Why is my baby taking short naps?

Ahhhh, short naps. Every parent's dream. They visit many and they visit often. And they are as obnoxious as anything....especially if you have just spend the last hour trying to get baby to go to sleep! UGH!

Short naps, sometimes called the 45 minute intruder due to their length, are especially difficult if you are trying to establish a
routine or if you find your child is constantly waking up unhappy (a common sign that she hasn't had enough sleep).

Here are some possible reasons that your baby may be waking early from naps. Not all children will extend their naps (it is a genetic thing), but it is worth a shot!
  •  Your child is overtired. The waketime length may have been too long before his nap. Overtired children often sleep for less time and have a harder time making it through a sleep transition. Overtiredness is very common and is more likely to be the problem with the morning nap and babies under 2-3 months of age. It isn't uncommon for a baby to wake up 15-30 minutes into a nap if he is overtired.
  • Your child is hungry. He could not have eaten as much as he usually eats when he last ate (e.g. he was too sleepy, he didn't feel well) or he could be in a growth spurt.
  • Your child was overstimulated before nap time. Were you out and about doing a bunch of new things that may have overwhelmed your baby and been a little too much for him? You may want to try an extra long, soothing pre-naptime routine.
  • Your child has a disrupted sleep routine. A disrupted routine could include something that happened the current day or the even the night or day before. While some children don't mind a few disruptions, other children are very affected by them.
  • Your child has an inconsistent or nonexistent routine. A child that has an inconsistent or nonexistent routine does not have consistent internal rhythms to help him know when he should be sleeping and for how long. See Why have a schedule/routine?
  • Your child has a hard time transitioning from light to deep sleep. This is very common with overtired babies and babies that are unable to initially go to sleep on their own (see sleep props/associations--pacifiers, feeding to sleep etc.), but is still very common among babies that are able to initially go to sleep on their own. An awakening would happen around 35-50 minutes (and lengthens to 90 minutes by the time they reach adolescence) which is how long the first sleep cycle typically lasts. Short naps due to these awakenings often (but not always) start around 2-3 months of age as the sleep cycle changes (see understanding sleep stages). See Sleep Training in the blog index and the post extending a short nap for ideas on how to get your baby to sleep longer for naps (this can be used for babies of any age depending on what method you are using and what your personal preferences are).
  • Something woke your child up like a loud neighbor or traffic (see Sound And Its Effect On Sleep). If this is the case then try to keep things quiet during your babies nap periods, especially as he goes through sleep transitions. You may also want to consider getting a sound machine.
  • Ford believes that one of the most common causes of short naps is a light room (see Light And Dark And Their Effects on Sleep). I have found this to be true for many children.
  • Your child is under tired and/or under stimulated. Some babies will wake up early from a nap if they are put to sleep too early or have too little stimulation or physical activity before the nap (e.g. you do errands all day and your child never has the chance to move around). Most of the time in this is not the case with newborns.
  • Your child is getting too much day time sleep or night time sleep. This goes along with the last comment. Add up your child's daytime sleep and see how it compares to the average daily sleep (see Daytime Sleep - What's Average?).  See how your child's night time sleep (see Night Time Sleep - What's Average?) compares with the average night sleep. Even if children seem to need sleep at these times and sleep well, they still sometimes need to be weaned a bit from sleep during the day or night so it can be redistributed elsewhere. See Total Sleep - What's Average?
  • Your child is newly aware of his environment. This often causes nap disruption for several days around 3-4 months of age. Double check to make sure there is a good sleep environment (noise, light etc)
  • Your baby was transitioning from one sleep stage to the next and made a sound and you thought baby was done napping before he actually was. Make sure you allow a few minutes to see if baby will go back to sleep before rushing in or automatically assuming a nap has gone shorter than expected.
  • Your child is learning a new skill. Children practice new skills (even when they can't quite do the skills yet) before they fall asleep and even in their sleep. Obviously if you're trying to crawl or walk when you should be sleeping it can cause some disruptions :)
  • Your child is uncomfortable.
    • Is his clothing itchy?
    • Does he have eczema? Talk to your doctor about getting something to help if lotion doesn't fix the problem.
    • Is his mattress uncomfortable? I suggest buying the best mattress you can afford and preferably a hypoallergenic one. If you are using a pack 'n play as a crib you can buy padded sheets and even put additional blankets for padding under the sheets (make sure it is SAFE).
    • Is baby too hot or too cold? See Getting the Right Temperature.
    • Is he in pain? **Does your young baby have gas? Gas is more likely to be the case if he wakes up around 20-30 minutes into a nap. If you think this is the case, burp your baby, help him calm down and then set him down to try and sleep again. **Is an older baby teething? **Is baby sick? **Does baby have acid reflux? **Does he have a diaper rash? ** I've noticed that some things that don't bother my son too much when he's awake (like teething) will be a bit more bothersome when he is trying to sleep since he doesn't have other things to take his mind off of the pain. You can all probably relate with this when you're trying to go to sleep and you notice your sore neck or back for the first time.
    • Does he have a wet diaper? Some children are more sensitive than others and do better with diapers that are extra absorptive like huggies supreme. These unfortunately usually cost more. I would first try the next size up to see if this works.
    • Does he have a dirty diaper? If he has a dirty diaper you obviously need to change it. Keeping with the eat/activity/sleep routine usually helps reduce dirty diapers during naps. For more on this, check out the post on poop and sleep.
    • Is his tummy upset from something in mom's diet if she is breastfeeding or new solid foods that have been introduced? If your baby is formula fed he may be constipated (uncommon with breastfeeding).
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child states that until 21 months of age, some babies appear to take short naps no matter what you do. Your child, unfortunately, could be one of these babies. But don't just assume you've got one of these short nappers until you've considered possible causes and have consistently tried some suggestions on the post Extending a Short Nap. Many babies seem to start taking longer naps around 4-6 months either by themselves or with a little sleep training.
  • If your child wakes up happy from his naps, sleeps well at night and is happy during his awake times then it's possible he doesn't need longer naps. Since more than a short nap is usually needed, I would personally be sure to rule out other things on this list before assuming he only needs a short nap. It's possible he may need to have more awake time before the nap to extend the nap.
  • Is your baby taking SUPER SHORT NAPS? As in 15-30 minutes (or something like that).  Here are some of the more common reasons for this:
    • Pain. Does he have gas? Reflux?
    • Overtiredness. What was his waketime before the nap? Has he had previous bad naps that day? Is he always missing naps and chronically overtired?
    • Active sleep environment. Some babies do not sleep well if there is a lot of light, sound or movement (you are holding them and moving etc) when they are trying to sleep.
    • Change in sleep environment. Did you hold or feed baby to sleep and he woke shortly after putting him down? Did you stop the car ride or turn off the swing? Some babies are very good at noticing the difference in how things feel the second, or several minutes after, you put them down or stop the movement.

Baby Still Taking Short Naps? Then Check Out The Post On Extending Short Naps.

If this post has been helpful for you, please consider following me on facebook, twitter or subscribing to my posts through email or a reader. Thanks!

Related Posts:
Extending a Short Nap
Eat/Wake/Sleep Routine and short naps


  1. At around 6 weeks of age my baby started taking shorter and shorter naps, until they were down to exactly 30 minutes. Not 29 minutes, not 31 minutes, 30. He was taking four 30 min catnaps a day and we were both miserable because he just wasn't getting the day time rest he needed.

    I tried everything. Rocking back to sleep, shushing, pick-up/put down, but no matter what I did once he was up at 30 min, he was up. I kept his wake time short (always less than 2 hours) and started putting him to sleep at the first sign of being drowsy. I even used the CIO method (the most he ever cried was 15 min) to get to fall asleep unassisted. He was sleeping well at night, from 630 pm to 7 am with just one feed around 4 am.

    Finally, when he hit the 6 month mark I decided to see what would happen if I left him to cry when he woke up at 30 min mark. To my amazement, after exactly 15 min he fell back asleep and slept for another 90 min. Ditto for the afternoon nap. We are four days into it and he is still waking at exactly 30 min, but he is either not crying or crying for a shorter time before falling back to sleep for a longer nap. Sure I feel terrible about the crying, but it is the only thing that will work for this baby.

    It is interesting though. It does go to show you that just because a baby knows how to put himself to sleep or how to navigate sleep transitions during the night, doesn't mean he knows how to transition for naps. It is as if they have to learn each skill separately.

    1. My LO was waking every 30min but day and night, NO KIDDING! Apparently she was very dependent on "sleep props" I had a baby sleep consultant help me. LO started taking great naps, and started sleeping through the night within the first week. HIGHLY recommend my consultant, she was AMAZING http://violet-sleepbabysleep.blogspot.com/2013/08/personal-sleep-consulting-packages.html

  2. Anonymous,

    I'm so glad your lo starting to sleep longer than 30 minutes! Hopefully it keeps up. It seems like many babies around 4 or 6 months are finally able to get over that short nap hump, although it does take some interventions (like crying) to get there for some of them.

    That's totally true about nap and night time sleep being very different for many babies. Some babies seem to always sleep better for naps while others sleep better at night. I'd have to say that most probably do better at night though since there is a strong drive to sleep then.

