Conquering the 45 Minute Intruder

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I first glanced through Babywise when my son was about 4 weeks old. I laughed when I read it over – how could anyone possibly make this work? Our son was incredibly challenging and I was commited to following the “attachment parenting” approach, confident that he would naturally learn to sleep through the night when the time was right. He most definitely did NOT, and at 10.5 months old, after reading Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, we did extinction. He had been waking every 90-180 minutes, every night for 10.5 months. We were all exhausted!

Fast forward to our second child, a girl. While I was pregnant with her, I read and took notes on Babywise, determined to do a better job with healthy sleep habits for my baby from the very beginning this time. At first, Babywise was perfect – long nights, long naps, regular days. Easy peasy.

At 6-7 weeks, she developed the 45 minute intruder. I felt like I tried everything – rocking her, feeding her, letting her cry – for days to a week at a time! Nothing helped, it just persisted. Eventually it became her pattern.

Now she is 4 months 1 week old, and I think we may have a handle on it. There were a few keys, which I can see were outlined in Babywise but I hadn’t really recognized at the time.

First, it is utterly crucial that she get a good feeding first thing in the morning. She does not nurse for long periods normally, and especially in the morning, whether she had last eaten at midnight or 5:30am, she simply does not nurse very well. This means that sometimes I feed her right when she wakes up and again close to, but not directly before, naptime.

Second, we dropped the 4th nap around 3 months 3 weeks old, and did pure extinction for bedtime. She didn’t cry as much as I’d anticipated – 40 minutes the first night, 35 the second, 5 the third, and 1 the fourth. I think this helped her realize that even if she wakes after 45 minutes, she needs to go back to sleep, right away, on her own.

Third, the waketime is important but not as much as I’d thought. As long as I don’t go past what appears to be naptime by 10 minutes or more, we’re good. Even then, she usually does okay if she got a good feeding after the last nap. Her waketimes, for the record, are : 65-70 minutes, 80-90 minutes, 90-100 minutes, and 110-120 minutes for the day.

Fourth, we let her CIO mid-nap. Sometimes this would work and sometimes it wouldn’t, but we really tried to leave her in her bed until the official end of “naptime” if she woke after 45 minutes. If she made it past 45 minutes (say, 75 minutes), then we just got her up and considered it a short nap. (Also, the 3rd nap we have allowed to remain 45 minutes).

We still swaddle, her room is nearly pitch dark, she has a white noise machine, and the house is generally fairly quiet except for the normal noises of a 3 year old brother.

So it turns out that perhaps the 45 minute intruder was a feeding problem after all, but it took forever to figure out because if she doesn’t sleep well (ie, wakes at 45 minutes) then she doesn’te at that much, so it took me a long time to recognize that she sleeps better with a full tummy, even though she’s not waking early from the nap because she’s hungry – if that makes sense (it doesn’t! but it’s true in our case). Often when I’d get her at 45 minutes, she would only eat 2-5 minutes. It was very difficult to figure out.

I have absolutely loved using Babywise, loved this site for resources, references, and help – and I frequently recommend Babywise to new parents-to-be!


by Katie {My Paisley Apron} 

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. Sharon
    July 13, 2011 / 10:44 PM

    This makes a lot of sense. When you move onto solids, the lack of a good meal can mess with naptime too, even though they don't wake "hungrier". They just sleep better with a full tummy!

  2. galagirl77
    July 14, 2011 / 1:19 AM

    I think my 6 week old son maybe experiencing the 45 minute intruder. With the exception of his first nap, my little one has slept for (2) 40 minute and a 55 minute nap today. But I see this has also been his pattern for the last few days, mainly for his first naps. I am trying to play around with his waketime- I have been swaddling him after 40-50 minutes of wake time (trying to make sure he is not over stiumulated)- And when I put him to my chest- he immediatly becomes heavy eyed. But when I put him down- he wakes up and stays away for 40-60 minutes- with very little fussing- mainly talking and silence- and when I hear the silence I think he has gone to sleep- nope- wide awake. Should I keep him up longer or shorter times? I will start to play with the wake time tomorrow- where should I start? He is not a fussy baby when he is awake even though he is only getting short naps but I know (or think I know) he needs to sleep longer. He sleeps well at night- I do a DF around 10:30 and he sleeps to around 3. His pattern has also been catching up on sleep for his last nap- I have to wake him up (which I never have to do) for the last 2 days during his last nap (he slept for over 2 hours). Any suggestions?

