The Complete Guide to Troubleshooting Short Baby Naps

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Absolutely everything you need to know to fix short baby naps and get baby taking good naps. Know common reasons for short naps and how to fix them.

Baby yawning on a bed

One of the most important skills you can learn as a parent is how to troubleshoot issues. It is easy to pay someone to fix your issues or to ask someone else to solve your issues. While you may find a time and place for those solutions, you really need to be mindful about intentionally learning how to troubleshoot as a parent.

Sleep troubles are hard. But they are actually much easier than a lot of other issues that come up as your little one grows into a tween and then teen. These early parenting issues help you learn how to be a parent and how to problem-solve. They help you get to know your child as an individual and prepare you for solving bigger issues later on. 

The issues never stop coming.

If you have a baby, you will face sleep troubles at some point. You will probably face sleep troubles at many points. As you have more children, each of them will have their own sleep troubles. Some will be the same or similar to older siblings, but many will be new and unique to that new and unique little person.

This post will walk you through learning how to troubleshoot short naps. As you learn to troubleshoot naps, you will learn tools to troubleshoot the next nap problem with this baby and future babies. You will learn how to help others troubleshoot when they have troubles. You will also learn how to troubleshoot in general so you are more prepared to face the parenting issues that will come in toddler, tween, and teen years. 

Short Baby Naps Pinnable Image

Fixing Short Naps

During the first year (at least) of your child’s life, there is probably little else that will cause you stress than sleep issues. Naps are a big part of the day. If baby doesn’t nap, mom is exhausted and baby is understandably fussy.

By the time my third child was born, I could really quickly and easily identify reasons for waking early from naps. This is a skill you develop with practice, unfortunately.  Let’s discuss things to consider when trying to fix short naps. 


If your baby was taking 1.5-2.5 hour naps and is now waking early, here are the first things to check.

Growth Spurt

The first thing to try is to feed your baby. Every time McKenna woke early, I fed her. We never had consistent or persistent nap problems with her. Once the growth spurt was over, we went back to normal naps.

I noticed that my girls had days where they were hungrier. For Kaitlyn, it was Thursday. For McKenna, it was Friday. I could count on those days having short naps during the newborn months. They just needed to eat more often for one day.

Read this post packed full of everything you need to know about growth spurts

More Food

This is slightly different than a growth spurt. 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 from that point forward. Then the nap situation was fixed.

Once you are positive baby does not need more food, move on to these possibilities:


A simple thing to consider is sickness or teething. Children handle these situations differently. These things didn’t affect Brayden or Kaitlyn. Sickness only makes McKenna sleep better. When her first tooth broke through, she had one day of off naps.

It is very common for babies to wake up early when sick or teething. When this happens, do what you can to soothe and wait for the pain/sickness to pass. Do what you can before the nap to create a successful nap by alleviating the pain/discomfort. 

Read: Comforting a Sick Toddler Or Baby and Maintaining a Schedule

Gas Pain

Babywise says this is one of the most common reasons for waking early. Be sure your baby is not in pain when your baby is not sleeping well.

If your baby was sleeping well and is suddenly waking early, then gas is one of the less common culprits unless baby’s diet has changed (which includes yours if you are breastfeeding). 

Read: What To Do If Your Baby Has Gas

Waketime Length

Baby might need a longer waketime length if naps are not going well.

I always increase waketime length in five minute increments. I know some (probably most) moms do more than that at once. I strongly suggest you never add more than 15 minutes at a time. I obviously think 5 minute increments are the best to work with. This way, you avoid adding too much waketime.

If baby falls asleep quickly, waketime length is usually good, but if baby takes a long time, then you usually need to tweak it.

Too much waketime causes nap problems even more than too little. If you add too much waketime, you risk jumping right over the perfect window and creating a sleep deficit.

Read: Optimal Waketime Length

If you need help getting your nap schedule down better, be sure to see my sample schedules posts. From my sample schedules for the first month post, you can get to all 12 months of the first year of life. You can find sample schedules for 12-15 months here. You can get sleep schedule ideas for everything from your 0 month old on up through your 15 month old (and beyond). 

New Skill

Is your baby 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 precedence over their naps. This is very common. Your baby might not have naps disrupted with every new skill, but will likely have them disrupted with at least one skill.

Read up on How To Stop New Skills from Disrupting Naps and Sleep here.

Get a free printable checklist for how to fix short naps here: 

Free Short Naps Printable Checklist

Free printable checklist

Stimulation Levels

If your baby was sleeping well and is now consistently waking early, it is unlikely baby is overstimulated, but it is something to consider if you have gotten this far down the list and still haven’t found the reason baby is waking early.

Think over the days since baby started waking early and be sure she isn’t overstimulated. A better possibility in this situation is baby is understimulated. This happened to McKenna. I was very careful with her stimulation levels. As she got older, she needed more stimulation and exercise and I wasn’t increasing it. Her naps got shorter. I realized this was the problem, added stimulation and exercise opportunities (basically tummy time at that age), and her naps went back to normal.

Exercise and stimulation are important for solid sleep. As your baby sleeps, the body recovers physically and processes information mentally. If there has been little activity and no mental stimulation, baby won’t sleep as well. Understand this concept before trying to stimulate your little one. Read these posts:

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. If you suspect an environmental factor, you really need to focus in on what has changed around the time short naps started. Is it warmer? Colder? Is there a new dog in the neighborhood? You need to be observant to catch environmental factors. 

Wonder Week

There are typical times during a baby’s development when she is grumpier and can’t sleep as well as usual. It is very normal for sleep to be disrupted during a wonder week. The wonder weeks perfectly explain the four month sleep regression

I definitely noticed this to be true during McKenna’s baby life. Once she was over the wonder week, she is back to normal! Read up on the  Wonder Weeks and Sleep here.

45 Minute Intruder

It could just be the 45 minute intruder. Read up on How To Finally Stop the 45 Minute Intruder here.


Sometimes props suddenly become a problem for sleep.

Many moms find the pacifier to suddenly become a problem around 3-4 months of age. Baby won’t sleep through a nap without it. If that is the case, you can continue using it and wait for baby to be able to put it back in, or you can break the habit. Read up on how pacifiers disrupt sleep here.

Read: When Sleep Props are Okay and When To Avoid Them

Daytime Sleep

Your little one might be waking early because daytime sleep is off. Your little one might need to drop a nap. Babies move from four naps a day to three naps a day right around 4 months old. The third nap is dropped around 6-8 months old typically.

If you have a toddler, you might need to move to one nap a day. That would mean dropping the morning nap and just having an afternoon nap each day. Read up on dropping naps here. 

Off Day

Sometimes your baby 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 (even when I really want to). So if an adult who wants to sleep can have a hard time on occasion, then a baby will, too. They are just learning.

Babies are humans. Therefore, they aren’t perfect. Even if your baby is really good at sleeping, she is going to have difficulties at it at times.  

I have a whole eBook to walk you through everything you need to know to have great naps. You can get there here.

The Babywise Mom Nap Guide: How to establish successful naps from birth through the preschool years


If your baby has basically always taken short naps, here are some things to consider. All of these suggestions are assuming you have done Babywise (or some other routine) for quite some time.

If you are just starting a routine, it will take time for your baby to learn to take longer naps. Read up on Starting Babywise Late here to know what to expect.

Feed Baby

The first thing to check is a need for food. Notice I put this first for both categories.

Try feeding your baby every time she wakes early for a week or so. This might fix the short naps. If she started a growth spurt and you have been fighting against it, bad naps have and will continue until she gets the food she needs.

You should look into your milk supply if breastfeeding, also. Better safe than sorry. A lactation consultant can help you–they can even test the number of calories per ounce in your milk. 

If you are bottle feeding, you might need to increase the number of ounces of formula or pumped milk. Your baby might also need to start or increase the number of solid foods eaten. 

Once you are sure it is not a food issue, consider the following:


Be sure your baby does not have reflux. If your baby does have reflux, know that a baby with reflux will often take short naps. If so, help your baby make it through a longer nap by using whatever means necessary.

A reflux baby is difficult with sleep and you just have to do the best you can. Kaitlyn, my second child, had reflux. She took many naps in the swing, but she is an amazing sleeper today. Read Babywise and Reflux for all of my tips in helping a reflux baby sleep.

Other Medical Condition

Make sure there isn’t some medical condition causing short naps. These can include allergies and eczema. If baby is having chronic short naps, it is wise to have medical conditions all cleared before continuing to troubleshoot.

Gas Pain

Babywise says gas is one of the most common reasons for waking early. If your baby is in chronic gas pain, I suggest you use gripe water or gas drops. Also, evaluate baby’s diet and yours if breastfeeding and eliminate foods that are causing pain.

Read: What To Do If Your Baby Has Gas

Waketime Length

Once you have covered food and possible pain, easy fix number one is to analyze the amount of waketime. If your baby is up too long, he will wake up early. If he isn’t up long enough, he will have trouble napping.

For a young baby, being awake 5 minutes too long can be enough to cause a short nap. Babywise suggests moving your waketime back by 15 minutes if your baby isn’t sleeping well. Try it. It is an easy thing to fix. Read more about this in An Easy Short Nap Fix that Works.

It is possible your waketime length is too short, but in this situation when a baby has always taken too short of a nap, I think it is best to first shorten the nap. If that doesn’t work, try lengthening it. Read Optimal Waketime Length for more.

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Stimulation Levels

Since your baby has always been taking short naps, I suggest you first tone down stimulation levels. Monitor noise levels and visual stimulation. Overstimulation is more damaging to a nap than understimulation.

Age also has something to do with this. The younger the baby, the less stimulation she needs and the more sensitive she will be to overstimulation. If your baby is older than 6 months, it is unlikely overstimulation is causing problems unless you live in a casino or circus.

Be sure there is no television watching–for a baby, that is quite stimulating. Be sure exercise levels are where they need to be, too. By exercise, I mean natural exercise that happens when a baby is allowed to be a baby and play. I am not suggesting baby yoga or anything. 

Read these posts to understand stimulation levels:


Your baby needs to be able to put herself to sleep if she is going to take a nap longer than 45 minutes long. Falling asleep independently is a vital skill. 

Most babies will not sleep through the transition point in sleep (45 minutes) if they are unable to soothe themselves to sleep. Teach your baby to self-soothe in whatever method you think is best for your family.

Once she is capable of soothing herself, she should start making it through the transitions. Read up on what a sleep transition is here so you can understand it fully.

See my favorite gentle sleep training method here. You can learn all about the extinction method for sleep training here. You can read my guide on using cry it out for sleep training here. 

Read: Best Baby Sleep Training Books to Get Baby Sleeping

Environmental Factors

Is the baby too hot? Too cold? Be sure to dress the baby appropriately for the season and for your home. Does baby like to wear socks? McKenna sleeps much better with socks on her feet. Kaitlyn hated to have socks on her feet. Find out what your baby likes.

If your home is noisy, I suggest you use white noise of some sort. If you have other children, they might be waking baby up. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, there are lots of things that can be waking baby up. You can’t control your neighbors or the garbage man.

You can’t really expect your other children to tip-toe around the house. You can put a humidifier, fan, or white noise machine in your baby’s room to block things out.

Is your baby sensitive to light? I had some who needed the room dark to nap well. That is fine if this is your baby! Some people want baby to nap with blinds open so he can do that if he is away from home without the blackout blinds. While this makes sense, it makes more sense to have baby sleeping well for those 90% of naps at home and not as well for those 10% away from home rather than the other way around.