  3. Thanks, Rachel. Yes, I am happy to report that 7 days after I first started my intervention of letting him cry when he wakes at the 30 min mark, he no longer cries. He still has a jolt and stirs at exactly 30 min, but now he just rolls over and goes back to sleep for another 60-90 min. Woo-ha.

    This method is worth a try for other mom's when all else has failed AND the baby is developmentally ready for a little crying.

    I really found your site helpful throughout this whole process though. Great info. Thanks.

  4. You're welcome. Hope things continue to go well in regards to naps!

  5. We are at the 5 month mark tomorrow and I am thinking of trying this method. What the Mama says above is my Son exactly! I have already allowed a little CIO along with some S/P and it has worked wonders in getting my LO down for his 4 naps a day. Just still can't seem to make it past the 30-35 minute mark, although the mark used to be 20, so we are making progress. Right now I am trying to leave him in bed until the 1 hr mark as suggested but often he gets too crying to hard before this. One more month and we'll see...

  6. The beagles!
    I wonder if he is a bit overtired with naps that short.

    It can take longer than 6 months to get long naps so try not to be too discouraged if things don't change then :)

    Glad to hear that things are improving! If you haven't already, I would introduce a lovey. It might help him a bit to go back to sleep if he has a comfort item there.

  7. Wow, I wish I had found this blog earlier! I also have been struggling with my 16 week old taking 30 minute naps on the nose, not a minute more or less, and not in his crib, unless I was lucky enough that he slept through being put down. I had become a sleep prop and he would sleep beautifully in my arms with my breast right nearby for comfort.
    On Saturday (4 days ago) we began implementing the sleep easy solution for naps, which is basically put him to sleep awake and check on him at 5, 10 then 15 minutes until he falls asleep. It was definitely working to get him to sleep by himself, but he still woke at 30 minutes exactly with bloodcurdling cries. Today, with tears in my eyes, I let him cry through it. He cried on and off for 20 minutes, but never for 5 straight. then after 20 minutes of that he slept for another hour and ten minutes!!! I am so proud of him. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Lara,
    That is great news! It is always good to hear success stories. It can be hard to get there, but well worth it! Hopefully things will keep going great. Just remember that all isn't lost if you have a rough day here and there!


  9. Rachel, Thanks for the support. I do have another question for you, though. Now the naps are going great and it's only been a week! He can usually sleep through his transition and his 1st 2 naps of the day are between 1-1.45 hours and a 3rd catnap of 30-45 mins! However, his nights have gotten all messed up. He used to sleep from 7p-3 or 4a, have a quick 15 minute feed, then sleep until 6:30 or 7am. Now he is waking up at 12ish AND at 4 for a feed. I am so exhausted. Suggestions?
    Thanks, again,

  10. Lara,
    You might want to keep things how they are right now to stabilize. I wouldn't be surprised if stuff got back to normal without any change. If it doesn't after several days, then work on dropping one of those night feeds. There are several ways to do it listed in the night waking post. Let me know if you have further questions. So glad the naps are still great!

  11. Hi Rachel,
    I am so happy that I stumbled across your website and am hoping you can help. I've also implemented the Sleepeasy Solution and my son has been STTN well since 7 months. Now at 12 months I've been trying to train him for naps too (I was rocking and holding him). He was able to sleep 1 hr 20 minutes each nap in my arms. Now that he's on his own in the crib, I can't seem to squeeze out more than 25 minutes. I'm thinking he is overtired, but he doesn't give me any signs of being tired. And I'm usually the one that has to ask if he wants to "Night night" and in which he'll then reply back "night night." Most of the time, he'll cry for 15 minutes before sleeping for 25 minutes and then wake up. I've tried letting him CIO to see if he'll go back to sleep and he never seems to. I give the nap 1 hour (total) before getting him. Should I wait longer? He's kind of a clingy baby and doesn't like to be left alone although he'll play by himself just fine. And he's never woken up happy but is a super happy baby when he is awake. I've been doing this for 4 weeks now and while things are a LITTLE better, it hasn't improved a whole lot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

  12. kaylaliao,
    I think part of the issue might lie in your parenting authority with sleep. Children thrive on limits and need to know who is in charge. Kids are new to this world and just learning things. They only have the capability to do and understand so much. They only have so much self control. Knowing when they need to go to sleep and doing so is a little above most of their ability in my opinion. When they are tired, it is time for sleep. Simple as that. Of course you should be nice and understanding of them, but you do it all the same. There shouldn't be any questinoning when they want to go to sleep etc. Sorry, a bit of a tangent, but I think it is really important.

    Many kids stop showing tired cues, or at least only show them when they are overtired. This is where a consistent routine can be helpful because you just slowly change things in time relatively naturally (e.g. baby doesn't fall asleep easily for a nap anymore so you extend waketime prior). In your situation I would keep a sleep log and see how naps do with different waketimes, making sure to give things at least a few days until you decide there is a pattern going on.

    I think overtiredness is probably a big issue. So definitely work on that. Work on a positive sleep attitude if you aren't already. Make it a positive experience and keep a positive attitude so your son thinks of it this way.

    Working on independent play in the day might help. This means teaching him to play by himself. You not in sight. And when you say it is time to play by himself. Teach him to be happy in his own company. Work on it really slowly.

    I usually give a nap 1.5 hours. Naps less than this (unless they are a mini evening one or one that you are about to drop) are too short in my opinion so this is how long I work on them.

    I'd work on those things and see what happens. I wonder if something like the baby whisperer might be beneficial since your son is used to being held for naps.

  13. Rachel,

    Thanks so much for your reply! I will start a sleep log as you suggested and will definitely look into the Baby Whisperer. Unfortunately, my baby and I both got sick the past week so we have been unable to work on the nap issue, but once he is feeling better, we'll start implementing your suggestions. Thanks again!

  14. Kaylaliao,
    Yuck. Illness is no fun, especially when you are working so hard on trying to get a routine and sleep figured out. Good luck. Hope you all feel better soon!


  15. Hi Rachel,
    My almost 9 month old's naps have recently tanked. She rarely does more than 45 minutes. However most of the time she is a super happy, very active baby. Though she does wake crying from naps. She does wake at night, but quickly puts herself back to sleep and does wake early (4-5:30). I have been trying an early morning feed and sometimes that gets her back to bed for a bit, but not always. I sometimes resort to bringing her into bed in the morning, which can also sometimes get us a bit more sleep.
    I thought maybe I needed to extend awake times since she plays happily and doesn't cry before falling asleep, but it doesn't seem to make her sleep longer. Ive been trying 2.5 before first nap, 3 hrs before 2nd (and 2.5-3 before third nap, if there is one). Does she sound overtired to you? Any suggestions on improving naps? She usually goes to bed between 6-7, depending on whether she had 2 or 3 naps (usually 3 since naps are short), and sleeps 10.5-11.5 hours at night (usually closer to 10.5). Thoughts?

  16. Also, I should emphasize that she is VERY active for her age...never stops moving even when asleep! And while she does wake crying from some naps, it's usually only for a few minutes and then she moves onto babbling and crawling around her crib.

  17. Hi Rachel,

    I've been going over this post about short naps for days to try and troubleshoot my LO's short naps, and am still having trouble figuring out what's going on! :) I just thought I'd write and ask your opinion as well.

    Hi naps used to be 45 mins long, but over the last couple of days, they have become 30 mins in length. I have tried lengthening WT but without much success, unless I am not lengthening it by enough and need to make it much longer.

    I see in my video monitor that when he wakes at 30 mins, he does initially try to go back to sleep, by rocking his head side to side, which is what he does to fall asleep at the beginning of a nap. He doesn't wake crying. Sometimes he is quiet with some gentle noises, other times he talks at a high pitch (those times, he usually has gas). Though he tries to fall back asleep, from what I can tell, he usually will remain awake for 1 hour before finally falling back asleep again.

    Does this sound like he is under tired or under exercised to you? Or should I just try totally scaling back his WT and seeing if he can make it? Thanks for your help!

  18. I also forgot to mention that because he does seem to need to go down earlier for his first nap in the morning, about 1 hr to 1 hr 15 mins in order for him to (occasionally) do a 1.5 hr nap, it throws me off because I can't quite figure out how long he should be up for with the rest of the naps. I also think he needs to go down this early because he generally does not sleep right to our wake time at 7 am, but is up for a while, quiet in bed, maybe up to an hour beforehand.

  19. Well, kept her up for about 3 hours before both naps today, and both were over an hour long! Maybe it was time to let her stay up longer (she is almost 9 months)...we will see what tomorrow brings.

  20. Yaliberms,
    Sorry for the delayed response! Likely she is crying right when she wakes because she is overtired and feels crummy right upon waking. But then she sees things and likes her little fun world and wants to play so her disposition improves.

    An increased waketime definitely might help. Just do it slowly and keep track of what helps and hurts. Also, a super early bedtime for a while night help her get back on track with sleep and overtiredness.

  21. Yaliberms,
    forgot to mention that once you get that first nap figured out it'll make the rest of the day a lot easier to figure out, especially with waketimes.

  22. Clare,
    My guess is that he is undertired with the naps since he sits there for an hour then falls alseep. How old is he again?

