Baby Talk: Sleep and Naps

Today I’m linking up with Kristin for her first Baby Talk Link Up! For anyone that’s found me for the first time, I live in the DC area with my husband Chris and daughter Abigail (Abbie), who was born on December 21, 2012.

Today I wanted to talk about something that’s been plaguing me for a few weeks – my daughter’s sleeping habits – mostly her napping habits. This is my last week of maternity leave, and I’m increasingly nervous about how things are going to go once I go back to work.

If I start at the beginning, those first few weeks were a blur. I don’t remember much, except trying desperately to breastfeed (more on that another day), and trying to sleep anytime I could. she had the typical newborn sleep habits, sleeping in 2-3 hour stretches, which slowly lengthened. Thankfully, her nighttime sleep got better fairly quickly – the first time she slept 6 hours straight I woke up freaked out that something was wrong! Unfortunately, her naps have not followed suit.

Now, at 14 weeks, Abbie sleeps an average of 8-10 hours per night, usually with a 6-8 hour stretch, followed by waking to nurse, then going back for 2-4 hours. She typically does her last feeding at about 7:45 pm is down for the night by around 8:30 pm, and is usually up at about 7 am. When I go back to work, I’ll need to wake her at 6:30 each morning to nurse her before I leave for work.

So, that’s the good. Now the not-so-good – her naps. They are all over the place, and they never seem long enough. For example, yesterday she took about a 45 minute nap in the morning, followed by a 2 hour nap in the afternoon – except 40 minutes of that nap was spent on me since she kept waking up.

Sleeping on Mama

To me, it seems she has a few main issues:

  • Putting herself to sleep. I’m not too concerned about this one, since she’s only 3 months old. Abbie typically cries when she’s tired until I can settle her down with rocking and her pacifier. She usually is asleep within 10 minutes, so I’m not worried about tackling this one until she’s a little bit older.
  • Staying asleep once she falls asleep. She drives me crazy with this one. When she’s down for the night, there are usually no issues getting her into her crib for the night – she’ll occasionally wake up, but replacing her pacifier and turning on her Sleep Sheep puts her back to sleep with no problem. During naps, she tends to wake up anywhere from 20-40 minutes in and needs to be settled back down to go back to sleep. Since she’s able to sleep at night, I’m not sure what the issue is during the day.
  • Timing of her naps. This is so random, and I would love a little more of a schedule. She typically needs some sort of nap by the time she’s been up about 2 hours or so, but she FIGHTS it. She must think that something exciting is going on while she’s asleep! I would love just a loose schedule – maybe short nap in the morning and long nap in the afternoon. I know she’s capable of napping since she does it on car rides, but she can’t seem to do it at home. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nursing on demand, or if she’s just a difficult napper!

I had been hoping to get some of these issues ironed out before going back to work, but with Monday looming, I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m worried what next week will bring – will she sleep better at daycare because she’ll be able to be on more of a schedule? Will it be worse because she’ll miss me? I’m really hoping for the first option, and that maybe my daycare provider has a way to get her to be better about her naps. Fingers crossed!

Any Mamas out there have any nap advice for me? And just because I can, here’s another picture of my cute baby!

Link Up!

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About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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6 Responses

  1. Everytime I think I have M on a schedule, she throws me a curveball. She is fairly predictable though—short nap in the morning, long nap in the afternoon, and then one more short nap in the late afternoon-early evening.

    I think once she’s in daycare you’ll see an improvement since she’s not around you. M naps GREAT everytime I’m not here. Definitely keep nursing on demand–that probably isn’t the issue at all. Books that advocate strict scheduling can really screw with your supply (a loose schedule is a different story). She’s still really young, so don’t worry too much!

    Have you read the No Cry Nap solution? I’ve heard good things about it, and I’ve read the No Cry Sleep Solution and got some good ideas from it.

    Just keep trying to enforce healthy sleep habits! It will happen—Abbie actually is doing super well according to what my pediatrician thinks is “normal”.

  2. YAY! Thanks for linking up (make sure to add your blog to the link-up on my page!) Kenley is a crazy napper too. She naps just fine when she’s home with me, she’ll usually do two naps averaging 1-3 hours. BUT, when she’s at our parent’s houses during the week she refuses to nap! I don’t know if it’s something they’re doing or if Kenley is being difficult. But, whatever the reason, she comes home so tired and cranky.

  3. I don’t have this issue yet, but hopefully by the time my kid gets here, you’ll have the answer for me! HAHAHAHA 🙂 She’s so dang cute.

  4. if if helps, Z was on three naps a day at this age (and up until recently actually). It seems like babies do naps so differently though and all types seem to work so who knowa. I’m just jealous of your nights!! 🙂 thinking of you as your return to work comes up! Hang in there and be gentle with yourself, I’m sure it will be rough at first but ultimately will work out for everyone! 🙂

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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