so, for about half of his naps, he has been waking up fussy. Also, he has been waking up about 30mins into most of his nap - fusses then talks/coos then fusses (this process takes about 20-30mins) before going back to sleep for about 45mins. We're sure he has some severe teething going on - unfortunately teething tablets, tylenol, and ibuprofen do not seem to help for him :(. We are in the process of dropping his 3rd nap b/c he fought it so bad unless he was in his carseat!!! Less waketime doesn't seem to help b/c he will fuss or talk too long before falling asleep. 1) Is a 1hr20mins nap ok for his age assuming he wakes up happy? 2) If he wakes up unhappy at 1hr20mins, should I just leave him or assume he is done napping and maybe experiencing teething pain? 3) Is this waking up during the nap just a normal nap transition?

Thanks! Hope your feeling good.

Tara said...

Congratulations on your new baby girl! I have a napping problem with my 12 month old son that I have been battling for 4 months. He is a very alert child and has never been too keen on sleeping. I have been searching your blog during that time trying to find a post that would offer me help but to no avail. I believe the problem is that he wakes during the sleep transition and can't put himself back to sleep. He sleeps for 12 hrs EVERY night which tells me he can transition during the night time, just not during naps. He wakes up after 30 min. of sleep every nap time. I have left him in there to CIO for an hour and he never goes back to sleep. Many times he wakes up he is poopy. I go in, change his diaper and put him back to bed but he never goes back to sleep. His Dr. told me not to worry about it since he was getting such good sleep at night, but I can't help but be frustrated when I have tried so many things to help him. I have tried moving his nap time up, then back, weaning him from his morning nap, etc..but nothing works. He was taking a 30 min nap in the morning and a 30 min nap in the afternoon so I tried cutting out his morning nap but he still only slept for 30 min. Any tips would be very helpful.

Puig said...

My baby is 11 weeks old. He will now sleep 11 hours a night, but has taken only 45 minute naps since he was about 4 weeks old. He will only nap longer if we are driving somewhere and he is asleep in the car seat when the 45 minute cycle ends. I have read so many comments and talked to so many moms who have babies that only nap for 45 minutes, that I am beginning to think there is nothing wrong with it. As long as the baby can self soothe (which I think is the whole point of BW), sleeps at night, and is getting the total hours of recommended sleep for his age, then I don't see the problem! BW makes it sound like something is wrong if your baby does not sleep longer than 45 minutes. Well if this was the case, then why there would be so many babies that don't.

Plowmanators said...


1-I wouldn't worry about 1 hour 20 minutes when he wakes happy.

2-If he is hungry or in pain or something, I wouldn't leave him there.

3-Possibly. See also:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

Plowmanators said...


If he is waking up because of the pooping, then there really isn't anything you can do about it. If he is waking up because of some other stimulation, then pooping since he is awake, then there is something you can do.

I would try to have as little outside stimulation going on at the transition. So when the time he usually wakes up rolls around, be sure you are very quiet. You might even consider trying some sort of sound machine in his room to help block out noise. Keep the room dark, too. If he dislikes sleep and is interested in what is going on around him, then any noise is going to peak his interest. He will have had a power nap and feel good enough to be awake even though the nap was not ideal. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...


If you have done all you can and your child still only sleeps 45 minutes, I think the best thing to do is accept it and try to not worry about it. However, there is reason for wanting longer naps. Brain synapses form during sleep and the longer naps allow for more cycles of sleep. Also, the whole point of BW I think is really more than self-soothing. If that were the point, there would be a section in the book on how to teach that. The ultimate point of BW is really to raise a well-mannered, well-behaved child who makes moral decisions and is a benefit to society and those around him. This is much easier to accomplish when you have a child who sleeps and eats well. Good sleep habits and good sleep established in infancy make the more important aspects of parenting easier in the toddler years and beyond.

Ann said...

Hi Val -
I hope I am posting this in the right area. I feel like I have been reading your blog for days! ...all helpful, of course! :) Here goes:

I have a 5 month old (21 weeks) who has been the textbook baby. STTN since week 8; and then going 11-12 hrs since week 14. He takes 3 naps and is in bed by 8-8:30.
Lately, (for the past 4 days), he has been waking up early, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why.
His first 2 naps were always 1.5-2hrs, with his 3rd nap being a short 30-45 min cat nap.
But now, he wakes up 30-45 min. into both naps, AND he is starting to wake up earlier in the morning, too. He seems be to be going back in 10-15 minute increments. His normal wake time is 8ish. He woke at 7:20, and then 7:10, and then 6:55, and today was 6:40...

His normal waketime amount is 2 hrs (sometimes less, if he shows cues), but usually no more than 2 hrs.

Other things to know:
- he is on a 4 hr. schedule.
- he MIGHT be teething, as he is drooling alot, but doesn't seem to portray any pain or swollen/red gums.
- we have been practicing rolling over during the day, but I don't think that's an issue because he is in the same position when he wakes up.
- he wakes up happy and is perfectly content laying in his crib until I get him. One time I left him in there for an hour. I figured he could still use the rest. :)

I started to think that he didn't need that much sleep during the day because he was still doing about 11-12 hrs a night, but now that he is waking up earlier in the morning, and only sleeps about 2.5 hrs the WHOLE day... i'm at a loss....