    Yeah, it is really important to get that first nap down with some kids if you want the rest of the day to flow easily. But many kids have issues with waking super early in the morning so this can be struggle! You just have to see what usually works and adjust things if they sleep is off from the norm that day.

  23. Thanks Rachel,
    The increased waketimes definitely made a difference! We have gotten naps of an hour-2 hours thaw last few days with increased waketimes. I wouldn't have believed it was that simple!
    Now we are just struggling with finding the optimum bedtime. Is there a recommended time for 9 month olds to be awake before bed? Too long and it takes her an hour to fall asleep! So we put her down early but she always wakes before 6, no matter what. I would like to adjust that's later if at all possible! Any suggestions?

  24. yaliberms
    Yeah! I'm so glad naps have improved. Waketime really can make a huge difference. There is such an emphasis to not cause overtiredness with newborn (with due reason) that many parents are so careful as their baby gets older that they end up not giving enough waketime which causes whole new problems.

    waketime before bed for a 9 month old is probably going to be a bit longer than the rest of the waktimes. Maybe 2-3.5 hours. I really can't be more exact than that because it varies so much from baby to baby. sorry!

    I'd work on getting those naps and bedtime figured out. then hopefully you can work on moving the whole routine back a bit little by little. Also make sure to rule out other things (see post) that may be causing the early morning wake ups.

  25. Hi Rachel,

    My DS is 24.5 weeks old now, so I know a WT of 1 hr to 1 hr 15 is quite short, although that tends to be when he is sleepy especially in the mornings when he wakes early and is quiet in bed. I have no idea how long he's been up for during those times, unfortunately!

  26. Clare,
    My oldest likes to sit in bed silent for a while which made things tricky when he was younger. Maybe you can get up early to exercise or do something else and listen with the monitor for when he wakes to give you a better idea of what is going on.

    I really think a longer waketime in the morning might be a fix for you, even if he seems tired sooner. It might backfire of course(some babies this age really can only do that much time), but if that happens, you can always go back to what you were doing previously. Just move waketime slowly.

    good luck!

  27. My 6 month old daughter constantly wakes early from naps (30 to 45 minutes). I tried shush/pat but she becomes overstimulated and won't go back to sleep. I've done wake to sleep, and it seems to work okay. I can get her to extend a 45 minute nap to 1.5 hours. However, she's still waking cranky and fussy. I feel that her naps need to just a little longer than 1.5 hours to be sufficient. So my question...what is your opinion on using a swing to extend naps? If I put my daughter in a swing, she'll sleep 2 hours or more and wake up happy. But I'm concerned that I could be creating a long-term problem.

  28. Mary Michal,
    At this age I'd probably use the swing. Many babies stop falling asleep with the swing as they get older and will naturally extend naps as they get older. Sometimes you have to work at it when you get to this point, but often it happens on it's own. As long as she can go to sleep on her own initially, you will likely be ok.

  29. hi, Rachel your website is really great, it has so much information.
    I need help to actually make a nap schedual for my daughter. she is 4 months old and she is a short napper. I have also tried putting her down in her crib for a nap and she refuses to calm down and fall asleep, so i am not consistent with his which i know i should be. but since she is napping so short she is getting tired earlier then the 2 hour mark which mean she needs go to down for a nap again. so it almost seems like she would be in her crib napping often through out the day untill she actually gets on a schedual which im hoping will help he sleep longer. how do i get a her on a routine. and should i just let her cry it out untill she falls asleep in her crib. ? because at nightime she sleeps in there no problem.

  30. Shelbey,
    Most 4 month olds can only go 1.5 hours between sleep periods, and that is with decent naps. Some can go 2 hours, but normally that is more in the evening rather than morning.

    Even on a routine, they will seem like they are napping on and off most of the day until they are a bit older. It can be tiring at first, but it gets much less frequent when they get a bit older.

    You can do the "eas" routine. You eat (feed baby a full feeding) then do an activity, then do sleep time when baby is tired. Repeat. Make sure you monitor wake time. Have a good pre sleep routine (see post). With short naps you may end up having more of "easae" routine. You have to do what works with you. Just first work on getting the feeds 3-4 hours apart during the day. Then I'd work on naps more. You can do some cio. It is up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Defiantly make sure you have wake times figured out before you go for that. And at 4 months of age you may want to do relatively frequent checks during cio. Look over to see if you have any sleep props going on (see post). Keep a sleep log to monitor things (see post).

  31. hi rachel,

    thank you thank you for this amazing blog! i'm really happy that we found you and all this wonderful information!

    in hopes of giving you less questions to answer, i've searched the index a lot to see if i can get some tips but perhaps it would be easier to just tell you our story and see if you could suggest something.

    our 10 month old boy has had a slew of sleep drama from birth and through trial and error, and our BEST efforts as first time parents to try and read his needs and respond in the best possible way, we've created, i fear, A BIG PROBLEM. at this point, our son can only fall asleep with vigorous rocking/bouncing/shushing and being eased into the crib in the softest way possible (even then he may wake, and be SO WIDE AWAKE in seconds that we have to start all over again!) and if i'm doing it, he has to have his arms around my neck and gently stroke my hair (only he ends up PULLING my hair instead - pure torture since i'm so tenderheaded) sometimes this process can take an hour (whether for a nap or before being put to bed for the evening) and after that, if this is a nap, he'll wake after a half hour, if it's the evening he wakes up hourly until 10:30 which is when i nurse him and take him to bed with me for the night. the rest of the night he sleeps in bed with me waking twice on a good night to nurse, and on a bad night multiple times with long periods of being WIDE awake!

    we've tried the less aggressive forms of sleep training where we shorten the ritual, ease him into the crib drowsy but it seems that our baby is either completely asleep or wide awake and sometimes within seconds! even with this less aggressive approach, we've had severe backlash from him - lots of crying in our arms, sometimes for 90 minutes!

    the only other more aggressive method we've tried was the sears method where we place him in the crib awake and sit there with him, and only pick him up when he's really upset. well he gets so upset that picking him up stops the crying only a bit and we can tell that he's legitimately confused as to why we're not holding him and only putting him back in the crib! so this method lasted a day.

    i know that the problem is also with us - we're first time parents, we really want to respond to our baby's needs and have only the best intentions, but in the end we've gone so far to an extreme that we're physically exhausted at this point and confused with how to proceed. ultimately we would like to have our baby nap longer than a half hour, not wake hourly after being put down for the night and have a less strenuous falling asleep routine (preferably be able to fall asleep on his own in the crib).

    i feel like i don't even need to ask you a question, but only send an SOS!!!!

    again thank you so much ahead of time - i know how little time i have as a mom so i know this must be a large effort on your part to have this blog. it is appreciated :)- happy new year!


  32. Asd123,
    I certainly haven't forgotten how it feels to be a first time mom. And I certainly knows how it feels to want to do the best there is for your baby. It is hard to know what to do so that everyone (because I truely believe you, and your marriage, are just as important as your baby and that taking care of these things helps your baby indirectly) is happy and functioning well.

    Anyway, it gets better with time. I promise. You get more confident, but you always worry. They are children and you are their parents and are in charge of them and their growth and happiness. It is a big responsibility!

    I will give you some advice. But you need to do what you feel most comfortable with. My methods often differ from sears, although I think (but I'm pretty sure he would disagree) my desires are similar. Just make sure you keep in mind your ultimate goal and realize that things will be, in your situation, MUCH harder at first but will get MUCh better in the long run. You will suddenly have free time on your hands to have a bit of your own life, soemthing that every mom needs.

    So first, you need to be consisten with what you do. If you have been doing some seras approaches then my guess is that you are'nt going to want to jump to cio. The baby whisperer is a good in between. Quicker results than soem of the more gentler approaches and somewhat gentle itself. You can keep doign the gentle appraoches (I have several listed under the no cry sleep solution) and try some new things. They may work, but with your son, they seem a little less likely to work. And it sounds like you would like some changes sooner than later too. This means, in my personal opinion, that you will need to do more aggressive approaches. So I would start with the baby whisperer. Check out the label with all her stuff and see how it looks to you. Maybe even consider getting her book. And do a super early bedtime. That can only help right now. Get back to me when you get an idea of what you would like to do. I can't choose for you, becaue I don't know what you would feel comfortable (or semi-comfrotable with, no method is very fun!) with. Sorry for the late reply! busy season


  33. hi rachel!!!

    thanks so much for responding to us - and don't worry about it being late - everything we do is with a "sorry it's so late" tagline :)

    since we posted our sos to you we made some MAJOR changes!! i'm happy to report we made a plan and have stuck to it since new year's eve! several changes were implemented: kai is now sleeping in his own room and we are no longer rocking him vigorously as he holds on tight and pulls my hair ;) so not sure what book this idea would fall under but basically my husband came up with a plan for either of us to climb in the crib with our son and lay him down and every time he tries to get up, just put him back down and keep our hand on his tummy but try to avoid rocking him with the hand (although some nights we have to resort to that b/c he is just too wound up)

    the first night we did this was nye - he cried for 1hr 15 min. i thought it was awful! but by the next day at naptime, it took only 30 minutes (which is how long it would sometimes take with us rocking him!!!!) ever since then, things have slowly been improving - we are SO much happier, and kai doesn't seem terribly phased by all the changes. we're trying to play more in his room so that he understands it's his space (not sure if i mentioned this in my last post but he basically didn't have his own room b/c he slept with me since he was born, and his toys were kind of all over the house).

    the only downside is that it IS more difficult for us to get up in the middle of the night and try to put him back to sleep. he still wakes up often 2-4 times per night (sometimes for an hour!) and he's had several days where he woke up for the day at 5am. i use to just nurse him half awake when he slept with me but i know that that was a slippery slope and at the end it really was a quick free fall, with him waking up constantly with every movement i made! so i guess we're working on that now, but as i said, this is a VERY different household than when i last posted!

    thank you for your words of encouragement rachel - every bit helps!!!


