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  1. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Alyssa — thanks for posting! Sounds like you’re working through a common issue here — nights aren’t so bad, but nap time is. A lot of parents go through this, so you’re definitely not alone!

    This article outlines how many naps your baby actually needs: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/how-many-naps-baby-toddler-need/ (it’s also full of links to other nap articles, so you can have fun browsing those) 🙂

    You can also check out our free napping guide here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/free-baby-nap-guide/ That may help you get a handle on how to start improving nap sleep.

    We also have an article coming this month entitled “How Naptime sleep is different than Nighttime sleep” It outlines just what you’re describing here — how for many kids, nighttime sleep come easy, but naptime sleep doesn’t. The article offers insights into why that’s the case, as long as a few practical steps to help bridge that divide.

    Hope these resources help, Alyssa! If you need more support, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@babysleepsite.com.

  2. Alyssa says:

    @JB, I completely, completely agree with you, and thank you for posting. I have been going back and forth between wanting to sleep-train and helping my 5 month old son learn to soothe himself naturally….there have been some tough nights, but right now he is waking 2 or 3 times in 10 to 12 hours, and it doesn’t bother me at all as long as I go to bed early enough (I often don’t, but as long as I can get 2 3-4 hour chunks of sleep, I am great. I work 40 hours a week, and if I didn’t get to nurse and snuggle with my son at those times, I would feel like we were never together. Plus, often he only needs 10-15 minutes of nursing, then I lay him down and he is able to get himself back to sleep usually, if he’s not already back to sleep completely at the breast. My husband and I have been trying to give him opportunities lately to try and get to sleep by himself at time, and he’s done it twice in the past week, mainly by accident and without any crying, but still…I think he is starting to get it, and I think ultimately we’ll continue with the natural method, realizing that they also change so much so quickly in these first months that any “training” we might do would probably have to be re-done again at some point anyway.

    Nighttime we have down pretty well, and I think right now the thing that is really getting to us and to him is that he does not nap well during the day, especially on weekends when he’s with us. It’s causing him to be chronically overtired, even if he sleeps well at night he is always overtired by the end of the day, which makes it hard to get him to settle down (though when he does finally, he’s usually out). He’s always mainly nursed to sleep all his life, but his sitter can now get him to sleep well and has been working with us to ease onto a schedule, but he is still not regular and there are still days he doesn’t nap at all, or does so only for a half hour or 45 minutes here or there. This is what has been tempting us to try some sleep training, because I feel that if he were able to soothe himself to sleep better and calm down (as he is a VERY active and alert little boy), he would sleep longer during the day. But then I am torn by my feelings that self-soothing should happen naturally…I just don’t know how the heck to get him napping better, and it is SO HARD when I can’t be with him, and when he’s in a different environment on weekends than on weekdays.

    Has anyone else experienced these difficulties, and is getting a baby to self-soothe the only way to get him napping better/napping more routinely? I need some help…my baby’s overtired, but I don’t know how to break the cycle…I feel like the only thing we have down is nighttime…and during the day I’m always worrying whether he’ll sleep and get the rest I know he needs. I also really don’t want to sleep train or cry-it-out, but we’ve got to do something to get him napping better.

  3. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Jennifer — Great comment! Thanks for sharing all these particulars; they’re bound to be helpful to other moms who read this article and these comments 🙂

  4. Jennifer says:

    Great article and great discussion here! I am in favor of parents doing what they feel is right for them unfortunately it is is so hard to figure out what is right when so many sources i.e. family members, friends, pediatricians, psychologists, sleep experts etc, have different opinions and research claiming their way is best.

    Being a parent is hard work and it takes sacrifice. I laughed at your post JB, I remember creeping into my parent’s room until I was a teenager. Now it wasn’t every night or anything weird or creepy like that, I just liked to cuddle with my mom sometimes. In fact I snuggled with her both times I was pregnant at least one night when I was in town visiting.

    While I too struggled with my feelings about my son’s sleep difficulties, by the time he reached two and still needed me to lay with him until he fell asleep it finally clicked and I started to remember my own sleep habits as a child. He is a sensitive boy and LOVES to cuddle. He won’t be into his momma and for that matter into crawling into our bed to cuddle forever so until he feels confident enough to sleep all night through every night like I can (without children around :.) I’ll take one for the team. He is 3 now almost 4 and he still likes us to lay with him until he falls asleep but now instead of it taking an hour and a half it takes 5 minutes – baby steps!! He sleeps through the night and wakes about once a week to come snuggle in the early morning.

    Also just a shout out to Rachel or anyone else who BF’s at night – my kids both had night feedings off and on until over a year my son was much more erratic – but I could always tell when they were sucking to feed and sucking to pacify and you probably can too. I don’t understand those who advise to withhold food from a hungry baby and at nine months they are hungry babies…ravenous at all hours especially during a growth spurt. When it was just a suck to pacify thing I could gently remove them and put them back down with a few pats. When it was a suck because they were teething or not feeling well a pat wasn’t going to cut it – in fact my daughter gets downright indignant if it’s one of those nights! Those rare few instances I let them nurse. My son self weaned at 14 months he just simply was finished one day. My daughter is near 15 months and is probably going to continue for at least a couple of months.

    Good luck!

  5. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Meagan — I’m the same way! I love the idea of breaking big goals into small tasks. I’m good at this in my personal life and in my work life, but I’ve never been great at it financially. Going to start next month, though, on trying to set small savings goals towards a new car for the husband (since his 10 year old Kia Rio surely can’t last much longer!) 😉

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