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My baby boy does not want to nap anymore ... what do I do to help him?

He slept 35 minutes today! He is almost 10 months old, sleeps 10-11 hours at night, but when he goes down for naptime (and is definitely tired) he instantly gets up and wants to play and is happy. I leave him for 20-30 minutes, sometimes longer and he just quietly plays, doesn't sleep and is still tired when I get him. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I could rock him to sleep or pat him until he is asleep but I know that this is not wise. Any advice would be helpful. The 35 minute nap today was only because he fell asleep nursing. At least he slept a little! I'm very frustrated and can not seem to find any advice on this.

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Asked by hsebra at 6:42 PM on Feb. 15, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • What do you do to help him? Rock him, pat him, nurse him etc. to help him get down for his nap. How is this not wise? It is what he needs right now as he is having a hard time doing it himself.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 7:24 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • What time are you putting him down to nap? At that age, 2 naps are best, and the first should to start within 2 hours of waking up in the morning. if you're not trying that soon, he could be having trouble sleeping because he's overtired. Falling asleep nursing or rocking or whatever it takes -- at this point, I would do whatever to get him asleep. you can phase out those habits once a good nap schedule is established. I think my first daughter took 2 naps of about 1 hour each at that age, but my second took a morning nap of at least an hour, but often more, plus a LONG afternoon (2-3 hours) at that age. I know all kids are different, but I would try soothing him to sleep early and go from there.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 7:25 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Do something soothing in the thirty minutes or so before a nap. Read a book, nurse, watch a tv show if he finds that soothing, etc. Make sure he isn't hungry and offer banana, cheese or turkey as bedtime snacks...all of these foods have soothing qualities that help signal the brain to sleep. Be consistent and eventually he'll stop fighting you. It could also be that he is reaching a milestone (walking maybe? pulling up?) My daughter always has sleeping issues when she is reaching a milestone.

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 7:35 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • He does nap within 2 hours of waking up usually for 30 minutes to an hour, then he was taking two more 30-45 minute naps, but I believe that I've been reading too many books and not listening to what I think is right. He falls asleep nursing and sleeps fine but everything I read says that is not good ... I really appreciate your answers and I feel much better about what I'm doing. I've just been trying to get him to nap on his own (because that's what the books say) but in the grand scheme of things ... if he's sleeping it doesn't matter how he gets there. He did just start crawling and pulling up in the last week so I'm sure that has something to do with it. Thank you again for your advice.

    Answer by hsebra at 7:50 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Babies are pretty good at knowing how much sleep they need. If it's not impacting his behavior at all, I'd go with the 35 minute nap.

    Answer by gdiamante at 8:39 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • I really don't agree that a 10 month old baby just sleeps when he needs... our first daughter needed a lot of help to get the sleep she needed... badly. She was cranky, cranky if she didn't get good sleep... which happened a lot because she fought it so much... Maybe he's waking during a light phase of his sleep cycle ... try some white noise and make sure the room's really dark... Good luck.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 9:24 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

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