  34. asdf123,
    That's great you found a method that worked for you guys. I heard of that method in various place. The trick is to get your baby used to you not being next to them when they fall asleep. This will help them stop waking up for you if they can put themselves to sleep all by themselves. Usually, if you want to keep up a similar approach, it works well to move farther from baby until you out of the door. Or to leave baby sooner and sooner until you can leave befor he falls asleep. Keep up the great work. I'm so glad things are going better for you. I can feel your excitement from reading your post :)


  35. Hi Rachel -

    This is blog is fantastic - thank you! My baby girl is 14 weeks old. We are struggling with 45 minute naps and I have just started implementing the baby whisperer techniques. When she wakes, I go in and try to sh/pat her back to sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I generally stay in there and try to keep her in her bed for another 45 minutes with the hope that someday she'll nap for 1.5 hrs. But, my question for the moment is how to calculate wake times if she is awake for most of that 2nd 45 minutes. Do I calculate from when I get her up or from when she actually wakes?

    For ex:
    she sleeps from 10-10:45
    we stay in her room attemtping to get her to fall back to sleep until 11:30

    Do we start her next nap around noon or 1:45? Or somewhere in between? She usually has a wake time of about an hour and 20 minutes if things are good.


  36. Leah,
    I usually calcuate waketime in this situation as 50% of real waketime. So if she has been up 1 hour in her bed, it is 30 minutes waketime. Weird, but that is what has worked for me and many moms. You may get to a point later on where you will have to go more by the clock than something like this, but you have some time yet, in my opinon, until that happens.


  37. Hi!

    I have an 18 week old son. Today, I decided something needs to be done about his sleeping as he only sleeps 30-45 minutes for naps, wakes up tired, and is then super crabby after an hour. We had been rocking him to sleep, which had been taking too much time, so today I decided we would put him in his crib drowsy but awake. We have tried putting him in his crib drowsy but awake before, but once he gets in his crib, he is quiet for a few minutes, then he starts talking, cooing, and laughing. He just won't go to sleep. He very rarely cries (although sometimes near the end of the day he will cry). He sleeps well at night- from around 6-7am (occasionally waking up at 5:30 to nurse). He is usually a mess by the end of the day, and is very crabby. Thoughts?

  38. karyn,
    If you leave him in his bed, even with the laughing, will he eventually go to sleep? Is the sleep enviornment condusive (see posts)? Do you have a good pre-sleep routine? Since you normally rock to sleep, maybe it would help to continue doing this, but rock less each time until he is eventually going down drowsy. If these things don't help, then you could look at the sleep training posts in the index and see if any of the methods sound good to you.


  39. Thanks for the response. We have put up room darkening curtains, but it is still light enough to see. Perhaps I should try to make it darker? And he does not fall asleep when left in the crib, he normally laughs and talks for quite some time, with perhaps some crying towards the end of the hour. Today, when I tried this (he was screaming for about 20 minutes before putting him in his crib, clearly tired) he cried for 30 minutes, then was talking and cooing in his crib, then cried again for 5 minutes, an hour total. Perhaps we need to try and make our nap soothing routine more solid as well: what do you suggest? Thank you!

  40. Hi,

    First, as an FYI, I made the room as dark as I could. Today, he woke up at 6am, nursed, was put back in his crib awake, was quiet in his crib until 7:05 (I don't know if he slept or not), seemed tired around 7:30, soothed, put back in crib at 7:50, he cried from 8:00-8:45. Slept from 8:45 to 9:45, woke up and never really seemed like his normal active self. He fell asleep nursing at 11:45, slept until 12:30. I kept him in his crib until 1:15 to see if he would fall back to sleep (he was not crying), just fussing. He did not fall back to sleep. Got him up, nursed, played, he again was not active like he normally is. Nursed again at 2:10, he fell asleep for 10 minutes. Woke up talking, cooing in crib, started crying at 2:40, and that's where we are now. My questions: I nurse him when he first wakes from naps, but he only nurses for a short time. I try a few times to nurse him during his wakeful period, where he might nurse for a few minutes, but not long and I can tell he hasn't gotten much milk. Then, when I start to soothe him and get him ready for his nap, he is sucking on my arm or trying to eat his hand. He is persistent that he wants to nurse. So, I nurse him (he actively nurses for about 10 minutes, usually), and he falls asleep nursing. I just don't understand why it is he only wants to nurse when he is being soothed to sleep- I mean, I know that babies like to suck, but he won't take a pacifier, and I don't want to withhold nursing him since he didn't nurse well before then. Is it okay to continue to do this? Could this be contributing to his poor naps?
    Also, is a 5:30 bedtime too early? He most of the time is super crabby by that time and it is a struggle to get him to stay awake until then. He sleeps until about 7am (usually). Do you think this could be contributing to his poor naps? I am at a loss for what to do with him.

  41. Karyn,

    Here are two posts about nap routines:

    You can always try putting cardboard in the windows. This makes the room really dark and if it makes a difference you can consider upgrading, if not, you didn't waste money for nothing :)

  42. Karyn,
    Sorry, just saw you had another comment so some of the other stuff I said may not have applied.

    If he is napping badly and obviously overtired, I think 5:30 isn't too early if it works. Does he nurse much during the night? This is wakeitme during the night too.

    Nursing to sleep is one (if not the number one) thing that ends up causing issues sleeping--difficulty falling asleep, short naps, frequent wake ups. It doesn't cause issues for every baby (or even mom), but from what I've seen, it does end up causing some sort of issue some time or another, even if the mom decides the issue is something she is fine living with. A helpful post about sleep props:

    He is likely not going to eat much at each feeding because the is snacking all day. He never really has time to get hungry enough to eat much. And he is in the habit of eating before naps (eating and maybe just sucking for comfort too?) which fills him up probably until the next nap. He is at an age where he is more excited with his environment which makes feedings during the day with things going on more difficult, especially if he isn't very hungry. He is also a much quicker eater at this age so he may be getting more in than you think. If you want him to go asleep without lots of time and stay asleep for longer, I would encourage you to drop the feeding to sleep. I would also encourage you to try to get full feedings in. I'm suggesting this because it often makes a huge difference for many people, but if you don't feel comfortable about it, then don't do it. Here's a post that might help:

    Also, I would try to keep some sort of sleep log to get an idea of his wake time (see post in index) as well as his daily routine. This will help you out a lot. Baby's cues can get a little misleading as they get older and this will help you troubleshoot more effectively.

  43. Hi Rachel!
    Thank you so much for your advice... we have already seen some longer naps over the past few days. I have a few more questions for you (if you don't mind!). First, I know you are supposed to follow the eat, play, sleep routine during the day, and this is where I get confused about feeding. If I only feed when he wake up from a nap/sleep, he would only get 3/4 feedings. He is EBF, and I guess I just never understood how to follow this and not end up nursing him to sleep. He just always seems to fall asleep when I feed him before naps! Any insight on this would be helpful! It would be wonderful to only feed him when he is really hungry instead of giving him snacks!
    Also, my husband and I are trying to get him to fall asleep on his own (as I previously mentioned). We read Happy Sleep Habits Happy Child and have been attempting to follow method A, which is the soothe until drowsy but awake. Does this apply to all naps/bedtime or is it okay to soothe until asleep for bedtime? I have a very hard time listening to him scream but am willing to do what is best for him to sleep well, as I think it's important for he and I!
    And, in response to your question, he sleeps well at night, typically from about 5:30/6pm to 7am. He will occasionally wake up for a feeding around 5, and if he does that he normally goes back to sleep until about 8/8:30.
    Also, I have been doing a sleep log for about a month, and have not yet seen much of a routine/pattern. I think because he was only sleeping 30/40 minutes for naps, he would be tired within 30 minutes and go down for another nap after about half an hour of soothing. Thank you for all your help/advice!

  44. Oh! One more thing: I mentioned that we were following HSHHC; in that book, it states that babies should take naps around 9 and 1, while watching your child for signs of drowsiness. If these are the best times to sleep, how do you vary the schedule if your baby is supposed to go to sleep after being awake for 1-2 hours? For example, let's say my baby wakes up at 7, is tired by 8:30 and goes down for a nap, sleeps until 10:00, is then tired at noon, but the ideal nap time is then not until 1? And then if he sleeps from noon until 1:30, there is still 4 hours until his bedtime, unless we give him a late afternoon nap from 3:15-4:15, which I find just makes him cranky and gives him trouble falling asleep at night. I think we are just having trouble with the timing of naps and scheduling. Thank you again- Karyn

  45. Karyn,
    Ah, I have had this question more than once. Those nap times are there I believe because of the dip in alertness that normally happens (sorry, I can't remember 100% this second). If it were me, I would focus more on nap cues and wake times. Don't push a child to sleep later if it is going to cause issues. If you find your current nap times don't work, then go ahead and push closer to these times. Certainly don't try to "fix" something that isn't broken (i.e. move to certain nap times because you are suppose to).