  3. Abby and Jacob
    July 14, 2011 / 1:43 AM

    What is the "pure extinction" mentioned about bedtime? I read this somewhere else, too, but was unsure what it meant.My 3.5 month old goes down perfectly for naps throughout the day. I lay him down awake and he goes to sleep on his own. However, at bedtime he generally falls asleep or becomes very groggy while nursing. Sometimes he wakes and cries immediately when I put him down, but more often he sleeps for awhile then wakes crying. He cries loudly, frequently and for a long time if allowed (difficult to do with a 2 year old in the next room sleeping). We started reflux meds and that has helped, but I think the remainder is habit/behavioral. The only options I can come up with are to soothe him immediately and try to get him back to bed quickly hoping he outgrows it or let him CIO some and interrupt his brother's sleep for some time. Any other thoughts? I'd like to know what this "pure extinction" means.

  4. Gabrielle
    July 14, 2011 / 3:56 AM

    Never heard of extinction either! Sounds like doing CIO.

  5. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    July 14, 2011 / 2:30 PM

    Yes, extinction is CIO without going in to the room (we have a video monitor, so I am still able to see her). I just call it that to differentiate from the Ferber or graduated extinction (going in to check/soothe at intervals) methods.Our biggest improvement in naps came after we let her cio at bedtime. She would go down, sleep 45 minutes, then wake crying. But she wasn't hungry – I had fed her only 45 minutes before! (The only time of day I feed before a sleep period instead of after). We did such an early bedtime to start (5:30) that it only disturbed our 3 year old's dinner, not his bedtime.Now we've moved bedtime back to 6:30pm or so, but she doesn't cry anymore – goes down and sleeps about 10 hours without waking. We don't dreamfeed (we divert from babywise there), so she feeds around 4am, then goes back down until 7am.

  6. Kristin L.
    July 15, 2011 / 4:48 PM

    Katie, I totally agree with your third point about waketime length. Figuring out your baby's optimal waketime length and not keeping your baby up too long is SO important for ensuring good naps. I wish they would have emphasized that more in the Babywise series. I didn't really realize just how important it was until I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" (months after my son was born, and months after I had read and reread Babywise). The only real mention of this point in the first Babywise book is on page 130 where they refer to "overstimulation." There is a much better definition of overstimulation in "Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child" on pages 226-227, however. Just as that book describes, I mistakenly thought that overstimulation was putting your baby in an environment where there is too much stimulation (sights and sounds), when in fact its actually, simply keeping your baby up too long. My son is almost 8 months old and I'm still having trouble with short naps and figuring out what his optimal waketime length is! Its been frustrating and and very challenging to create a consistent schedule to follow, however, I know we'd be far worse off without the other Babywise principals under us as a foundation!

  7. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    July 15, 2011 / 8:42 PM

    galagirl77 – we started with the 45 min intruder around that age too, and naps were difficult in general. I can't add a lot to Val's information on this site in terms of solving the problem – she has a lot of good stuff. In our case, we just muddled through the best we could – we put her down for every nap because she would still go down and go to sleep. Then we rocked her (a lot of people use a swing, and I'd recommend that for your own sanity and ability to get things done, especially for anyone with more than one child) for the remainder of the nap period, and she would go back to sleep until I woke her to feed her. We tried to balance training with not allowing her to become overtired. In our case, waketime lengths didn't seem to have a ton to do with it – we kept them pretty short, as you have, and then just did the best we could. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child was a good supplement to babywise for us – as it says, our better naps developed between 12 and 16 weeks. Maybe for some kids that develop short naps around 6 weeks and seem to persist with them despite troubleshooting, it's best to keep doing the best you can to train, avoid overtiredness, and work harder on training once they reach 12 weeks? That's what worked for us, anyway.

  8. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    July 15, 2011 / 8:45 PM

    Abby and Jacob – my own inclination would be to do CIO. He does great naps, so he should be able to figure it out at bedtime pretty quickly with consistency. Our 3 year old didn't really wake for our baby's crying, and I was glad about that – I can imagine how tough it is to balance those. And 2 years old is tough – it's not like it's easy to move your toddler somewhere else in the house while you do the training! I'm not sure on that part, but as far as the baby goes, I'd give CIO a few days for sure.

