Reader Nap Questions


Cat Naps:

Dropping Naps:

  • Beth said…

    Hi!My daughter is just over 5 months old and still taking 4 naps a day. She has always had trouble with the 45 minute intruder, although we did have great naps between 9 and 16 weeks. Then at the 4 month mark, we were back to waking 45 mins to 1 hour into every nap. We are currently on a combination 3 to 3 1/2 hour schedule, but I’m thinking she should maybe move to 4 hours so we can cut out a nap. The only problem is that she won’t stay awake for longer than 1 1/2 hours – and her naps are not 2 1/2 hours long. Since her naps during the day aren’t very good, she gets extremely cranky between her 530pm and 8pm feedings if I try to push to keep her awake. She was STTN (from 9pm until 7am), but recently started waking at 530am fussing. Any ideas on what I should be doing? Thank you!
    May 3, 2008 11:30 AM

    Plowmanators said…
    You likely need to drop that 4th nap. There is a section in BW on baby suddenly waking in the night. It is often caused by too many naps in the day. Keep in mind that it can be a weaning process (see Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process: ). See also the other nap dropping posts.
    May 4, 2008 4:10 PM

  • heather said…

    My baby is 7 months old. She is still taking 3 naps a day. At what point do you think I should move her to two naps a day? Her 3 naps are usually around 1.15 or 1.30 a piece, except the third can be shorter depending on our day. I think according to BW, she should only be taking two naps a day by now, but she hasn’t always fit the book’s time table. How do you know when they’re ready to make the switch?
    May 18, 2008 7:44 AM

    Plowmanators said…
    Heather, Each book gives a different time table for when to drop that 3rd nap. By 6 months, Babywise says most babies can drop that third nap. Babywise II says a 6 month old will need 2 naps and a catnap (short nap). I have found Babywise II to be more accurate for my children.Both Babywise II and Toddlerwise say that by 8 months, most babies will be able to drop that 3rd nap (catnap). Remember, you are the parent. If you have a big sleeper and she is still sleeping well at night, you don’t need to eliminate that nap. At nearly 10 months old, Kaitlyn still needed it some nights. It wasn’t fully dropped until 11 months.

    See these posts:
    Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process:
    Dropping Naps:
    Dropping the 3rd Nap (evening):
    In Action: Dropping the Third Nap:
    May 19, 2008 10:38 AM

  • heather said…
    My 7 1/2 month old refused to go down for her third nap today. Normally she goes down perfectly with little to no crying. After an hour of trying, I decided that she just wasn’t going to sleep. We got up and she played and was happy as she could be. She got cranky before bedtime, of course, so we put her down about 45 minutes early. Could she be ready to drop that nap? I read your posts on dropping naps and I really think she may be like your Kaitlyn and it will just depend on the day for awhile. Her other naps were 1.30 and 1.15. Is that enough sleep? Any thoughts?
    May 22, 2008 8:49 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Heather, She is definitely in a normal age range for dropping that nap. I think taking it as a weaning process makes it much easier on the whole family, rather than dropping it cold turkey like I did with Brayden. Remember when dropping it that she will need an earlier bedtime than usual. Kaitlyn now has her normal bedtime, but it took her about a month to get to the normal bedtime after dropping the third nap all together.
    May 23, 2008 4:53 PM
  • The Lewis Farm said…
    I have a question on morning naps. First off, I have to extend a sincere, very deep from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for this blog. It has been helpful more than I could ever explain to you. You are heaven-sent! My 5 month old has had moderate success dropping his 4th nap (late morning) about 4wks ago. When he was doing 4 naps, his 2 morning naps were each 1hr long. {I realize this is shorter than recommended, but he sleeps 11-12hrs at night, so I’m willing to work with that.} 50% of the time, he has one successful 2hr nap. The other 50%, he only naps an hour. My options are: 1. I put him down for a second morning nap (about an hour long). 2. I let him fuss it out until he falls back to sleep. I’ve tried the 2nd option with varying success. He is obviously still tired b/c his eyes are closed and he sounds tired while fussing, but he will fuss for an hour sometimes if I let him. There are no external noise factors, I’ve ruled out all other possible issues. Your advice is appreciated. Again, thanks so much for this blog. ~Kelly
    October 18, 2008 11:25 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Kelly, you are welcome! Thanks for the thanks. I would actually recommend you try working with waketime lengths rather than trying to drop a nap in the morning. The 4th nap that is dropped is the evening nap (between the 4ish and 7ish feedings). Babies can handle a longer waketime in the evening than in the morning. I would try perhaps lengthening waketime by about 5 minutes at a time to see if that helps.
    October 22, 2008 12:04 PM
  • Amanda said…
    Good morning! I read your blog faitfully and thank God for a wiser woman to learn from in this regard. I have a 15 month old who is starting to struggle with both naps. If she takes a morning nap, then she cries for a long time in the afternoon and sometimes doesn’t ever go to sleep. (I usually go and get her up after crying for an hour. :(What should I do? Drop the morning nap altogether?Thank you!- Amanda
    January 24, 2009 8:37 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Amanda,It is possible she is ready to drop the morning nap. She is definitely in the age range. See these posts to help you decide:Dropping Naps: A Quick Reference : Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time :
    January 29, 2009 11:24 AM

Nap Disruptions:

  • Amanda said…
    I have a question about my 9 month old (just 9 months on July 31.) She sleeps from 8pm – 8am and takes a great morning nap (10am – 11:45), and used to go down for an afternoon nap at 2pm. But, now she’s rolling around and trying to crawl and seems to not be tired at 2pm. Should I just do CIO and treat this as a symptom of learning a new skill? Or, move her naptime to later in the afternoon???Sorry this is kind of unrelated to your post. Thank you!
    August 5, 2008 3:36 PM

    Plowmanators said…
    Amanda,I would first give it some time to see if it is the new skill. It is highly likely that is the reason for it. After some time if things don’t change, I would start messing with waketime length.