  46. Karyn,
    Saw your comments in the opposite order :)

    So you start with the eat/play/sleep routine but it evolves as baby gets older and their sleep needs change a bit. So you start off by feeding after each nap at first, but as they age you may have feeds at totally different times.

    At 18 weeks most babies are on 3-4 naps. So you feed first thing in the morning, nap 1, feed, nap 2, feed, nap 3, feed, nap 4, some wake time before bed then feed before bed. If you need to, add in other feeds. If he is falling asleep to eat at this age, he probably needs to eat sooner before it gets closer to bed (if that is the only way the feed fits in) or needs to go to sleep sooner.

    Many babies will start to skip those extra wake ups at night when you soothe to sleepy rather than sleep at bedtime. Some babies will not do as well for naps if you have them not sleep trained for bed. So you have to decide what you think is best for you. I have always nursed my kids to sleep at bedtime (if they would--generally they stopped after a few months of age) and have never had problems, but they knew how to sleep on their own from an early age.

    Just work on extending those feeds out slowly.

    Overtiredness causes many issues, but sometimes keeping kids on a routine with approximate nap times even if they sleep badly helps to get things on track. Jut an option. You might want to try waking up no later than 7:30 in the morning. He may be getting too much night sleeps which is robbing his day sleep. and a Too late of wakeup can causes problems itself sometimes.


  47. Rachel,

    Thanks so much- there is just so much to think about and keep in mind while trying to get your baby to sleep well! Who knew it would be so hard?
    One more thing: the past few nights my baby has gone to sleep around 5:45/6:00 after having eaten, but then wakes up at 6:45 wanting to nurse again. I end up nursing him because I am confused as to what's going on as he has never done this before, and he is drowsy, so I put him down awake. He falls asleep no problem. What is going on? Should I not go to him? Thanks for all your help!

    1. Hi Karyn, your story sounds a lot like what I'm going through right now. I know it's been a while, but if this comment reaches you, do you mind letting me know how you ended up solving this issue?
      Thank you!

  48. Karyn,
    There really is so much to take into account. Some babies will sleep well no matter what, but other babies need everything perfect or they will not nap or will be up at all hours of the night for years. At least having a tough baby helps you develop lots of understanding and compassion huh? I tell myself that at least. I am a much more understanding, and hopefully compassionate, person because of my particular children, my oldest in particular :)

    Sorry for the last reply, not sure if you are still having this issue. He maybe be waking because he thinks bedtime is a nap, he is overtired etc and the food and sucking helps him go back to sleep. It is possible he isn't getting enough in before going to bed, but I think this is less likely at his age. But maybe he is super tired when he goes to bed and doesn't eat much? I would probably feed for now and see if it goes away on it's own. Much easier for now (because it very likely will go away on its own in not too long of a time) than moving tons of things around searching for a solution. If it doesn't go away, then start seeing what you can change and possibly don't go into him, or go in but help him go to sleep without food.


  49. Dear Rachel hi,
    my baby is 4.5 months, well in a 4 hours rutin (she eats every 4 hours and goes to sleeo every 2 hours)
    but she usually only sleeps for 30-45 minuets during day naps
    sometimes she wakes up happy talking to her self calmly, and sometimes she wakes up crying
    in both ways I can't get her back to sleep
    I tryed the PU PD but the problem is that when she cryes, no matter what I do she won't calm down and stop crying, so it's a problem to put her down
    In addition, in the times she wakes up not crying, I can't put her back to sleep with PU PD cause she isn't crying so why PU?...
    at night she goes to sleep between 07:30-08:00 P:M, sometimes she wakes up after 45 minuets and it can take up to an hour to get her back to sleep, and the she wakes up about 3-4 hours later, I feed her and if we are lucky it keeps her until the morning, usually it doesn't and she wakes up every 1-2 hours
    I an tired...
    How can I make her day naps longer concidering everythin I wrote?

  50. Hi Rachel, I've come across your fantastic blog and am really hoping you can help.

    I have twin girls who are 20 weeks old. They were dummy dependent and waking a lot during the night so we went cold turkey a couple of weeks ago with CIO and they are now brilliant night sleepers going 7pm - 7am. Some mornings I wake them and others they wake themselves. The CIO wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and they were sleeping and self-settling after 2 nights.

    The problem we now have is that daytime naps have gone to pot and are rarely longer than 45 minutes and sometimes even shorter. They were waking during naps before but I'd give them the dummy and they'd usually go back to sleep.

    E's naps have been bad since we got rid of the dummies but C's have only started to get bad in the past couple of days.

    We've recently dropped the dreamfeed for both of them and I wondered if this might be affecting their daytime sleep? Even though it hasn't made a difference at night.

    The schedule we follow is:
    7am - wake & feed - 170-200ml (bottle fed)
    8am - rice & pear (we've just started weaning)
    9am - sleep
    11am - wake & feed - 200-260ml
    12 - carrot, squash etc
    1pm - sleep
    3pm - wake & feed - 200-260ml
    4.30pm - nap. Usually out in the pram.
    5.20pm - we're going to start having solids at this time but haven't yet. I haven't quite worked out how to make this work with the timings of baths etc
    5.50pm - E starts her bottle (because she's a very slow eater) while C is in the bath
    6.10pm - E in bath
    6.30pm - C bottle & E finishes hers. They take anywhere between 200 & 260 ml but usually around 230-260ml
    7pm - bed

    Any advice you can give is much appreciated!

  51. I should have said that they share a cot and are often waking each other. For example at 1.45 today when Charlotte woke Elizabeth was still asleep but woke soon after. Although that could have been that she went to sleep a bit later and her first cycle was a few minutes later.

    1. Mireowl,
      I'd evaluate if a slight change in wake time makes any difference.

      Sounds like it is probably an issue of Them not being able to soothe back to sleep upon waking since this was the main change. Also, their age likely has a lot to do with things. They are getting more interested in their environment and less likely to sleep with outside disruptions--even their twin next to them. You may need to start separating them for them to slep well. You might want to look over the slep environment posts. Maybe they will be able to fall asleep after being left for a short time but maybe they will need help going back to slep on their own for a while.

      The df could have caused an issue if they are now not getting enough food during the day and are waking hungry at nap time.

      Make sure to introduce some kind of lovey. On bad nap days make sure to move bedtime earlier to help prevent over tiredness. Make sure solid food introduction doesn't seem to be causing tummy pains,

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. Hello Rachel,
    First THANK YOU! for such a wonderful blog, and taking the time to answer our doubts, it's truly great to have someone to shed some light. I have a 7 month old baby girl, and she has never big a great napper, but at 5.5 months we finally got her to sleep on her own. She was doing great (for her at least). Her routine was something like this:
    - 7am wake up and feed (BOTTLE)
    - 9am FIRST NAP (1hr 15 min)
    - 12 pm SECOND NAP (1hr-1.30 min)
    - 4:30pm NAP (30-40 min)
    - 6:45 pm in bed (asleep by 7:15/7:30)
    THAT was then... now, she is all over the place, she is only taking 30 min naps at anytime, I've tried working with the awake time, from 90 min- 2hrs, the only difference is the time/mood she goes to sleep in, i.e. 90 min babbling and with no cry, 2hrs after complaining. But even at 90, she won't be asleep after 2 hrs, while at 2hrs she'll fall asleep sooner but crankier. Also she is now waking up at 6 am or earlier.
    I've tried awake to sleep for naps, doesn't work as she wakes up and is wide awake, even at 20 min into the nap. If I let her self soothe, she can stay awake for an hour in her crib (no crying), but won't go back to sleep, at which point she is only 30 min short of her next nap. IT is becoming increasingly difficult to do everything, even feed her, as her naps (or catnaps) move her feeding time (previously every 4 hours) all over the place, she is cranky too which doesn't help with the solids routine, she it too tired to eat. Right now for example, she slept 30 min at 7:50 am (After waking up at 5:45 am), 90 min after that I put her back in and she was up again 25 min after that (I let her in her crib for an hour, with no success), took her out, changed her (just in case) let her play for a little in her gym, and put her back 1 hr and 20 min after she awoke (she had already yawn once), so far its been 27 min since I put her to bed (2hrs and 4 min total after she's been awake), and she is still complaining. What can I do??? I am desperate at this point.
    Could I be misusing the awake times, i.e. should I put her to bed after 1.5/2 hrs after she's up of should she be asleep after this time (she can take any time from 20-40 min to fall asleep). Also, how much does awake time vary with such short naps? How much time should I leave before the first nape (she sleeps between 10 and 11 hours). Apologies for the mountain of questions, I am clueless on what to do, and where to start. Thank you

    1. Vivanne Vivance,
      Sorry for the late reply. I missed this in my inbox.
      I'd do a very early bedtime right now to help her get over the over tiredness.

