Napping for 5 month old
posted at 4/20/2009 11:29 AM EDTIs he overtired and not sleeping during the day? Even a baby who sleeps through the night at 5 months of age needs to sleep during the day, as they need LOTS of daily sleep during the first year of life. So, yes, I'd stick to the routine that your son needs, and I'd plan your shopping and other trips around his naps so that he is mostly at home for his naps. Unless it's an emergency, I would think you could plan your trips to the store, to friends' houses, etc. to not be at the same time as his naps. This allows him to keep his routine so that he gets the sleep he needs throughout the day and be happier when he is awake. Now, does he need to sleep in his crib? He could probably sleep just as well in a playpen, crib, carriage or stroller with the back down.
But why not have him sleep in his crib so that he is used to it? Because when he is older and crawling and he needs to sleep, you can't just put him on your bed as he'll crawl off it.... and often a child 8 or 10 months old plays and puts themselves to sleep, but you can't allow that if he isnt' safe. And, yes, I do believe a child gets better sleep if they are sleeping in their carriage or crib or pack-n-play or playpen than if they are in a carseat or swing, and also if they are allowed to sleep their entire nap - if you are at the store then he's bumped, pushed, stopped, etc. that might interrupt his sleep.
Also, frankly, it's easier to set up good sleep habits now than break him of bad habits - while he's young now and a walk around the block or a drive around 3 blocks probably knocks him out, in a few months he'll be too busy looking at everything to fall asleep in the first block or two, so you'll HAVE to take 30 minute walks to get him to sleep, then you won't be able to transfer him, and you'll be stuck with a baby who only takes a nap if you walk him (or drive him). UGH. Who wants that? So set up good habits now that you can keep vs. breaking the bad ones later.
Why wouldn't you want to plan your day around your son's sleep needs? Not that everything is about the baby or child, but really, making sure your son gets the sleep he needs, and the food he needs, when he needs it, is important. Again, occasionally you have to run out during his nap and then he'll adjust or not, but I'd imagine that would be the exception not the rule. Friends can learn that you'll get together after 11am, not before, because your son sleeps from 9:30 to 10:30 each morning (for now, eventuallly he'll drop his AM nap and sleep one long afternoon nap.)
Napping for 5 month old
posted at 4/20/2009 11:29 AM EDTSince our house is on 2 levels and outside a third, our nearly 3 month olds nap where we are. One late morning and one mid afternoon nap I try to keep within a half hour, mostly by having them up and playing, doing something active like taking a bath or actively playing with us. This is mostly to make sure the twins do not doze too much because we do like that they sleep at night.
After nursing or feeding, if they do not fall asleep we play a bit, then put them down and either shade the carriage or playpen, or pull shades of windows around their rocker cradles to dim light but not dark. They pretty much rock themselves back and forth until they fall asleep. One of us will sit not far away and talk to them every now and then but not pick them up. That is fine. Since the start they have accepted that if we talk from a few feet away, or set their cradle rocking with a foot while sitting reading, that is nap time, and they do not holler to be picked up then.
Mostly we plan to start a trip in the car near a usual nap time rather than have them get up from a nap, then go somewhere. That seems to be the one thing that would lead to too long sleeping, wakeful and fussy later.
We expect them to be home not in a day care center until at least 4, so we are just happy that they accept our good friend's house, that of parents we visit often, any familiar caretaker as long as we settle them in similar cradles or their carriage (which has springs), dim the lights somewhat and start them rocking then settle at a distance.
Self- quieting where ever they are.