Is your baby comfortable enough? I sometimes had Kaitlyn nap in her play yard, and those naps often were not as good as her naps in her crib. This made sense because the play yard mattress was not as comfortable as her crib mattress.

This doesn’t mean go buy your baby a feather bed (and that wouldn’t be safe). But a crib mattress is more comfortable than a “mattress” in the pack and play.


Are you consistent with your schedule? Are you usually home for naps or are 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 rather than nice long naps. Also, if he typically is napping in a carseat, he will be used to sleeping with the help of motion rather than by himself.

Some babies are naturally more flexible than others. If you have a less-flexible baby, accept that and work with that. 

Read: Tricks for Getting Baby on a Consistent Schedule


Evaluate your use of props and if they are interfering with your baby being able to make it through a transition (every 45 minutes) on her own. Refer to When Sleep Props are Okay and When To Avoid Them to know when sleep props might be ruining your baby’s sleep.

Lack of Routine

Do you have a good routine for your baby? Evaluate your nap routine and be sure it is best to help your child sleep well. Read up on sleep routine ideas to get your baby sleeping well here.

Issues Above

Consider the issues listed in the “suddenly waking” section. It is possible your baby has just had one issue after another.


While you are troubleshooting, try to address only one problem at a time. Give each “fix” a few days to work before moving on to something else. If you try to fix more than one thing at once, you might be fixing it in one way, but ruining it by changing something else. Troubleshooting takes careful patience.

It really helps while you are troubleshooting to be able to identify when the sleep trouble started. You then think through what in life changed at that point. If nothing changed, you can think about what might need to change. 

Also, I find keeping logs to be really invaluable. I used this book of logs to track everything with my babies and can’t recommend it enough:

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom Log eBook


My baby only sleeps one hour for the last nap of the day–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 cry it out? First, let’s address all of the issues listed above. Let’s be sure the early waking can’t be fixed easily. If baby is crying for one of these reasons, CIO isn’t going to help because you are addressing the wrong problem. 

I also don’t really think it is a good idea to do CIO mid-nap with a newborn. There are so many growth spurts in those first three months and you are just getting to know the baby. Most moms who do cry it out mid-nap and find success have babies who are 4 months old or older.

With McKenna, if I didn’t think it was a growth spurt, I would give it 10-15 minutes to see if she was just having a rough transition and were going to fall back asleep. If not, I got her. So you can wait 10-15 minutes before getting baby.

My baby is waking early but is happy. What do I do? This is a nice thing–when the baby is at 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. When my kids wake early and are happy, I let them play in their beds until nap time normally ends.

My young baby just can’t seem to sleep through the 3 hour 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. With McKenna, I let her do short waketimes and long naps, and it worked really well. I did this with Brinley, also. I would let both of them take 2.5 hour naps and both of them were my best sleepers.


Something good to realize is that sleep issues are not the main and end-all point of parenting. It is more about raising children who have self-control, are respectful, are able to focus and self-entertain, and most of all, are moral.

You are teaching your child to be able to live on her own in the real world. You are raising adults, not children.

It seems things eventually 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! Having daytime sleep down helps lead to having nighttime sleep down. I always say fix your days and your nights will follow. Work on the baby nap.

You will have much bigger fish to fry as your child gets older. If they are good sleepers, they will have an advantage and so will you. But remember, parenting is more than sleeping. Sleeping is the first stepping stone to bigger and better things. Don’t let short naps ruin your life.


Enjoy your baby. Cherish every moment. It really does go so fast and these days do not come back.Don’t get so caught up in stressing about things you forget to enjoy what is in front of you at the moment.

Related Posts


 The Babywise Mom Book of Naps

This post was originally published in 2007 and revised in December 2009

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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. Kurt n Sarah
    December 31, 2009 / 6:58 PM

    My 3 week old little boy is currently CIO about 1.5 hours after I put him in his crib. We have tried to implement BW since brining him home. He used to go down well for naps, barely awake at all. Now he seems to be awake his entire naptime after his 10:30a feeding. I put him down about 30-45min after he finishes nursing, but he won't fall asleep, just lays there content & awake. He begins CIO around 12:30p & doesn't stop until he eats again at 1:30p. What should I do?

  2. tweez
    January 3, 2010 / 4:26 AM

    Quick question: do all naps need to be in their crib? BabyWise is not specific about this so I would love others thoughts. Thanks

  3. John Wood
    January 4, 2010 / 11:15 PM

    One thing I've found that work for my child was giving her a bath with warm water mixed with a small amount of lavender bath oil. She has baby eczema so it was great for her skin and made her sleepy.

  4. Lisa Andreasen
    January 6, 2010 / 3:25 AM

    On thing I have not seen addressed with nap issues is a dirty diaper. My daughter is 8-months. She sleeps great at night 7-6:30 or 7. She was completely by the book until we added solid food. Her naps have been disrupted ever since adding solid food, but it seems mostly due to a dirty diaper. It is not uncommon for her to interrupt two of her three naps that way and she will not go back to sleep after her diaper change, but rather screams if we put her back to bed. She hasn't had to CIO since 2-weeks old and goes down for naps and bedtime very easily.Any suggestions?

  5. Kurt n Sarah
    January 9, 2010 / 7:11 PM

    To clarify, we did not let the baby CIO without trying to soothe him during the hour. It's just that nothing we did during that hour worked. Our pediatrician said he has some intestinal issues so that was the source of his crying…soon to be resolved hopefully. Thanks Wood for your advice about the bath, it totally helped =)

  6. mhendarman
    January 10, 2010 / 12:28 AM

    I am a first time mom who is clueless about baby. I am grateful for BW and your blog. I noticed since last week my 11 week old suddenly always wakes up crying 45 minutes in her nap. THe cry sounds like annoyed cry. Sometimes i changed her diaper and move her to swing and she sleeps again. Sometimes this does not work.I live in a 2 story house so during the day my baby never sleeps in her crib. Always in the playpen or swing. Is this the problem? I put her on her crib at 8.30PM everyday and she sleeps fine. I wake her up at 10.30PM for last feeding and put her back to crib. She sleeps through the night well until 6.30AM with no crying.I thought about 45 minutes intruder, she happily takes snack feeding but i do not think she is that hungry because she is growing well. Furthermore, it just mess with her schedule of 3 – 3.5 hours. Please help…i feel like crying whenever my baby is crying.

  7. Plowmanators
    January 13, 2010 / 6:51 PM

    Kurt n Sarah,I would evaluate his waketime length and stimulation levels. I am glad to hear you had improvement with the bath 🙂

  8. Plowmanators
    January 13, 2010 / 6:51 PM

    oh, and you were the last comment of 09!

  9. Plowmanators
    January 19, 2010 / 5:34 PM

    tweez, I am not sure exactly what you are wanting to know. If it is in the crib vs. on the couch or something like that, then yes, put baby in a crib/bassinet/playpen, etc.If you are wondering if baby can sometimes take a nap in the carseat or sling while you are out and about, that is fine. It is normal to have disruptions to baby's sleep like that. You don't really want that to be the norm, but it can happen.Did that answer it for you?

  10. Plowmanators
    January 19, 2010 / 5:47 PM

    Thanks for the tip John Wood!

  11. Plowmanators
    January 19, 2010 / 5:51 PM

    Lisa Andreason,Part of it is just baby's body getting used to elimination during waketimes.Another part is you can try to give her foods that cause her to poop more in the early day and the ones that don't later in the day. That is why I give prunes/peaches at breakfast and banannas at dinner.

  12. Plowmanators
    January 23, 2010 / 10:05 PM

    mhendarman,I would put her in her crib to sleep in the day, too. You can do some in the playpen, but definitely do some in her crib.As for growth spurts, yes, they will interfere with your schedule, but that is just the way it is. She needs to be fed more often in order to get what she needs. If you are bottle feeding, you might be able to feed her more ounces per feeding.Please see the label "growth spurts" for more.

  13. celestevy
    January 29, 2010 / 10:07 AM

    I am desperately needing some advice. Isabella will be 2.5 on the 30th of this month. For a long time she was doing well at going down at 12:30 for her nap. About 2 weeks ago she was having problems going down she went for a week without napping. I decided to change her nap time to 12:45. It seemed to work. Then this past week, she is back to not napping. Yesterday I put her down at 12:35 it did not work. She was in bed by 7:00 last night and she woke at 5:50. I am really at a lose of what to do. Does the advice you gave on the "Quick Nap Fix" still apply at 2 1/2. I have tried putting her down at 1:00 and she does not fall asleep. I know one of the problems is that she often poops. Thanks for the advice.

  14. Plowmanators
    February 10, 2010 / 6:02 PM

    celestevy, the easy nap fix wouldn't apply if sleep has been good, nothing has changed, and things suddenly go bad.There is a chance this is normal stuff. Around this age (between 2.5-3), most kids start to not nap some days, or take a long time to fall asleep for naps. It is the beginning of the end 🙂 It takes a long time to reach the end, but this is the beginning. One thing to do is think about what has possibly changed and what is she going through. Teeth? Anything new going on in life?Does she need more exercise and/or stimulation in the day?If nothing has changed, then I would just pick a nap time and stick to it. If the nap doesn't go well, watch closely at night so she doesn't get overly tired before bed, putting her down early if needed. Good luck!

  15. celestevy
    February 20, 2010 / 12:18 PM

    Hello,Thank you so much for your reply. We have decided to stick with a 12:30 nap. So far that has seemed to be the best time for her. She has been doing well with that up until this week. I have just decided not to worry about it. She does well staying in her crib the whole entire nap time. However, it does mean that her bedtime is a bit earlier. You mentioned that at this age is the beginning of the end of naps. I totally understand what you are saying. I have many friends who have said that there children have stopped napping at this age and therefore stop putting them down. This has lead to there children having meltdowns at 4/4:30. Because I have chosen to keep Isabella in her room and in her cirb, she is tired but is able to make it till 6:30/7:00 without problems. I am a part of another babywise message board, many ladies have had this problem as well and ask for advice. Many of the ladies do follow your blog. Have you written a post on this subject? Is so where is it? If not would you consider writing one? I know it could be beneifical to others. Thank you for sharing about your daughter still working on pooping in the potty. That was an encouragement to me. Isabella has peeing down no problem but the other is a process. God Bless You,Celeste

  16. Plowmanators
    March 7, 2010 / 6:53 AM

    Celeste, I know it has been mentioned on the blog, but I am not sure if I have written a post just about that…I added it to my list of posts to write. Thanks!

  17. celestevy
    March 7, 2010 / 9:55 AM

    I will look forward to reading it. When they don't take there naps, how early do you put them to bed? Isabella is ready for bed around 6:45 or 7:00. When I put her to bed that early, then she wakes several times in the night or she wakes super early 4:30 or 5:00 and does not go back to sleep. However, she does nap on the days she wake that early. I don't recall, at what age did your son drop his nap and move to rest time? God Bless You and have a good day?

  18. Plowmanators
    March 22, 2010 / 6:12 PM

    I don't put them down way early. Maybe as early as 7 AM.Brayden officially went to rest time around 4.5, but he moved that direction for a while. There is a post on rest time that goes into it more.