    August 5, 2008 11:12 PM

  • ProudMum said…
    My baby is five months 3 weeks. For morning nap I put her down after 1 hour and after 15,20 mins she went to sleep on her own. she wakes up after 1 hour , I wait for 15 mins (she plays)then I pick her up and after 2.5 hrs from first feed I feed her but when I put her down after 1 hour , she cries and cries and cries and sleep approx after 2 hrs. I dont understand where is problem. This second waketime , she gets overtired? or she wanna sleep for one more hour?she is almost doing same daily.
    August 6, 2008 7:33 AM

    ProudMum said…
    She is again waking up at night. So I added solids 2 times, plus 5 feedings. but she is still waking up at night takes feed and then sleep. from previous 2.5 months she was sleeping whole night.
    August 6, 2008 7:39 AM

    Plowmanators said…
    Proudmum, That is a bit unusual. Does she cry before naps usually (all naps in general). If she is at the point where she doesn’t cry, it would be odd for her to cry at 5 months old. Do you put her down 1 hour after she wakes, or one hour after you feed? If it is one hour after you feed, she could be overly tired. It is also possible she needs a slightly longer waketime. I would first try a shorter waketime. If that doesn’t work, try longer but not much. She could be going through a growth spurt. You could try feeding her 6 times in the day. She isn’t going to be proficient enough with solids yet to compensate for a growth spurt.
    August 6, 2008 10:30 PM

  • ProudMum said…
    our neighbourhood is quite noisy, lots of dogs and cats, children play on road. plus so much heavy rain is usual in UK. My baby pays attention to each and every sound and sometimes she wakes up and sometimes difficult to sleep. we even have double glazed windows. any tips,tricks or suggestions that she can sleep and avoid noise.
    August 15, 2008 3:57 AM
    Krystal said…
    Proudmum,You could try putting a fan in her room (if you are concerned she might get cold, just point the fan away from her) so that she has some white noise. That helps w/ my daughter.
    August 16, 2008 10:22 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Yep, I would suggest something similar. You can also buy machines made simply for white noise. That is what I would do in your situation
    August 17, 2008 11:11 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    BTW–Thanks Krystal!
    August 17, 2008 11:11 PM
  • Todd and Noelle said… This is unrelated to this post, but could you tell me what might be approximate nap times when a baby is down to just 2 naps and doesn’t seem to need such exact “X amounts of wake time”? Is 9 and 1 pretty typical? Or is it more common to have more wake time during middle of the day, with nap times say at 9 and 2?? Maybe the times are pretty different based on the individual child, but I was curious. Thanks! My son is 10 1/2 months now. August 19, 2008 10:49 AM

    Plowmanators said… Noelle, that is going to depend on the child. Right now Kaitlyn naps at 9:50 and 2:00. So it depends on your baby’s waketime, but 9 and 1 are definite possibilities.
    August 19, 2008 9:12 PM

  • ProudMum said…
    Things really clicked when my baby hits six months, she is eating well 3 times with no probs, napping was too fine until 2,3 days now. Is it stupid question? My baby is waking up from nap very early just because she has poo,which she never did before. is it something to do with solids?will she be back to normal?many a times I read word My ‘LO’ what does it mean?
    August 23, 2008 9:27 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    ProudMum,I am glad you have had some improvement. One thing to consider is a 6 month growth spurt. See this post: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :
    If it is because of the pooping (which is possible), she should change at some point, but it could go on for a while and you can’t do anything about it. LO=little one. This refers to your child.
    August 28, 2008 7:32 AM
    Krystal said…
    proudmum,LO means Little One 🙂 That is just a way to refer to the baby w/o saying their name. My daughter wakes up when she poops too, and (depending on how much time in her nap she has left) I change her and put her right back to bed. If she only has like 10 min. left in her nap I just let her stay up and put her down for her next nap 10 min. early. If she has like an hour left, I definently put her back to bed after I take care of her diaper. 🙂
    August 24, 2008 9:47 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks Krystal, good tip!
    August 28, 2008 7:34 AM
  • Emily said… My 7 month DD has a sleep problem that I just discovered! I’m a stay at home Mom so she’s usually sleeping at home. She used to nap at my parents or inlaws with no problem. However, ever since she learned to pull herself up in the crib (about 2 weeks ago) she will only sleep in our crib. At my parents she just stands up crying. She knows how to get down b/c I’ve seen her do it then switch sides to stand up on. I’ve tried leaving her, going in and laying her down, I even bring a teddy bear that we put in our cib at home when she sleeps. Do you have any tips I can try? Thanks
    August 22, 2008 3:13 PM

    Plowmanators said… Emily, I can think of a few possibilities. One would be some form of separation anxiety at the homes of others. Another strong possibility is that she doesn’t have varied sleeping locations and so it is hard for her to settle in other locations. Do you ever put her in a different room at home in a pack and play or something? This is something that will either pass with time or you will have to work on slowly.
    August 28, 2008 10:04 AM

  • ProudMum said…
    Hello,My baby is now 11 months old since one month she is master in crawling. since 6 months she is sleeping through night with not a single waking.but from 2 weeks she is waking up between 11 to 12 , and cry , I goto her room I found her sitting in cot, then I lay her down and she goes back to sleep and wake up on her usual time. This is for sure that this is not due to hunger. I dont know whats going on. PLease help me
    January 16, 2009 2:56 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Proudmum,I would wonder if she is sick or teething or if there is some noise waking her. It is also possible that she is getting up and working on her crawling skills and then needing help getting settled back down to go to sleep. At 11 months, to suddenly start waking and then go back to sleep so easily, there is something that is bothering her and waking her. You will have to really pay attention and see if you can figure out what it is.
    January 22, 2009 1:41 PM

