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

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  1. Erika says

    Hi there!

    First, let me say that this site has helped me tremendously with establishing sleep for my 16 month old from day 1. He is a champion sleeper and I have you all to thank!

    But on to my second child…different story. He just turned 2 months about a week ago. Even though I watch like a hawk, I am constantly missing his sleep window and so he is overtired. Our typical wake time goes as follows:
    – he will wake up after napping. His naptimes are anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
    – I will nurse him and he will doze off before he’s full. Either I will:
    ° try to wake him to finish eating or
    ° try to put him down for a nap bc I am afraid of making him overtired. You see, when I pat his back to burp him, he gets extremely agitated and seems to get overstimulated…which doesn’t help the sleeping situation.
    °or I will set him down and try to nurse a few minutes later.

    With all 3 of these options, 9 times out of 10, I will try to put him back down for a nap around 45 minutes after he wakes up. Morning naps are a little easier…but are getting more difficult. As the afternoon progresses, he gets more and more difficult to get to sleep. He will eat, then start to yawn (maybe even doze off). Even though he shows all signs of sleepiness, he shoots wide awake and gets hyper alert. And once that happens, it takes sometimes 2 to 3 hours (and another feeding, diaper change, etc) before he goes down. During that period, I have to just lay him down in his crib and walk away for a bit bc my attempt to sooth him to sleep just makes him more stimulated.

    I try to put him down sleepy…but not asleep. I don’t want to start any sleep associations. I’m a working mom, so unfortunately I don’t have 2 to 3 hours each night to coax my baby to sleep each time he wakes up. But he seems to be very social and wants interaction…but even that overstimulates him after a short period.

    I have a bedtime routine in place. I have set up a nap schedule based on your sample (which was helpful with my 1st son!) I look for his sleep signals. I keep his wake times short. I’m not sure what else to do. Any advice is very much appreciated!

    • Danielle says

      Hi Erika,
      Thank you for being a loyal reader! I’m so thrilled to hear we were able to help you with your first baby’s sleep. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with your new son’s sleep, though – he sounds a lot like my daughter 🙂 Many spirited babies struggle with naps during the day. We have a good article with some tips to help here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/how-to-help-your-fomo-baby-sleep/
      Outside of that, it sounds to me like you’re doing all the basics perfectly, so you may just want to give it a little time in case it’s a growth spurt or something short term. If you continue to need help, one of the sleep consultants could definitely review your schedule and help you moderate the overtiredness so he’s sleeping better. I hope this helps – good luck!

      • Erika says

        Thank you, Danielle!

  2. Kiara says

    Hi, my baby is 7.5 months and I have worked out that his awake time is 2 h 15 mins although it might vary slightly so I watch him carefully for signs of being tired. When all goes well he sleeps 11 or 11.5 hours at night and has 3 naps of the usual duration of 1.5 h (morning), 1 h (afternoon) and a final 30 mins catnap. He self-settles and goes down easily with just white noise provided he’s within his sleep window. The problem is that he becomes overtired very easily if I miss his tiredness signs, or if we’re rushing back after picking up my older daughter at preschool… I am talking about being late by perhaps 5 minutes or so! At that point he cries so much, if I manage to calm him and he goes to sleep in his cot he won’t sleep more than 30 minutes (because he’s overtired, of course); if not then we have to go for a walk in the baby carrier or he would miss his nap and be even more overtired (but this is becoming impractical because he’s heavy and because if my 3 y.o. daughter is not at preschool I need to take her out too and it’s just too much!). Believe me, I try my very best not to miss his sleep window (and more often than not we manage) but life happens and I am not always able to be exact to the minute! My daughter, when she was a baby, was more flexible than him so I find this a bit stressful. In addition, we are quite limited about the activities we can do because of his short awake time and sensitivity to delays.

    My questions are:
    -in your experience, do such sensitive babies become a bit less… sensitive and can tolerate small variations? (I am starting dreading the start of nursery when his 11.5 months).
    -I find that if he sleeps only 30 minutes and then it’s impossible to re-settle him (most/all the time), the following sleep window is really difficult to detect as his signs of tiredness aren’t as clear. I know it’s definitely shorter than his full awake time but… by how much?

    Thanks is advance for your help!

    • Neosha says

      @Kiara – Thank you for reading and for sharing your little guy with us. I can most certainly understand your frustration – my own son was quite this way (not very adaptable and very regular and consistent with his schedule)! It can definitely get better with age as they’re able to understand more of what you’re asking vs as babies when they don’t quite get what you’re saying though the personality trait often sticks with many children (it did with my guy!). And the sleepy cues do definitely get much harder to detect and more specific to each baby as they get older, for sure. This is definitely the case with your little guy, too – his tiredness signs when he has a short nap may look very different from day to day and nap to nap.

