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

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  1. Sana says:

    Thanks Nicole! You ROCK!

    Cara – I’d say, leave him for a little bit either way, whether he wakes up happy or crying, if you can. You never know if he’ll go back to sleep.

    As for them crying and putting themselves back down: it does happen! I’m speaking from experience (my first child). Now I just need to muster up that strength again and make sure my 2nd gets opportunity for the sleep he needs!

  2. Cara says:

    Hi Nicole, thanks for that perspective. A question though – if he wakes up ‘happy’ after his first 35 minute nap, should I still leave him 15-20 minutes? Usually he will wake happy from his first couple naps and play for about 10 minutes, and then start crying. Just don’t want him to develop a negative association somehow with naps. The same question goes for when he wakes up in hysterical cries – leave him the whole time, or should I do a check and say he needs to keep napping? Sure there is no hard and fast rule, but I just wonder if when he starts really crying if there is any hope he will put himself back down? What do you think, in your experience? Thanks agian.

    • @Cara Yes, I would. When I was working on my son’s sleep, sometimes he’d wake, play for 10 minutes and then go back to sleep. 🙂 Even if he wakes crying, he could be back to sleep in 5-10 minutes. Some fussing/crying is normal between sleep cycles. If he’s crying hard, try to settle him, but then lay him back down to go back to sleep. Good luck!

      @Sana Thank you! 🙂

  3. Cara says:

    Sana, I appreciate your response. Thanks for that. I’ll hang in there – it’s just so tough when your in the thick of things, but I know it will get better. I will check out the schedules as well – have not done that yet.
    Only recently did I start experimenting with wake time. I had been trying so long to hit the perfect window – which was absolutley key when he was first learning to sleep – if I was too late, he would be in hysterics going down. It used to be 1.5 hours between naps. Now that he consistently goes down, I have started pushing him. I try and keep him up 1.45 before the first nap and b/w 2 and 2.5 hours until the second and third. The last last nap is a cat-nap and I most often go out in the stroller to get him to sleep a little earlier than he normally would. To be honest, usually 2 naps of the day are in the stroller for a break….not sure if that’s a good habit, but that’s where we are at:)
    So far, no change to how long he sleeps, but I’ll keep experimenting as it’s only been a few days. Maybe if I keep the same times for naps everyday, it will help?? Right now I’m +/- hour, depending on when he wakes and how rested he is.
    Anyways, your comments make me feel better….I’ll keep at it. Thanks.

  4. Sana says:

    Cara, I believe Dr. Weissbluth says naps can possibly still be hit-or-miss like that at this age, since that part of the baby’s brain is not yet developed completely. I believe he says at 4 months, day sleep should start to become more organized, but for some babies it can take longer. I believe mine took longer, if I remember correctly. They will lengthen eventually, just hang in there.

    Also, did you check our Nicole’s 4-month and 6-month schedules on this site? Perhaps your baby can stay up a little bit longer, to lengthen the nap a bit?

    OR, perhaps he needs to sleep a wee bit earlier. Often, if they can’t put themselves back to sleep after the first cycle, it means they are overtired. Experiment with the wake times a bit. Take away 15 minutes, try that for a week, and if that doesn’t work, then go the other way and add 15 minutes to the original wakeful time.

    Good luck!

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