  9. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    July 15, 2011 / 8:47 PM

    Kristin L – I agree, I think both books would do well to have MUCH more emphasis on the short waketimes. When I had our first child, I had NO idea how much a baby needed to go down. I had heard that babies took 2 naps a day – so I thought our newborn needed 2 naps a day!! It amazes me, now. But everyone kept saying he'd sleep when he needed to sleep – ha! He slept on me. Period. It was so exhausting. And the thing is, even if you have kind of short waketimes (say, one hour), if your baby needs shorter, then you're not really going to see improvement. It's a Really Big part of getting healthy sleep, and neither book does the best job of guiding parents in that department – I got most of my info for optimal waketime lengths from this blog!

  10. galagirl77
    July 16, 2011 / 1:58 AM

    Hi Katie, thanks for your response. As far as the "45 minute intruder" goes, it has gotten a little "worse". He continues to lay in bed (swaddled and quite" for 30-40 minutes (sometimes an hour) without falling asleep. Today he has only taken (3) 30 minute naps (which put him closer to a 2 1/2 hour schedule) until his last nap was over 2 hours (I let him sleep because he needed it). Any thoughts on what I can do differently? He seems happy but he is just laying there not sleeping. I guess I should be happy that he is not crying ;-)Additional information- I put him down 35-50 minutes after he finishes feeding when he begins to yawn and get heavy eyes- trying to make sure I get him to his nap before he is over stiumlated.

  11. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    July 17, 2011 / 1:36 AM

    galagirl77 – When our daughter was 7 weeks, her waketime was about 45-65 minutes, I think, including the feeding time – so sometimes it seemed like she was doing little more than eat, diaper change, smile, swaddle, and back to sleep. I guess I would first move the waketimes shorter (45 minutes including feeding for the first time in the morning, then a little longer as the day goes on) and see what happens. If that doesn't work, I'd try gradually moving them a little longer. After laying there quietly, what happens? Does he ever fall asleep? Cry? Cry it out? Fall asleep if you rock him or use the swing? And what do you do with him for the rest of naptime then? (Maybe you addressed these already in your comment and I missed them, I can't seem to see your comment while I type mine).I'm not really sure. Our baby always went right to sleep, she just woke early and then we had to rock (and rock and rock) her to get her to finish her full naptime. Which she'd do – as long as we rocked. If I had it to do over, I would have made her use the swing, or something else! It was so hard to supervise our 3 year old while rocking her half the day. But I also didn't want her overtired, because then she wouldn't even nap for 45 minutes – she'd just lay there awake until she cried, and wouldn't stop crying.It's tough. Whatever you end up doing to train/survive this period, I would read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and when he gets close to 12 weeks, make a more serious effort around training/CIO. Our baby was much more responsive to training between 12 and 17 weeks. I hope something works!! It's so tough when the naps aren't in place like you'd like them to be!

  12. galagirl77
    July 19, 2011 / 2:48 PM

    Thanks Katie. Normally my little man just lays there- very little crying- maybe a little fussing but mainly silence. We went to my in-laws for the weekend and since coming back, starting yesterday things have turned a different direction. Now he has been fussy after eating- which he NEVER was before. At first I was just trying to paccify him then I thought, maybe he is sleepy. Sure enough- I picked him up- held him close, and he got heavy eyed. I put him down sleepy- he still doesn't go straight down to sleep-but since he is going down earlier- when he wakes up after 30 minutes- he can have an hour before he is suppose to eat. I will feed him after 2 1/2 hours but don't want to after 2. But if he wont go back to sleep and stays awake before I feed him, the routine really gets off because he gets sleepy earlier because he has already been up and wont get full feeding. Its a vicious cycle! It really threw me for a loop when he started being fussy after eating because he never did. So now he is fussy after eating- I put him down sooner- he still takes a bit to go to sleep- still sleeps 30 mins (roughly)- but new problem is that his schedule/routine gets out of wack worse than before.Any pointers ideas? He still needs soothing- a few times before he even falls asleep even though he is so sleepy. He did sleep over 6 hours last night so I guess there is a trade off.

  13. Plowmanators
    July 27, 2011 / 4:46 AM

    galagirl77, make sure it isn't a growth spurt. Look at the index on growth spurt. If he was going down okay and then you moved waketime back, then I would go back to the waketime you had before. Also, if he was going down and sleeping fine with a certain waketime, then started suddenly not sleeping well, I wouldn't move waketime back. That is a time to increase waketime length. Good luck!

  14. Plowmanators
    July 27, 2011 / 4:58 AM

    Abby, have you tried not letting him fall asleep nursing? I wonder if he would fall asleep and stay asleep better if he didn't fall asleep nursing.

