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

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  1. Emily DeJeu says:

    @Kendra — these are great questions! And, if it makes you feel any better, I’m going through exactly the same thing with my daughter, who’s also 2.5. While my boys napped faithfully until about age 4 or 4.5, my daughter definitely doesn’t. What I’ve done is to wake her from her late naps – if she falls asleep after about 2:30 or 2:45, I’ll let her sleep for an hour, and then I wake her. It isn’t always pleasant after she wakes up, but it does help to preserve bedtime. In my opinion, I’d rather deal with a cranky little person in the middle of the afternoon than a wide-awake little person at 10 or 11 p.m.!

    As for whether or not this is a sign that he’s dropping his nap – I’d be careful about making that call now. Most kids don’t stop napping until between 3 and 4, so I’d hang on to the afternoon nap/rest time until at least age 3. After that, if you find that the nap is rarely happening, you can probably consider it official, that he’s done napping.

    Hope this helps, Kendra! And, as always, thanks for commenting. 🙂 Always nice to hear from you!

    @ Jennifer – your ped. is probably right, about her trying to make up for lost nighttime sleep with naps. Not a great scenario, so it’s probably a good idea to wake her from her naps. As for what’s going on with the nighttime waking — do you think she has any sleep associations? Do you have to nurse/rock/hold her to sleep? Or is she able to fall asleep on her own? Have you tried sleep training before?

    If you haven’t already, you may want to consider downloading a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night (find it here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-through-night-free-ebook/) Without knowing all the details of your situation, I can’t make specific recommendations, but I can say that this much nighttime waking is excessive for a 7 month old. Sounds like you have a good handle on what the problem is, but are still struggling to figure out how to fix it. Start with that free guide; if, after that, you still need help, we’re here for you!

    Hang in there, Jennifer – I know you must be tired. Dpn’t hesitate to reach out again if you need more help!

    @ Allison – Well thanks! So glad the site has proven useful to you 🙂 To answer your question, first let me say that while we usually like to keep bedtime within the same 30-40 minute timeframe, this 1.25 hour swing isn’t necessarily unusual for a 9 month old. Especially if you’re nursing – are you? That may be part of it. I nursed all my kids, and until I weaned them, their morning wake times tended to shift based on growth spurts and hunger.

    As for how to regulate this – the median time for your little one’s waking would 6:15ish, right? You could try splitting the difference and waking your little one anywhere between 6:00 and 6:30, and see if that helps regulate things a bit.

    Hope this helps, Allison! Thanks so much for commenting. 🙂

  2. Peta says:

    Hm. Is nearly 2 1/2 too young to stop daytime naps altogether? My girl has been resisting the nap for a few months now, but I keep putting her down at the same time every day in the hope that “consistency” (stubbornness?) will eventually pay off, but it just ends up causing so many fights between us. She tries to sleep but can’t sit still and says trying to sleep is “hard work”. (lol) She can’t seem to manage quiet time on her own for too long – seems to need my attention. I’m gutted because we also have a young baby and I would so love some one on one time with the baby … and an afternoon nap for myself would be heavenly! I’m so exhausted! The toddler is ratty come late afternoon/evening because she gets tired, but I’m starting to think the whole family is better off if we just read some books together for “quiet time” in the middle of the day and leave it at that, as the whole no nap fight every day is ruining our relationship. Do other people have this problem?

  3. Krystal says:

    Emily- I read through here and wanted to reply to your comment. Your daughter may be waking at night to nurse or for comfort. My baby night nurses to make up for her daytime (she’s a distracted nurser). She nurses better at night and the majority of her calories are during that time. If your daughter nurses well during day she may be going through milestones, teething, etc and wants extra comfort with you at night. Nighttime is relaxing and quiet and easy for baby to get all of their parents attention. Usually with milestones babies tend to wake more. Just a thought, hope that helps.

    (Posted before the writers comment)

  4. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Ericka — hmmm…this is a tough one! Sounds like you’re doing everything right, but that the morning wake time is still pretty erratic. A swing of 2 – 2.5 hours in morning wake-time is definitely frustrating, I imagine! Are you nursing, by chance? That could possibly account for it; could be that your daughter is waking early some mornings out of hunger, but not other mornings. It *might* also be due to her temperament – some kids are just less consistent than others. However, that’s such a big window of time — maybe more than we can account for with just temperament alone. Typically, we’d expect to see a wake-up window of about 30-45 minutes or so. Do you think her naps during the day affect her wake time? Also, you mentioned that she’s starting to wake at night again — it could be that this is just a phase, and that she’ll resume more normal sleeping patterns soon.

    Hope some of this helps, Ericka! If you answer those questions that I asked, I maybe be able to give you better insights. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

    @ Joanna — sounds like you and Ericka are dealing with the same issues! I can imagine how frustrating this must be. I’d pose to you the same questions that I posed to Ericka – are you nursing? Hunger could be part of this. How’s the daily nap schedule? Do you notice your son waking early when he’s napped a lot the day before? As for whether or not to wake him if he sleeps past 6 – your call. If you think he needs the extra sleep, then it’s fine to leave him. But if you’d prefer for 6 to be his wake-up time, and you want to work to establish that as a habit, then it might be good to wake him at that time (or maybe around 6:16 or 6:30). Wake-time can swing a bit within about a 30-40 minute window.