  19. ScottGilbertson
    April 8, 2010 / 2:47 PM

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog!!!I've been having trouble with napping with my 8 wk old LO. He's never been a good day time napper, though I think we were keeping him up too long for the first many weeks.40 minutes seems to be the best wake time we've had luck with, but that seems so short! The problem is, even with this wake time length he won't fall asleep easily. He'll take 30 minutes to fall asleep for his first nap – no crying what so ever, 40 for his second – little bit of crying, then he will be unable to fall asleep for his 3rd, crying like crazy for his 4th, etc. He also doesn't stay asleep very well, progressively through the day.We started to put him in the glider after 40 minutes of trying to fall asleep so he can get some rest and he sleeps very well in it. But things have seemed to get worse, not better. He doesn't seem to like the glider either (i.e. by the end of the day he screams when he goes into it but does eventually fall into a really good sleep.)The thing we keep debating is whether or not he is too overtired and need to shorten his wake time (which is impossible, it's already really hard to make the 40 minutes just to get the basics of eating, pooping, changing, medicine, etc.) Do we just wait until he gets older and can handle more wake time?Or, is he understimulated since we have no play time essentially and deal with the consequences of keeping up too late (maybe we don't have soothing down right and he can actually stay awake longer?Or, does he not want to nap and we should do CIO (i.e. leave him in the crib, crying or no?)I should mention, this is a day specific problem. Not only does he sleep very well at night (feed at 6pm and DF at 10pm, wakes at 7am), but he's a very good self soother (i.e. he has managed to suck his thumb for weeks now by a complex process using two hands) 🙂

  20. Amy
    April 8, 2010 / 3:38 PM

    My current issue is that occasionally if we had a run of bad naps I would help him extend his nap by holding and rocking him back down. The swing never put him back to sleep, and it didn't happen often so I didn't worry. Well, with the holiday and family in town, it happened a lot (intentionally a few times, but others because I didn't want him crying with multiple family members sleeping in the house, and others because my MIL was watching him for me). Now we've been trying to get back on track, but he's started waking early from naps and in the morning. I've decided we needed to cut out the rocking, but I'm not sure what to do with the extra WT. He's still on a 3 hour schedule because his naps never got good enough to go longer, and his WT is currently at an hour 45 minutes in the morning and progressively a little longer as the day goes on. We're trying to stretch that to 2 hours, but he struggles with that. If he wakes early (lately, starting with the first of the morning) how much should I adjust his following WT. Should I try to help him get to his normal nap time, should I cut it back because he didn't sleep as long? He woke up 45 min early for wake up time (happy), so I put him down an hour 45 min after that because he was showing sleepy cues, and he went right to sleep in 10 minutes without a peep, but he woke up after 30 minutes. Happy, but awake. He played happily for the next hour and 20 minutes to the normal WT (almost put himself to sleep a few times), ate, and now we're gonna try to get as close to his normal nap time as possible. I'm worried that will result in an OT short nap, but he wouldn't have had time to eat his solids and down his bottle before the normal WT would have passed. I know it will likely be a while before you get a chance to respond, but I would like your opinion. Thanks and God bless!

  21. Amy
    April 9, 2010 / 1:25 PM

    I just realized that it would help if I posted how old he is LOL. He will be 6 months old in 1 week.

  22. Plowmanators
    April 22, 2010 / 1:10 AM

    ScottGilbertson,Is it possible he is having witching hour? See that blog label for help on that. Also, he might need longer waketimes as the day goes on. McKenna had shortest in the morning, then it got a little longer with each waketime. Stimulation levels are important, too. You don't want too much or too little. Only you can figure out if it is right. I have some logs uploaded to the yahoo chronicles group that could help you figure this out.

  23. Plowmanators
    April 23, 2010 / 7:48 PM

    Amy,There are two posts on this:Waketime when they wake earlyand Waketime when baby wakes earlyalso, see the post:5-8 month sleep disruptions

  24. Susan
    May 1, 2010 / 9:11 PM

    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. April 28, 2010 1:49 PM 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

  25. Plowmanators
    May 14, 2010 / 10:42 PM

    Susan, I answered this in the other place you posted it on the blog.

  26. destina23
    June 8, 2010 / 2:39 PM

    Hi,Not sure if this is where I should post this, but here goes. My son just turned and a year and has been a wonderful napper/sleeper since about 3 months old. The problem is he is now refusing to nap unless I let him fall asleep on me whenever he needs to nap outside the home. This started about 2 months ago. Since he was a baby he was napping no problem outside the home once a week when I would visit my father or in-laws. Then suddenly I would put him down and he would just cry and cry. I tried the CIO but he would just give up crying and just sit there. Any thoughts? I really would like to fix this so we can not be stuck at home for naps.His schedule is:7 or 7:15 wake up (randomly I get the 6:30, but I just let him play in his crib till its waketime)7:30 eat/bottle9:50 or 10 nap for 1 hour to an hour and a half. (used to be always an 1 1/2 but then I noticed waking him up earlier made for a better afternoon nap)12p Lunch/bottle2:30 snack2:45 or 3 nap for 1 1/2 or 2 hours 5p Dinner/bottle7p bottle/snack7:30 bath/bedtime ritual7:50 bedThank you!!!!

  27. Plowmanators
    June 16, 2010 / 5:44 PM

    Really the only answer is to put him in his bed and give him the chance to sleep. If he doesn't sleep, okay, but at least you gave him the chance. You can give him the opportunity, but you can't make him sleep.Be sure you have good, consistent nap routines. Be sure his waketime is right. For most children at 12 months old they will be up for two hours, down for two hours, up for two hours, down for two hours, up until bed. That is a good starting point as you figure out what is right for him. See "optimal waketime" blog label for more. Good luck!

  28. destina23
    June 18, 2010 / 2:59 PM

    Thank you for getting back to me (Destina23). Actually he naps beautiful at home. About 3-4 hours a day. He'll nap in his crib or in his pack n play. Though sometimes he fusses a bit more first when I put him in the pack n play. That's not the issue. Its when we visit someone's house or go to a party or something during his nap. Our parents don't live close (about a half half hour away) and in order to visit each week we need him to nap at their house. He just won't do it there though. What is strange is that he used to nap at their houses so well! No issues. I feel trapped at home. We are planning a trip soon too and he is going to stay at his grandparents, but I'm afraid he wont nap for them at their house. Thanks!!!

  29. Plowmanators
    June 23, 2010 / 2:15 PM

    Have you tried a sound machine or white noise, like a humidifier? You can run humidifiers without water in them if you live in a humid climate. That is so helpful because you have noisy family running around and baby in a strange environment.

  30. destina23
    June 24, 2010 / 1:27 PM

    I bet the strange environment is bothering him. I've tried bringing his water mobile for comfort before, but white noise is a good idea. I think I probably need to practice him sleeping in other areas around the house. I think he may be a bit too attached now to his crib. Maybe that's the big issue? I'm a stay at home mom and he's only away from me the most 3 hours at a time when I have a sitter come each week so I can run errands. I did notice that when I had to spend around 6 hours away from me the next day he was real clingy and did not want me to leave when I put him down for naps and bed. He got over it within 2 days but it may show he has a slight fear of separation? Babies can be so confusing sometimes. :o)Thanks for helping. I used babywise since he was 3 months and have loved the results. Used a bit of baby whisper too since I hated to see him CIO. I liked PU/PD.Thanks again!!!!

  31. destina23
    July 13, 2010 / 9:02 PM

    Just wanted to give you an update on my comment above regarding my son not wanting to nap anymore else but his own crib. We realized through some trial and error that even though he never got attached to a lovey he seemed to really love his crib bumpers. We took them out and put them in the pack n play and like magic he would fall asleep beautifully wherever we put his bumpers. He seems to like to cuddle up next to them.Just thought I'd share since sometimes the answer is not always the most clear but could be just a simple one too. :o)

  32. Plowmanators
    July 21, 2010 / 5:48 PM

    Thanks for sharing that! That is a great example of strange and weird things being the exact reason for troubles 🙂

  33. The Stikos
    October 20, 2010 / 9:58 PM

    My little girl is almost 12 weeks and I started implementing babywise at 8 weeks. She's progressively gotten better and better at nighttime sleep but naps are still a huge struggle and I'm somewhat lost on some things.So, is it ok to let her sleep sometimes in a swing/stroller/car seat every once in awhile as long as the majority are in her crib?Also, I know she can have 1-2 hour naps because she takes them anywhere but her crib; I usually get about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. How do I get her to take longer naps? Also, when she does wake up early from a nap crying, do I go in every 15 minutes trying to soothe her to go back to sleep? Or do I go in and just get her? also, if I do go in and get her, do I go ahead and feed her even if it's not time? Or maybe hold her for a bit/play and then feed?Ok, I think that's it! Thank you so much!

  34. Plowmanators
    November 4, 2010 / 8:57 PM

    The Stokes,Yes, disruptions are okay sometimes. When disruptions need to happen, do your best to make sure the cycle stays the same while you are out and about.However, it really will be easier long term if you can keep things super consistent for a while. I would shoot for a minimum of 2 weeks consistency. This is a hard time of year for that, so just do your best.It is normal for a baby to take short naps at first, especially if they have been used to sleeping in swings or strollers or arms, etc. When she wakes early, for now I would get her and move her to a swing or try to get her to go back to sleep in her bed. Once she gets good at falling asleep on her own and develops those self-soothing skills, she should start to sleep longer. And be sure to watch for growth spurts.

  35. Plowmanators
    November 4, 2010 / 8:57 PM

    Oh, sorry! I read your name Stokes, but it is Stikos. That comment was for Stikos.

  36. The Stikos
    November 16, 2010 / 7:38 PM

    Thanks so much for your help!!

  37. Anonymous
    December 6, 2010 / 9:03 PM

    Hi!I need some help, please! My almost 4 month old has been doing very well on a schedule all long…up until the past couple of weeks. Some days he's great – very sleepy, takes wonderful naps, and follows his schedule perfectly. Other days he constantly wakes up early (about 45 – 60 minutes into his nap usually). When he wakes up, he is usually content to be held or put into his swing. I don't usually try to feed him because he is pacified as soon as I get him out of his crib. On the other hand, if I do nurse him, he will eat. It's almost like he's content to do whatever I offer as long as it's not lying in his crib. I have tried CIO several times, and he will just keep crying until his next feeding. (He's able to resettle other times when he wakes up during a nap, but that is when he just enters a lighter sleep and fusses a little, whereas this is full-out crying.)He sleeps perfectly through the night and has been for a month and a half. I still do a dreamfeed at about 10pm, and then he sleeps until 7:30 am.I have read all about what might be going on with these bad naps and have tried several things…more awake time, less awake time, more feedings, CIO, etc. He goes through about 3 days of being super sleepy and staying on schedule perfectly and then a few days of napping terribly. His nights are unaffected (thank goodness!)…he sleeps great at night no matter what happens during the day. What do you think is going on during these terrible nap days? Do I try to force the nap and the schedule or just know that on those days he's just not going to sleep much? The only problem then is that I don't know what to do with his feedings…have waketime both before and after the feeding so that I can keep the feeding at the right time within the schedule?Thank you so much for your help! I'm so confused and frustrated!

  38. KtWedel
    December 10, 2010 / 1:22 AM

    Well, I've read a few of your comments…and I need your help if you can offer any good advice. Let's see where to start. I work the night shift, and take care of my daughter during the days, so I highly rely on nap times to be longer.. recently, her nap times shifted to only 30-45 minutes tops..and maybe only 3 times a day. I tried CIO for a few times, but couldn't handle it during the day. She's 11 weeks old, and a few weeks ago was napping close to 2 hours per nap, with a short one before dinner. For some reason, she has haulted those naps, and is now only going for the short (30-45 minutes). I can't live on that along with working the night shift… do you have any advise? I normally try to have her on a 3 hour schedule, which she put herself on a 4 hr schedule shortly after..and now it's all messed up. I need help…AND SLEEP in order to take care of her, and go to work as well. PLEASE- I'm desperate!