I am totally open to hear anything you might suggest doing. I have read everything on your site from nap issues to 5-8 month disruptions to teething...and I just don't know what to do...

HELP! :)

Plowmanators said...

Ann, the best thing to do in this instance is to think back to what has changed since he slept well to now. Has waketime length changed? Is the sun rising earlier waking him up earlier (I know it is waking Brayden up earlier)? Was there some disruption right before naps got shorter? You want to think of all the details before naps got short vs. now and see what is different.

Also, keep in mind that since he is taking shorter naps, he most likely can't handle as long of a waketime. He might have been able to do two hours while he was having a nice long nap, but might need shorter waktime now that he is taking a 45 minute nap. But I can understand your hesitation to do that because he is already ahead of schedule.

Have you tried feeding him more? Either more per feeding or more often? Are you sure it isn't a growth spurt?

Ann said...

Hi Val - Thanks for replying. I know your life must be crazy w/ 2 kids and a newborn! But thank you!!

Here's a little update since I last wrote:

After that week, he was back to sleeping his normal 2 hr naps. And his waketime went back to 7:30-8ish. Great, right??

Well, that was short lived.
Because all last week, he did the same thing. Only taking 30-40 minute naps, and waking up earlier (in the morning). This time, however, he was waking up for each nap really unhappy.
I decided to try Tylenol, and it didn't really do anything for us, as he was still crying.

So, a couple of things I'm thinking it might be...

a) his addiction to his paci. I really didn't think it was an addiction because he doesn't seem to need it when I first lay him into the crib. However, the last 2 days when he woke up at the 30-40 min mark, I inserted the paci, and he fell back asleep for another hour! Do you think this might be it?

b) I started giving him solids twice a day now, and as I write this to you, he is going on 1.5 hrs of sleep... hmmm... could this be it, too??

c) He woke up at 5:30 this morning, crying. I changed his diaper. He CIO for 15 minutes. I gave him Tylenol, and he CIO for another 15 minutes. So finally, I picked him up and rocked him for about 5 minutes (to make the crying stop), and then put him in his crib awake, and he fell back asleep until 7:30. So...I don't think it was due to hunger... what do you think??

As for lengthening/shortening his wake time...When he would wake early, I would put him down earlier, but it still didn't help until I put the paci in...and that's when he slept for another hour...

And as for more food -- well, I started solids last week (just 1 meal), but I DID increase his formula intake too..and at one point, he was getting 34 oz a day! Isn't that too much??

Sorry for such random thoughts...I'm trying to go w/ the flow, as I really did let the "schedule nazi" in me come out in the very beginning...and I really need to just enjoy him...but I am still troubleshooting...any thoughts on any of this? :)

Thanks again!!!

Tracy said...

Our daughter has just turned 8 months and is starting to struggle with her otherwise consistent morning nap. This nap takes place about an hour and 20 minutes after waking up in the morning and usually lasts a good 2 + hours (with a wake period wherein she puts herself back to sleep). She is still sleeping great at night 6:30 PM – 6 AM), but is now resisting falling asleep for that morning nap. I should note that her nap takes place in her bouncer in front of the window (she used to only fall asleep outside in the garden, but now I’ve gotten her to fall asleep in her bouncer in her room, as long as she can look out the window) My question is: Is she just outgrowing the desire to sleep in the bouncer in front of the window? Or perhaps I’m just becoming a distraction when I lie down beside her and hold her hand to fall asleep? Is it time to change the whole scenario and make the room dark, put her in her crib, and walk out? When I put her in her crib for naps and walk out, she seems happy in there for a while and then she either cries a lot, or she falls asleep but ALWAYS wakes early (never wakes early in her bouncer). I really hate to mess with something that has been working so well for so long (until the last few days). I don’t think she’s teething, but it’s a possibility. Plus, I love the idea that we can travel with the bouncer and she can nap in it. I’m gearing up for a 4th of July trip wherein I hope to have her nap and sleep as normal (yeah, right!!). One final note / question: Her second nap really only happens by falling asleep in the car seat on the way home (about 3 hours after waking from her first nap). I just keep her in the car seat and she sleeps for an hour. I am also hoping I can make this nap a little more predictable without having to make sure I’m driving home around 12:30 so that she can fall asleep!

Love your blog and would really appreciate your advice.

Plowmanators said...

Ann, you need to realize that at some point she is going to be too big for her bouncer--and this point will come long before you want to drop all naps altogether.

I would teach her to sleep in her own bed. The room doesn't necessarily need to be dark if she doesn't need or want it dark for naps, but I would have her sleep in a bed.

