Dropping Naps and Other Transitions
Sleep disruptions were numerable this past week. First, we traveled what is usually a 4hr straight drive increased 1-2hrs more with a baby. He was teething, going through separation anxiety, and I think a growth spurt. Hard to tell with that last bit since all the other things were going on. He started waking up again to eat in the middle of the night. It’s thankfully settled down to only one time between 4-5:30amnow but I’m hoping this tapers off again. Now that the teething is subsiding (just waiting for the top front 4 to finish coming down – he has 6 now!) and we’re back home, I think things will calm down. (I hope!)
With the last week or two filled with longer transitions to nap time (this translates to fussiness when I try to put him down for a nap), if he’s had enough sleep and no other issues pop up, he can handle about 2hrs between naps. He falls asleep much faster with less help from me if I don’t put him down too soon. Additionally, I thought this meant changing the last wake time before bed to 3hrs but that seems to be backfiring into early wake times. So if I keep up with his usual schedule of ending nap time around 7pm, that would move up his bedtime from 10pm to 9:45pm. This little change I believe will make a huge difference.
Some days he’s taking two nice long naps in the morning and afternoon, with a short third nap before bed, but sometimes he has a series of short naps all day, leading to 4 or 5 to make it until bedtime. Thankfully that’s happening less often, and appears to be linked with how well he slept at night. Surprise, surprise! It’s quite true how everything is connected. If he sleeps well at night, he eats longer in the morning, and can handle longer wake times, which leads to longer nap times and better eating lengths. I’m hoping to get him back on track today in time for an earlier bedtime so that tomorrow goes well. It seems he fights nap #4 more and more these days and if he can get on a good schedule I think that will eliminate this last nap completely.
The problem is I don’t know what his natural wake time is… he’s never been consistent. So here are multiple 3-nap schedule ideas for him based on different wake times and nap #1 and #2 lasting 2hrs and nap #3 lasting 30min.
Nap #1 9:00am
Nap #2 1:00pm
Nap #3 5:00pm
Nap #1 9:30am
Nap #2 1:30pm
Nap #3 5:30pm
Nap #1 10:00am
Nap #2 2:00pm
Nap #3 6:00pm
Nap #1 10:30am
Nap #2 2:30pm
Nap #3 6:30pm
Of course, reality is not this nice and neat. He doesn’t sleep for 11hrs at night as this schedule suggests and he doesn’t consistently take long naps. This is the formula for the current nap schedule he has:
:: Awake 1 – 1.5hrs ::
:: Awake 2hrs ::
:: Awake 2hrs ::
:: Repeat ‘Awake 2hrs then nap’ until no later than 7/8pm-ish depending on lengths of naps ::
:: Awake 2.75hrs after last nap ::
He just turned 7 months on Wednesday so I’m hoping he is able to transition into a solid 3-nap schedule within a couple weeks.