Short Naps:

  • Todd and Noelle said…
    I have another nap question, as well:My 5 month old son has been having a LOT of nap problems for about a month. I try putting him down earlier (shorter waketimes) and that does seem to help him fall asleep quicker and easier, but it does not prevent him from waking 45 minutes later, often crying. I have tried CIO in the middle of naps, but usually after 30 minutes of that I figure he is not going back to sleep. I have let him go almost an hour a couple of different times, but he still never went back to sleep. What would you suggest at this point? Letting him CIO for a certain length of time? Getting him up but not feeding him until I typically would, which would put him down for a nap again pretty quickly after that next feeding? Feeding him when I get him up although I don’t really think he is hungry? This is happening every day to every nap, so he is basically taking 4 or 5 35-45 minutes naps, no good ones. Thanks or your help!~Noelle
    March 21, 2008 3:53 PM
    IzzysMama said…
    Im having the same problems right now and the same questions! Finally the last nap of the day today I got 2.5hrs!! Im curious to hear other people’s thoughts on this. Let me know if you figure something out. 🙂
    March 21, 2008 9:07 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Noelle,One possibility would be to try to drop that 4th nap…but that could be really hard if other sleep isn’t going well.Another possibility is that you are just going through a phase. I don’t think I would just do CIO for a certain amount of time because be will quickly figure out that you will be there soon. I think in your situation I would either try to get him to fall asleep in a swing or something or just get him up. Some moms have found success getting baby up, playing for a bit, then putting baby back down for a second nap in the napping period. I would feed as soon as your cycle allows (e.g. 2.5 hours or 3 hours). Good luck!
    March 22, 2008 10:53 PM
    Todd and Noelle said…
    Thank you!~Noelle
    March 24, 2008 8:08 PM
  • ProudMum said…
    since 1 month i am having nap problems , well she was not good at but was no bad. now she is waking after 30 mins and not sleep. sometimes she takes only 45 minutes. very very occasionally she takes 2 hrs with awakening then i goto her swing then she sleeps. she is 4 months. i tried feeding , it didnt help. she sleeps in her swing during daytime and in her cot in my bedroom at nighttime. since 1 month she is giving me problem at night bed time as well. her usual bedtime is 8:30 but she resisted it and not sleeping and waking at 5am. then I realized she might be now not need last fourth nap. if she dropped her nap, what bedtime should it be?at nighttime when she wakes up she is able to sooth herself,but at 6:30 waking or 5am waking she is not able to soothe herself and wakes may be because of light.Before one month she was able to sooth herself at night time bedtime as well by thumbsucking as well.Now everything is messed up, she even now me to sit near her swing and move that swing fast to sleep her up. I am tired and desperate some solution. waiting for ur reply. thanx. I tried CIO sometimes it works , sometimes its not.I even have started 2 weeks ago baby rice but no solution, she is still teasing me. so during daytime i am feeding her every 2 hrs or 2.5 hrs breastfeeding.
    June 26, 2008 5:31 AM
    ProudMum said…
    could you please remove my name starting from ‘R’ in ur reply to mine first comment to this blog thanx.this is always tricky for me that how to put baby in crib after feeding when he is asleep, because whenever I do that she always woke up and I have to do it again and again. e.g now a days she woke up early in morning, she sucks for 5 mins and then sleep but when I put her to cot , she woke up. is there any special trick or tip to know when baby is in deep sleep and she wont know where she is going. her cot is near to foot of my bed, I took her to my bed then I stand up and then put her to cot. as u mention many times that u feed and put baby afterwards, I wonder is it really so easy?
    June 26, 2008 9:48 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Proudmum,I am not sure what you mean about removing your name? If it is on another post, you will have to tell me which post it is. There are far too many comments for me to be able to keep track of who posts where and when their first posts were :)My kids dropped their fourth naps at 4 months. See the sample schedules post to see what our schedule was like: Sample Schedules : I didn’t ever feed to sleep then put to bed many times. For the dreamfeed, my daughter would often fall asleep at the end, but I fought her to stay awake for a full feeding. In the night, it was the same. But many times she woke up when I put her in bed, then she went back to sleep. You don’t really want to nurse to sleep. If they are asleep, you don’t necessarily have to wake them, but you also don’t need to make that your goal.
    June 26, 2008 11:18 PM
  • New Mama said…