Plowmanators said...

oh, sorry, that was to Tracy, not Ann! :)

Plowmanators said...


a)definitely a possibility.

b)I am unsure exactly what you mean here. Are you asking if solids are causing short naps or creating longer naps? It can do both :) Short if they cause indegestion for him. Long if he needed more calories and is now getting them.

c)since he went back to sleep, it probably wasn't hunger. See this post for common problems for his age:

5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :

I don't know the proper formula amounts for babies since I breastfeed. I would ask your pedi about that.

phylice222 said...

hi, i really thank God that i have found your blog, i have been reading it almost everyday, it helps me tremendously as a new mum.
I have a few questions i would like to ask, my LO is 12 weeks 1st day today,she has always been a good baby during night time, i have been CIO since she was 5 weeks old and she was doing great when put her down for nap, but after a week of CIO during during nap, she has been waking up every 30 min into her nap, and i had trouble putting her down again, i would tried all kind of ways to no success. One day out of desperation, i found your blog and ever since then i just using the ideas posted on ur blog and applied to my LO, especially transition to Nap, I did full on CIO :P.
But although she is now doing all right in her nap (2nd weeks of training CIO for her transition), she did not take her 4th nap well. It's been 2 weeks of studying her nap pattern. I noticed that her 4th nap is a struggle to both herself and myself.
her daily feeding schedule would be 6.30am, 10am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm, 6.30pm,8.30pm(bedtime) and dream feed 10.30pm, then STTN most night.
The fouth nap falls btw 4'ish to 6'ish. I did cluster feeding from 4ish, and would like her to at least take 1 hour nap.( if not she would be really cranky for the rest of evening) She would cried the whole hour or sleep 15 mins n cry the rest of the nap.
my questions
1), I would like to drop her 4th nap, and not sure if this is a good time, judging her fussiness if stay up for 4 hours. what do you think? should i change her schedule to 4 hours? Am not sure if she would be able to sustain this long?
2) I have been putting her down in her stroller and bring her for a walk during the 4th short nap for the last 2 days, so that she can at least take a short nap and i can also do some exercise,(both of us will get some fresh air too). I am worry that this can be her sleeping props, which i may have problem in the future. Do u think by taking her out for a walk for 1 nap will create a bad sleeping habit?? Im in the process of looking for a swing, as you did to your daughter, but am not sure she will take her nap in the swing.
hope you understand what i mean :)Thanks.

mum2nica said...

hi val, this is phylice222, am new on this blog, am not sure if i've posted to the right link, but would really want to know your thought on my qq. i know you are a busy women, thus am really appreciate your input. thanks.

Julie said...

I have a 6 week old, bottle fed baby boy that has just started having waketime. Until this point he was waking for feedings and then going down immediately, usually awake afterwards. Recently he has started to wake early out of his naps leaving about an hour left in his three hour routine. I have started to introduce waketime at the morning feedings but I am still having trouble keeping him awake at his 1:00pm feeding. Once he has taken a full feeding his is usually asleep and put down immediately. Again, he has started to wake early out of this nap as well. My question is two fold...

1. If he wakes early in the routine would you CIO until the next scheduled feeding? I hesitate to feed him early because I know that he is not waking for hunger and with the next feeding being so late in the day it will be hard to get back on schedule by his 7:00pm feeding which is considered bedtime. (We still wake him for a 10:00pm dreamfeed)


2. Does the time he spends awake in his crib whether CIO or not count as waketime towards the next feeding cycle? If he spends 30 minutes CIO should I feed him at the next feeding and put him down immediately because he has already been awake for an hour?

I assume that in time and with age, his waketime vs. naptime will work itself did with my daughter. But how should I address this situation in the meantime?


Plowmanators said...


1-She probably isn't quite ready to drop the fourth nap, even now. BUT there is a small possibility she is. The danger in dropping it too soon is that she will be overly tired and have a hard time falling asleep for bed. Don't change to 4 hour schedule.

2-That should be fine. It is only a problem if it starts to creep into other nap times. If so, stop doing it.

It sounds like the "witching hour" to me. By this age, she is likely to be over it or at least close to being over it. For this time period, do whatever it takes to help her sleep. There is no benefit to making her lay in bed crying when she just won't sleep because of some unknown biological issue. :)

Plowmanators said...


1-I don't do CIO mid-nap in a baby that age. I have a lot of reasons for doing so and plan to do a post on it. You can if you want to, but I don't.

I would try to get him back asleep in some other manner if he is not hungry (rock, swing, hold him, etc)

2-Yes, at that age, time awake in the crib is time awake. That is one reason I don't do CIO mid-nap because it rarely works in babies that young and seems to throw the whole day off.

Plowmanators said...

mamunaco, it looks like there is a possibility her waketime length is too longer.

I might try going to a 3-3.5 hour cycle and dropping the dreamfeed. Even on Baby Whisperer plan, she is an the age for dropping it.

Jordan and Lindsey said...