      The waketime can get pretty confusing. With many kids going to sleep happy means too early or just right and going to sleep late means more than usual crankiness (some kids will always be upset that it is sleep time, especially during particular ages). But this isn't always the case so you have to sort or test it out and see what your child does and keep in mind that it may change as they get older. It gets easier to tell with time, I promise. A sleep log can help. It sounds like you have been keeping good track of things. Look over the list above again and make sure there isn't something that you may have missed.

      If she was at 3 hours at almost 6 months, then she'd probably need longer than that (remember, these little ones are always changing) at 7 months. If you don't keep changing as she changes, then you'll end up with issues. I'm not saying this was the cause of all of this because there are always so many things going on with kids, but I'm reminding you of this for now and the future.

      I wonder if she is learning to crawl or pull herself up or something. If you don't have a video monitor, could you borrow one to see what she is up to?

      Have you left her for several days in a row to see if she'll go back to sleep?Sometimes it takes some time and then kids will start to do this. Remember to make sure her room is conducive to sleep--dark etc.

      If you can't get her to extend the naps right now you can always go to more frequent naps. I can't say for sure how her waketime will change with short naps. It depends so much on the child. I often drop waketime by 25-50% depending on how the child responds. So if she is normally at 2 hours but has a short nap, then I might make waketime 1.5 hours instead.

      Getting over the over tiredness issue helps resolve issue with many kids. A very early bedtime for a short while often helps tons with this. More frequent naps for a while may help. Some kids end up doing better if you keep naps at the same time (of course, you have to have some kind of idea what time will work best) regardless of over tiredness and sleep cues. They end up getting used to falling asleep at these times and then start to sleep longer. You will have to test out the methods to see what works best for you guys.


    2. Amazing tips Rachel, they worked! The early bedtime for overtired days, and the extra minutes in bed (more than a couple of days) even worked for early morning wake up times... she is now sleeping from 1-1.5 hours per nap. She has some days where she gets "off course" but she has indeed just learned to pull herself up, so I guess it is meant to happen. Thanks again sooo much for your help.

    3. That's great to hear vivanne! I love to hear success stories and it is always super nice to know that I have been able to help someone. Sometimes it feels like I am writing posts into space ;)


  54. Hi Rachel,

    Wow, this blog is so great!! I am soaking it up. I feel like I have educated myself a great deal about sleep and sleep training in the journey to my 3rd child now, but somehow I still am not naturally skilled at handling problems and have generally sensitive sleepers, each one. I am so impressed, in any case, and can tell that you have that special knack of troubleshooting! I have been reading this post and the extending short naps post. If you have time to offer an opinion...

    My daughter is 14 weeks old. I transitioned at 12 weeks from holding her to sleep for every nap (and getting short naps) to having her go down independently (and getting mostly short naps, maybe once a day a longer one, maybe). She does remarkably well going down on her own, just some fussing here and there, lots of cooing to herself, and some crying, but not as badly as I had feared. She does take a LONG time to go to sleep at each period. I keep her up about 1h10 to 1h15mins after waking. She generally takes 4 short naps per day, ~30mins each. Yuck. I am a big fan of compensating for bad naps with very early bedtimes. My boys did great with this and went to bed at 5:30 when naps were bad, and I believe this eventually helped their naps. I have a hard time getting her down for her 4th nap if it lands at 4 or later (she'll cry all the way to 5), or for a 5pm bedtime if she's had 3 short naps and they're ending early in the day, say around 2:30 or 3. I think she's so very overtired from the short napping. I haven't had luck extending the naps by leaving her in her crib for 15-20 mins after she wakes. Haven't tried resoothing her, but *strongly* suspect this won't work since she's very social and excited when I come in to her eventually. When I am able to get her down earlier, she is waking very early now (had been waking at 7p, now up to 5:30a). This seems to mess with even her not-so-great groove and make it worse by shifting her naps earlier and making for 5x 30 minute or shorter naps.. This morning I tried to push her to stay awake longer after the early wakeup but she was terribly overtired by the time I put her down and stayed awake for 1 hour in the crib before finally succumbing to a 40 minute nap and waking crying.

    At her age, would you use the early waketime as the start of her routine and fit in an extra cycle basically?

    If I were to try to inch bedtime later in order to induce a later wakeup, she might be going 2 and 3 hours before bedtime from her last nap, and getting even more overtired. So I just have to live with an early wake?

    If I try for a later nap, it is basically the same difficulty as the bedtime. Are you familiar with the problem of a baby just screaming toward the end of the day and not sleeping? If it's overtiredness, why doesn't getting her down early for bed for a few days seem to improve this? With my boys, I could do a 5 or 5:30 bedtime for 3 or 4 days and so many problems would be fixed. With her, I can't seem to get her down easily at that time without tons of crying first (and she's so easygoing the rest of the day!)

    If I can't get longer naps, is it better to try to get a 5th short nap in and a later bedtime (like, I could use a carrier to get her to sleep), or is it smartest just to put her through this excessive crying to get to sleep early instead?? Maybe having her wake later in the morning is as valuable to her sleep as getting her down earlier?

    Well, that's a lot of questions. And I'm very tired, so who knows if they're sensible :}

    Thank you :)

    1. als,
      This is what I do with early morning wake ups. So I would put her back down if you can. Try to ignore her for some time to see if she'll go back to sleep. Make sure hunger isn't an issue.

      There is a point where kids will start waking early if they go to bed too early. Some kids are much more sensitive to this than others, and some ages more sensitive than others. At this age, some kids still seem to do better with a later bedtime but very soon need an earlier one to sleep well. Try to slip in an extra nap early on if at all possible, even if she hasn't been up very long. Maybe you can try to adjust the naps (might not be at all possible) and waktimes earlier on in the day to work better with bedtime. Your best luck might be putting her down early and working hard to get her to go back to sleep when she wakes early the am, even if it means an extra feeding or maybe wake to sleep
      If you can get her to take a later nap with some help by you and she goes to sleep well at night and wakes up later in the morning, I'd probably do that if I was you. I think you have just as many negatives and pluses with either method so do what works best for the two of you.

      I suggest at least trying some extending methods for the nap. A swing, offer a comfort item like a pacifier if she has one, try rocking (don't pay attention and maybe eventually she'll get that it isn't play time and will relax in your arms), trying going in before she wakes to put pressure on her back/tummy to help her through the sleep jolt, make sure the room is super dark and relatively quiet.

      She may have the personality that resists sleep more than many. With kids like this, they seem to resist bedtime even more. This resistance often goes back and forth as they age. she may still be a bit fussy at night because of her age. She may need more than a few early bedtime to get over her over tiredness and maybe she won't get over it ever at bedtime if she has a waketime too long right before it. Some kids are so sensitive to being overtired. My oldest would cry and whine the rest of the day if he ever had a bad nap, regardless of how perfect the rest of his sleep normally was.

      Some babies if they are overtired from a day are not great naps will cry all evening. It is usually more sensitive babies. I put them in a carrier and give them a pacifier if they take one. Does wonder and it allows you to do some of the things you have to do like prepare dinner or help with homework. As babies get older this fussy time should improve, especially if you can figure out a good sleep routine with nap lengths that works. Neither of my kid would take an evening nap by themselves once they were a handful of weeks old. With the oldest he would sleep the swing or in the car so I used these methods when applicable. With my youngest he pretty much never slept, but he was happy in a carrier so that is where he usually ended up. You have to do what works and make the most sense. Most kids don't seem to pick up on too many sleep props if you help them at this age when really necessary.

  55. I have a 14 week old who only took 45 min naps, until 2 days ago, when they started being 30. At about 2 hrs of wake time, he's tired, so I have a ten min routine where I rock him a bit wrap him up and put him to bed in his crib (always). Sometimes he is drowsy but awake and sometimes he's already out. He is happy when waking. His temperment has changed a bit these two days to be more fussy/cranky and he is usually a really happy baby. I would like him to nap at least an hour for each of his daily four naps but going in at about 25 min has not allowed me to extend his naps as he just jerks wide awake. PU/PD won't work as he doesn't cry and he's too young for cio (for me). Is this just a phase, what can I possibly do to extend his naps? He still wakes up 2-4 times at night and has never slept through the night. The last couple of nights he has had trouble going back to sleep after his 4 am feeding (last night he was up at 4:45-6:15). He does have a bedtime routine and is always put to sleep drowsy but awake. I just don't think he'll ever nap well.

    1. rholgate,
      The short naps are a phase with some children. You have to wait them out. Or you can try a little cio when he is older or the techniques you already tried once again when he is older

      His waketime seems a little long for his age, and that is if he were taking longer naps. So I would really consider overtiredness as a cause to his short naps and especially his new shorter naps. Often the sleep debt keeps adding up over time until you start to notice it (some kids show you rigth away, others won't show you until late).

      If he falls asleep easily in your arms (seems like he does) then I would go in either right as he wakes or just prior and help him go back to sleep with shush-pat, rocking or a swing. Yes, act as a sleep prop. Most kids don't have issues in the long run from doing this as long as they can initially put themselves to sleep.