  39. Plowmanators
    December 20, 2010 / 11:19 PM

    Dandbcollier,it might be the wonder week around that age. See the blog label "wonder week" and see also the blog label "4 month sleep problems"

  40. Plowmanators
    December 20, 2010 / 11:21 PM

    KtWedel,My first guess is growth spurt, in which case she will take shorter naps, but more naps throughout the day. I know that isn't ideal for you, but you can't do anything to stop a baby from having a growth spurt. And it will happen every 3-4 weeks. It shouldn't last too long. See the label "growth spurts" for more on that.

  41. Brandon
    March 31, 2011 / 3:36 AM

    Hi!! So, my daughter just turned 8 months old today. Her naps had been going GREAT up until about a week ago and now she is crying before naps and not sleeping all that long. Probably about 6-8 weeks ago we started implementing a 4 hour schedule and therefore increasing her waketime and once she made that transition her schedule was like clockwork; it was great! But now, I just don't know what to do :/ Could this likely mean she needs a little longer waketime again? Or maybe more stimulation? However, I don't really see how more stimulation could be the fix because we give her lots of time in the jumperoo and on the floor and lots of interaction from us. Do you have any suggestions?? Thanks!

  42. clare
    April 7, 2011 / 1:31 AM

    Hi there,I really appreciate this blog and have been looking everywhere for help like this.I read the section on napping problems for 4 month olds, but I came back here to read the information for newborns, as my 4 month old has had sleeping problems since he was approximately 10 weeks old.Prior to being 10 weeks old, he would nap great, particularly in the morning. He would sleep approximately 2-2.5 hours, and then do shorter ones in the afternoon/evenings. Once he hit 10 weeks, he suddenly started waking at every 45 min mark. I could never tell if it was a growth spurt, so I fed him at times and not others. Now he is 16 weeks old and I still can't get him to take more than 45 min naps. I have had to implement sleep props, ie my arms, even though I never wanted to, just to get him to complete a 3 hour cycle, and I'm desperate to stop doing it.I feel that he is overtired, but I don't know how to break the cycle. At night, after we put him down for bed, he consistently wakes at the 45 min mark still and sometimes we have rocked him back to sleep and other times we have made him CIO for fear that he would need us to rock him every time he wakes at night (he has not done this, thankfully).I am also struggling with his morning wake time. He used to sleep until 7 am, and before daylight savings, even later until 8 am. Once daylight savings happened, he began STTN sort of, and the latest he could make it till the morning feed after an 11 pm feed was 7 am. I switched his first feed to 7 am from then on, but then he started waking earlier and earlier from 6-6:30 am. He never cries when he wakes though–I hear him talking to himself. When he wakes from most of his naps these days at the 45 min mark, he is also talking and not crying, so I can't decipher whether to go in or not, but if I don't, then he is often awake for such a long time until his feed. I then have difficulty judging how much wake time to give him and when to put him back down for a nap. Not to mention, the schedule keeps changing because of these "earlier" naps.I desperately want to maintain consistency, but it has been near impossible to do with my son. I can't figure out whether I need to give him an earlier bedtime or a later bedtime, or continue my 3 hour schedule… any help would be so appreciated.

  43. clare
    April 7, 2011 / 9:39 PM

    Hi, I'm so sorry but I thought of more to add! I am just dealing with so many different things that I can't keep track of all our issues!I generally have a lot of trouble reading any sleep cues from my son, so I have been experimenting with putting him down after about 1 hr 15 mins to 1 hr 30 mins, and he generally never cries or cries very little when I place him in the crib. He falls asleep pretty soon after I put him down too, so I always think I've timed it "perfectly," but then he'll wake up at the 45 mins mark either talking to himself, which will turn into complaining/crying after about 30-40 mins of not picking him up. How am I supposed to reach the 3 hour mark if I can't extend his wake time? Also, I read in one of your posts that a nap schedule for a 3-4 month old with 4 naps could be 1.5-2 hours for all 4 naps, or just for the first 2 with 30-60 mins for the last 2. If that is the case for the last 2 naps, again, how would I get to the 3 hour mark for the next feed? Would baby have to be kept awake longer before those last 2 naps or would I give him some wake time before his feed?Lastly, with his night time sleep, I mentioned that he always wakes at the 45 min mark again and that is the only time he'll wake crying right off the bat. Since I have not been consistently doing sleep training during the daytime naps yet (I have tried holding/rocking, putting him in a swing, feeding him earlier and doing a 2.5 cycle just to get him to the next feed), should we not let him CIO at night? We have done this a few times, and he will cry for 1-1.5 hours but then will finally drop off to sleep. I then give him a dream feed around 11 pm, but he usually has only fallen asleep anywhere from 8:45-9:45 pm. After that, he sleeps until 6:30-ish. Is this considered "STTN?" Again, should I continue to let him CIO at night, or would you recommend we start doing sleep training both at day and nighttime together? The only reason I haven't done daytime is because I thought if I could get him to do some good naps during the day, he would sleep better at night, but that does not seem to be the case with him waking at 45 mins all the time. Thank you so much for your help.

  44. Plowmanators
    April 13, 2011 / 8:51 PM

    Brandon, check out the "5-8 month sleep disruptions" post for ideas on common reasons for waking at that age range.

  45. Plowmanators
    April 25, 2011 / 6:26 PM

    Clare,For the naps, since he is waking at the 45 minute mark in the night, I would guess that he is either hungry or there is something bothering him in bed. He might be too cold, too hot, there might be too much noise, he might want to stop being swaddled if he is swaddled…The waking and talking in the 6 AM hour is a totally normal thing for all babies–not just BW babies. He might also be waking early from being overly tired. I would suggest you do some reading here on "optimal waketime" and see if you can really pinpoint him. If you can get that, things will be much easier for both of you.Over an hour for a baby that age is on the long side, so I would suggest you try cutting it back to an hour to get it figured out and work up from there. The baby can do a 3 hour cycle at the end of the day with short naps if he can have a longer waketime (say 1.5 hours), followed by at least a 30 minute nap (though most will sleep at least 45 because transitions happen every 45 minutes). Then just waiting awake for the next feeding. You can also do a 2.5 hour schedule in the evening if he needs that.I personally would not do CIO in the night if you aren't doing it in the day, too. And doing in the day might help him to learn to sleep through the transition. All babies wake at 45 minute mark (even my 2 year old does this)–all people transition. The baby who can fall back asleep on their own will continue to sleep through the transition, while the baby who cannot will wake up.STTN definition changes at different ages. The first one is sleeping 7-8 hours. If he is sleeping from dreamfeed to morning waketime, I would call that STTN.Good luck!

  46. Amber
    June 8, 2011 / 7:31 PM

    Thank you so much for your blog! It has been so helpful to me. I have a question about my daughter. She came out of the womb bright eyed. Even our newborn photographer said most babies sleep during the photos…mine was completely alert the whole time. She hasn't changed much..she is now almost 10 months old.I tried the babywise techniques from the beginning, and had great success with night time sleep, but not with naps. At her 6 month checkup I informed the pediatrician that she was hardly ever napping consistently. She maybe got a few 45 min naps in from the beginning (sometimes NO naps at all!). Up until then the swing was the only way I could get her to sleep. The Dr told me I had to let her cry it out…so we did…it only took a couple of days and she was napping in her crib, but very inconsistent and often very short naps. To this day she only gets anywhere from 45 min to 1.5 hrs 2x a day. If she wakes fussy and I leave her she just crys through the whole nap. She can't be rocked or soothed. She almost always has to cry to fall asleep for naps too.My question is…besides looking for sleep cues and trying to stick with same time each day…do you have any other suggestions? I am so worried she is not getting enough sleep. We put her down at night around 8 pm…and it takes anywhere from 20 min to 1 hr to fall asleep. She then wakes around 7 am…so she is only getting 10ish hrs a night…so with 2 short naps…she is not getting more than 12 hrs a day. Is this just how some babies are? Do some just not need as much sleep? She is usually happy, but sometimes when she misses a nap she is fussy all day and falls asleep at the breast the rest of the day. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

  47. Amber
    June 8, 2011 / 7:35 PM

    I forgot to add that if I am late for her nap she won't take one at all. She won't sleep in the car or stroller, so I have to be near a crib/pack n play. About once every 2 weeks she will just completely skip a nap. She just acts like she isn't tired….but then she will fuss or fall asleep eating like I said earlier.thanks again!Amber

  48. Emily
    June 17, 2011 / 6:30 PM

    My question is similar to Amber's. My baby girl is 6 months old and has never been a great napper. She often has trouble sleeping more than 45 minutes or an hour, but the thing that really confuses me (and I can't find anything about it in the BabyWise book) is that she often will fuss for the entire nap – a full 1.5-2 hours! I've tried comforting her, leaving her to cry it out, making it darker in her room, making it quieter, and she still often won't sleep at all during naptime. I don't think she's overstimulated during her waketime and she doesn't have reflux or anything (it's not a pain cry). Any thoughts?Sorry if this is addressed somewhere that I missed! Thanks!Emily

  49. Plowmanators
    July 1, 2011 / 4:21 AM

    Amber, be sure to read the CIO Bootcamp post. At her age, I would say it is just time for CIO. With the short naps, read the Chronic 45 Minute Intruder posts for insight into that. Good luck!

  50. Plowmanators
    July 1, 2011 / 4:22 AM

    Emily, it could be that she needs a longer waketime. She also might need more stimulation during waketime. There is also the possibility of a shorter waketime needed, too. But usually at that age if they have a hard time falling asleep in the first place it is because waketime length needs to be longer.

  51. Amber
    July 6, 2011 / 6:37 PM

    Thank you for your response…it is so nice to have someone to listen to my problems 🙂 The 45 minute intruder post was really helpful. It made me feel better that another person struggled with the same problem of these inconsistent naps. I feel like I have tried everything in the book and probably just need to accept her as she is. The problem with crying it out is that she cries the entire nap time with no break. I have a hard time thinking that she is getting any rest in there if she is crying the whole time! I have noticed that she definitely does better if I catch the 1st sleepy cue, but can't have much of a life! For example…today she took a good 1st nap…over a an hr…so I know the 2nd nap is always around 2. We went to lunch and at 1:30 she started rubbing her eyes. We hightailed it home by 2…but when I laid her down she just cried the whole time. I missed her window!I guess I really just want to know if she is just one of those finicky babies. I would feel much better if I knew that it wasn't something I was doing to interfere with her sleep 🙂 Thank you again!