  15. Abby and Jacob
    July 27, 2011 / 2:40 PM

    Thanks for all the input. Yes, I've tried putting him down fully awake, asleep, groggy…every way I can think of. He's been better lately (almost great, except for a setback with his reflux resulting in a cough. It is so hard to discern physical from behavior.), but we are fighting the 45 intruder for every sleep period, including night. I have found that at night I can let him cry for 15 or so minutes, then for the sake of my 2 year old I can go in, hold him briefly and put him back down awake and he sleeps. He still usually wakes again around the time for his dream feed, which I know he needs to drop, but I was hoping for smoother nights first. Any other ideas? Its frusrating b/c my 2 year old was an awesome sleeper by now.

  16. Plowmanators
    August 16, 2011 / 4:45 AM

    Reflux really slows sleep progress down. Just keep at it, it will come!

  17. Ticey
    September 28, 2011 / 3:18 PM

    First off I have to say I am so thankful I found this blog! I feel like I am on it several times a day trying to find answers to my questions. I am at a stumbling block right now with my 8 week old daughter. She started waking into her naps 45 minutes. At first I thought she was just being a stinker bug, but then remembered the 45 minute intruder. I started treating it like a feeding problem. She would take a full feeding (which for her isn't nursing very long at all anyways). She would wake out of every nap during the day except one. I was exhausted feeling like all I was doing was nursing her. Well then one day she stopped so I was excited thinking we got past this growth spurt and she was going to be doing well again. Well then the very next day she started waking early again. I am confused how she can do well one day and then not so well the next. The problem I am having is wondering if she truly is hungry. Because if I hold her she seems to be content and fine. Sometimes I can transfer her to her swing and she will fall right back asleep. But like I said there are time she is still upset and will take a whole feeding. So is she waking out of habit? Do I always offer a feeding first? If I try to let her settle herself down she just cries and cries the whole rest of her nap and never falls back asleep. So by the next feeding she is exhausted and doesn't seem to nurse as well. And then we repeat the whole process again. I have been questioning my milk supply as well. I pumped one whole day to see what I was getting. I was getting 4 ounces most of the time but every now and then I would only get 1 or 2. It is frustrating to me to know if she really is really getting enough and is completely satisfied. She is also really gassy so I struggle wonder if she is waking out of pain. I would appreciate some help on this subject and what I should do to tackle this. Thank you so much!!

  18. Abby and Jacob
    September 28, 2011 / 4:07 PM

    Ticey,I do not have a "correct" babywise answer for you, but I will share the conclusion (or work in progress!) to my experience I commented about previously. My son woke for a 45 minute intruder for nearly every sleeping period for well over a month, including both bedtime and naps. At first I tried feeding, then CIO, but like your baby, if I went into him he was perfectly content and fell right back asleep and didnt seem hungry. The method I eventually (after fretting for a LONG time) chose for a number of factors, mainly my sanity, desire to preserve naptime, and to not disturb my older child's nap, was to just go in and hold him briefly and return him to napping. It took probably 6 weeks total (3-4 with this method) and he no longer has intruders. He just slowly outgrew it. Of course there were failures and times I did feed or end naptime, but overall it worked out. I guess this wont work for everyone and I really worried about creating a habit of dependency, but nothing else worked either and I needed some peace.I think if she is waking for each nap that it is safe to assume it is not gas or some other pain since that would be more random. As for milk supply, I'd say thats always a concern. I can always pump more than that, but they say some people just dont pump well, so I wouldnt be too concerned there. Do you feel full after a long period without feedings (like in the morning)? Does she seem content at the end of feedings? Is she growing properly? That is how I'd judge it.Hang in there and try not to stress! She's still young and has lots of learning and developing to do. Enjoy it!That's my 2 cents :)Abby

  19. poppy love
    October 6, 2011 / 3:06 PM

    My baby is 3 months old and for the past 6 weeks she has not napped for longer than 45 minutes. I have tried putting her down at the first sign of sleepiness, tried putting her down later, earlier, tried to wear her out with activities….I've tried it all every which way! Her night time sleep is amazing 9+ hours. Any suggestions as to hour I can get her to nap longer?

  20. Plowmanators
    October 7, 2011 / 9:12 PM

    Ticey,8 weeks is a common age for a growth spurt, so that could be it. It could be gas–two of my children had to have gas drops after every single feeding of the day or they would sleep terribly. I agree with Abby that if she is growing steadily, then your supply is fine. But I disagree that it couldn't be gas based on my experience with my kids. If she is taking full feedings when you offer it, I would go with that. Good luck figuring it out!

  21. Plowmanators
    October 7, 2011 / 9:13 PM

    Poppy Love, have you tried feeding her when she wakes early?