Help! I am a first time mom of a 4 week old daughter who is "skipping" naps. Sometimes she will have a good sleep day, but for the most part I can count on her skipping a nap a day, and it is usually the nap following her 5 a.m. feeding(she starts a new feeding every 3 hours). A couple of times in the past week she will fuss off and on for about 45 minutes, fall asleep, and within 30-45 minutes it is time for her next feeding to begin so she is not getting in a good sleep cycle (light sleep/deep sleep). On occasion she will do the fussing thing nearly all the way through one nap, I will feed her given she is rooting and it is a reasonable time to feed her (near her scheduled feeding time), and then try to put her down for what should be her next nap (and she will fuss all the way through that one too). Other times I find her sleeping straight through a feeding and straight through an entire next nap (I have only allowed this twice since coming home from the hospital and it was because she had been awake fussing for so many hours prior to that I knew she had to need the rest). For the most part she wakes every three hours ready to eat, but the length of her naps is the real problem. I am concerned by the unpredictability of her naps. The problem is getting her down for the nap and that she doesn't just fuss for 15-20 minutes like the book indicates is normal. I have checked her temp and it is normal. I took her to the doctor. She does have head congestion for which I have given her saline drops and placed a pediatric humidifier in the room. Any thoughts or suggestions...please?

Heidi said...

A friend directed me here about 2 weeks ago and I feel like a new woman now that we've got a routine going thanks to your help!

I have a 6 week old who does great going down for her morning/early afternoon naps - no crying and I wake her for her feedings. But she will cry some before her 3rd nap and then will generally cry/snooze/cry all through her 4th and final nap. Is there a reason she has such a rough time with her later naps? Should I keep trying for nap 4 or let her just stay up and risk her being overly tired? She doesn't sleep in the swing.
She also generally cries when fed and laid down for the night at 7. Her wake times are 40-50 minutes and she gives sleep cues in the morning, but in the afternoon she may not give any, I just have to go by the clock.

Also, when I feed her at 7 then get her up for a dream feed at 10, it seems to mess up her night sleep. If I do no dream feed she will do a 6 hour, then a 4 hour stretch during the night. If I give her a dream feed, she will wake again after only 3.5-4 hours, then every 3 hours again after that. Should I keep trying with the dream feed or just forget it for now?

Thanks for the advice!

Garrett and Allison Reed said...

I am the mother of a 12 week old little girl. Around 7 weeks our little one, who was previously a great napper, started waking up 45 minutes into naps. I have read everything about the 45 minute intruder and have tried everything from feeding, shortening wake time, burping, checking the environment, CIO etc. None of these things really seemed to make a difference.

Shortly after this started happening my husband and I began the process of relocating for work. My daughter and I have been traveling a lot to try and see my husband when we can and to be with my family so I can have a little help. However, this has had us in a different house or hotel ever week for the past 6 weeks.

I have kept my daughters schedule the same (with the exception of dropping feedings at night) during this time. However, we have progressed from only taking 45 minute naps to not taking a single nap all day! I am lucky if I can get her to take one 45 minute nap....and even if I get this nap it is only after an hour of screaming.

So, as you can imagine, she is miserable and I am miserable. She sleeps fairly well a night...going down after her 7:30 feeding and waking up between 7 and 7:30am. However, we definitely have a few nights a week where she will scream until about 10pm before going to sleep. I know she is exhausted and I have no idea what to do.

Any advice anyone has would be great. With the exception of a few quick visits, I've been without my husband for about 6 weeks now due to work and I am starting to crack. I really don't know how much more I can take.

The schedule I am attempting to be on is as follows:
7:30am- wake up and feed
9:00am- nap
12:00pm- nap
7:30-feed then bed

Thanks so much!

Plowmanators said...


part of it is just needing to learn how to sleep and how to is a learning process. "Rome wasn't built in a day" and neither will be your child's sleep schedule.

Keep in mind that 4 weeks is a growth spurt time as is 6 weeks. Be sure she isn't in need of more feedings.

Also, be sure she isn't up too long. See the blog label "optimal waketime" and see also the blog label "logs" for ideas on keeping track of things. It is easier to troubleshoot when you see it all on paper.

Plowmanators said...


The reason is unknown, though there are theories. Basically the theory is that baby gets more tired and stimulated as the day goes on. Some babies have a witching hour (though not all), and there are theories for that as well, but nothing that makes sense for one baby to have it over another.

McKenna had the witching hour. You want to still have the nap, but do what it takes for baby to take the nap. See the blog label "witching hour" for more on it.

You can stop the dreamfeed. Some babies seem more disrupted by it that others. If it makes sleep worse, then it isn't worth it :)

Heidi said...

Thank you so much for your help. We will try some extra soothing, etc. to get the last nap to happen, and will check out the witching hour posts.

We've been playing around with the Dream Feed and I've found that if we feed our daughter at 7, then get her up for DF no later than 9, she will sleep 7-8 hours after that. While that only puts us at 3-4am, at least she isn't waking every 3 or 4 hours! It also lets her go back to sleep till our day is really supposed to start.

Will babies who don't do a DF just slowly extend that 4am wake time later and later, or do you try to do a later DF every once in a while so they will sleep through till your desired wake time?

Garrett and Allison Reed said...

Ok, since posting my comment a few days ago...I have been reading different posts on your blog and realized that I was keeping our l13 week old awake for WAY to long. So, I have cut back her wake time to 45-60min and this has made a huge impact in her going down for nap. Now I can get her to take a nap almost every time she goes down.