  52. bren
    July 14, 2011 / 12:36 PM

    Hi!! I have been following your website for years (2009) !! Since my first born was 3 weeks old. My first born became a great sleeper after BW. I would like to implement BW with my second and I am having some trouble. Could you help me here. I now have a 7 week old son and we started bW around 3 weeks old with him. I am BF and occasionally supplementing him with formula. But that's rare. He does not fight me any longer to go down for naps or at night. He goes down really well with no fussing. However i am having trouble with him staying asleep after the 1 hour mark. It is consistent for the past 2 weeks he will wake up at the 1 hour mark for every nap. I have read through the troubleshooting posts and have tried to eliminate everything possible and do some detective work. Here is what I have found. He transitions around the 1 hour mark and I feel he is having trouble getting himself back to sleep. If I go in around the 1 hour mark I see him wake, I have tried a number of things from BW and baby whisperer. The shush/pat technique will put him back down for another 15 minutes. Pick up put down never works he just gets stimulated and cries harder. CIO has not worked in the middle of naps yet. If I feed him he always falls asleep nursing. So I have offered a paci during this time to see what he would do and he will go back down sometimes for another hour and half or I have to wake him to feed him!! Does this seem like he's having trouble in transition? And what do you think about using a paci at this time and then wean off later?? (I'm not a fan of paci's during sleep) He does not use on at all to go to sleep it's getting back to sleep. When he wakes at the 1 hour mark I can't progress past a 2 hour schedule and I know he can usually do a 2 1/2 hour-3 hour combo schedule as he is not always hungry when he wakes early. So please help!!! Here is the start of his schedule that seems to be consistent and works for us. 6:45-7:15 wake and eat, 7:30-8:45 down for nap. 9:00-9:30 wake time (this is his longest nap), 9:00 eat, 10 nap, 11 awake, then it gets hairy because I can't decide if I should try to extend his nap or not. Then he gets off schedule and the rest of the day is really messed up. He sleeps about 5 hours in one stretch at night and he is hungry when he wakes because he still wants to nurse both sides. Then he wakes 2 hours later and wants to make a bowl movement but doesn't usually want to feed. So he's doing ok at night…Just need some help. Thanks!!

  53. Plowmanators
    July 22, 2011 / 4:13 AM

    Amber, one thing I can tell you is that right now it seems like you have no life, but she will be past that before you know it. It doesn't last forever. I can say that from experience now :)My suggestion would be to spend a couple of weeks just dedicating yourself to being home as much as possible and working on the sleep cues and nap timing. See if that has an impact. Good luck!

  54. Plowmanators
    July 22, 2011 / 4:19 AM

    Bren, I think using the paci in the middle of the nap is okay. Watch it closely–if he starts not falling asleep well I would say the paci is interfering with sleep overall. I think it is worth a shot. But do be positive that it isn't a growth spurt first.

  55. bren
    July 22, 2011 / 12:37 PM

    Thank you for your reply! I usually let him fuss or cry for 10 minutes before I give the paci to see if he'll settle himself. Then i offer the paci and if he goes back to sleep then ok but if he fusses another 5-10 minutes I get him up and feed him and just adjust my schedule accordingly because I assume that he woke early from hunger. By that point i've pushed him back 20 minutes or so. SO I can just go to a 2.5 hour schedule at that point. Have you known anyone to use a paci in the middle of naps to help extend? At his age I'm just trying to establish a consistent routine as hard as it is in the summer to do that. A followup question. I know all babies are different, but what age in your opinion would you start to let CIO in the middle of naps even if they cry the whole time. I just don't feel that it's the right time to do CIO for the middle of naps yet. Just your thoughts.

  56. Alison
    August 1, 2011 / 8:05 PM

    Since July 2 (about a month now) my 7 week old has woken early from his 3rd nap every day! The time varies between 30 minutes to an hour early. I usually let himCIO about 15 minutes and then bring him down to the bouncer as hewon't have it in the swing. He stays in the bouncer until feeding time at 5pm most days and has no problem doing so so I know its not a hunger issue. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Should I be letting him CIO in his crib until 5? Should I just go with this and get him up when he wakes? What would you do?

  57. Plowmanators
    August 9, 2011 / 5:43 AM

    Bren, I can't think of anyone specifically that did the paci thing, but I know I have read about it several times, so it has been done before. I don't do CIO mid-nap until five months…I haven't ever actually done it, but my personal rule is at least five months. There have been times a baby has cried back to sleep mid-nap just because I was taking care of a toddler when the baby woke up. I think sometimes waiting ten minutes is a good idea to see if the baby is just crying through the transition, but I don't go more than ten minutes if I can help it.

  58. Plowmanators
    August 9, 2011 / 5:44 AM

    Alison, I would do exactly what you are doing. 🙂

  59. bren
    August 16, 2011 / 12:52 PM

    I just wanted to let you know. That my DS is now sleeping through transition on two of the 4 naps he takes! He has a 2 hour nap at 8 am. A 1 1/5 hour nap at 11 am. A 2 hour nap at 2 pm. and a 45 minute nap around 6. He now does not want a pacifier if he wakes early. If he wakes early he will put himself back to sleep or he will be hungry. So the paci did work to help establish some consistency to the routine for a month. But it never became a sleep prop!! Just wanted to give you the heads up. I think his sleep is looking up from here.

  60. Plowmanators
    September 1, 2011 / 4:34 AM

    Bren,Great to hear!

  61. bleuminicooper
    September 14, 2011 / 6:40 PM

    The last couple of weeks my 6.5 month daughter has not been falling sleep for her naps. She sleeps well at night (8pm-7am) but when I put her down for her nap she just rolls around her crib and talks to herself. She shows all the signs of being tired but can't seem to fall asleep. I have tried increasing her waketime/decreasing her waketime, looked at stimualtion factors etc. I have read all the blog posts regarding nap troubleshooting and I am still at a loss. Her schedule looks like this:7am-Breastfeed/Cereal8:15am-Naptime (She sleeps well for this nap.)10:30-Breastfeed/Babyfood12:00pm-Nap2:00pm-Breastfeed3:30pm-Nap5:30pm-Breastfeed/Babyfood8:00pm-Breastfeed/Down for BedBefore a couple of weeks ago, she was a wonderful napper! The only thing I can think of is that her night waketime (5:30pm-8:00pm) has been very busy. We have had activities four-five nights a week. We have been putting her to bed on time (8:00pm)and she goes to sleep without any issue. Is it possible for her to be overstimulated at night and that affects her daytime naps? You would think that if she was overstimulated it would affect her nighttime sleep. I can't seem to find blog posts that talk about babies who don't fall asleep at all. Help!

  62. nemiller6
    September 21, 2011 / 6:47 PM

    My 10-week old is also having problems taking naps past 45 minutes and is still not STTN (She has only STTN once). When she wakes at 45 minutes, she will usually go back to sleep after crying for 15 minutes. Since she goes back to sleep, do I assume that it is not a growth spurt? It seems like she will eat whenever I offer so I'm not sure if she is truly hungry at those times or not. I just don't want to feed her every 1.5 hours and completely throw off our schedule if she isn't actually going through a growth spurt.Thanks!!

  63. Katie
    September 22, 2011 / 1:59 AM

    I have read so many posts and comments looking for your response that may apply, but my head is spinning, so I'll just ask for your advice based on my situation. I have a 6 week old who napped well until last week and now, every single nap is a disaster. I am in the middle of week 2 of bad naps. Thankfully, his night sleep is still okay. He's not STTN yet, but getting close.We have had him on the 3 hour schedule basically since we got home from the hospital. It just fell into place in terms of nursing. We started CIO at 2 weeks.The nap problem is that he wakes up 30-40 minutes (sometimes earlier) into his nap – every time. (I have been keeping a log). I have tried to shorten his wake time, lengthen his wake time, to give him more stimulation and exercise, feed him, etc. QUESTION 1: How long do you suggest I try the troubleshooting solution? How long do you think it takes to show whether or not the fix is working?As I mentioned, we started CIO at 2 weeks. QUESTION 2: I am a little confused by CIO – do you suggest no CIO during naps? Right now he is frequently CIO during his naps, but I don't know what else to do. If he didn't CIO during naps, I'd be going in there multiple times to soothe or feed or address the problem. That is not sustainable. I have tried to feed him at times, I know he doesn't have gas (he takes the gas drops) and his diaper is not dirty.I am also extremely confused by knowing if it's hunger. I assume it's not hunger when he has been waking early for every nap for the last week and a half. I was nursing him when the bad naps started, but now he's getting bottles with breast milk because I go back to work in 4 weeks and we want to make sure he takes a bottle. So, I know how much he is getting. QUESTION 3: How should I know it's huger when he wakes? If I'm now bottle feeding – do I try and give him a full feeding? Could he really be hungry 30-40 minutes into his nap…for every nap? It seems so unlikely that it is always hunger? QUESTION 4: Do you have an specific suggestion regarding wake time? I have a feeling the wake time is the problem. Now with a bottle, he's fed by 15 minutes. He starts to show signs of being tired (yawning, whining) at 45 minutes into the cycle. I have read every post on wake time, but I am just not sure how to proceed. I put him down when he showed those signs..but, he still woke after 30 minutes. After he wakes up at 30 minutes, he will go back to sleep on and off until the end of his nap – many times having to CIO ruing the nap. So, I tried to extend wake time and still…wake up after 30 minutes. Cry or whine on and off for the rest of his nap. QUESTION 5: Can I really expect him to sleep for 2 hours and 15 minutes? At this point he's not even sleeping for 1 hour. Do you have any thoughts about wake time?QUESTION 6: Based on all of the parents you have helped, being that he was a good napper at one point, do you think he's a short napper, or do you think there is fix? If there are any other suggestions you may have, I am of course, open to ANY advice or thoughts. I am, like many of the parents on here, desperate. Thank you in advance for your time.

  64. Plowmanators
    September 30, 2011 / 5:02 AM

    bleuminicooper,I think it is possible she is too overstimulated. Do you know how she is falling asleep? Do you have a video monitor so you can see? It could be teething. Have you tried giving her some tylenol before a nap and see how that goes?

  65. Plowmanators
    September 30, 2011 / 5:03 AM

    nemiller6,I would assume it is not a growth spurt since she goes back to sleep and still sleeps equally as well as she has at night.

  66. Plowmanators
    September 30, 2011 / 5:22 AM

    Katie,1. Some people (like the baby whisperer) say you should try for a few days. I always feel like I know sooner than that, but it is kind of a gut feeling thing.2. I don't do CIO mid-nap at that age.3. If he takes a full feeding, then you know it was hunger. If it is a growth spurt, it is totally normal to be that hungry.4. I have posts on waketime length. Are you sure he is falling asleep? He could be laying quietly and then fussing. What he is doing for those 30 minutes impacts what you should do.5. I would shoot first for hoping for 1.5 hours first. But wakeitme length depends on the factors I mentioned in 4.6. Hard to say at this point. Since he did nap well, I would say it is a growth spurt or some other issue.

  67. Becca
    October 6, 2011 / 7:26 PM

    First of all, REALLY appreciate this blog. It's been a lifesaver, and I've referred so many friends to it when they're having newborn/baby issues!My son will be 9 months old next week. He typically sleeps 11.5-12 hours every night (7/7:30-7/7:30) and dropped to two 1.5-2 hour naps at 6 months of age. However, in the past couple of weeks, he has had extreme difficulty going down for his second nap. I've tried shortening and lengthening waketimes, feeding him, etc. Nothing helps. He'll talk or play in his crib for at least an hour, then usually start crying at the end and eventually drift off to sleep. He was doing great at a 3-3.25 hour waketime, but I shortened it when I noticed it was having problems to no avail. Any ideas? I know he's too early to drop the second nap, but I have no idea what to do. Thanks in advance!

  68. Plowmanators
    October 21, 2011 / 1:04 PM

    Becca, try going back to the 3-3.25 hour waketime and add five minutes at a time until you get to a good waketime length for him.However, I will say that my kids all had two hours up, two hours down at that age, so you might want to try that, too. Being on a four hour schedule and being up for 3 hours or more doesn't give much time for sleeping. Good luck!

