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Nap schedule?

I've been letting my daughter (4 months on wednesday) sleep on demand since she was born. I would really like to start getting her to nap at specific times during the day - I'm starting work in 2 weeks, I'm in school..I just have a lot going on that some sort of schedule in our lives would really help. I will not use CIO & I don't want to make her sleep if she's not tired. I'm torn on if I should try scheduling her. Any advice?

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Wheepingchree

Asked by Wheepingchree at 3:38 PM on Mar. 20, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 14 (1,786 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I let both my kids sleep when they needed to. I wouldn't want people telling me to sleep when I wasn't tired or wake me up because it is convient for them.
    awelling

    Answer by awelling at 3:43 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Scheduling always made my life (and my kids) run much more smoothly. We knew what to expect when and I could better schedule appointments, meetings, etc. around their routine. I would basically follow her lead. Does she wake up at close to the same time everyday? When does she usually get tired? When working on a schedule, it's usually best to have both a feeding/sleeping schedule at the same time so you don't end up with baby being hungry at naptime or sleeping when she should be eating, etc. You definitely need to build some flexibility in there (like say naptime starts between 10-10:30 instead of a nap "time") and it will have to change as her needs change.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 3:44 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • missanc - she usually wakes up at 7ish every morning, then gets sleepy again around late morning, maybe 10-11ish, and again late afternoon. I do understand that there would have to be some flexibility, I'm not a very rigid person anyhow. Do you have any suggestions?
    Wheepingchree

    Answer by Wheepingchree at 3:51 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • That sounds like a natural schedule. How would changing it help? (serious question)
    amileegirl

    Answer by amileegirl at 4:09 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Oh, ha - I'm dumb, I forgot to mention that she's a catnapper. Seriously, a 10-minute nap is all she will take. I don't want to screw up her own rhythm, I'm just trying to adjust to all I've got going on.
    Wheepingchree

    Answer by Wheepingchree at 4:12 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Try to keep her up longer in the mornings and as active as you can. This way she is more likely to want to sleep and sleep longer when nap time comes around. Make sure she's full and has a clean diaper before nap time as well. Don't forget to make sure she's warm enough.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 4:36 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • I would start by looking at what she already does and trying to figure out a schedule that actually corresponds to her sleep patterns. We all adapt our sleep patterns as part of life....As she gets older things will change anyway. You can have a "flexible schedule" rather than a rigid one.....Don't think of it as controlling her. Think of it as guiding/teaching....it is all part of life. For example, we all want our babies to sleep at night most of all. So, we keep it darkened and un-stimulating at night, right? During the day, we teach our babies to be more used to activity going on around them. They still sleep when they are tired!
    BJoan

    Answer by BJoan at 5:22 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • I personally believe if she is a cat napper then you are probably not putting her down at "her" right time. Usually around 4 months a baby should only be awake for about 2 hours before they are ready for a nap. She might be getting overtired if you are waiting 3-4 hours before putting her down. I would say try to get her to sleep aroun 9-10 at night then whenever she gets up 2 hours then nap and continue that until bedtime (usually getting 3 naps in). I highly recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", it is an awesome book about following babies cues and how to get them to sleep. If you put them down in their window you really wouldn't need to worry about CIO.
    mazonmom

    Answer by mazonmom at 5:30 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • ". I highly recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", it is an awesome book about following babies cues and how to get them to sleep."

    Me too! Excellent book!
    mnt_2_b_mommy

    Answer by mnt_2_b_mommy at 7:15 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • That book is awesome that mnt2bmommy recommended! I still nap on demand but I do it in how long he has been up because he was such a bad napper! I can guess when he will take a nap on the weekends. My babysitter does him differently and he is still a well rounded baby. I like listening to the cues he sleeps longer. Try out the schedule and if doesn't' work she will eventually schedule herself :)
    DJsmom0725

    Answer by DJsmom0725 at 8:21 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

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