However, she is consistently waking up at 45 minutes and I have tried several different things to get her to go back to sleep but it is just now happening. We were on a 3 hour feeding schedule but i went back to 2.5 hours because of her only being able to stay awake for 45-60min and then only napping for 45 minutes.

The two problems I am running into with this are 1)It seems to be effecting her eating. She is not interested in eating at 2.5 hours and now is eating much less every day (i'm not sure if this is because of the change in schedule or if it is because of some other factor that i am unaware of). 2)If she is up for 60min, and then only sleeps for 45min, what do I do with the next 45min to 1.5hrs?

She can only stay awake for 45min-60min after getting up before she wants to take another nap. So we have been having two 45 minute naps between each feeding...which is kind of exhausting for me. I have kind of scoured the blog for any solutions to this but haven't been able to find anything. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated. We are finally moving next week to a more permanent location so hopefully that will help some too. Thanks so much.

Plowmanators said...


One thing to be aware of is that around 3 months, a lot of babies eat less (or seem to) for a week or two. I don't know why, but it happens. This is strange considering there is also a growth spurt around 3 weeks. Maybe it follows a growth spurt? I am not sure...I just know it happens :)

Have you seen the post "Waking Early from naps, won't fall asleep for naps"? See that post. Do whatever it takes for her to fall back asleep.

It might be that she just needs to get used to sleeping longer than 45 minutes and with time will start to do so on her own. I am sure the disrputions have been a big part of it. Once things are settled and predictable, she will most likely sleep better. Hang in there!

Plowmanators said...

Heidi, yes, they will extend later and later if they have no DF. You can also do it the other way if you have a DF--moving it back slowly. Either way will work and get you there; each way will work better for some babies than others.

melissafulcher said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago when my daughter was having a hard week of naps. I was looking for Babywise resources, and the Google search led me to you! Here is my history, dilemma, and questions:

My daughter is just about 12 weeks old. We discovered Babywise a little late, so we started at about 4 weeks old. She has always been a good eater and a content baby. She took really well to the eat/wake/sleep cycle. I couldn't believe what a difference it made! By 9 weeks old, she was sleeping through the night (9pm to 6, and now 7am). She is also in the 95% for size. Right now, at 12 weeks, she weighs over 15 lbs!

At every "cycle," the naps came really easily at first. But, I think I made one big mistake. She never had to cry it out at night, she was always ready and willing to go to sleep (still is). So, I never did CIO at naptime. I would let her fall asleep, or almost asleep, and lay her down. She would take great naps, always 1-1.5 hours each 3 hour cycle.

At 10 weeks old, I decided I should start laying her down a little more "alert," after seeing her sleeping cues. She gives really clear cues, so I thought this would be fine. She would fall asleep without a fuss, then wake up about 15 minutes later screaming. I would check on her, make sure no dirty diaper, etc, and lay her back down. From here on out, she would drift back, wake up screaming, repeat, for her ENTIRE nap. She did this for a whole week. No matter how committed I am to CIO, she will not go to sleep. She gets more and more hysterical and does not fall asleep. I feel like I've tried it all: go in and talk to her, sing to her, hold her, pat her, rock her for a minute, anything I can think of.

Last weekend I thought she had turned a leaf, but then she caught a bad cold this past week. Napping was great but that was because she was sick, I guess. Now she is back to the way it was, waking up anywhere from 15-45 minutes into her nap and not wanting to go back to sleep. I would love any advice you might have. Feel free to ask me any questions, too. I respect your opinion and would love help!

Heidi said...

I have a question about our now 12 week old. She goes down for all 4 of her naps with no crying and is sleeping from 7pm-5am at night with no dream feed (DF messes her up). We start the day at 8 and she has 40-60 minute wake times (progressing in length throughout day). During nap #2 and #3 this week she has started to wake after about an hour and play happily in bed for 30 minutes, then sleep again till her next feeding. Does it sound to you like her wake times are too short, or is she waking b/c they are too long?
She used to wake and cry at this time if they were too long, but now that she is just waking to play I am confused. She doesn't give sleep cues anymore and is a terribly happy baby. Very hard to read :)
Thanks for your advice!

Plowmanators said...


It sounds like she is just in need of learning to fall asleep on her own. You can still hold her before her nap. That might make the transition easier (if you aren't doing that already).

Be sure to see the CIO blog label for all advice in that area. It sounds like you might be interfereing with her too much.

You might want to get the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It really helps give you reasons to stay strong through the CIO.

Remember, BW says your goal with sleep training is not to teach your baby not to cry, but to teach your baby to sleep. I know you want the crying to stop (and it will get less over time), but don't measure your success in crying. Measure it in the sleeping that results. And that will take time to improve, too, but it will get there. There is a lot of work on the front end with babywise, but it makes it so there is less work as the years go by. Hang in there!

Plowmanators said...

Heidi, if it were me, I would just let her be. Since she is happy through it all, I would just consider it a learning phase she is going through. She is also going back to sleep, which is a good reason to just let it be.

If it continues on and doesn't improve, you can tweak waketime, but I would give her a couple of weeks before even thinking about it.

Plowmanators said...

And, Heidi, be on the lookout for a growth spurt at that age.

Rebecca said...