  69. Alison
    October 27, 2011 / 6:46 PM

    My 4 1/2 month old little guy moved to a 3.5 hour then to a 4 hour schedule rather quickly on 8/23. Since this transition his second nap is ALWAYS 45-60 minutes long. Prior to switching to a longer schedule this issue was occurring with his 3rd nap. For the last 2+ months I have been leaving him in his crib until his next feeding time at 4pm. So this is what his schedule looks like.8am wake, eat, 90 minutes waketime12pm wake, eat 90-105 minutes waketime depending on sleep cuesusually wakes sometime between 245 and 300pm but should be sleeping until 4pm4 eat, immediately down for nap due to early wake715 wake him, bath8pm eat830 bedtimemy question is this: he has seemed to struggle with this nap since the beginning–do I just go with it and reverse the E/W/S cycle. do i keep leaving him in there till 4 and listening to him cio on/off every day hoping that this will soon change? i really wish if he were going to take a catnap it would be during his 3rd and final nap of the day…is there a way to switch these two naps around?thanks in advance!

  70. Plowmanators
    November 15, 2011 / 11:39 PM

    Hi Alison!I would guess waketime is not quite right at that time. I would do some experimenting. Do 90 for a couple of days. If that doesn't work, do 95 and so on.But also pay attention to what else is going on at that time. You mentioned he has always had a hard time at that time of day. Is the sun hitting his room at that point? Is there something noisy outside or inside? What is different at that nap from the other naps.

  71. John and Andrea
    December 10, 2011 / 12:44 AM

    Hi, my 8 month old perfect sleeper has "suddenly" started waking early from every nap. She recently transitioned to 11.5-12 hrs at night (dropped her dream feed) She's on a 3.5-4 hr sched during the day. Her awake time is 1 – 1.5 hrs and she used to sleep easily the whole rest of the cycle (I almost always had to wake her). Now for the last week and a half she's been waking anywhere from 20 mins to an hour into her nap. I thought at first that her trying to crawl was the issue or teeth or… there are so many variables… so I clung to her schedule and held on for the ride, basically doing my best to wait it out… but today after her 3rd botched nap I have a tired and cranky little girl and I'm weary of this and need some outside insight. Any suggestions? I've read so many of your posts on napping issues and this blog has kept me sane many a time with my first and now my second baby… thanks!

  72. Plowmanators
    December 27, 2011 / 11:30 PM

    Andrea,She might need a longer waketime length before naptime since she is getting more sleep at night. It is also possible she is having a growth spurt right now.If you suspect teething, try tylenol before a nap. Good luck!

  73. DB
    January 16, 2012 / 10:13 PM

    Hi,I'm not really sure where to start. My baby is thirteen weeks old,STTN she has since she was 5 weeks old,was on a 2 1/2 to 3 hr routine at seven weeks old when my problem started,and is now on a 3 hr routine. So my problem …she wakes after 30-45 sometimes hr nap. She usually does 1 1/2 waketime so that leaves hr before time to eat. I read about growth spurts so I tried feeding, in the beginning I think it was a combination of that and not very consistent with sch. I had first feeding at 6 and then 6:30 sometimes and didn't know to adjust for that so every day was different and thanksgiving was the week before. So after talking to a friend that was before I knew about this blog,she said do every three hrs. So now I have two problems I really think she can go 3 1/2 hrs at times but can't get naps under control to do that. She wakes so early and not hungry. So I don't know where to start. I still get her up at 6 for first feeding and bed at 9:30 and sometimes she doesn't want this feeding and the rest of the day do the best I can. I feel like I need to start over but don't know what to do. She goes down great only crys 3-10 mins most of the time five. When she wakes she is happy for the first couple naps but not for all and I feel like its bc lack of sleep. I just don't know where to start with sch then the naps? But the kind of go together. I have tried just every 3 but she doesn't eat very good that's why I feel she can go longer.PLEASE HELPThanksDB

  74. DB
    January 16, 2012 / 10:37 PM

    I forgot to mention she is breastfed.

  75. Stephanie
    January 26, 2012 / 7:06 PM

    My almost 5 month old was a great napper from the beginning. I always had to wake her from her naps to keep her on a 3-hour schedule. About a month ago, one day she stopped sleeping until feeding time. She was waking 45-60 minutes before feeding time. I know all about the 45-minute intruder, and I have never rushed in to get her up as soon as I hear her. I usually always wait (depending on how soon before the feeding) 10-30 minutes before getting her up to see if she'll fall back asleep. I think that has only happened 2 times. All other times, she continues to cry. And this happens for every nap of the day, not just 1 or 2. And the length of her naps sometimes get longer as the day goes on with the first "most important" nap being the shortest, about 40-50 minutes, leaving me having to entertain her for about an hour before feeding. Now that she's almost 5 months, I feel that she should be able to go longer between feedings, especially since we will be starting solids soon. But I don't see how this will ever happen if she doesn't sleep longer. I then would be having to entertain for almost 2 hours before feedings. I should also mention that she does sleep through the night and has been since she was 8 weeks. So she definitely knows how to soothe herself back to sleep during the sleep cycle transitions. I have read about shortening waketimes, but shouldn't they be getting longer and not shorter since she's about 5 months?? I do have a very hard time deciphering between her being fussy due to sleepiness or boredom. And also because she's awake so long before feedings, that creates a domino effect of not being able to be up as long after feeding, but still wakes after only 50 minutes, which results in waking an hour before feeding again. I have also considered a growth spurt and maybe she's hungry, but like I said this has been going on for at least a month and she is also pleasant for a while after getting her up. I don't think she'd be happy at all if she was starving. Is it possible I need to darken her room already? I feel at 4 months, she's still young enough to sleep with light. Do you have any suggestions??? Thank you!!

  76. Plowmanators
    February 1, 2012 / 11:46 PM

    DB, I think she might need a shorter waketime length. She might need closer to one hour total. I would move back in 5-10 minute increments until you get to an hour or until she is sleeping better.

  77. Plowmanators
    February 18, 2012 / 10:43 PM

    Stephanie, I think she could definitely need the room darkened. McKenna was sensitive to that much younger than four months.Are you sure it isn't a growth?If you are sure it is not a growth spurt, I would consider "wonder weeks"–see that blog label for more on that.

  78. Anonymous
    March 1, 2012 / 5:13 PM

    I am trouble-shooting my 6-month-old's naps and bedtime. But there's a bit of a hitch in it. We are doing elimination communication. Have you heard of this? Basically you help babies to be able to pee into a bowl or potty instead of in their diaper. They're taught to be very aware of their need to "go." I'm finding that my daughter is waking up after 45 minutes sometimes– needing to pee. She's also waking in the night, and I think it's for the same reason. She totally goes ballistic (for her– she's pretty good natured so her ballistic is pretty mild) if I put her back in the crib after that because our normal routine is potty, then eat. Also, when she gets up in the night, she seems legitimately hungry after pottying. But when she eats she'll have to potty again… before morning. lol. Any ideas? Ever heard of someone doing this and babywise?

  79. Julie
    March 21, 2012 / 4:56 PM

    First of all, I love the blog. It kept me company during many breastfeeding sessions when my baby was still eating through the night. My daughter is 3 months old and has dealt with the 45 min intruder since 4 weeks. Sometimes a paci works but normally I let her CIO which never takes longer than 10-15 min and usually is 8 minutes. Once she goes back to sleep she will sometimes stay asleep for the duration of her nap and sometimes will wake every 10 or 20 min after that. Once she does fall back to sleep for good though, she will sleep an extra half hour if I let her. So a total nap time of 2 hours instead of 1.5. My question is should I let her sleep or wake her to keep her on our 3 hour schedule. Can't wait for the 45 min problem to end!

  80. Plowmanators
    March 23, 2012 / 3:46 AM

    Brittney, I know some BW moms have done early potty training, but I don't know about this challenge. I don't really know what to tell you. Honestly, from my perspective, sleep would be more important than potty, and I would hate to be hesitant to feed if she was hungry because of what that would mean for potty. But that is my value heirarchy–sleep would come before pottying at that age. So if yours is different, then that wouldn't be helpful to you 🙂

  81. Plowmanators
    March 23, 2012 / 3:49 AM

    Julie, I would let her sleep to get that two hours. Also, be positive it isn't a growth spurt. I just like to remind that often, especally for newborns 🙂

  82. omishev
    April 25, 2012 / 1:27 PM

    Hi, I started BW at 9 weeks. My daughter often cries for much of nap time. After about 30-45 min of crying I often give her the pacifier in hopes that she will sleep some before the next cycle. This usually works immediately but I hate using the pacifier. Then she wakes after 15-20 min and continues to cry unless I put the pacifier back in. After nap time is over I nurse her and I can't keep her awake more than 5 min so she doesn't get a good feeding and is sleeping right after eating but she didn't sleep during her nap. Then we get stuck in a cycle of cat naps and snacks. What do I do?Also, should I interupt CIO to change her diaper? Thanks!!

  83. sonia
    April 27, 2012 / 10:51 PM

    Thanks for this amazing blog! I'll get straight to the point. Any wisdom you may have would be greatly appreciated! My 17 week old has been waking an hour or more early for his morning nap. This used to be his best nap, but in the last 2 weeks or so he has been waking and lying there contently for the rest of the nap. Then starts the horrible day of playing catch up and having a backward waketime, feed, sleep schedule. It also makes the night time cap nap at weird times. Honestly, all of his naps are this way, I'm just trying to focus on one at a time. His room is dark, we use a fan, and he's upstairs away from sibling noises. I've been logging everything for almost two months now and just can't figure it out. We've tried the "easy fix" and that helped for a bit, then it seemed like he was needing more waketime, so we we tried adding in 5 min. increments. Nothing is making a difference. Finally today I tried bringing him down and having him play till I saw he was tired. I ended up feeding him since 35 mins. in he wasn't showing signs of tiredness and it was close to feeding time anyway. So that one was wake, feed, wake, sleep lol! I should also add, he sleeps from 8a to 8p with a df at 10p. This last week he's been waking at 6:30 or so for an hour (content), so he's only slept 30 mins. by the time I go in to get him for his first bottle. Sometimes he wakes at 7a and that really makes things confusing since my 30 min. window is from 7:45-8:15. We tried dropping the df and the early morning wakings started, so I assumed he wasn't ready, but he's still waking early. His sleepy cues are sort of weird too. Yawns seems to be his beginning signs, then there's nothing. The last sign is grumpiness. We've gone too late when we hit the grumpy point:/ So somewhere between yawning and grumpy. We just need to guess lol! He's a super happy boy so it's hard to read him. I love my little guy, but I cannot wait to be done with infant sleep training!

  84. sonia
    April 27, 2012 / 11:15 PM

    And he's on a 3 hr. schedule with exception of the first which is 3.5. We tried 4 but he doesn't seem to be awake long enough to sleep on a 4hr. schedule. Waketimes are from 55-75 mins.long.

  85. JBallow
    May 7, 2012 / 7:41 PM

    I have an 18 wo baby girl who is currently transitioning to a 3 nap schedule. We are still on a 3 hr. schedule because she is still unable to stay up longer than about 1.5 hours and then won't sleep longer than about 1.5, if I'm lucky. We are currently dealing with 4 month sleeping issues and sometimes she will only sleep for about 45 minutes. Anyway, my question is when transitioning to 3 naps and still on a 3 hr. schedule, did you just make bed time earlier? Her bed time is usually 7:00 but yesterday she was up from about 4 and then went down for the night around 6:40. She had a really rough time sleeping last night and I'm wondering if she was just overtired. There are days when I can get her to take a catnap to help her make it to bedtime but that isn't happening as often anymore. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I love your blog, it has definitely helped me maintain my sanity at times. Thank you in advance.

