Wednesday, November 04, 2009

45 minute napper

So if you've talked to Scott or I recently, you know that we've been struggling with getting Sienna to take long naps. Ever since she was born, she has always struggled with taking a long nap, outside of her morning nap. She'll usually sleep 1.5 hours for her morning nap, but then the rest of the day she can only go for about a 45 minute nap. For the first 4 - 6 weeks, I thought she was just a short napper. But she was waking out of her naps fussy/crying, so I knew she was either hungry or still tired. Well, she's been gaining weight like a champ, so I've determined it must be tiredness. Did you know that every baby goes through a 45 minute sleep cycle? You can time Sienna's to the second. Literally 45 minutes after she's fallen asleep for her nap (which she does, in her crib, on her own quite nicely), she will wake up. She just can't seem to transition from one sleep cycle to the next. It's the most maddening thing ever, I tell you! So I've started to employ various methods to get her over the 45 minute hump:
1. Sneaking in her room to put her paci back in when 45 minutes comes up. I've had marginal success with this method.
2. Picking her up and re-doing the naptime routine. More successful than method 1. Sometimes I have to do this 2 - 3 times, though. (Just did it for the nap she is taking, and she is sleeping again for another 45 minutes. Hooray!)
3. Sneaking into her room, placing FIRM pressure on her chest and legs at about the 40 minute mark to keep herself from moving too much and waking up. Hardly any success -- she is a strong little girl and likes to wiggle A LOT! This might have worked better when she was younger, but I wasn't aware of this 'problem' back then. :)
4. I've heard of going in to their room at about the 30 minute mark and gently patting them to wake them up, hoping they re-set their clocks and start the 45 minute cycle again. I haven't tried this one because I'm afraid to wake her up!!
5. Cry it out. We haven't tried this one yet, but I think we're only a matter of weeks away.

Okay all you parents out there, has anyone else dealt with the chronic 45 minute napper? Any advice or other suggestions?


Landon Andrew said...

Krista! Landon did the same thing! Do you have the book Baby Wise? They call it the 45 minute intruder!! Look it up if you have that book.

Mallory Cox said...

I came across your blog from reading Mr. Tate's and realized that you were at the play date last Tuesday at LSCC. Your posting really struck home because I have been working on Daylin's (3 months) naps as well. Sounds like you have tried just about everything I have. The only other thing I have found "occasionally" works is starting the nap routine before she is ready for a nap. For example, I know my little Day can only handle a wake period of about 2 hours, so before that two hour mark hits and before she starts getting fussy I start her nap process, which for her is just a pacifier, blanket and rocking. I found this keeps her relaxed and more willing to sleep. Hope this helps but I'll add you in my daily prayers for good nappers!!

Anonymous said...

Agree with the first comment...BABY WISE is the way to go! Crying it out is torture to the parents but will not scar your child and has been a proven method for us. It only takes a few days and they figure it out somehow. Definitely check out the Baby Wise book though, it is very helpful. Many friends have used it...I believe it a christian/biblical based book but not 100% sure. Keep us me, you are NOT alone...I have had many maddening days with the nap situation! Hang in there.

Danielle Heater

Krista said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies. I have read Babywise, and I do follow the principles. I know it talks about the 45 minute intruder, but the attribute it to hunger. I know that's not it for Sienna b/c she's gaining weight like crazy, and she is tired when waking up from that 45 minutes. Plus, she's been doing the 45 minute nap since she was born, essentially. I think Ezzo needs to do a little more research about the 45 minute intruder b/c it's not always hunger!!
As far as crying it out goes, I just feel like she too little! My pediatrician suggests starting CIO at 3 months. When did you guys start it?

Landon Andrew said...

Krista-I started it from Day 1 (CIO). It was the hardest thing I had to do but I was so bound and determined to do what that dumb book said! It's really not a dumb book but sometimes I wanted to throw it out the window and so did Nate! My ped was for demand feeding and so I really didn't listen to her with the whole CIO or feeding thing. All that to say, you do what you want to do and don't let people pressure you into doing something. I know you know that, but sometimes it's hard. I will be very scheduled with our next baby, but more laid back at the same time. Sometimes you can take that book to the extreme. :-)

Molly said...

Yahoo for you Krista for asking for help. So many of us have dealt with this so it's good to ask for other ideas. I now have 3 and have used Baby Wise and Baby Whisperer for all 3. For my personality it was wonderful. I will say that I took it to the extreme for my first, but still learned how to chill a little with each child. With EVERY baby we let them cry it out. And I did this within days of birth. It is hard to listen to. But it only gets harder as they get bigger!

Now, having 3 so close in age is bliss because they are all good sleepers and it makes a happy momma! My 4 year old even still takes 3 hours naps! They all nap together in the afternoon. I am not telling you this to brag, but to encourage you. I know this is hard. I KNOW! But she is learning that she can do this! You have to teach her. I would say to let her cry it out. Set a time, turn up the music, turn off the monitor, go outside if you have to. My mom told me that she used to turn on fans so she couldn't hear me cry!!! And I am fine and I know she loves me and would do anything for me! For our second, I couldn't even go in the room or it would make it worse. For Sadie, I could go in and cuddle her to calm her down and then lay her back down and she'd sleep longer.