Hi. I used bw with my son ( who is now 19 months) and he did great on it. I now have a 7 week old daughter, and I can't seem to figure it out. I was going into it quite confident...but she makes me second guess everything I am doing now. She started out really good, going down for naps without ever fussing at all. Now, she still goes down without a fight, but then starts crying 10 min later. I don't even know if she slept at all during that time or if she was just quiet. I assess, go in to her room, try something, like burping or changing a diaper, then put her right back down, like the book says. Again, she is fine for about another 10-15 min and it all starts over again. This goes on for the whole nap sometimes. I have tried burping, laying her down different positions, about almost everything. I've tried letting her cry it out a few times (which I had no problem doing with my son), but her cry is very piercing everytime, and I have discovered that sometimes it was due to a burp or hunger. So now I am reluctent to let her cio. I feel as though her "neediness" is also harming the time I can spend with my son, which in turn, makes us all cranky. Any suggestions?

Baby Contreras said...

Hi, I'm about 4 weeks into implementing BW with my 12 week old. We are now experiencing the 45 minute intruder nearly EVERY nap! She goes down with a little fussing but gets quieter as soon as she's in her bed, goes right to sleep sucking her thumb, but around 40-50 minutes wakes. I think part of the problem is she is a very very gassy baby. Mylicon drops help little if at all and our doctor suggested trying BioGaia (heard of it?). It also helps very little.

I'm okay with CIO as long as she's not screaming her brains out, but often I've let her CIO and I go in and she's spit up, needs to burp, etc. If i resolve the issue and try to put her back down she just looks up at me and cries again. If she has consistent shortened naps I can't figure out how to fix the schedule for the rest of the day. Extra feedings? Bedtime earlier? What do you do?

Plowmanators said...


I suggest you check out the blog label "CIO." I would guess that she wasn't asleep for 10 minutes, but was jus quiet.

I would suggest you get gas drops for helping that. You might also consider the four S's by the baby whisperer.

Plowmanators said...

Baby Contreras,

I would try feeding her when she wakes early. She is at a growth spurt age. Any time a baby who normally naps well starts waking early, I say feed (well, I say feed almost always anyway :) ). Try that out for a while and see if that helps. See "growth spurt" blog label for more on this.

Pirate Girl said...

Hello. I need help. I have read BW and have been reviewing your blog to try to get some answers (great job, by the way!) I have reviewed all the possible reasons why baby might not be napping or napping well.
He is 3 months and sleeps thru the night, usually 6-7 hours. But the naps are a battle.

He will ONLY sleep in his swing. Can go 1-2 hrs in the swing. I started puting him in his crib to wean off the swing and tried CIO but he cries so hard and for so long that he uses up the whole nap time. I end up having to put him back in the swing or else he won't get a nap at all before it's time to feed him again. He's on a 3 hour schedule.

Another thing, even though he's on a 3 hours schedule, often, he wants to cluster feed in the evening. He seems to want an additional feeding between the 4pm and 7pm feeding.


Plowmanators said...

Pirate Girl,

If he sleeps well in his crib at night, then this is what I would do for the day to get out of the swing.

I would start all naps off in his bed. Read the CIO Bootcamp Revised and Updated post to be sure you are doing that all right. Then start each nap in the crib. If/when he wakes early, be sure he doesn't need to eat. If he is having a growth spurt, feed him. If not, move him to the swing for now.

Once he gets good at falling asleep on his own, you can have him CIO mid-nap if needed.

As for eating more often in the evening, that is 100% normal.

Amy said...

My baby is 14 weeks and on a 2.5-3.5 schedule. Every once in a while she would wake up from her naps at the 45-1hr mark. However, lately she has been waking after 45min-1hr for EVERY nap except 1. I've tried making her waketime (usually 1h15min)shorter with no success. I fear to make it longer because she gets too fussy and really doesn't go down well at all.

A few days ago I treated it as a hunger problem (feeding her at the 2hr mark & she would take full feedings). However, yesterday and today she doesn't eat a full feeding and has been spitting up alot more after (maybe due to too much food?)

Other factors: (1)I live in a very hot climate (use ceiling fan, open windows, and try to keep her as comfortable as possible)(2) She seems to be pre-teething - drools alot and constantly is knawing on her hand. (3) We just recently had a time change and gained 1 hr
(4)Could she be having too many naps during the day?

She does sleep very well through the night despite the rough daytime naps!

There are just so many factors! I am a first time mom & need your help! Thank you so much for your blog!

Amy said...

I used the word "hunger problem" in the comment above, however I want to be more clear and say hunger due to a possible growth spurt.