      And he'll likely nap well one day. The fact that he can put himself to sleep sometimes is far above what many babies can do at this age. I know it is frustrating though.


  56. Hi Rachel!

    I need some help! For the past few weeks, my son 6.5 months) has been all over the place with his sleeping. He had been waking up at 8:00AM, napping at 10,2, and going to bed for the night at 6:30. Things were going smoothly and he was falling asleep easily... and now, everything is a mess! His morning nap has been about 1.5 hours, and the second nap has been short (or ending super early), and he has been refusing to take a third nap. This puts us in a tough spot as his afternoon nap ends around 2:30/3:00. He has been going to sleep for the night around 5:00 (super early!) to compensate for his lack of day sleep. But, he wakes up early in the morning, thus throwing off our whole schedule. It has also happened where, since he has refused to take the third nap, he gets overtired, and has a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep at night. Not sure how to compensate for this. His wakeful period is right around 2 hours (1.75 before first nap, 2 hrs for 2nd nap, if well rested he can go about 2.25-2.5 hours). For example, yesterday he woke up at 7:00, went down for first nap at 8:30, slept until 9:30, went down for his second nap at 11:30, slept until 1:00, and cried through his should-have-been third nap from 3-4. He was clearly tired; we bathed him, read books, nursed, and he was asleep by 4:45. He normally does not wake up after going to sleep for the night, though he did last night due to being overtired and the 3.75 hour wakeful period. I am concerned that if we attempt to keep him up for naps around 9 and 1 or 10/2 he will be so tired he will not sleep and the night waking will only get worse. I need advice regarding how to get him back to his normal schedule without him being so overtired he is unable to sleep at all. He does well with the morning nap but the afternoon nap has been more of a struggle- he seems to have a hard time falling asleep. I struggle between following the clock for his naps or following his subtle sleep cues- I feel as though I am unsure how to get him to sleep at the best times for him without totally getting him too tired to sleep at all! Any advice will be appreciated. Sorry if the thoughts are fragmented/confusing!

    1. Karyn,
      See if you can pinpoint any changes that have occurred at this time. Any changes by you guys or changes in his development. I would initially thing that maybe he needed a longer waketime for his second and third naps, but he is getting that now so that doesn't seem to be the cause. I'm not really sure what is causing the change in sleep from what you have said above. But I would consider making that bedtime of the day a mini nap and then moving bedtime a bit later than you have been so morning wake up will be more normal and over tiredness won't be so bad. If he doesn't nap after 30 minutes of trying in the evening, you might want to get him up then try again when he seems tired (which will probably be pretty soon).

      Consider decreasing waketime before that morning nap to see if it helps the rest of the day.

      I would not work just with set nap times at this day (I know some people say to, but when babies aren't sleeping great, it seems to hurt more than it helps at this age imo). I would consider the normal nap time but also his waketime, his previous sleep (naps or night) and his sleep cues. Put him to bed early if he hasn't slept good previously or if he seems really tired. If he wakes an hour early, he may need to go down 30 minutes early.

      Sorry to not have any more I can think of right now!


  57. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you so much for having such a fantastic blog! I have found the information very helpful! I wanted to get your insight cause I have tried a lot of things and not much seems to be helping my almost 6 month old sleep better.

    She is on a 3 1/2 hour schedule which is ewsw. She has the extra wake at the end because her naps are only 30 min long. She typically wakes up really happy after her 30 min nap. I have tried the wake to sleep and soothing her starting 15 min into her nap to try and get her past her sleep transition. She hasn't responded to those methods. Do they usually work right away or do you need to use them for awhile to see results? I also have let her cry it out after she wakes up and she will cry for a good hour, then I go in and get her up to feed. She is usually awake for 2 hours before going down for a nap. She gets a bit fussy and rubs her eyes to let me know she is ready for a nap.
    She also wakes up about 4 times a night, I only nurse her one time about 5-6 hours after she has gone to bed. I soothe her back to sleep with my hand on her tummy and shushing (and a pacifier...a no no that I don't think I can give up cause she doesn't sleep well to begin with). I would appreciate any suggestions or insight! THANKS!!

    1. Kelsey,
      Consider seeing if you can get her back to sleep after a short nap with rocking or using a swing (if she isn't too big). See my nap extension post on why I'm ok with this.

      At her age and with short naps, I'm guessing her sleep may improve with less waketime.

      Wake to sleep can take several days (once again, I'll refer you to the post if you haven't read it to see more on this). Some babies will go back to sleep with the pat and shush while others will get upset quite a bit and not fall asleep. Often keeping this up will help them fall asleep more easily, but I think it may have just as much or more to do with them learning to fall asleep without being held in your arms etc as it has to do with you being there patting and shushing. You may have to keep going in and doing shush-pat for quite some time--weaning as baby gets better at sleeping on her own.

      Make sure bedtime is very early. Like 13 hours before she wake in the morning. as she sleeps better, you can move it back later.

      Good luck!

    2. Oh, if she is a bit addicted to the pacifier she may be waking because she needs that to make it through sleep transitions. So, while it will be harder at first, if this is the problem, sleep will probably improve after you drop the pacifier.

  58. Hi, I am at wits ends with my 7 week old. She has always been hard to put down for naps. She does this thing where she looks like she's hard asleep then within 2 seconds she's wide awake! I don't know if it is the startle reflex as I am holding her tightly when this happens. So it takes a long time to get her to sleep and then she is up, sometimes within 30 mins sometimes less.

    At 3 - 4 weeks she slept 1.5 hours naps which mad the 30 - 30 mins of putting her to sleep worth it. But now she is waking from some naps at 5, 15, 20, 30 mins. Her waketime is pretty short 1hour or so. I am so open to any suggestions!

    We are not on any schedule but she wakes regularly between 7 and 8am. She also sleeps well at night waking at between 1 and 2 for a feed and 5 for a feed.

    Thoughts? Longer WT (although I don't know if I can as she cries like crazy) or go even shorter than 1 hour WT?

    1. Forgot to also mention, that I do try to extend her naps by going in and patting in her, this only works about 25% of the time. Other times I put her in the swing, again only works 25% of the time. She is feeding between 2- 3 hours. Mostly 2 hours, but occasionally she'd last to 3 hours.

    2. Look over this post, Lee-Heidt

      Consider swaddling and overstimulation and a good pre-sleep routine. She may need less waketimes, especially for the first nap, if she is not sleeping for naps. You have to consider all the time she is awake, even if she 'should be napping'. Is she growing well? Taking good feeds? Is she feeding to sleep and wanting to continue sucking while sleeping? IS the environment too stimulating? Maybe try holding her calming during her feed and then before her nap with no stimulation to see if it helps. Just snuggle her and that's all. She is probably pretty overtired and may need less stimulation for the moment while she tries to get more sleep. Work on reducing sleep props (rocking etc) to get her to fall asleep as she will likely continue to want these to continue sleeping.

      Keep in mind that this is a rough age for many babies. Take a look at the wonder week post to given you an idea of some tough ages so you know what to expect.


  59. My 7 week old (born 3 weeks early) is getting overtired at the 1 hour mark and I cant get him down for a nap. If I let him cry it out, it goes on for 20 minutes at a voracious pace and I go to pick him up, calm him and start over. Then if he seems to be drifting off, I put him down and he may sleep 3 or 5 minutes and then up again. Even if he sleeps on me, he wakes after just a few minutes and I have to start the procedure all over again. And I am having such issues with the cry it out method since he takes 4 or 5 naps a day plus bed time. I'm actully getting to the point where I'm afraid of him waking because I know I will have to go thru this within an hour. What can I do??

    1. Stephanie,
      Try dropping wake time a bit, especially if he isn't sleeping well. Look over te top sleep post in the index. Swaddle if you aren't. At this age I usually suggest very limited CIO if you are doing that and helping baby to sleep so he doesn't get too overtired and go into an endless over tiredness cycle, Also consider 4 s routine or something similar.

  60. Rachel,
    I have been reading your blog after finding it from a google search about a week ago. I have spent the last hour reading over sleep training, 45 minute intruder, short naps, night wakenings, etc. and I am in desperate need of advice. I have googled so much that I have given myself headaches the past two nights trying to find some help with our boy, Benjamin. Long story short, after 4 miscarriages, my husband wanted to try one more time, but I wanted to adopt. Well, our prayers were answered. We adopted our precious girl, Mary Jacinta, in August (she was born 8 weeks early but is totally healthy and happy just really tiny at almost 10 pounds, 9 months :) and Benjamin was born in October. THey are exactly 2 months apart, but exactly the same age with her corrected preemie age. She is a textbook perfect dream child sleeper. She eats, plays, sleeps and gets about 15 hours sleep a day with 3-4 hour 2 naps and sleeping through the night. She drinks pumped breastmilk and preemie hi cal formula. She has never had a problem napping, maybe the NICU trained her after a 5.5 week stay??? She is perfectly sleep trained!

    Now to sweet but non sleeping Benjamin......ugh I am at my wits end. My mother has been watching them since he was 10 weeks old and I had to return to work. I teach so am now out for the 10 week summer and trying desperately to get a schedule together so I am not chained to his horrible sleep habits. He has always been rocked, swung, bottle fed, or nursed to sleep. Problem is i didn't know til now this causes bad sleeping habits. He is exclusively breastfed and until about a week ago, he was getting nursed to sleep everynight. I didn't know this would cause a problem in the future or I never would have done it!! He and Mary Jacinta have been sleeping in pack and play bassinets in our rooms until 4 nights ago.