Hang in there. For some reason I didn't remember that the 45 min intruder was about hunger...just the end of a sleep cycle? I will get the book out again.

Praying for you!

Becky said...

OH YES...every baby does this and it will pass! I am impressed with all your have been reading haven't you-that's my girl;) Both my kids did it, different sexes, different personalities and one was a sleeper and one WAS NOT..poor Reeser:) But I am proud to say that today my 5 year old slept for 2 my advice (for all its worth:) is: Don't sweat it you are doing all you can do and before you know it she will sleep right through it and you will forget it ever happened (maybe;) But I do think it's important to continue to let her know she IS napping and with that there is NO negotiation (unless dying or bleeding-ha) Crying it out will most likely have to be the next is very important for her to learn that you are serious and you think her sleep is very important for her health and development. Parents always wonder, "man, why is my kid such a grump?" Oh I don't know maybe it's because you never taught them to sleep and they are exhausted! Don't even get me started;) ok, this is long...maybe I should just call...hehe! After re-reading this I must add that there must always be grace in parenting...remember that you can't fit every situation into one particular are the most prefect Mommy for her (of course) and you know what she it! you are doing awesome Kris!

Becky said...

one more thing...
I know she is little and understand the crying out thing is hard. I think I started to let both mine cry after about 6 weeks. just thought i would add that!
I also remember I had one kid (Reese...he was a hard baby-poor guy:( he never cried it out..he got more mad if I didn't come in so I came in and loved on him and he slept more...weird huh?!
now that mine are 5 and 7 they are very more weird and more you hope huh? Ha...sorry:)

Krista said...

Okay, so question to all of you that did the CIO method.
1. How did you use the paci? Right now, Sienna goes down with it. Sucks on it for about 5 minutes, spits it out and goes to sleep. After the 45 min sleep cycle, did you give it back to you kiddos or make them CIO without the paci? Just thinking I should give it to her at least once since that's how she self soothes??
2. If they cried for 30 minutes then fell asleep, did you wake them up at the next 3 hour interval or just let them sleep til they woke up?
3. If they cried through the entire nap, they are obviously so tired that they won't be able to make it to the next nap. So did you just put them down right after feeding or make them wait until the next nap time? Does that make sense?

Molly said...

Yes, I would put the paci in once, but not repeatedly. My oldest only kept it in his mouth for 5 min too and it would help him calm back down. Our second could have cared less about the paci so you might just see if it helps or not. Sadie had reflux so the paci helped her a lot.

Yes, I would wake them up. People thought it was crazy, but I did it. I would be flexible though and let them flex 30 min or so to get a bit more sleep. Again, if you don't do this during the day you will be paying at night with a baby that won't sleep well at night because they are sleeping so much during the day.

With your last question I did it different from my first to our 3rd. With our first I did my best to do the eat, play, sleep thing and just stretched it as much as I could. With Sadie I would let her skip the play and go right to sleep. Not sure I did it right either way, but each child is different and I try to not expect the same thing from them. (And I relaxed a ton with the 3rd so it helped)

I couldn't agree more with what Becky said about parents complaining about their children's sleep habits. Then they say how lucky I am to have good sleepers! I worked really hard to teach my kids good sleep habits, don't tell me it was luck! My kids don't sleep with us, they don't come to our beds in the middle of the night, they don't want to eat at 2 am as toddlers...they have great boundaries with sleep that started in infancy. I am telling you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And it's awesome! I know this sounds crazy, but your marriage will benefit from this! Blake and I don't spend endless hours each night with bedtime issues. We get time together!!! And our bed is OUR BED! We love our children, but we need them all to understand that our marriage is SO important to us!

Praying for you! You are a wonderful mom! Just talking about this reminds me of how hard it was at that stage! And it was stressful to stick to my guns. Luckily my sisters and mom had all done the same thing so I had great family support!

Landon Andrew said...

Answer for question #1, yes I did give the paci back to Landon after he would wake up. It was an awesome self-soothing thing for him. It's not a "sleep prop" at that age.

Answer for question #2-Yes, still wake them up even though they cried for thirty minutes. It's all about that schedule. Feed, wake, sleep.

Answer for question #3-If they cry through the whole nap, yes, I would just feed Landon and then he would be so wiped out that I couldn't even keep him awake if I tried.

You are asking some great questions and getting the best responses out there. Have you seen this website

I can't wait until Sienna sleeps through the night for you!! It's amazing!

Kari :-)

Landon Andrew said...


On that website under "blog labels" there is a section on the 45 minute intruder with some helpful information. Thought you might want to check it out!

Daysha said...

Oh Krista, it is so hard, and maddening is a perfect word. I am so sorry. I feel you've received wonderful advice already, and I agree with them. We believe in Baby Wise as well. I didn't live by it to a T, but it really did make a difference. The crying it out is SOOO Hard. But once you're through the short window you'll see how it's benefiting you. I agree with Molly, about praising you for asking for advice. That's the first step in doing the best for your little one. You're doing wonderful.