Re: Nap Training... no fun.
posted at 5/9/2011 9:36 PM EDT
luck, she's been down to one nap for the past 4-5 months now (thank God, because it was even more fun to have to put her down for 2 naps).
So medford, here's the abridge version for 9-12 month olds. The book is called "The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight"
Babies at this age need 11 hours of sleep at night, and 3 during the day. At 9 months babies should nap for about 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5-2 hours in the afternoon. Most have given up that brief late-afternoon nap. By 12 months the morning nap is about an hour and the afternoon nap is about 1.5 hours.
Sample schedule: (if you work & have to get DD up earlier or she gets up earlier naturally, then just adjust the hours accordingly give or take a half-hour or so).
7:00-7:30 wake up. Nurse & breakfast.
9:00-9:30 start the morning nap. If your child sleeps 11-12 hours at night, they may be able to make it to 10:00. But she recommends not letting the baby stay awake for more than 3 hours from wake up. (I know the morning nap for DD became much easier once I decided to not watch her for sleepiness but instead at the 2 hour mark, bring her up for a nap - and surprisingly she went to sleep much faster than if I had waited).
12:00-12:30 Lunch with nurse/bottle/cup etc.
1:00-2:00 Start the afternoon nap. Snack upon awakening.
5:00-6:00 dinner with nurse/bottle/cup.
7:00-7:30 bedtime with nurse. Bedtime meaning - in bed asleep - not starting the routine. Routine should be in their room & generally the same routine every night.
She says that, after checking with your ped. healthy children from 9-12 months on a normal growth curve almost always go 11-12 hours at night without a feeding.
She also recommends creating not only a nighttime ritual/routine - but a wake up ritual - open the drapes/turn on the lights/sing a song so she knows that it's wake up time.
Does your DD fall asleep on her own at night/naptime or do you always put her down asleep? Do you go in right away if she wakes up in the middle of the night or do you let her cry for a little bit? She recommends that if the child skips a nap or gets less naptime than she should - to make the bedtime earlier to compensate. She had a few anecdotes of people getting their child down as early as 5:30/6:00 to make up for lost time.
Aside from reading this book, I have also had 2 phone consultations with Meg Casano from www.babysleepscience.com
- she was able to help correct situations and provide ideas that I couldnt get from a book. Both the sleep lady & my consultant recommended staying in "nap mode" for atleast an hour each time - that can be staying in the room with them, or letting them cry/be in the room alone for the hour. DD's room is also dark & we always use a sound machine.
The average sleep cycle for a baby is 45 minutes - if DD is waking up after 30 minutes, she hasn't completed a full cycle of sleep, which will make her overtired. Regarding nap training, the Sleep Lady also said that training for the morning nap is easier than for the afternoon nap. She said by 2:00-3:00 if they haven't napped at all or have had very little naptime, to resort to a backup like taking a drive in the car if that will put them to sleep.
Hope that helps! I do recommend the book - it's a bit more straighforward and shorter than Weissbluth. I'm looking forward to being better with baby #2 regarding sleep etc. I made so many goofs with DD - nursing her all the time, not letting DH take a more active role in getting her to sleep (whenever she cried it broke my heart and I'd take her back from him - poor guy/dumb mommy), and jumping up as soon as she let out a cry.. and the big one - not training her to fall asleep on her own.