Summer said...

val, you mentioned another blog in this one when you said:
I would give it 10-15 minutes to see if they are just having a rough transition and were going to fall back asleep. If not, I got them. I am going to do a post of what I did when the child woke early. Coming after this one.
can you provide a link to this blog? i am thinking i havent found it yet.

also, my 16 wk dd is beginning to have short naps, and has recently begun cooing/ talking quite a bit. she will give me sleepy cues (and when i used to put her down for a nap after seeing these same cues she would be asleep in 5-15 min tops). now she lays in her bed and coos and talks for 15-45 minutes. it makes me wonder if i am putting her down too early, as she is clearly not tired ENOUGH to fall asleep in a decent amount of time. he cues have always been fairly reliable in the past though. i am wondering if this is just part of going thru a developmental spurt and it will pass on its own. i am also scared to put her down too late and then have a short nap for sure! have any of your children done this?
also, you mentioned that you dont tend to do CIO twice for the same nap, ie. after the 45 min intruder and you're sure the child is not going back to sleep. did you feel that getting them out of the crib early, instead of doing CIO, kept them from taking longer naps in the future? i worry that if i dont do CIO that my child will learn she can get out of bed by crying and never learn to stay asleep for the full nap time. from reading your blog it sounds like brayden had a lot of short naps till 6 months even though you did not have him stay in his crib the full nap time, and then it suddenly clicked for him and he began taking longer naps.
thanks for clarifying and for your help as always!

Plowmanators said...


My inclination would be it is the heat. It could also be that she was going through a growth spurt and just grew accustomed to waking at 45 minutes. If you help her fall back asleep, she might get used to sleeping the whole time again.

Plowmanators said...


Theres is a post called "Waking Early from naps/won't fall asleep for naps."

Cues can change.

It also might be a wonder week issue and will go away with time rather than intervention.

Figuring out waketime length is a constant issue for the first six months or so. Then it slows down, but you are still re-evaluating over time.

I don't think getting them up hurt future naps. For most moms, it seems CIO mid-nap really doesn't help at all until around 5 months or so. You have to do what you are comfortable with, so go with what you feel is best for your child.

Susan said...

I have read almost every post on this blog and I still keep searching for some more answers so I thought I would post a comment. By the way the blog has been such a help to me. I have a 6 week old baby boy. We are on a mostly 3 hour schedule with a 2.5 hour in the morning and one in the evening in order to stay with consistant morning and bedtime routines. We wake 7-730a and bedtime is 7-730p. We usually do pretty well with morning naps after 2 weeks of CIO. We usually cry no more than 5 -10 minutes if at all for these naps. The 2 pm and 5 pm naps however are a different story sometimes these could take up to 45 minutes on and off of crying and he almost always wakes 45 minutes or so into the nap. Sometimes he soothes himself back to sleep but other times he cries on and off for the whole nap, especially the 5 pm nap. There are days I have to hold him for the last 30 minutes of the cycle to get him to stop crying and at least get some rest. In those cases the swing does not even help. I feel like I have been pretty consistant with CIO but we still have trouble with these two naps. His waketimes range from 40-60 minutes, usually 50 minutes depending on his cues. I have tried shortening and lengthening neither work. I do use a pacifier to calm before sitting(not rocking) with him to wind down for approximately 5-10 min before the nap. I put him down awake, but drowsy. Sometimes he wakes when the pacifier falls out and CIO for 10-15 minutes others he falls right to sleep? I am puzzled. I dont think the pacifier has become a prop though. Also We are not sleeping more than one four hour (from last feeding) stretch in the night. I am puzzled as to while he is not sleeping any longer. Usually wakes anywhere from 1-2 am and again 4-5 am. Eats full bottle at each of these feedings sometimes acts more hungry than during day time feedings. He is currently taking ~28 ounces a day. I have tried the dreamfeed but he seems to take more (3 oz or so versus 2.5 oz) at the 10 feeding if I try to wake him and then sleeps 4 hours instead of 3 so I have been trying to wake him some but he mostly sleeps through this feeding. Can you help? I go back to work soon and 2.5 hours of sleep 2 x a night is just not enough sleep. Thanks. P.s. we have GERD but we are well treated and spit up is at a minimum. Only other problem is Hiccoughs 3-5 times a day.

Susan said...

I actually think after further consideration that the pacifier may be the culprit. He roots around for it before every nap. So today I did not give it to him before his nap he went to sleep only to wake at 45 minutes in. I tried to sooth him and place him back in crib awake. When I laid him down he cried. I offered pacifier, he took it, and went right back to sleep. I think he has gotten dependent on it to get to sleep so when he transitions into the next nap he cant get back to sleep without it. We are still not STTN so I really like to use it to stretch him a little farther at the 1-2 am feeding but I am thinking I should get rid of pacifier all together. Any suggestions on if and how I should do this? I thought I would not give the pacifier during day but give at the one night time feeding. But will that confuse him?

Plowmanators said...

Susan, It might be the pacifier. It might also be an issue with gas pain or reflux pain, so watch for that.

I don't have experience with pacifiers. I suggest you see the blog label "pacifier" for a link to a great post about it on the growingkids website. It has great stuff.

Something to be aware of is that sucking eases pain for reflux babies, so it might be dependence on the pacifier, but it might just be he is in pain and looking for relief.

Kiley said...