  22. Jax
    January 12, 2012 / 9:01 PM

    I have read babywise 3x so far. My baby is almost 11 weeks. I am feeding him every 3 hours. He has never napped well – he naps 30-45 min 3-4x per day. Recently after his 5p feeding he is super sleepy and his awake period may only b 10 min b4 he falls asleep. I continue to wake him every 3h to feed him and he eats with eyes closed. After his 11p feeding I do not wake him. He usually wakes crying between 1:30am – 3:30am. I feed him when he wakes and then he goes back to sleep until around 5am when he wakes crying. Most times I can not get him back to sleep in his crib at this point but he will sleep for another 1-2h in his swing. My question is how do I get him to nap longer – he is formula fed 4-5oz every 3h and he is a good eater. He is usually awake for 70-90 min including feeding b4 he exhibits signs of being tired and that is when I attempt to put him down for nap – swaddled and sleepy. When he wakes after 40 min most times he still appears tired but I can not get him to sleep again – I've tried CIO, tried rocking to soothe,etc. just winds up awake and b4 u know it is time to feed again. What should I b doing for naps and at night? I feel like from the book he is old enough to b sleeping thru the night, but I also feel there are many days he is not getting enough sleep – maybe 12 hours out of 24h

  23. Plowmanators
    January 25, 2012 / 11:10 PM

    Jax, his waketime length is most likely too long. Try shortening it to about 60 minutes and see how that goes.

  24. Lindsey
    January 29, 2012 / 3:51 PM

    First, your site has been the perfect resource for my family as we journey through the first year of our first child. We read BW 2 months before our Emory Claire came into the world. ALL of our friends used it, and we were hooked. EC was SO much like your K, I couldn't even believe. We struggled with tummy troubles in the beginning as well. EC is now 6 months (in 4 days). Things were SMOOTH sailing until 4 1/2 months. We were STTN at 6 wks (8-10 hours). For the past month and a half we have been dealing with the 45 minute intruder and fighting to take milk.We are trying a combo- 3.5/ 4 hr schedule because she was fighting her bottle and I felt like she needed more wake time. (I am a teacher so her wake-time is so early. She does not transition well from bed to car seat so she is up once I wake her.) 6:20- wake EC up and take to sitter. 6:45- 6 oz. bottle, cereal and 1/2 fruit 7:50- nap — wakes up 30-45 mins in. Let her lay there and sometimes she will go back to sleep for whole nap. 10:00- up from nap 10:15- 6 oz bottle + 1/2 veggie 12:00- nap time (usually stays asleep for this nap) 2:00- up from nap 2:15- 6 oz bottle 4:00- nap time (cat nap) at the latest 5:00- wake-up 5:45- 6 oz. bottle + cereal and 1/2 veggie 7:00- bath 7:15- bottle (4 oz.)- bedtime story- 7:45- Bed **Questions: Should I wait to do cereal at the 10:15? and should I drop the night time feeding at 7:15? I just feel terrible putting her to bed any earlier than 7:30 because we miss so much of the day with her.Thank you so much for your help!

  25. Plowmanators
    February 21, 2012 / 3:03 AM

    I think your cereal time is good. Since she is sleeping at night well, I doubt that bedtime could be impacting her negatively. It seems that is working for her. You are welcome!

  26. Erin
    April 28, 2012 / 3:52 PM

    Ok i am feeling like I am at a lose. My son is now 8 1/2 weeks and for the past 3 days he has been waking up 45-50 mins into his usually 75 min naps. So i have read and reread BW about the 45 min intruder over and over and over again. SO i have tried the feeding him but I still feel like things aren't getting better. SO i have kinda started to accept that his naps will now be 45 mins and I just have to deal with it BUT when he wakes that early into his nap its sometimes only been like 2 hours since he last ate so all of the sudden i'm on a 2 our schedule instead of a 2 1/2 or 3 hr. This is driving me NUTS!!! What should I do should i continue to feed him as soon as he wakes up or should i just wait till its been a least 2 1/2 hours at least? Now some background:He use to be right on target waking up at 3 hours on the dot for about a month now. He goes to sleep all by himself without any help at all once in his bed. I swaddle him and hold him tight for a min or two until he has heavy eyes and then i put him down and he is out shortly after. From the time he has woken up from his last nap and eaten to the time I usually put him down for a nap is about 75-90 mins usually no more than that but everyonce and a while its 100 mins (very rare though) I just watch for the cues mentioned in BW. Also sometimes when he wakes up he is just kinda whining a little and i try to let him CIO but he is still wide awake so I feed him. He usually will take a full feeding but i feel like sometimes he's just eating because i'm offering not because he is really hungry. I have tried to hold off before to see if he is really hungry and he does ok but then i'm on this sleep wake eat wake sleep wake cycle which is very annoying. He has also been very fussy during feedings its like he can;t just sit and eat for longer than 5 mins…its like i nurse him for 5 then she starts to cry n has a bubble and then it takes FOREVER to get the bubble out then we nurse again 5 mins and another bubble so my whole nursing process is about 45 mins but he eats for about 15 mins of that on average i would say. I don't understand why he is having such problems lately. Any advice??ps. sorry this post was so scatter brained thats how i feel at the moment :/