      For specific help figuring out his sleep windows and keeping him napping well, even through schedule changes and variations, you should consider working one-on-one with one of our sleep consultants who specialize in helping families through these types of scenarios – you can read more about your options here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services Hang in there, Kiara!

  3. Alexa says

    My 8 month old seems to be transitioning to 2 naps because it’s becoming harder for him to fall asleep at night, however, his morning nap isn’t usually long enough to set up proper wake windows (2.5-3hrs) for the rest of the day. Should I continue with 3 naps, or try to enforce 2 with a much earlier bed time? and how will he know that the new bedtime isn’t his third nap?

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Alexa, thanks for your comment! I am sorry you’ve been struggling with the timing of your son’s day. Some babies do drop that 3rd nap around this age. 🙂 Here is a link to a 9 month old schedule with only 2 naps to give you an idea of how you could aim to adjust your schedule: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/9-month-old-baby-schedule/
      If you find you need more help with this, let us know! For more information on our more personalized help please contact us directly here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/contact
      I hope this helps!

  4. Cheryl says

    What if the duration of the previous nap was 30 minutes (I have a 30-45 min. napper) for 5 month old? They should be asleep again within 30 minutes?

    • Janelle Reid says

      @Cheryl, Thanks for your comment! It may vary, so definitely keep an eye on your baby. At this age it may be offering another nap in 30-45 minutes, however the max window you’d want to go for at that age is 1 hour and 15 minutes, to 1 hours and 45 minutes. When I was in your situation with my boys, I would watch them closely and offer a nap when they showed their first indication of tiredness, but wouldn’t let them exceed 1 hour and 45 minutes of being awake! Hope that helps, and I hope her naps begin to lengthen out for you soon! Thanks for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource for sleep.

  5. Courtney Elkins says

    Hi there, I’m wondering if Waketime length should include feeding time even if baby is asleep while feeding? My two week old sleeps through most of his day time feeds, even with me talking to him, stoking his feet, brothers running about noisily etc. thanks!

    • Neosha says

      @Courtney – Thank you for stopping by our sleepy little village and for your comment. Congratulations on your newest, littlest and soon to be noisiest addition! 🙂 Wake time generally means time spent alert and awake. At 2 weeks old, we definitely don’t expect to see much wake time since your little guy likely still sleeps the bulk of the day away at this point! I hope this helps. Please keep reading and commenting, Courtney!

  6. Jennie says

    Debbye, thanks for responding! So you think a 7 pm bedtime is ok even though that means a 4-4.5 hr wake time (2nd nap ending at 2:30 -3) in the evening? And he is currently falling asleep around 8 pm w/out a 3rd nap-should I move his bedtime up in 15 increments until 7? Is that the best way?

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi again @Jennie – A 4 hour awake time at the end of the day should be okay! Most 9 mo olds are on a similar schedule, but you know your baby best! If you find that he is too tired by 7, try to move that nap just a little later, or bedtime just a little earlier until you find the right schedule. Your plan for moving bedtime 15 min early every day (or 2) is a good one! Hope it goes really smoothly!! : )

  7. Jennie says

    Ok, I have read these wake times before and I’ve tried to stick pretty closely to them with my baby (now 9.5 months old). It’s worked great, he has been a great sleeper so far but we are at a weird place right now. A few weeks ago our schedule was something like this:
    7:00ish–wake up
    7:30-bottle (about 7 oz)
    8:30-take DS to school
    9-9:30–first nap: lasts about 1.5 hrs, til 11ish
    11:30-bottle (about 6.5 oz)
    1:30-nap, about an hour
    2:30-bottle (6.5 oz)
    3:00-pick DS up at school
    5:30- bottle (6.5 oz)
    6:00- 45 min nap
    8:00-bottle (7 oz)
    9:00-9:30–Asleep (typically sleeps all night! yay!)

    I didn’t like him getting to bed so late, I didn’t like the 3rd nap being so late and he was always really hard to get down for that 3rd nap so I have been trying to drop it but I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do! As listed above, I have to be out of the house at 8:30 and at 3:15 for about 15 mins each time to pick my older son up from school. So for the past week my baby has been napping from 9:15-10:30ish and from 1-2:30ish. We have slowly been moving his bedtime up and tonight he went down easily at 8 pm. I guess the question is–should I be sticking to the original schedule with 3 naps and a late bedtime or drop that nap and aim for a 7 bedtime (still leaves a 4.5-5 hr wake time though). I don’t know if he could sleep until 7 am if we put him to bed earlier than 7 pm and I don’t really want him up any earlier than 7 (maybe 6:30). What to do??