    My 5 month old (just turning) is struggling with short naps. She goes down for her naps (and nighttime) beautifully. I read a story, put on a lullaby CD and put her to bed and she falls to sleep on her own. She sleeps for 30-45 minutes. It doesn’t matter if I cut down her awake time or extend it, still just 30-45 minutes. I am pretty sure the problem is the pacifier. She of course wakes up looking for it (she does this about 3 and sometimes 4 times in the night). At night, she always goes back to bed. During naptime, she does not go back to sleep after 45 minutes. I tried to let her CIO yesterday for one of the naps and she went crazy (kind of like your son). There was no calming her. How does this CIO thing work…how much am I supposed to let her cry…all the way to the next feeding? I see I have to figure out if she can see me or not to calm her…seems harsh for her not to see me all of a sudden when I’ve been there for 5 months. Appreciate any suggestions anyone may have.
    July 30, 2008 12:53 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    If you want to keep the paci in her life, I would go in when she wakes and reinsert it one time. The problem I see is that she is used to the pacifier to soothe her. She should be close to the age where she can reinsert it herself (usually 6-8 months old). See this post: Pacifiers : If you decide to ditch the pacifier, see this post: CIO Bootcamp:
    August 3, 2008 3:02 PM
  • Moo said…
    Hi! Thank you sooo much for your blog!! I have a question that has probably already been asked a hundred times, but i still need some clarification. I have a 5 1/2 month old son who, for the past 2 months or so, has been waking 30-40 minutes into his naps. It started off as one early waking every now and then, but now it’s every single nap. I’ve tried treating it as a feeding problem but he seems to eat no matter what time it is, i’ve tried letting him cio (he cries until his next feed time), i’ve tried earlier and later waketimes, keeping a log, trying to help him through the transition time, burping him, a different bed, checking my milk supply,and a long list more, to no avail. After reading about your daughter (who sounds very similar in temperament to my son) and putting her in the swing, i borrowed one and transferred him to it when he woke. He slept until i got him up. Prior to his short naps he was on a perfect 3 hour schedule of 1.5 hours waketime and 1.5 hours sleep. I’m confused as to whether you continued to put your daughter in the swing until one day she started sleeping through, or whether you had to do some sleep troubleshooting. If he’s just going to cry until i get him for feedtime (i’ve tried letting him cry longer, but goes over his feedtime which probably isn’t helping) how can i help him cio to learn to go back to sleep? I did cio with him in his first weeks and he is now a fantastic ‘getting to sleep’ napper. He still sleeps all through the night. Do you have any other advice? i don’t want the swing to become a sleep prop but for the past 8 weeks his routine has gone out the window since the 30 minute naps and subsequent ‘snowball’ of fatigue makes his whole routine 1.5 hours long (1 hour waketime is all he can take, and 30 minutes sleep). Thanks, i’m all out of ideas!!!
    August 19, 2008 8:56 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    I would be wary of the swing at this point. Since he slept well, then started waking at this age, I would say there is some reason he is waking. It isn’t a self-soothing issue. It could be teething…see the troubleshooting naps post. There are so many possibilities, but I would say there is a real reason for the early waking. See also this post:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : Naps: Troubleshooting:
    August 19, 2008 9:32 PM
  • Kate said…
    Hello, My daughter is ten weeks old, and she has been waking after 45-60 min. of napping for the past several weeks. We have tried CIO for the past 2 weeks, and now she is at the point where she sleeps 45-60 min., cries 30 min., and then fusses/goes back to sleep off and on for the remainder of the nap. I have her on a 4-hour schedule, so she does this once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and she takes a 45-min. nap in the evening. She takes 8 oz. at a feeding, so I can’t imagine it’s hunger. Is there ANYTHING I can do to get her through that 45 min. mark, or do I need to give it more time than the past 2 weeks with CIO since she is gradually improving? At the beginning of the 2 weeks, she would cry the entire time from the time she woke up until the next feeding where now she will doze in and out until I get her. Also, if she DOES fall back asleep, should I still go get her at the four hour mark or just let her go until she wakes up? She is sleeping 12 hours at night, and I’m having to wake her in the morning, should I let her go longer, or could that be too much? Thanks so much for your help!
    August 24, 2008 9:30 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Kate, be sure to see the naps troubleshooting post and the 45 minute intruder post Naps: Troubleshooting: 45 Minute Intruder:

    Those can help you figure out reasons for waking, but other than that just continue pressing on.

    I would wake her up at the 4 hour mark to be sure she gets the feedings in that she needs each day.
    August 28, 2008 8:03 AM

  • ProudMum said… Hello,After 2 weeeks of great napping , she again have started again waking up just after 35 mins, she does not cry at all ,niether in start,nor in between. i am writing down all notes. i am putting down at same time after 1 hour, she still plays in bed and after 40 mins she sleeps,normally she takes 15 mins to sleep. I cut down all reasons, but didnt find anything, she makes it routine from 4 days. and result is she is cranky. if she is hungry or pain , she must cry isnt it?
    August 26, 2008 3:22 AM

    Plowmanators said… Proudmum, it sounds like she is ready for a longer waketime. Try extending it by 5 minutes. See if that helps for a day. If not, try 10 minutes, etc.
    August 28, 2008 9:24 PM

  • Katiejojohnson said…
    Hello. I want to thank you for this blog. All of the sleep books are sometimes very general and don’t seem to always address specific questions. This blog has helped me a lot. I’m currently having a problem with my 14-week-old’s naps. She sleeps great at night (from 8:30pm until 7:00 am) Today one nap was 1 hour 15 minutes and 4 naps were 30 minutes long. As I look over her sleep log for the past 10 days, I see that usually each day she has one nap that is around 1 to 2 hours and the other naps are all 1/2 hour or 45 minutes in duration. I have tried to put her to sleep 15 minutes earlier than her sleepy cues generally start–they generally start around 1.5 hours after she wakes up. This hasn’t worked for me because when I try to put her to bed 15 minutes earlier..she fusses for those 15 minutes so it cancels itself out. I feel like she’s probably getting enough total sleep each day (added up, it seems to range from 13.5-15 hours or so) but I am exhausted because I feel like I am constantly either feeding her or trying to put her down with not enough fun time. I try to feed her every 2.5 hours but typically she would prefer every 2 hours. I try to stretch it out a bit by entertaining her. She spits up a lot but her doctor does not recommend medication because she is a “happy spitter” for the most part and doesn’t seem to have the pain usually associated with acid reflux. Because of this, we burp her and keep her upright for about 1/2 hour after she is done breastfeeding. We are going back and forth with swaddling. She does seem to like sucking on her fist to soothe but she also startles so it’s sortof a catch 22. If we swaddle her she seems to sleep more soundly but if she wakes up, I think she can’t soothe herself back to sleep unless her hands are out. In general, she has a very good disposition but I do think that she does get tired toward the end of the day. She fusses during her “soothing periods” before bed/nap time. We do try to put her down in her crib while she is awake for the most part but we try to get her as drowsy as possible by rocking her. We used to rock her completely to sleep but that started becoming increasingly difficult so we started putting her down about 2 weeks ago and she’s done pretty well with it. Sometimes she fusses for up to 10 minutes or not at all before falling asleep. I have tried letting her cry for 20 minutes when she wakes up after only 1/2 hour but it has only worked once. The fussing that she does when she wakes up seems more intense than the fussing that she does before she goes to sleep. She seems to work herself up a bit and seems angry when I finally go to get her. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you. -Katie from Madison.
    October 18, 2008 7:51 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Katie, I actually think 13.5 hours is probably too short for a 14 week old. She might be able to drop the fourth nap at this age. It might help with naps.You can swaddle with one arm out. We did that with Kaitlyn.I would consider perhaps a second opinion on the reflux. Kaitlyn was a happy spitter (with reflux), but still had medication. Even if they don’t fuss about it, if it is reflux it is causing damage to the esophogus. That could easily be the reason she isn’t sleeping well. Do you have her on an incline for sleep?Another thought is that rocking to really drowsy might be interfereing with her sleep. She might not be able to soothe herself through a transition so she wakes up instead. If she has only been going to sleep on her own for two weeks, it is normal to not make it through a nap on her own (even though she isn’t really completely on her own yet). There are a lot of possibilities here. I would address the reflux first. Then just try one thing at a time. I would say the self-soothing should come after you are sure what is going on with reflux.
    October 22, 2008 12:17 PM
  • jencwu said…
    I think I finally problem solved my 15-week-old’s nap problems. I used to put him down for his naps when he stared yawning, but then he would usually just cry throughout most if not all of his nap time. The last couple of weeks I have started waiting until he starts to fuss a little. That seems to have done the trick–when I put him down now he will fuss for a couple of mins then fall asleep without the wailing he used to do.However, now he is waking early. He usually wakes up about 30 mins before his next scheduled feeding (I’m still feeding about every 3 hrs), no matter what time he fell asleep. I’ve read through your troubleshooting naps post and can’t seem to find any reason for this. When this happens I first try to give him the paci (he only gets it in his carseat and when waking early) and sometimes that will get him to sleep. Other times he just keeps spitting it out and crying so I turn on his mobile to keep him happy but resting in crib until feeding time. I know he has no problem going 3+ hrs. Any thoughts as to what’s going on and how to fix it? (by the way I’d much rather have him wake early than not fall asleep at all like he used to!!)
    November 3, 2008 4:40 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Jen, hopefully you have solved this by now, but I wanted to mention that age is close to a growth spurt, so he could be waking out of hunger. He also could be waking just because he hasn’t quite got it all pefected yet (the self-soothing).
    December 5, 2008 2:44 PM
  • apolena said…
    Dear friend, my 10 months old baby daughter Andělka doesn´t nap well. This problem lasts from the beginning. She sleeps well in the night, but the naps! We started to try Babywise three months ago. We set the times of her naps – 10a.m. and 3:30p.m. She naps better in the afternoon, she falls asleep within 15 minutes and sometimes wakes up in the middle, cries, calms down, sleeps another 45 minutes or more. But in the morning! 3 days ago she didn´t sleep at all. Today she was crying, so I went in after 30 minutes (she wasn´t crying all 30 minutes though) and held her for a while as suggested in the book. She calmed down, I put her down, she cried a lot but fell asleep after 20 minutes. She slept 20 minutes then, after this half an hour crying and sleeping and crying and sleeping. Then it was her lunch time.Is there any hope it will improve? My husband suggests to drop the morning nap but I think she´s too young. She seems to be chronically overtired.THreee months is a long time. Something improved though. Please say there is still hope she willl nap well.Shall I do something differently, or just perservere?Thanks,Apolena
    December 4, 2008 4:54 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Apolena,There is a chance her waketime is too long in the morning–but that is up to you to determine. See these posts for help on that:Optimal Waketime Lengths : and Waketime: Length, Extending, and Calculating:

    I agree with you; she is too young to drop the morning nap. At the youngest she should be 14 months. I would also suggest the possibility that she might need a little bit longer of a waketime. If you think that is it, try adding only 5 minutes at a time and see if that helps.
    December 5, 2008 2:47 PM

  • Luba said…

    Hi, I am so happy I found your blog! Today I was a bit desperate and started looking around. You sum BW so well – it got a bit confusing for me, as a first time mother.May I ask you on your experience on day time naps? Our boy is 7.5 weeks old, very healthy, 5 kg, exclusive breast milk, very little reflux – 1 in 3 days or so. Eats every 3-4 hrs a day, 3-5 hrs at night. Strict routine during the day: eat, awake for 40 min, settle for nap right after. Bath at 6pm, eat at 7pm, “night feeds” at 11, 2, 5, sometimes he wakes up at 6, sometimes at 8. We never really enforced it, but reading your blog I am wondering… He is definitely a spirited baby – stayed on a very good routine till 3 weeks. He always slept in the day and had no problem at night. After his first growth spurt, he stopped sleeping in the day, unless he is in sling. Now he does not sleep for longer than 20 min at a time, even in sling. Last 3 nights he woke up in the night from 1 to 5, nothing we could do to get him to sleep. We first start by letting him self-sooth, he is good at sucking hands, if he starts crying, we pick him up, calm down and put down, after consistent cry (never past 5 min, I admit) – Dad carries him in sling. But he is wide awake!!Today I just got so desperate, I left him to sleep on his own in the day, he woke up every 15 min, sobbing, fell asleep. At least he “stayed in bed” for 1.2hrs. Do you have any suggestions for day times? I think they are affecting his nights. He does not do dummy – does not like it at all, just his hands.Thank you in advance for your time!
    December 13, 2008 11:14 AM