My question is regarding having a 2.5-3 hour schedule when my 10-week old daughter needs so short of waketimes. I know you posted this:

My baby just can't seem to sleep through the cycle. Why?
So far as sleep through a cycle goes, I thought about this when Kaitlyn was not sleeping through, and came to a conclusion. I think it is nearly impossible to expect a baby to sleep through on a 3 hour when they are so young. The way the cycle is described in the book seems impossible to create in the real world. Here is why.The routine is 2.5-3 hours. Your young baby can stay awake at best for 1 hour. The nap is to be 1-1.5 hours on the routine. So, if they are awake for 1 hour, the best you can expect according to BW would be 2.5 hour routine all day, and that is if they took the 1.5 hour nap. Some babies can only be awake 45 minutes. What is the answer? Don't sweat it. Keep to the schedule as closely as possible and with time your baby will get it.

I'm wondering, though, if you could expand a little? :) I'm trying to "not sweat it," but today, for example, we were on a 2-hour schedule this morning because her wake-times were 30 minutes (she's a very, very fast eater!) and her naps were 1.5 hours. I hate to feed her every 2 hours, but when she wakes from her nap, I know she's going to be tired again shortly, so I feed her right away so she's not eating and going straight to bed. Do you have any other advice on how to handle this / what to do?

Esther said...

My 6 week old, bottle fed son has been following a three hour routine wonderfully and waking at 3-4am in the morning to feed and then not until 7am until this week! Now he wakes at 2am for a full feed and then at 4am happy, he gurgles for an hour and then cries. I leave him for 15-20 min to CIO but he doesn't settle so as it has been over 3 hours I feed him and he takes about 3oz. He then still wakes for his 7am feed but only takes 3oz when he used to take 5-6. He then will not settle for his morning nap ( I think because he is over tired) and despite letting him CIO for over 30 minutes I get no results and end up making managing to settle him in my arms so he may sleep for another 10 minutes before it is feedtime again! Only problem then is he falls straight to sleep after feeding and either takes a really long lunchtime nap without a waketime or will only nap for 20 min all day! I think i should let him sleep because he was obviously very tired but concerned this will make him wakeful at night. If he only naps for 20min this means he is overtired by night time and doen't feed well in the evening..then still wakes early the next morning. I am not sure what to do, I thought it was a growth spurt but he is not taking any extra milk at feed times. I am really struggling to leave him to CIO as it takes so long..any advice? How do I get him back onto the routine?

Plowmanators said...

Kiley, see the post "eat/wake/sleep cycle." That will give you some tips.

Plowmanators said...

Esther, always rule out possible pain or sicknesses. See the post "CIO responsibly." It also could be a wonder week situation. See the blog label "Wonder week."

tania said...

I'm having a HUGE napping problem with my 14 weeks old son. I've had issues since day one and have been using BW since he was just a few weeks old (I have a 2yr old whom I did BW with and it worked...and still is working wonders!) Basically, he is a short napper and normally will nap anywher from 40-50 min. I have read through your blogs and have some great tips but I'm having a problem with one thing. Is it more important to stick to the schedule...or the feed/wake/sleep cycle. I'm working on him with a 2.5hr schedule that looks like this: 830/11/130/4/630/8 bed time. My question is....if he feeds at 830, goes down for a nap at 930 but wakes at 1015, do i feed him to keep him on the feed/wake/sleep concept or wait until 11 to feed. (This is assuming I will try to get him bck to sleep but he wakes for EVERY nap and I can only get him back to sleep if I pick him up and rock him or he sleeps on me...something i do NOT want to do! Sometimes even that doesnt work. I've also tried cutting back wake times and feeding to see if it is hunger. He wont take a full bottle and as it is now eats very poorly. He has been on formula since about 3 weeks because I had a medical issue and had to stop nursing. sometimes he will eat 5oz, sometimes 3oz, sometimes...vary rarely 6oz but about 4-5oz is the average) Assuming I cant get him back to sleep but I wait until 11 to feed, then do I still keep him up until 12 (using the 1hr wake time)? That would mean he was awake for 1hr 45min. Should I just try it and see if his next nap is longer? Or will he be over tired at this point? Okay, mainly though which is more important....the schedule or the feed/wake/sleep cycle? THANKS!!!

tania said...

one more thing...he was 4weeks early. Would that effect anything? The book mentions "adjusted age" but doesnt mention what that means!

Plowmanators said...


First, adjusted age means if he is 14 weeks old, his adjusted age is 10 weeks old. My girls were both three weeks old and I never really did an adjusted age for them, but 4 weeks is considered premature, so you might need to consider that in your milestones and when looking at "wonder weeks".

There is a post called "eat/wake/sleep cycle" that will tell you that it is okay and even good sometimes to wait 30 minutes after baby wakes to feed, so you don't always need to feed right after baby wakes up.

At his age, I would say that unless he is hungry, in your example, I would wait until 11 to feed him. If he is hungry, feed earlier.

You mentioning that he doesn't eat well as it is has me wondering if he hs reflux or some intolerance to the formula you are using. Have you looked into that?

1st time mom said...

My baby is 4 weeks old- do I wake him up for his next feeding if its past 3 hours or do I let him sleep?

Plowmanators said...

In most cases, you will wake him. If he just fell asleep, you might give him an extra 30 minutes, but in most cases, you want to stick to feeding him so he gets enough in the day.


Related Posts with Thumbnails