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @ Jennie – Thanks for writing! I think you are on the right track with moving him to 2 naps and an earlier bedtime. I completely understand that early bedtimes are a bit “scary,: in that you really want them to sleep in a little, but most babies at this age can sleep 11-12 hours at night, so a 7pm bedtime could easily yield a 6:30 or 7am wake up!
      Take a peek at our recommended schedules for 9 month olds here:
      https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/9-month-old-baby-schedule/
      Good luck and thanks for visiting our sleepy little village!!

  8. Ashley says

    My 2.5 month (3 months on the 5th) seems to have really long naps. Sometimes he will nap for 3 hours in the morning after being awake for about an hour. If his morning naps are shorter then he usually has a longer nap in the afternoon. Today wasn’t this greatest example since we were at doctor appointments and downtown most of the morning. He had inconsistent morning naps due to this and when we got home in the afternoon he slept from 2:00-5:30. Is a nap ever too long for this age? Would the wake time still be about 60-80 minutes? If he has a good morning nap of 2-3 hours then his afternoon naps seem to be shorter cap naps of 45 minutes to an hour. Thanks!

    • Janelle Reid says

      @Ashley – Thank you for stopping by the Baby Sleep Site! Super long naps and super short naps at this age are both very common, and it sounds like you’ve got a bit of both. You will likely start to see these level out over time (it may not be until around 4 months or so). Because it is still very easy for your baby to get overtired, the wake time would stay the same. Here is a link to an article we have on a newborn schedule which will give you a little more insight to what he needs and why things may seem all over the place right now: https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/newborn-sleep-feeding-schedule/
      If his naps don’t level out overtime and it starts to be an issue, let us know, we would be happy to help. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Lizette says

    Hello my son just turned 3 months old and gets extremely fussy forward the end of this nap routine, where I rock him. After he’s done fussy he falls fast asleep. He gets very upset when fussy. I’m I waiting too long to star his nap rountine?

    • Danielle says

      Hi Lizette,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site! Many babies do get very fussy right when they’re about to fall asleep for naps, so you are not alone in experiencing this. If your baby is still falling asleep okay, sleeping enough during the day, and waking just to eat at night and then going right back down, then your nap timing is probably fine. If you’re seeing very short naps, trouble getting him to fall asleep at all, and/or a lot of excess night waking, that’s when we’d recommend moving nap times up. I hope this helps!

  10. Kelly says

    Hi,
    I feel stupid but I don’t quite get the formula. When you say sleep duration is this added to the suggested sleep times, or is the sleep duration the sleep time, or is the awake time minus the sleep duration, I am not sure how the sleep duration relates to the awake time in the formula. My little one is 5 1/2 months and had been napping well and sleeping through (with 2 dream feeds) but now her naps are shot through, she is only napping 20 to 30 mins. I had been tracking awake times based in what was recommended for her age but not factoring in sleep duration and I wonder if that will help while she is going through what I hope is a catnapping phase. Can you give some examples using time, thanks a bunch.

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @Kelly –
      Please do not feel stupid!! Sleep can be confusing, especially when we are tired!
      Simpler to use is this sample schedule for a 5 month old. It may help!:
      https://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/5-month-old-baby-schedule/
      If your baby is taking 20-30 min naps, you will not want to use the formula. You will want to follow the guidelines which are keeping baby awake for about 1hr 15 – 1hr 45min before sleeping again.
      Short naps happen! You may want to read here for some tips:
      https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/short-baby-naps-explained/
      We hope that it is a very short phase, and that naps lengthen very soon! If they persist, and you would like help, we’re here!
      We have an Ebook all about naps (https://www.babysleepsite.com/mastering-naps/) and plenty of one on one help options (https://www.babysleepsite.com/services)
      Good luck!!

      • Chris says

        Does the duration of wake time begin once they’re done feeding or does it include the amount of time to feed them? For example if we woke up at 8:30 in the morning, and it took my twins 30 minutes to nurse, should I then keep them up for approximately an hour and 15 minutes or only for another 45 minutes?

      • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

        Hi @Chris – Thanks for writing! The wake-time would include the feed time, and be the total amount of awake time. : ) Our free sample schedules by age should be helpful for you and your twins too. Here is the link:
        https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-feeding-schedules/
        Hope this helps! Thanks again for visiting our sleepy little village!