    Plowmanators said…
    Luba, I would see the CIO Bootcamp post. It sounds like he needs to learn to self-soothe, and you all need to learn how to best help him do this. See this for help: CIO Bootcamp:
    December 22, 2008 3:07 PM

  • LEM said…
    I need some nap suggestions again. My 8 month old sleeps great at night. I always have to wake him to start his day after 11.5 hours of sleep. But naps are a different story. He goes to sleep just fine within a minute or two after 2hr 15min of waketime. He has been at this wake time for at least a month or so and it was working beautifully. Now, for maybe about 2 weeks, he has consistently been waking about 30 minutes early from his first nap. He doesn’t cry but his awake and fussing. Since he gets up early from his first nap I put him down early for his second nap (to keep the 2hr 15 min waketime) and again, he wakes 30 minutes early. He is averaging about 1hr 15 min of sleep for his first nap and about 1hr 45 min for his second. Does this sound OK or is there a suggestion you have for why he wakes early from his first nap?
    January 12, 2009 4:03 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    LEM, His nap lengths are fine according to BW. Since he is waking from that first nap fussy, he might not be having a long enough nap. See this post for ideas for waking early in that age range:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :
    January 20, 2009 10:04 AM

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25 thoughts on “Reader Nap Questions”

  1. How about this one… What can I do about an inconsistent napping schedule. My 14 month old takes two naps at home on the weekend. She wakes at 7/7:30, naps from 9-10:30/11, and then again at 1. The length of the second nap is inconsistent and ranges from 45 minutes to 2-2 1/2 hours. When she is with my parents during the week while I'm working, she doesn't take a morning nap, and she naps at 11/11:30; however, she sometimes will only sleep for 30 minutes. When that happens, it's a rough evening at home with her. She's often ready for bed by 6 or 6:30 at the latest, which seems to disrupt her sleeping at night (and her wake time in the morning). My mom can't really change her schedule with her because of the time I pick the kids up. Any advice would be extremely appreciated. Thanks!

  2. I have a question too!My baby is 6 months old. Her current schedule is…8AM out of the crib/nurse10AM nap 11:30AM nurse + solids1:30PM nap3:00PM nurse5:00 nurse + solids / nap6:00 awake until bed time8:30 nurse/bedShe's been sleeping 11.5 hours at night for months. But for the past weeks or so, she's been waking up between 6:30 and 7:30 and squealing with excitement in her crib. Any suggestions on altering the sleep schedule, so night time sleep can resume to normal?

  3. Would absolutely love any help or advice you have. My son is 2-3 weeks old and I am have a very difficult time establishing a waketime/naptime routine. For 1-2 naps out of the day (and which nap always varies) he will go down beautifully after about 40-45 minutes of waketime. However, all the other naps he is wide awake until the next feeding! This makes him overly tired and even more difficult to put down. I am watching his sleeping cues but as soon as I put him in his crib he wakes up. To add to the situation he has acid reflux so I have a hard time letting him cry it out. It seems the more he cries, well…the more he cries. He does not like to be put in a swing or a bouncer and is only content with me holding him. The problem with that is I have a 1.5 year old who needs me too. I've tried to work on establishing atleast one consistent wake time a day but it just hasn't seemed to make a difference. I would truly love any advice you have! Thank you.

  4. I have a 4 month old baby, and only JUST found out about Babywise 9 days ago . . . I have been following BW for 9 days now, and have seen some progress, it's been slow. (I wish I knew about BW long ago, but better late than never). Here is my issue: LO is a poor poor napper. He takes 30 minute naps. Since going BW I have gotten him up to 50 minutes / 1 hour, but not all the time, sometimes still just 30 min. Since he is not napping like he should and could be, it messes up the 3 hour schedule. I do try to leave him in the crib until the 3 hour mark and when he should ideally be waking up, but he screams so angrily, I think he's going to burst a vocal cord. Should I just continue to leave him in the crib, he'll get used to it? He is so easy to put down for naps and bed, hardly any fuss, and he wakes up happy, but if I don't get him within 15 or so minutes he's so upset. I really don't think he is hungry before the 3 hours, he has gone 4 hours before. Anyway, I've read BW front and back and I have spent much of my spare time devouring your past posts . . . I'm just feeling very discouraged that he is not napping longer, and we just cannot pin down a consistent schedule. Everything I've read points to getting the day time down pat and the night will fall in sync, I need that to happen! Any tips I'm missing? Thank you for your time, and for keeping up this great blog for us!!

  5. I would like to add to my previous post if that is ok…(my name was Hello by accident)…My son (who is 2-3 weeks old) has recently started waking at his 1 am feeding and won't go back down without being rocked back to sleep after he has cried for quite sometime. I don't know if I should do CIO with him since he has acid reflux…he sleeps on a wedge and takes medication. I've made sure it isn't gas or a dirty diaper keeping him up. The other problem is that at his 4 am feeding he will sleep until 8:30-9:00 am if I let him. Should I let him sleep until then or wake him up at 7 to start his first feeding of the day? I've read through the sleepy newborn posts and nap post but between my postpartum, 1.5 year old toddler, and lack of sleep my mind can't make sense of what I should do. Here is a recap of my problem: I feed him every 2.5-3 hours in the day and pray that he will go down for a nap which he usually won't. I end up having to hold him and started using a paci to keep him calm (which I hate to use). Now at night he was wanting to be awake from 1-4 am and then sleep for 5 hours after that. In addition to all that, we are moving in a week and will be living with my inlaws for a week before we move into our new home. I mention this because you had said in a post to not do CIO if you are moving.I appreciate so much your time to read over my comments. Thank you for any help.SM.