  27. Plowmanators
    May 18, 2012 / 4:25 AM

    Erin, a growth spurt usually lasts longer than just three days, so I would say it was likely a growth spurt. With the crying and gas, have you changed your diet at all? Has your supply changed? Perhaps some gas drops consisently would help?

  28. Erin
    May 30, 2012 / 10:29 PM

    Plowmanators,Ok so we found out he has reflex and things seemed to get better with naps. He is now 13 n 1/2 weeks old. His first and second nap seemed to be longer again but I have yet to get all of his naps back to 1.5-2hrs. SO i thought we figured things out but then some days he still won't sleep anything more than the 35-40 mins! ANd more recently its only his first nap is long. I have stopped dairy, we use gas drops like crazy, and i have tested my supply over and over and over again because I think I'm CRAZY!!SO now his naps have gotten worse again…now this is my first child so when he takes his first nap of the day i usually nap with him. So I put him in his bassinet and when he wakes up at 45 mins sometimes i can pull him in bed with me and he will fall back asleep for another 45-50 mins. (I know bad but I can't take his short naps they are killing me!) Anyways i have tried playing with his wake times and nothing seems to help. So today i tried putting him in a swing (for the first time) when he woke up early from his nap and he went back to sleep but i don't want him to get use to the swing….should I not do that or should i take him out as soon as he gets tired again or should i move him once he has fallen asleep?He is also now sleeping worse through the night…i use to dream feed him at 11 and he would sleep till like 330-4 and then he would sleep till like 6:30-7 but now he is waking up at 1 and 4….should i let him CIO i know he can sleep longer without food but I don't know if that will help or if he will just cry all night….i guess its worth a try thought. I feel like his short naps are now recking havoc on his night time sleep….he only gets like 12-13 hours of sleep all day sometimes even less….HELP!!!

  29. Plowmanators
    June 12, 2012 / 4:03 AM

    Erin, have you read through the reflux posts? is he on Meds? If not, I would look into that. If so, he might need them increased. With reflux, you need to remember it takes longer to reach milestones. Read through the reflux posts and let me know if you still have questions.

  30. Whitney Jarnagin
    June 15, 2012 / 2:42 PM

    Help! My 4 1/2 month old is waking at the 45 minute mark at night when she goes to bed. While we've battled the intruder for naps, we've never had an issue with this at bedtime until dropping the 4th nap. When she had the 4th nap, she would wake, eat, play, sleep, then sleep until the dreamfeed. Now she wakes, eats, plays, eats before bed, then sleeps for 45 minutes. I thought at first it might be reflux or gas, but she's never had problems with these before. I've tried backing her feeding up so it's not right before bedtime, but to no avail. Just wondering if you had any suggestions? Thanks!

  31. AmyB09
    June 26, 2012 / 1:08 PM

    I had a question–I have been doing BW for a couple of weeks with my 8 week old baby. She goes down for naps pretty well–just a couple of minutes of half hearted crying.The problem is, she consistently wakes from her nap 45 min-1 hour into it. (And by consistently, I mean every single nap)! She starts crying in earnest then.I've tried decreasing her wake time (even as low as a half an hour, including feeding),feeding her (she is bottle fed, takes 3-4 oz of formula every 3 hours), changing her diaper, swaddling her (she is a finger sucker, and swaddling makes her really mad and she just squirms until she gets out of the wrap), I've got white noise going, adjusted the temperature in the room–if I pick her up to comfort her she usually falls asleep within a minute, so I know she is tired–I'm out of ideas–any thoughts to help her get better naps?Thanks!