  86. maria
    July 31, 2012 / 1:33 PM

    hi…my ten week old will wake in the morning, wrestle out of her swaddle and suck on her fingers. i guess after a while she realizes there is no milk coming out of tjem and starts crying. i go in and get her and feed her (breastfeeding) but then i do not know when to put her down because i don't lnow when she woke up. so she has been waking 30 minutes into that nap and then it spirals and ruins all the naps of the day because she is overtired. when i coslept with her i knew exactly when she woke up so i could put her down within an hour of waking andshe would sleep until i woke her for that morning nap. but now that she is in her crib i don't know what time she is waking up. any suggestions? thanks.

  87. jschultztyty
    September 3, 2012 / 2:11 PM

    Hi. Love your blog, it is a huge help! I am having some sleep issues with my 3 month old girl. We are on a 3 hour schedule, EBF, and been doing eat/wake/sleep since the beginning, but only on a consistent schedule for the past 4 weeks. She just started sleeping a long stretch at night this past week which has varied from 6-9 hours at most. We did CIO for bedtime from 4 weeks and now she goes to bed fine. However naptime is different. She cries at every nap that I do not put her in her swing. I have been letting her CIO and she usually will fall asleep, but only for 20-45 minutes, and then she wakes and I have to put her in the swing to finish and sometimes she sleeps sometimes not. Sometimes she doesn't sleep at all in her crib and after 45 min of crying I move her to the swing so she gets SOME sleep. I also use the swing for her short 4th nap of the day, usually 30 min, and also for the first nap of the day, just to get off to a good start. Basically the 2 middle naps have been hit or miss since birth. Do you think I need to stop using the swing as a prop? She seems to be able to soothe at night now, and any nap she does in the swing, I have to wake her from, but she ALWAYS wakes early from a nap in her crib or playpen. Should all 4 naps be in her crib? I am afraid she will fight the sleep and I will end up back to waking alot during the night from being overtired. Also, do you think she is not STTN because of the nap issues? She usually goes right back to sleep after I feed her and sleeps till waketime, but just can't seem to go the full 12 hours. Any help is appreciated!!!

  88. Rachel Mahl
    September 20, 2012 / 3:24 PM

    My son is 5 months old and has consistently only taken 30 min naps. I am not sure what to do. I have tried rocking him and then putting him back down but that only works if I rock him to sleep and i don't want to start that habit. We just started crying it out at night bc we just got his reflux under control. Should I leave him to cry through transition or just get him up to play… I have done that but then he gets over tired. He isn't hungry when he wakes.

  89. Marissa B
    October 18, 2012 / 12:44 AM

    I'm loving your site!I just discovered BW this past week and have been implementing it for the past few days. It seems to be going well but I have a couple of questions: 1)my first question seems to be the opposite of everyone else; can a baby "oversleep" when it comes to napping? My LO is 3months and she has just started to really, truly napping this week(thanks to BW)- she generally goes down with no problem (a little crying but nothing too bad) but sometimes she sleeps beyond her feeding time which has left her eating at different times because I don't want to wake her. I'm breastfeeding her. Should I be waking her to keep her on schedule?

  90. Unknown
    October 27, 2012 / 9:57 PM

    My baby girl is 8 weeks old. I am struggling to get her to sleep during her naps. I did BW with my son and he was always a happy, healthy sleeper. She doesn't nap till her afternoon 1 pm nap. I try to let her CIO but she will cry for over 45 minutes if I let her. She can't self soothe at all:(. She will only calm down in our arms and then we put her down. She always wakes after 30-45 minutes, not a minute longer unless its her 1 pm nap. Ugh. Her crying after her 7 am and 10 am feeding is starting to wear on me. She CIO, we increased her feeding (I'm only pumping so I bumped her up to an ounce), I try to not overstiumulate but I have a 3 year old and he's busy:). Her wake time amount varies on her fussiness. She seems to wake up and burp and spit up. She spits up a lot!Any ideas?

  91. Jen
    November 5, 2012 / 5:22 PM

    Hi, Thank you for all this great info! I recently started babywise with my 5 month old. She wakes up crying hard 1/2 hour sometimes an hour early from her naps (2 hour naps). She is usually hungry. After I feed her should I lay her back down or adjust the schedule and start her wake/play time?Thanks so much!

  92. Maybomummy
    November 22, 2012 / 2:30 AM

    Hi there, My baby is 5 weeks old and has been on a loose 3hr BW routine since birth. However he has suddenly started doing things differently this week:1) He is waking up 30mins into his first nap of the day. I burp him to rule that out and then leave him to CIO on and off for about 10-15mins after which he will usually settle back to sleep. What could be causing this? Is it just him transitioning sleep cycles or could he be hungry? If its not hunger, I am happy to let him cry himself back to sleep so he learns to resettle.2) He has also started waking 2hrs after his DF at night (I breastfeed). Last night I fed him after he woke and he ate for about 5mins before falling back asleep for 3 hrs. However after his next feed, he again woke after 2hrs. At this point it was close to 7am so we just played with him until his feedtime. Point to note: His last feed for the day is abt 6/6:30pm after which he sleeps really well until we wake him at 10:30ish for his DF. I just wonder why he sleeps so soundly from 6-10pm but then not as well after the DF?? Would love to hear ur thoughts on the above. Thanks so much.

  93. MLK
    March 24, 2013 / 3:35 PM

    Valerie, thank you for this blog, it has been so helpful! I have learned so much reading your posts and all the comments. While night sleep has been awesome since 7 weeks, I have been dealing with the 45-minute intruder since 9 weeks, and we are now 14 weeks. I have kept a log of everything in an attempt to figure out what was going on! I felt I had tried EVERYTHING. I *may* have finally figured it out, so I thought I'd share in case it helps someone else. Granted, she could have just outgrown it in this time.I read your trouble-shooting posts early on and feared I was overstimulating her. She loved her gym and could spend a long time in there. So I started limiting time in it and then doing other things in 10/15 min. chunks to fill our wake times. Well, looking back over my notes, I found the good naps coincided with the waketimes where she only had one or two different activities – as in, her gym + music, or playpen + walking to the mailbox. However, she had spent longer periods of time in her gym or playpen. I think I was overstimulating her by trying not to overstimulate her, if that makes sense. She just wanted to practice a skill for an extended period of time. So lately, I've let her play for much longer, whether in her gym, playpen, on a blanket with me, etc. and it seems to be working. We've had some great naps! Again, maybe she just outgrew it and her attention span is longer, or we just had a few good days, but wanted to share in case it helps anyone else. And also share that I feel your pain when it comes to weeks of short naps – especially when you know baby needs more!Aannnnddd, I'm sure I just jinxed myself by posting this – so I'm going to go prepare for the 4 month sleep regression 🙂

  94. Unknown
    May 9, 2013 / 4:29 PM

    5 month old has been sleeping through the night since 4 weeks (currently 7:30 pm-6:30am), even though she has horrible reflux. However, she has never been a good napper. Consistently 45 minute naps. When she was smaller I attributed this to re-flux and gas. She is now down to 3 naps a day but all are 45 minutes, MAYBE one will be 1.5 hours. I have tried everything mentioned above and in the 45 minute intruder section of babywise. The thing is she wakes up happy from her 45 minute naps, which correlates to the babywise principal that baby should wake up happy. Can some babies just not need as much sleep as others?

  95. omishev
    May 10, 2013 / 1:30 PM

    To "unknown" above with the 45 min naps: I don't think Val gets a chance to answer all of these so I wanted to add my 2 cents. I had a 45 min napper for a VERY long time. We went through some good phases with longer naps but also had many months of 45 min naps. Like yours, mine was always sooo happy and didn't act overtired. Yes, some babies need more sleep than others but I think they would all benefit from longer naps. Once we overcame the 45 min intruder my dd was sleeping twice as much during the day as before. It made a huge difference for ME, though she was always happy before too. I know most people say a 45 min naps means the baby was overtired and for months I tried to keep her WT really short but then I just gave it a try to lengthen them and she started sleeping longer. Does your dd have sleepy signs? It also helped (somewhat) to keep the room warm. As frustrating as it can be, I wouldn't worry too much about it as long as she is cheerful. Just keep trying different things. I stupidly kept trying the same things over and over.

  96. Nick
    June 9, 2013 / 3:03 AM

    We just started CIO after returning from a vacation and our 4 month old kept waking up at night every couple of hours. She was a great sleeper prior to then, but went down by rocking, swaddling and pacifying! It's been a week now with CIO and my sweet girl is doing great! She sleeps for 11hours at night and puts herself to sleep on her own… We went cold turkey on rocking, swaddling and pacifying. She also takes a great morning nap between 2-2.5 hours with no issues again- putting herself to sleep. The issue we are having with her is for her nap #2 and 3: she has cried consistently the entire time for the entire week. She doesn't eventually fall asleep either. And she is exhausted. We have blackout curtains, I've tried putting her down at the first time of showing she's tired, I've tried waiting longer, I know she's not hungry, I've tried rocking to soothe until drowsy… and she just cries. Only for naps 2-3. Everything else she does great. Our pediatrician said to try just pushing her nap time back and only doing two naps a day, but that didn't work either. I know it's only been a week- but could this be a wonder week? I'm just confused since she sleeps so well at night and for nap#1. She is definitely exhausted… I'm just afraid this will keep going and going and going. It's exhausting for me too :). Oh and I should add she's fallen asleep elsewhere afterwards- under play gym, etc. should I just assume she won't sleep in her crib during this time and let her fall asleep on her own somewhere else or push through?Thanks for your help!Meg

  97. Haley Hill
    July 19, 2013 / 5:28 PM

    We have had short naps for months now and I really don't know what to do. I feel like I have tried everything and maybe that is just how it is going to be with my baby! He is now almost 7 months old and has 40 minutes naps since about 4 months old. About 30% of the time he will take a longer (2 hour) nap, but almost every morning nap is 40 minutes and he always wakes up crying hard. He wakes up happy when he takes a longer nap. I have tried feeding him but he is not hungry. I have let him cry and he never falls back to sleep. I have tried rocking him but he is wide awake. I change his diaper before putting him down so he should be fine. He stays awake about 2-2.5 hours before a nap. He sleeps pretty well at night (wakes up once around 5am) and he is really happy and content all the time. Maybe this is just how he is? Any other tips or suggestions? Thanks for your blog!

  98. corrielin
    October 7, 2013 / 2:39 PM

    My almost 3 month old has always struggled with short naps. We started CIO at 3 weeks, and he has been able to put himself to sleep with little to no crying for a while but lately he ALWAYS wakes after 35-45 minutes. He used to do great in the mornings for the most part and then took shorter naps in the afternoon. I still only keep him awake for 1-1.5 hours (usually a little less for his first nap). The past two weeks I would move him to the swing to finish his nap and that worked really well, he would almost always fall back asleep and then I would have to wake him. Now that is only working about half the time. I don't think he's waking out of hunger/discomfort or anything so would your advice be to start letting him CIO in the middle of the nap or do you have any other suggestions? I'm going crazy with this habitual waking!

  99. corrielin
    October 10, 2013 / 2:41 PM

    My little guy turns 3 mo tomorrow and he has always had a hard time staying asleep for naps. I've played with shorter awake times, longer awake times, more stimulation, less, warmer clothes, cooler clothes…and nothing seems to really make a difference. We've been doing CIO since 3 weeks and he started doing better for a while, then the past month he seems to be crying more again when I put him down (off and on) and almost always wakes after 35-45 minutes. If I put him in the swing for a nap (if I just really need a break) he will often sleep 2+ hours, and usually I have to wake him. But when I put him in bed he almost always wakes early and won't settle himself down. Any ideas? I am going crazy with this, help!