  6. ok…. i am sorry i write so many comments! the advice or reassurance is nice at times! :)so i have a question about my schedule. we have a almost 5 month old that still wakes up consistently at 6:30ish in the morning even though her wake time is not til 8:00 am. and sometimes at 3:00 a.m. but i let her CIOi have tried cry it out… sometimes it works and then not.but the other day she would NOT go down for her nap at 6:30 (bedtime at 8:00). she just wanted to stay awake and play. I had accidently let her sleep til 5:30 cause i was running errands. she stayed awake fine (a little fussy at times) but went right to bed at 8:00 after her feeding. that night she didn't wake up until that dang 6:30 a.m. but put herself back to it ok to just let her sleep a little longer (usually wakes at 5:00 p.m. for feeding and we are on a 3 hour schedule) and then just not put her down for that 4th nap? thanks!!!!

  7. I have a 5.5 month old and our current schedule is:7am – nurse9am – nap10am – nurse12pm-nap1pm-nurse3pm-nap4pm-nurse7pm-nurse and bedmy LO only sleeps for 45min. each nap … sometimes only 30 min. How can I change the schedule for my LO to take 2 naps instead of 3? And when do you switch to a 4 hour feeding schedule? When the baby turns 6mo and solids are introduced? Thanks for everything! I LOVE your blog!!!

  8. Michelle,I think you need to get your little one to nap longer before you can reduce the number of naps. My little one had an issue with the 45 intruder as well. I'd recommend letting your little one cry it out. I don't get my baby out of her crib until she's been in it for atleast an hour and a half. It took about a week before she would just nap straight through for 1.5- 2 hours without needing to cry it out, but she's great at napping now and if she does wake up, she puts herself right back to sleep.I'd look at the posts about the 45 minute intruder to help you out more!

  9. mandgmom, so what time are your kids at your parents and what time are you getting them?Also, if you would like, I can do that for a "help a reader out" question. Let me know if you want me to do that.

  10. Kimberly,It might be a phase.It might mean she needs a change in schedule. It might mean she is working on some new skill or teething.See the post "5-8 month sleep disruptions" for help figuring it out.

  11. Hello! I would guess that he is uncomfortable laying down. I suggest you see the blog label "reflux" for guidance on helping alleviate pain for him.Also, you can join the Chronicles yahoo group to get a copy of my waketime log to help figure that out. Be sure to also see the "optimal waketime" blog label. Good luck!

  12. SM,For what time to wake him in the morning, it depends on what time you want your day to start. IF you want it to ultimately start at 7 AM, stick with that. If you would like it later, go ahead and have him wake later.

  13. Susan,Definitely drop her fourth nap. She is old enough to just have three. You can even feed her twice without a nap in between if needed when dropping that nap.

  14. Michelle,, you would have to do a four hour schedule to be able to drop another nap, but that would be hard with 45 minute naps. See blog lable "four hour schedule" for more on this.

  15. Everything was working like clock work until she turned 3 months. She is 14 weeks. My question is, do I still keep a mom directed schedule? Her wake is usually at 7am, I feed her then she can stay up either 1 to 2 hrs, should I put her down for a nap at the same exact time every day still? Then she will nap from 1 hr to 2 hrs, it depends how long her wake was, she naps longer if her wake was longer. The rest of her day is all off because I am not sure if she is ready to drop off a nap or not, but I have read how to know that so I dont need that info, just if I should still be waking her and making her nap at the same time? Her feeding times are all off schedule also. She sometimes is hungry after 3-3.5 hrs, then other times she naps enough that it will be 4 hrs from feed to feed. Should I be waking her so that she is eating every 3.5hrs? Sometimes if I do wake her she will still be sleepy and fall asleep at the breast. I know she can go 3.5hrs between feedings. I got off schedule because she wasnt showing hunger cues after 3hrs and I wanted to see how long she could go and now I am so far off my perfect schedule its driving me nuts! Thank you so much for your help!!!!!! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

  16. Laura, Yes, you always want a mom-directed nap schedule, but I think you might not know exactly what that means if you are asking if you should. You always choose what time the nap starts and what time it ends–but that doesn't mean it is some arbitrary time you have pulled out of your head. Nap time starts based on what you know and what you see. You know she sleeps better after a longer waketime, so put her down after that length of waketime, but always be mindful of cues. Nap time might end when she wakes up crying. That is your cue she is done. You will also note how long it has been and if she is having a growth spurt or not…so you always decide, but you do so through input of what is going on around you.

  17. Stay at home mom of one baby girl who is 7 months. We've tried implementing BW but never got it down. She is a great, and happy baby. People comment on how happy and good she is – I am concerned with her naps. She has NEVER been a good napper during the day – she has always slept well at nite. When she was an infant she would cat-nap – like 5 little 20minute naps. Once she hit 5 months they went to about 30-45 minutes. She is still taking 3 naps daily – breastfed 4times a day. I've noticed many times when she wakes she has a dirty diaper. I just don't know what to do to 'help' her sleep longer, or if I should let her be. But I continue to read how important napping is!!She's never liked a swing, she goes to sleep on her own with a paci.My baby is 7.5 months old. Her current schedule is…8AM out of the crib/nurse10AM nap (only 40-45min)Noon nurse + solids1:30-2:00PM nap (only 40-45 min)4:00PM nurse5:30-6PM nap (only 40-45 min)8:30 nurse/bedThanks so much for your help!!!

  18. R&R, have you worked with optimal waketime? I would suggest that you read the blog label "optimal waketime." At her age, she shouldn't be up longer than 2 hours at a time for sure, and many can't make it that long. That label will have many posts to help you figure that out.