  32. Tiff
    July 1, 2012 / 11:48 PM

    My DD is 4 months old this weekend. We've been dealing with the 45 minute intruder for a long time. It doesn't happen at every nap. And there is never a consistent reason for it. I can get her down after the exact wake time and activities from the day before, when naps were successful, and then the next day, we'll get the intruder. It's not food. We've tried that. She just gets mad if I try to nurse her.It's never predictable, and it's not always the same naps. Usually her morning nap goes well after a 66-60 minute wake time, and I have to wake her from it. Her 2nd nap is good after 60-65 minute wake time for 3 or 4 days, and then we'll get the intruder. If she wakes during that nap, she usually cries for a few minutes but will go back to sleep.Her 3rd nap is RARELY as long as we'd like it. That one almost always has the intruder. I've tried shorter wake times; longer wake times; Tylenol; gripe water (The gripe water has worked once or twice – I'm not sure if it was just coincidence or not since it doesn't always work). And for that reason, we just haven't been able to drop the 4th nap. And the 4th nap is usually painfully short because she's overtired from her 3rd nap being so poor. DWT is 8 AM, and we wake her, but bedtime is never 8 PM. It's usually around 7:15-7:30 because of the poor napping at the end of the day.I hate making her CIO mid-nap, but now that she's older, when she cries, it seems so ANGRY. But if I go in to soothe her, it just gets worse.Also – we have Church at 9 AM and she does NOT sleep well in arms. I've been having to bring her home for her 1st nap, but I don't want to do that forever. Problem is, if we keep her up until we come home from Church 3 hours later, all we get is a cranky baby with a bunch of 45 minute naps. Will she outgrow this soon, do you think?

  33. Heather Stewart
    December 30, 2012 / 3:58 PM

    First let me say that I absolutely love this site. It has offered encouragement to my husband and I since we started doing BW 3 weeks ago (although it seems like longer, lol).I have a 6 week old son with whom we have been doing BW since he was 3 weeks old. He has been doing great with naps and eating on a 3 hour schedule, until recently. For the past 3 days he has started waking up 30-45 minutes into his morning nap, and then crying off and on for the remainder of the nap. His current schedule is morning feeding 7-7:30, wake time of being held, tummy time or gym play, and then he gets swaddled for his nap at 8. He goes down with his usual 5-10 minutes of whimpering/sleepy crying, but then wakes up about 30-45 minutes into the nap. My husband and I will let him CIO for 15 minutes or so and then check his diaper and try to burp him (he is happy as a lark when he is on the changing table). Then we will continue to let him CIO and resettle (without touching him or talking to him) for the remainder of the nap. The difficult part is that he will resettle after 15-20 minutes of crying but only calm down for about 5 minutes. Many times, just as we are going to check on him, he will calm down, so we stop, but then he starts back up again shortly thereafter. Is there anything we can try to help make this nap better for him? He does experience witching hour around 4-5pm, in which he will not resettle at all, so I do what I can to get him to sleep – pacifier, holding, rocking. Should I do that at this nap? He is otherwise a very happy baby. His wake times are enjoyable; he smiles a lot, coos and seems to be content at play. Your advice would be greatly appreciated!

  34. Lacie
    January 4, 2013 / 7:35 PM

    Hi! Love your blog! Hope you can offer up some advice. My son is 15 weeks and we've done BW from the beginning. Until about the last two weeks he has been like clockwork to the minute on a three hour schedule taking most recently about 6.5 oz per feeding and sleeping like a rockstar. He is bottle fed, been in the crib since day one and is no longer swaddled to sleep. He has a sound machine and takes paci really only to nap and at night. Spits it out after he falls asleep. Here was our approximate schedule before things got off track:7 am-First feed and start of the day8- Nap10-Feed11:15-Nap1-Feed2:15-Nap4-Feed5:30-Optional Catnap7/7:30 Bedtime10/10:30-Dreamfeed2:30/3-FeedHe had STTN a handful of times before and in the last week, he has started to do it consistently meaning we've omitted the 2:30/3 feed. YAY! He rarely ever cries and always wakes up happy and content. He is a dream baby! We had family in town for Christmas but he did pretty good at staying on track. After they left, it seemed like things fell apart–namely his naps. I have timed it and he is definitely waking 30-45 minutes into them–THE INTRUDER! Other variables: We noticed some fussiness with eating for a couple of days (teething?) and he is also in the timeframe for the 19th wonder week. He has also in the last week learned to squeal and squawk in delight and loves to do it (lots of development happening although no rolling over yet).I've tried: Treating as hunger, shortening and lengthening WT, darkening room, he doesn't really nap in his swing (or the one we have anyway). I've also left him in there and he typically just babbles and plays, sometimes fussing towards the end. I don't like CIO much and thankfully haven't had to really do that with him yet.I'm not sure what else to do at this point. My last shots are trying to put paci in and perhaps still working on WT length. He was at 1:15 before so I'm wondering if 1:30 or so is best number. Any ideas? I'm at a loss. It's so hard to maintain EWS when they wake early because he's never hungry when he wakes! Thanks for any advice!