  100. Laurenhegarty
    January 9, 2014 / 7:52 PM

    My 5 month old has always been a good napper, but recently he has started crying for about 5-10 minutes after i out him down, I have always taken him into his room, held him for a couple minutes and then laid him down awake and he is fine; talks for a little bit but then falls asleep. He is on a 4 hr schedule, napping 1.5 – 2 hours for his first 2 naps and 30-45 minutes for the 3rd. Is this just a phase? What would you recommend?

  101. Valerie Plowman
    January 12, 2014 / 2:46 AM

    It could be a wonder week issue, but I would bet he needs to be awake longer. I would try keeping him up five minutes longer and see how that goes. If it doesn't fix it, adding another five so you have ten minutes later.

  102. Julie
    March 14, 2014 / 4:02 PM

    My baby is 4 months old. She sleeps Ah-MAZing at night! 12 hours, easy. 8pm-8am. She has typically been a good napper too… usually sleeping 2.5hrs. Sometimes she would wake with what I assumed was the 45 min. intruder, and she would just go back to sleep if I left her alone. Now-a-days, she wakes at around 45min to an hour and WILL NOT GO BACK TO SLEEP. She goes down for the nap fine, with very minimal crying. Its just that she'll wake up early and not go back to sleep! I've tried the feeding thing to see if she just needs more calories, and she doesn't seem interested in food. When she wakes up, she isn't really fussy. Just whines a little until I get her up for her next feeding. (She is on a 4 hour schedule). Its fine for the first half of the day… but by the second half of the day and into the evening, her lack of sleep is REALLY a problem. She becomes super crabby. Also, she was a preemie… almost 2 months early. So I don't know if that's making any kind of difference. She has done remarkably well with eating and gaining weight, though, and has more than caught up with the weight of a normal 4 month old. Still… I don't know if developmentally something is going on here that has to do with her preemie status? Anything that would affect nap times?Thoughts/sagely wisdom appreciated!! Thanks!

  103. Erin
    June 12, 2015 / 4:15 PM

    Hi Valerie. What do you think is more important – that the child eats right when they wake up or that they eat close to the right time of the schedule? For example if your child wakes up often 45 minutes into a nap then it hasn't even been 2 hours between feedings yet so what do you do? I've always struggled with this component of babywise. I know that if you don't feed right away in the early months that by the time you do feed it is practically nap time then and the whole eat-play-sleep thing goes to dust…This causes me so much stress. Also I find it so hard to determine the optimal waketime length – whether she needs more awake time or less always trouble me… any light you can shed on this for me would be helpful.

  104. Amy
    November 15, 2015 / 7:53 PM

    I'm not sure if this thread is being checked but I thought I'd post my question here in case! My 9 week old wakes about 20-30 min into his first two naps. I try to go in there and help him not wake during transition but sometimes he still wakes and won't go back to sleep even with CIO and making sure nothing else is wrong. His third nap is usually a good hpur an a half-2 hrs bc hr must be exhausted by that point fr not sleeping. He has 55-1 hr of awake time an I watch him closely for signs of sleepyness, swaddle him, sit with him 5 min then lay him down drowsy but awake. He always wakes up crying for his paci. I go in the first couple times and put it back in but after that let him CIO. Does he need more awake time? Take his paci away? We aren't great about starting our day at the exact same time every day. Still waking up crazy times all thru the night (in addition to his usual 2/39 & 4 am feeding) what am I doing wrong?

  105. Amy
    November 18, 2015 / 4:32 PM

    Ok day 2 of no paci is going well. He is able to fall asleep on his own for naps and bedtime. But he is still waking 30 min into first two naps. I'm guessing a growth spurt but my question now is: do I start over from the moment he wakes with his schedule and put him down an hr or so after he wakes? If if isn't a food issue in the future and he CIO for about an hour and meet goes back to sleep how do I time everything then? Because at that point he's had an hour of wake time and should technically be ready to sleep again? Timing his schedule gets so confusing with the short naps.

  106. Rosie M. Jordan
    August 27, 2016 / 2:29 PM

    My little boy is 10weeks old and we're just starting the sleep schedules and sticking with the 15min rule. I have a questions:I'm wondering how we "catch up" throughout the day when he wakes early from his nap and spends the next 45min crying (checking on him every 15min). I know it says to feed him early, but then do I start the process over again right away so he's not awake for more than and hour and a half at a time? Or do I let me him sleep longer for his next nap to help "catch up".By Rosie for

  107. Coleen Challinor
    November 29, 2016 / 7:30 AM

    I can't seem to figure this out…my 11 WO started sleeping through the night at 6 WO from 11:30-6:30; she is on a 2-2.5 hour bf schedule and her last feeding usually is between 11-11:30. She caught a cold a couple weeks ago which caused her to wake in the night (congestion) and now she's waking up like clock work at between 2:30-3:30 and again at 5:30-6:30 she will feed on one side for 4-6 minutes and is completely comatose. When she wakes between 7:30-8 she's lethargic and wants to sleep immediately. She will not nap longer than 35 minutes each nap sometimes it's as short as 15-20 minutes. I am at a loss as to what to do…help!

  108. Shamim
    November 30, 2016 / 6:41 PM

    Summer clothes should be light cotton ones. When baby is taken out, make sure that his head does not get the direct sun. Make the most of parasols or stroller sun covers. The covers in particular also help against wasps.For more information visit …here…. Thanks!

  109. Jayhawkmama
    December 9, 2016 / 3:32 AM

    My lo is 4 weeks old and for the past two weeks almost has been off on his daytime schedule. We started BW at birth and he took really well, settling into a 2.5 schedule for the day/3 hour for the night. However since we dropped one of the nighttime feedings at 3 weeks, his feedings now are about every 2-2.5 hours (6, 8:45-9, 11, 1, 4-4:30, 6:30-7, 10:30-11, 2:30-3). It now varies whereas before he was like clockwork.I thought it was a growth spurt at first but now it's been going on for more than just a few days. I know this is a wonder week but I'm afraid he's set a new schedule. I work to make sure he gets a full feeding but he doesn't eat as long at each feeding as before (I think he's just gotten more efficient with those). It seems to be getting worse too – more feedings being every 2 hours rather than just 1-2. Will he reset himself after this week or should I do something differently? I'm at a loss. I've tried extending his awake time, shortening, waiting to see if he settles back asleep, etc. Any suggestions?- Tara

  110. Priscilla Buchanan
    July 5, 2017 / 6:29 PM

    Your blog has been so helpful! I do have some troubleshooting questions that I hope you can give some guidance on. We started BabyWise at 4 weeks old, but while I was learning the material, we went through trial and error and basically didn't understand it all to implement BW correctly until around 6 weeks. My LO is nearly 8 weeks old now. I have been consistently staying at home with her so she can get on a good schedule. She is mostly doing the EWS pattern except for around her 10:00AM feeding when she is particularly tired it seems. This is her schedule: 6:30-7:00AM –7:50 nap 10:00AM–10:50 nap 1:00PM–1:50 nap 4:00PM–4:50 nap 7:00PM–7:50 nap10:00PM dreamfeed back to bed. 2-3:30AM nurses one side and back to bed. I change her diaper at every feeding except for the MOTN feed. We started out at 40 min for waketime, and recently upped it to 50 min because she is constantly waking up early from her naps. She is still waking up early, but she starts to yawn and eyes get droopy at 40 min, and sometimes her first yawn is 35 min! So my question is, does she need more waketime even though she shows signs of being tired at 40 min? She has become dependent on the swing for majority of naps. Also, another scenario. She sometimes will go down in her crib, but will maybe take a 30 – 1 hour nap and then wake up. Shell be content, and occasionally drift in and out a bit but mostly just dropped eyes for the remainder of the nap. Do I pick her up and put her in the swing then? Any advice on the waketime/waking early from her nap, and the droopy eyes but content in her crib to swing situation is so appreciated!

  111. Ellie
    January 16, 2018 / 6:12 PM

    On my third kid and I'm still checking your blog! lol.My 9 mo old has always taken short naps, but never seems rested. I've tried all the suggestions. Lately, she poops during naps and can't go back to sleep whether I leave or or change her. Morning naps are usually an hour, afternoon nap is 1.5 usually and she just started needing a 3rd from time to time, but often won't really go to sleep for it, so she's just fussy for the last 2 hours of the day. Not sure what to try.

  112. Ellie
    January 16, 2018 / 6:15 PM

    I should have added: we shoot for a 7am wakeup time, but she's usually awake at 6am and I leave her until 7. 7 – bottle, food9/9:30-10/10:30 Nap10:30 Bottle11 Lunch1:30-3 Nap3-4 Bottle, Snack6 Dinner7:30 Bedtime.We keep trying to extend her bedtime to get her to sleep later in the morning, but she rarely makes it past 7 before needing her bottle and tuck in.

  113. matt_baxter
    May 20, 2018 / 4:31 AM

    Hi there,We are currently trying to implement babywise for our five week old. So far it has worked pretty well. However for the past three days bub won't sleep after her 1pm feeding. She lays there awake for a while with her eyes opened doing the occasional whinge, and then that escalates into full blown crying later which we usually end up trying to do the shh pat method and then give in and get her out (at which point she has probably worked herself hungry). The problem is that this nap runs into her witching hour (4-7) which means she is awake from 1pm. Any advice?

  114. Bojangles
    August 23, 2018 / 1:46 AM

    Please help! My 12 week old has stopped being able to nap longer than 20-30 minutes and I don’t know what to do. I’m losing my mind. He’s been like this about a week now. The only way he naps longer is if he is out in the car or pram. I have tried reducing wake times but it has had no effect. He can put himself to sleep and I leave him to do this so don’t think it’s an issue with transitioning between sleep cycles. He doesn’t cry when he wakes up so I am leaving him in his crib but he won’t go back to sleep. He isn’t getting anywhere close to a 2.5-3 hour cycle because his nap is so short. He ends up having a second nap before the feed.

  115. Sarah Ballester
    December 12, 2019 / 8:04 AM

    Love this blog! Really helps put Babywise into practice. When I started I thought Babywise was not practical until I found this blog.

    My question, my 3 month old always has his 3rd nap divided in two. He goes down at 3 very easily after 1.5 hours waketime, and should stay down 1.5 hours. But he very consistently wakes up after 30-40 mins, is awake 20-30 mins then back asleep for the remainder (my son’s sleep cycle is about 30 mins, not 45).

    75% of the time, this is our daily walk. I go the full 1.5 hours. If on a walk, he’s really happy looking around at the world, as long as I don’t stop walking. 🙂 But obviously, can’t go for walks 100% of the time.

    My question is, when staying at home, would you go get him from his crib for the break in the nap of between 20-30 mins? I’ve left him in his crib to CIO, and he doesn’t go completely crazy crying, but does cry quite a bit. He’s not happy in his crib then. I don’t believe there is any other issue as you mentioned.

    Other naps when he wakes during a sleep transition, he might make a little squawk but goes right back to sleep. And when he wakes early from other naps, he plays happily. Exception being the last nap (4th) which is indeed a catnap and he would be cranky in his crib.

    So get him up to play quietly? It’s my feeling of what to do, but would appreciate feedback if you’ve seen this before.

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