  19. Thank you for your blog…it has been so helpful at many different stages! My DS is 21mo. He has been down to 1 nap/day since just over 16mo. Practically everything I read on here and the Google group tells me that once you go to 1 nap, it lengthens to 2-3 hours. I think I can count on two hands the number of naps since August that have been 2-3 hours. I am really struggling with trying not to feel discouraged almost daily. His average nap is about 1hr. 15 mins. I am aware of exactly when he goes to sleep and wakes thanks to our trusty video monitor. Without it, I would actually think he was sleeping peacefully because he honestly does not make a peep when he wakes up. He just sits or lays there, sucks his finger and holds his blanket. He is perfectly content until I get him around the 2hr. 15min. point (so I am thankful that he doesn't wake up crying or yelling out at least). Here is his schedule:7:30 – out of bed (although he wakes up anywhere between 6:00am and 7:30am)11:45/12:00 – lunch12:45 – down for nap (usually asleep within 5-10 mins.)3:00 – I get him up (although usually awake around 2:00/2:15)7:30 – lights out (+/- a/b 15 mins. depending on if the nap was really bad or really good)I just don't know what to do…this has literally been going on for 3-4 months. Some people on the Google group site say that he may need to go down for his nap earlier, but when I have tried this it seems to just take him longer to fall asleep. He wakes up at such different times every morning (again…happily and quiet until we get him at 7:30am) so am I supposed to study the video monitor every day beginning at 6am so that I know EXACTLY when he wakes up so I can calculate EXACTLY when to put him down (X hours after he wakes)? That seems to make every day so different! It seems like having his nap one day at 11am and the next day at 12:30pm isn't very consistent. I'm just discouraged, I guess. 90% of the time he is very happy and complimented often on his demeanor so it's not like he's running around acting cranky. Could this just be "him" and he's just never going to sleep 2-3 hours for a nap? Please help or offer advice if you can. Thank you so much!

  20. Rebekah, If this were my child, my assumption would be that either the child wasn't ready for just one nap a day yet or that the child's timing of the nap is not just right. At this stage, you don't need X minutes of waketime every day before the afternoon nap. It is more important to have a set and consistent time for the nap each day.So he may not have been ready for one nap at 16 months, but by this age he should be. So what I would do is keep a log and try different nap times–even going to 1 or as late as 1:30. Try a certain time for a few days before moving on to a new time (unless that time was obviously a terrible time because he cries or something). Also, take into consideration sleeping conditions. What are noises like when he wakes? How is his warmth? What is the sun like? etc.

  21. So, Nathan is nine months now and naps have gotten a little better, THANKFULLY!… but at this age, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about structuring nap times by the clock versus finding the optimal wake time! Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child suggests that at this age parents should simply put their child down for a nap at 9am and 1pm, but doing this sometimes means keeping Nathan up for 3+ hours??? That seems so long for a waketime…. although, he does seem to sleep well at those times??? What are your thoughts?

  22. Kristin, at that age, I pretty much do nap times also. So if he woke early, I would have the first nap at the same time anyway. And if he woke late, same thing. But at 9 months, I do 2 hours up, 2 hour nap, 2 hours up, 2 hour nap, then evening is longer and some 9 month olds will have a third nap. Some will just stay up until bed.

  23. Hi Val,If my 4.5 month son is going through the chronic 45 minute naps, sometimes taking almost 2 hr first morning nap, should I still drop the 4th? I feel like he could get at least a 30 – 45 minute nap in there since he is not napping well the rest of the day. What do you think? Lately, he's having a hard time going down to bed after the 7pm feeding. I know there are 4 month troubles of naps and nighttime sleep but maybe since I am letting him do a short 4th nap that it's hard to go down after that? He usually never has a struggle going down for naps but for his nighttime sleep it's been a struggle for him. Or maybe he's overly tired from the rest of the day that he can't put himself to sleep? I'm having to rock him and pick him up when he can't put himself to sleep and would cry for at least an hour.Our schedule:7am – feed, play, around 45 min WT8am – nap10am – feed, play, around 60 min WT11am – nap1pm – feed with rice cereal, play, around 60 min WT2pm – nap4pm – feed, play5pm – if tired, cat nap usually 30-45 min7pm – feed, sleep9:30pm – dream feed I pump my BM and he does about 5-6oz per feeding. I just started him on solids and he is on day three on rice cereal.As of the last couple weeks, he's been doing the 45 minute naps for two naps, sometimes three naps. Let me know if I should try to drop the 4th nap altogether even though he doesn't sleep much during the day.Thanks!

  24. To add, that is the schedule that we have but he usually only takes 45 minute second and third naps. I either just let him cry on and off until his next feeding or if it seems like he's crying harder than normal then I try to pick up and put him down which never really works. So he's really only napping for about 4-5 hours during the day without a 4th nap. Your thoughts would be helpful!

  25. First Thank You So much for this site I read everyday! My wonderful little man Jaron is 3 months and 3 weeks He sleeps 12 hours at night Yay Babywise. I follow babywise as close as possible. Here is our day.730-800 feed/wakenap 1hr later1030 feed/wake1130 nap130 feed/wake230 nap430 feed/wake530 nap630-700 wake700-730 feed730-800 bedNow here is the problem for about 2 months 50% of the time he wakes crying 1hr into His nap( sleeps wonderful at night though). I know he is tired his eyes are closed . we have tried extending and shortening wake time, changing lighting, patting him on the back but not getting out of crib sometimes he has a poopy diaper and I change it and put him back to bed (very rare). Most of the time I let him cry it out. Sometimes its 10 minutes and He is asleep again other times its till I get him up for scheduled feeding 1hr later. It can be anytime not one specific nap. I thought the binky was the problem so I eliminated it a week ago it does not seem to affect anything. everything else is perfect. He goes to sleep like an angel not a peep. Couldn't ask for an easier baby. He is as happy as they come…lol Am I doing the right thing letting him cry? Any thoughts would be great! Thank You again for taking Your time to do this.


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