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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Kate says:

    Is there a prize for being the most frequent poster? If so, I think I’m going to win! Just kidding 🙂

    Emily, how did you figure out that your boys needed 5-10 minutes to fall back asleep? I think my little man is just too little to try that now, but I can see where he might need that in the future. How old were your boys when you figured it out?


  2. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Julia — yes! You’re exactly right. My sons’ rest times are as much about me as they are about the boys. While I do think it’s good for them to take a break in the middle of the day and enjoy some quiet, self-directed play, I also KNOW that it’s good for me! And happy mom = happy kids, right? 😉

    Thanks for sharing this insight, Julia! Also, visited your website, and your personalized blankets are lovely. 🙂

  3. Julia says:

    Rest time sounds like the perfect solution to the phase children go through when they’re done with naps. I know from experience that nap times are not only necessary for the baby, but for mom and dad’s rejuvenation as well. It’s so hard to stay as active and ready as motherhood demands, but rest time for your children is a great solution to extend your own rest opportunities for as long as possible. Thank you!

  4. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Ivana Obradovic — So glad to hear that you’ve utilized our consultation services! Regarding your question: first, let me say that if you want a detailed, personalized answer, you can always check with the consultant who created your plan (provided you have follow-up e-mails remaining, that is.)

    I can offer you some general insights that may help you out. Really, how you handle crying and fussing depends on what you’re comfortable with, as well as what seems to work for your baby. Cry-it-out methods typically produce faster results, but not everyone is comfortable with allowing crying to happen for prolonged periods of time. Going into the room to comfort her is definitely a gentler, softer approach to nap training, but those kinds of methods usually take longer or produce results and require more patience on the part of the parent.

    Something to consider: sometimes, babies will stir slightly during naptime and fuss a bit before falling right back to sleep. All of my kids have done this off and on as babies. I learned to let them cry for a bit (5-10 minutes); if the crying went past the 10 minute mark, then I knew they were fully awake and not just stirring mid-nap. So that’s something for you to consider.

    Hope this helps! And thanks so much for commenting. 🙂

  5. Ivana Obradovic says:

    I like to read your articles on naps because I found them very challenging, and any new info may be useful.
    I’ve been working on naps with my 11-month old daughter for a week now. This is a second time that I am nap training her and I actually decided to use cry it out this time around. She is now able to fall asleep on her own, usually after 10 minutes, with some crying and fussing. I am trying to lengthen her naps using a Nap hour(like you advised in our Personal sleep plan), as her naps are only 30 minutes long. When she wakes from a nap I go in the room and I try to sooth her beck to sleep. But she wants to play or wants me to take her out of bed and she doesn’t go back to sleep within a Nap hour. My question is should I go in the room in the first place when she wakes up or use cry it out to lengthen her naps? Thank you for your support:)

  6. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Kate — in response to your first comment, I’d say that some crying before naps is normal, but I think what your’e doing (letting him cry for a short period and then rescuing him) is probably good. You could think of that one-hour window this way: if, within an hour of him crying and you comforting him and then putting him back down, he still hasn’t fallen asleep, then let that nap go and try again later.

    Of course, the danger there is that he may end up missing too many naps, and become overly tired. If you suspect that’s happening, then I’d suggest possibly taking a break from the nap training for an afternoon, and “helping” him to sleep so that he can get the rest he needs. 5 months is still pretty little, so there’s certainly nothing wrong with helping him out as he needs it.

    In response to your second comment — I have no scientific evidence to support what I’m going to say here, but I don’t think that a baby waking from a nap crying necessarily means that the baby isn’t fully rested. It certainly CAN mean that, but I can tell you that my oldest son ALWAYS did this. As a baby, as a toddler, as a preschooler — he’d wake from almost every nap in tears. Short cat naps = tears. Hours-long naps = tears. In his case, I finally had to accept that crying after naps was just something he did, and was something that seemed to be hard-wired into his personality. I’ll be honest, I was happy when he finally dropped his one nap 18 months ago; I don’t miss the after-nap crying!

    So I’d say to be open to the idea that the crying may not be related to his overall sleep. Could be, but if you think he’s getting the amount of sleep he needs, then don’t stress over it to much.

    Hope this helps, Kate! And thanks for commenting. 🙂

  7. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Jordan — you’re absolutely right! Naps can be so tough, especially in the baby and young toddler stage. Know, however, that it will get a lot easier as she gets older.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re working towards making more naps happen at home, and that you gleaned some insights from this post into how long you should try to “make a nap happen”. Hope these tips prove useful to you as you work on improving and lengthening naps! Hang in there — you can do it! 🙂

  8. Kate says:

    I just remembered another question that I wanted to ask:

    My son also almost always cries when he wakes up after naps (not the case with night sleep). I take it as a sign that his nap wasn’t very restful, but I get him up anyway.

    Is there a point at which I should let him try to go back to sleep? Or is it pretty standard for young babies to cry upon waking?


  9. Kate says:

    Emily: As always, thanks for the great article. I try to avoid on-the-go naps for my little guy, but sometimes, it’s the best way to get him to nap at all–I figure a car nap is better than no nap!

    I appreciate your advice about when to stop trying for a nap, but I have a question: Would that hour or so wait potentially be all crying?

    I’ve been nap training my nearly 5 month old son for about a month now (he now sleeps in the crib most of the time–yay!), but he still cries before almost every nap. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes, sometimes 15, and I almost always “rescue” him after 20 minutes. Do you think it’s a sign that I need to try a different method?

  10. Jordan says:

    We’re definitely going through a couple of these, specifically #1 and #4. Almost ALL of my 9month old’s naps were being had either in the car or the stroller. We’re now trying to move away from that into a more home-based schedule, which also includes transitioning her from the family bed into a pack and play. I found myself wondering yesterday while trying to put her down for the 2nd nap, “how much longer should I try to get her to go down before just scrapping it?”

    It’s hard to know! I know she’s exhausted, yet is fighting sleep with everything she has. Even if I were to abandon ship and try to post pone until the next nap or bedtime, she’d still be miserable because she’s tired! Thankfully she did conk out right around the 45-50 minute mark and then slept for 1hr5min. I know I’m doing the right thing for her in getting her to sleep on her own, but it’s a lot of work for both of us!

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