  35. Hope Angelloz
    March 12, 2013 / 7:08 PM

    I feel like I am slowly losing my sanity with the 45 minute intruder and my baby's lack of sleeping skills in general.. I refuse to let her CIO and suppose I need to actually read Babywise but I am so sick of getting my hopes up and nothing working!My daughter is a week shy of 5 months and the intruder has been with us for about 2 months now.. Right around the time that jerk came along her consistent 5-6 hour stretch everynight disappeared as well, I thought it was an early 4 month sleep regression but it is most definitely here to stay. She wakes up every 30 minutes into every single nap and fights to go back to sleep. She is up LITERALLY 15-20 times every night, not necessarily wanting to nurse but just waking up and crying. Trust me I wait and make sure she is "really" awake- she always is. She has been on reflux meds from about 2 months, her ped has upped her dose twice in attempts to rule that out and has told me we could add an additional medication which I would obviously not like to do. Please please help. She is never awake past her max awake time, and I've started swaddling her again to try and help. We also started rice cereal to help with reflux and hopefully sleep but have seen no change in either. She does take a paci, but it is often in when she is crying so losing it is not the issue. I put her in her crib drowsy but awake and she does put herself to sleep about 80% of the time for naps, at night we cosleep. My only idea/hope at this point other than CIO is wake to sleep which I aim to start trying for naps, but given she wakes up so often at night I have no idea how to possibly do it then. Thank you in advance for your help!

  36. The Duncan Clan
    May 7, 2013 / 9:23 PM

    my baby is 7 months old. I never read babywise but i followed the principles someone told me. Nala wakes at 7, feeds then goes down for her first nap at 9. She wakes or i wake her at 10, feed her and then she goes down at 12. When she wakes up at 1 or i wake her at this time, i then feed her and she goes down again by 3. So i have her on a 2 hour wake, 1 hour nap schedule right now. I feed her her last meal at 7pm. She wakes around 5am for a feed and then sleeps til 7 when we start the schedule up again. Do i need to change her naptimes to 3 naps daily and should she be sleeping longer than 1 hour per nap? I have been doing this schedule since she was 4 months old. Has she grown out of it? Maleah

  37. Lindsey Braacx
    June 16, 2014 / 8:00 PM

    My 12 week old boy is also having difficulty with the 45 minute intruder but often it's more like the 50 or 60 minute intruder. He just can't seem to sleep past that. Would this still be the same sore of thing? I'm currently playing around with shortening and lengthening his wake time. However, one thing I can't understand is if he's following a 3 hours feeding schedule, if I put him down 50-60 minutes after his feed but he only sleeps for 45-60 minutes, that's 60-90 minutes early for his next feed. So then how is it possible to maintain only 60 minutes of awake time between his subsequent feedings? If the first nap ends short, the whole rest of the day is a disaster. Any words of wisdom? Thanks!

    • Valerie Plowman
      June 23, 2014 / 11:09 PM

      I have posts on baby waking early (see "waketime when they wake early" and "waketime when baby wakes early" and "waking early from naps/won't fall asleep for naps").

  38. Rachel Anne
    October 10, 2015 / 3:02 AM

    Hello! I have a 4 mo old BF boy that has a bad case of the 45 min intruder…BUT only at bedtime. It doesn't seem to matter when he goes to bed (if we put him to bed at 745, he'll wake at 8:30, 7pm and he'll wake at 745…and so on). Whatever time I feed him after this he seems to realize it's "night" and does a 5 hour stretch, feeds again and does another 4 hour stretch. So I try and postpone feeding him until at least 9:30pm (so his night time sleep coincides with mine). We've tried letting him CIO but he just cries straight through until 930 or falls asleep briefly and wakes up screaming again until he's fed this last time. I've even tried putting an extra feed in before bed to see if it helps, but it doesn't seem to make a difference either.. This is his schedule:8am wake/feed945/10am nap11:15 wake/feed1pm nap2:45/3pm wake/feed4:30 nap5/515pm wake/feed715 – extra feed8pm bedtimeWe have a set bedtime routine, he goes to sleep himself…Is there anything else we can try?

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