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Old 02-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
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How can I get my 4mo to nap regularly?

The biggest problem is that he pretty much has a different schedule ever day. I work, so I'm only home during the day on weekends. Some days he's with DH and some with another family member.

I was thinking to wait for him to start acting tired and then try to get him to sleep but he usually only sleeps for 30 min that way... unless he is in his car seat.

Would it be better to have a set time everyday and just set him in his crib and hope he sleeps? Will he eventually start to get tired at that time?

Also, is it true that they sleep better at night when they nap better during the day?

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Old 02-09-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: How can I get my 4mo to nap regularly?

At 4 months babies still don't really have a set rhythm to their sleep/wake cycles. But by 5 months usually they have a morning nap and afternoon nap (and sometimes early evening nap) "programmed" into them. I wouldn't worry too much if your DS doesn't have napping down consistently yet.

I would put him down (or try to soothe him to sleep, if that's what you want) when he shows the first signs of being tired. If you wait until he shows more tired signs, he'll be less likely to go to sleep on his own, less likely to stay asleep, and less likely to sleep as long as he needs. I don't know how many babies will just fall asleep if you put them down while sleepy but not asleep, but maybe yours is like that. :-) With mine I had to soothe her to sleep (rock, nurse, etc.) until she was about 5 months when we began to work on helping her learn to fall asleep on her own.

I don't know about putting him down at set times during the day, regardless of whether he's tired or not. That would not have worked at all with my DD (who is now 8 months). Maybe some babies are like that?

YES, it is very true that babies sleep better at night when they're getting enough sleep during the day!

I'd suggest reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which has some GREAT information on babies and sleep. You may not like his methods of sleep training, but his information is invaluable.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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Re: How can I get my 4mo to nap regularly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melyndie View Post
At 4 months babies still don't really have a set rhythm to their sleep/wake cycles. But by 5 months usually they have a morning nap and afternoon nap (and sometimes early evening nap) "programmed" into them. I wouldn't worry too much if your DS doesn't have napping down consistently yet.

I would put him down (or try to soothe him to sleep, if that's what you want) when he shows the first signs of being tired. If you wait until he shows more tired signs, he'll be less likely to go to sleep on his own, less likely to stay asleep, and less likely to sleep as long as he needs. I don't know how many babies will just fall asleep if you put them down while sleepy but not asleep, but maybe yours is like that. :-) With mine I had to soothe her to sleep (rock, nurse, etc.) until she was about 5 months when we began to work on helping her learn to fall asleep on her own.

I don't know about putting him down at set times during the day, regardless of whether he's tired or not. That would not have worked at all with my DD (who is now 8 months). Maybe some babies are like that?

YES, it is very true that babies sleep better at night when they're getting enough sleep during the day!

I'd suggest reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which has some GREAT information on babies and sleep. You may not like his methods of sleep training, but his information is invaluable.
Good book. And another good way to structure your day (it worked wonders for us as first-time parents) is the EASY method from the Baby Whisperer series. Now I did not read the book so truly can't comment but we followed EASY because it made having a new baby a lot more predictable (isn't that a contradiction?!)

Eat
Activity (including diaper changes, playtime, etc)
Sleep
Your choice

And repeat. As soon as my daughter woke up, she would nurse, then we would do bum change/play (and play was very short early on - like 15 mins) and at the very first sign of being tired (first yawn, rub eyes, etc), we would put her down to sleep. She napped in her swing during the day for about 7 months but she was in with us at night. She is a super sleeper - down by 630 pm and up at 630 (now that I'm back at work - prior, it was 730/8!) and has been doing that since 4 months. Remember, sleep begets sleep! Don't ever forget that

It wasn't a schedule, but it was a routine we could all count on and I think it helps tremendously. She was still napping 3x a day from about 4-8 months, then dropped down to 2 and now at 12.5 months, she is back and forth between 1.

Best of luck!

Last edited by foreternity; 02-09-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: How can I get my 4mo to nap regularly?

No cry nap solution is a good book, too
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: How can I get my 4mo to nap regularly?

completely disagree, children this young can be put on a routine (not a strict schedule) and that will be the best thing if he has different caregivers from day to day. I also like the Baby Whisperer and have used it on numerous daycare kids with great success (plus my own kids). I also like Happiest Baby on the Block with the 5 S's to get to sleep. Seriously, I have seen a few kids with no schedule at all (either by accident or purposefully done) and it never, ever turns out good. People are creatures of habit and babies like it too!
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