    Hope this helps, Joanna! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

    @Emily (great name, BTW!) — I am so, so sorry you’re struggling with this. 🙁 You must be feeling so exhausted and discouraged! Hang in there – you sound like a great mom. As for what to make of this, here are a few observations I can make. First, remember that 6 months is still fairly young to have a predictable, by-the-clock schedule. At this age, lots of babies are still sorting out their sleep, and night wakings are still very normal (you can read more about this here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/short-baby-naps-explained/) Second, because your daughter is still waking frequently at night, and needs to be fed, it’s sounds likely to me that she has some sleep associations with feeding at night (you can read about sleep associations here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-association/) Would you agree? Even though she can self-soothe during the day, it’s very possible that she’s come to associate night waking with needing the breast (babies are pretty smart that way!)

    So, here’s what I would do if I were you: forget about trying to establish a clock-based schedule for now, and focus instead on working on the night wakings. Once she’s able to settle herself after night wakings, that will go a long way towards regulating her sleep. Then, you can think more about establishing consistent bed/wake times, and nap times. Does that make sense?

    If you haven’t already, Emily, you may want to consider downloading a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night (find it here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-through-night-free-ebook/) I think that would be helpful to you, given what you’re facing right now.

    Lastly – hang in there, mama! You can do this, and so can your daughter. 🙂 And if you find yourself needing more help – we’re here for you!

  5. Allison says:

    Hi – I love your site! I have a question. My almost nine month old wakes up anywhere from 5:30 AM to 6:45 AM. He is always asleep by 7 PM. Should I wake him up at so certain time each day or let him get as close to 12 hours of sleep as possible? My schedule for the day is a little different each day because of this yet I do not want to decrease night sleep by waking him up if he needs it. Thanks!

  6. Jennifer says:

    My 7 month old will sleep for 1-2 hours at night and then is up wide awake anywhere from 3-6 hours!!! in the middle of the night. She is inconsolable and just doesn’t act tired. She will finally settle around 4-5 am. I put her to bed the same time at night (give or take 15-20 mins) and have a routine, and then have to wake her up at 7am. I also have to wake her from naps (2 a day). Her Pedi says no longer than 1.5hrs each, maybe a 2 hr depending on how bad the night is because she feels she is making up for her lack of night sleep during the day. I have ALWAYS had to wake her from naps. So I guess my question is, is this because she is getting so little sleep at night (she has never been a good sleeper)? I don’t want to have to wake her up forever like the article says, but this has been months now and I don’t see any improvement.

  7. Kendra says:

    I have a 2.5 year old and we’re in a bit of a scheduling funk. About 33% of the time he’ll take a 1-1.5 hour nap at around 1:30 or 2 (great!), then another 33% of the time he’ll take no nap at all (quiet time enforced anyway which is really just play-in-your-room time), and the last third of days he’ll fall asleep after 3pm when I’m about to go get him up from quiet time and THEN he would sleep 2+ hours if I let him (I usually wake him after an hour or so to protect bedtime). Sometimes, bedtime can still happen at a reasonable time. Other times, he’ll chatter in his bed til after 10pm on these late nap days. He gets anywhere between 10-13hrs at night (the longer nights come after the no-nap days).

    I have two questions. 1) Does this seem like he’s getting ready to drop his nap? For consistencies sake, should I never let him nap after 3?
    2) Would it be beneficial at all to just always let him take this late nap and sleep it out – without waking – to see if things regulate on their own? Are they likely to?

  8. Emily says:

    I keep being told again and again to do what you advise here, with regards to waking my baby up at the same time each morning… I am a desperate and very tired mummy who can’t bear to lose a precious extra half-hour of sleep if it’s on offer! My six-month-old has yet to sleep more than 3 hours in one stretch at night – I am so shattered 🙁 My question is, say if I set e.g. 6:30am as the wake-up time, and therefore her nap would be 8:30am (2 hours is as long as she can go!) – what do I do when she wakes up at 4:30 or 5:30, and won’t go back to sleep? I absolutely wouldn’t be able to keep her quiet, entertained, settled but awake, etc in her cot until 6:30… and there’s no way she would then last until 8:30 for her first nap, either. Also, on the days she wakes too early and we leave her to cry (with reassurance but no feeding) and then she eventually goes back to sleep at, say, 6am… should I really then wake her at 6:30? As sometimes in this scenario she will then sleep until 9:00! As per the previous posters, we have had a consistent bedtime routine at the same time every single night since she was about 8 weeks old, and she always falls asleep very quickly – but her night-time and early morning wakings differ every night. Very hard to schedule anything! What I really struggle with is that my little one can self-settle and get herself off to sleep very quickly, with little fuss, both at naptimes and also at bedtime, but in the middle of the night she is absolutely unable to do it without feeding (she is exclusively breastfed). I just don’t understand why!? 🙁 Sorry – I’ve gone off on a tangent… more than a little desperate right now 🙁 Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer! x

  9. Joanna says:

    I have a similar situation as Ericka. My 17 month old has been on the same bedtime and nap time for months, yet his wake time is all over the place! It can be anywhere from 5am to 7am. My biggest concern is that I do leave him until 6am….often with many tears…and it hasn’t helped him sleep until 6am with any regularity. I’m being consistent, but after a few months you’d think it would have had an effect? But again, this morning….5:29am… Another question I have is when he sleeps past 6am should I wake him at 6am anyway? (On those days I’m so happy he’s sleeping longer that I let him…) Thank you for the article!

  10. Ericka says:

    My 14-month old daughter has been on the same bedtime schedule since she was 6 months old: bath, bottle, bed. She is asleep between 7:15-7:30. Lately, she has been waking at night. My questions is, why does she wake up at different times during the morning, 4/5:30/6:30am? We have followed the same night time routine for months, but she is still very inconsistent with her sleep. Any advice?

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