    I started putting him down for regular naps at around 930 and 130 about a week ago but he still is not napping well at all and wakes up EVERYTIME crying after only 20-35 minutes. He did sleep almost an hour once but that was the first night after cio in the crib and he was so exhausted but it was not an uninterrupted hour, there were periods of cyring during that hour. I put him to sleep in the crib at night 4 days ago when my mom said he was getting mixed signals. Cio for naps, but bassinet by me with patting and paci put ins during the night so now he totally sleeps in the crib.

    I felt we were making progress when on the 3rd night he slept from 7-550 with no feeds (usually once during the night around 2-5)and he woke up happy!!! But last night - the 4th - he cried off and on from 250-5 with some sleeping in between and finally got up for the day (not crying though!!) at 630 because there was a huge clap of thunder I think. As usual today his first nap at 9 resulted in 30 minutes to the dot. I am already dreading the next nap at 1. I decided I can't let him cio anymore for extended times after he wakes up after a short nap. I did it two days in a row almost 2 hours total with a 30 minute nap in between and I can't handle it. I feel like I am being tortured! He doesn't cry for long now before naps or bedtime, ususally max 10 minutes past few days, but he will NOT sleep longer than 30. I let him cio for up to 15 minutes after he wakes, but at that point he is standing pulling up on the rails. That is another problem, I wanted to transition him to the crib after he could already pull up in the bassinet which is way he had to be moved. I don't care if he sleeps for short times, but I know he is exhausted because he cries upon waking and almost falls asleep nursing after his naps.

    Please advise me what to do. I am at my wits end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you immensely for any advice you can offer me. We neep help lol!!!
    Allie in Mississippi

    1. Alliemich,
      That is great that falling asleep as improved. I would look over the wake time post and see how you compare. I have a feeling that wake time may be a little too long, especially with short naps. You may need to do more frequent naps if they are short--tough to do when you have a child the same have that you'd probably like to match naps up with. In your case I'd work on extending naps in other methods than CIO (or very limited) and consider trying some or more CIO at a later time- sometimes it helps at a later time . Sorry you are having such a rough time. Babies sure are different, aren't they!?

  61. HI Rachel! What a sweet mommy you are to help a new mommy like me!!!
    Our little girlie is 10 months. She was such an easy textbook baby without a doubt until 6 months. Slept 10 hours a night at 6 weeks,took 3 2 hour naps, nursed wonderfully, happy, smiley, etc, etc. On her 6th month birthday, she stopped sleeping through the night only by waking early.

    I am a teacher, and since I have been out on summer break things have gotten progressively worse. We are/ were very scheduled.
    Her routine (when she napped and slept well) was this:
    6:30 wake
    6:45 6 oz bottle, yogurt, oatmeal
    8:15- nap
    10:30- wake
    10:45- 6 oz sippy
    11:30- lunch- veggie, fruit, finger foods
    12:30- nap
    2:30- wake
    2:45- 4 oz. sippy (don't know why she would never drink more here)
    and finger food snack
    6:00- bath, pj's, bottle
    6:25-book and prayers
    6:30- in bed/asleep (Has been laid down awake since birth)

    She doesn't have any sleep props. She doesn't take a paci. She is crawling, saying several words, signing, and almost walking. She has 4 teeth and is not teething to my knowledge.

    This is what things look like now..
    Lay down at 6:30p.m.---
    9:20p.m. (on the dot, every night)- SCREAMING- 5 mins. then stops. (We only go in if she wakes up. Her eyes are closed the entire time. We learned that we scared her if we went in when this started and it would make her throw-up when she got more worked up.)
    All throughout the night she moans, tosses, turns, takes covers off, puts covers on, etc. etc.
    5:00 (on the dot)- awake. crying. no signs of being hurt. Never offers to raise out of bed. Goes back to sleep at 5:20 (on the dot)
    6:30-7:00- wakes happy
    7:30- yawns
    I try to continue with our day as normal.
    8:15- down for nap
    8:45-9:00- awake from nap (not crying, just playing)
    I leave her until nap time is over at 10:15 because she is content to play in her bed.
    Feedings are normal... Lay her down at 12:15-12:30 for 2nd nap
    1:15 (on the dot) awake
    plays in bed until 2:30.
    Won't take afternoon nap. Would cry until bedtime if I would let her, I'm sure.
    After this, the process repeats itself. Every night for the last 5 nights. I am so worried she is going to be SO overtired she will never be the "same". She was SUCH a SMILEY baby.. ALL the time. Now, it's pitiful. I just want to find a way to help her.

    Do you have any advice for me? I'm sorry I sound like I'm pleading.. but I am. :(

    Thanks in advance!!!

    1. Lindsey,
      It's interesting that things got worse since you stopped working and are at home more. I wonder what has changed along with that.... think it oner and see if something comes to mind.

      I would work on keeping the room dark with the sunny summer mornings.

      Have her night wakings gotten worse with the worsened naps? If so, there's one of the pieces to the puzzle--overtiredness causing night issues. It does make many babies sleep more restless at night with extra night wakings.

      If she is waking up at exactly 5, it is habitual so maybe doing wake to sleep for several nights would fix it (check out the post in the index). I can't tell you why she is waking at this time for sure. Sorry. It is a time when babies go into light sleep though.

      I'm not sure why she is waking 3 hours after going to bed. Kind of a weird time. Most babies seem to wake within an hour or 4-5 hours later at least. The best thing I can think of for this outside of getting naps figured out is wake to sleep too. Wonder weeks may be in play here http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2012/01/when-are-wonder-weeks.html

      Too short of waketimes may have led to some of the issues. She wasn't tired enough to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long enough period. Look over the post on waketimes for some averages to give you an idea where many babies are at. Yes, she is taking short naps now and overtired, but moving the naps back to more suitable times for her age may still help. Some babies work better with a clock and sleep cues method at this age. I wonder if feeding her a bit closer to bed may help at all but I'm somewhat doubtful on this one. Easy to try out though. Try for an earlier bedtime if she has rough naps


  62. OH YIKES!!! Yes.. I feed her dinner!!!!! lol...
    Her dinner is at 5:00.

  63. Hi Rachel...I stimbled across your website and found it very interesting...wondering if you could help me. My abby is almost 8 months old and his routine is as follows :

    6.00 a.m Wake up and we give him his bath a few mins after he wakes up

    6.30/7.00 am - 7 oz milk

    7.30 a.m Breakfast - cereal and fruit

    8.30 a.m Nap - for just half an hour. Some days I try to pat him back to sleep for an hour but some days that just does not work.

    9.30 - 10.00 Play time

    10.00 a.m Snack - veggies and fruit

    10.30 - 12.00 Play time

    12.00 p,m Lunch - Veggies and a bit of fish/meat and fruits

    12.30 Nap. Mostly just for half an hour and once again I pat him back to sleep for longer.

    3.00 p.m Milk 6 oz

    3.30 - 5.00 Play

    5.00 P.m Dinner - Veggies and fruit

    6.00 p.m - Bedtine routine - Bath and milk (6 oz)

    7.00 p.m Asleep but wakes up atleast thrice in the night. He uses the paci to sleep but does not ask for milk in the middle of the night.

    His naps went on for 1 1/2 hours each a few weeks ago but suddenly went back to just 1/2 an hour. I dropped his evening nap since he would sleep for an hour if I put him down around 4.30 p.m and would end up having dinner way to late and would only go to bed around 9.

    Would appreciate if you could help me out here...do you think he is not getting enough sleep..I know he should have atleast 3 hrs sleep during the day but his naps are very short and somehow I try to keep patting him so he gets more sleep. He does not wake up crying most of the time...just wakes up playing. So as soon as I hear him I go in and pat him and try to get him to sleep longer. I would lov for him to have longer naps during the day and sleep throughout the night. Pls help. Thanks.

    1. Sounds like his waketime is pretty long for his age. That can certainly make the sleep transitions tough to get through. With naps that short. I would do a very earlier bedtime. Normally bedtime would be around 12 hours before he wakes in the morning. With short naps, You'll want something like 13 hours prior. I know, early. But hopefully it'll help him get over the overtiredness so things start to go better and it should help with the night wakings.

      Can he put his own pacifier in? I wonder if that is turning into a prop and hurting sleep. Make sure to keep the room dark and quiet during naps to see if it helps him through the sleep transition. Some posts below that might help.



  64. Boo I didn't tell me you responded!!

    Things have gotten better. Before I saw your post, I tried extending her morning wake time to 2 hours (at least), and that seemed to help the morning nap A LOT!! It was back to an hour and 45 mins. Then I moved her afternoon wake time to 3 hours! (yikes, big difference, I know!) But she is doing A LOT better. She is now making a peep at 4:30, and going back to bed (without our help) until 7:00!! :)

    However, we began teething about 4 days ago. Two teeth are ALMOST through. I am hopeful that will get things back on track as the last few days naps have only been an hour and 15 mins. I am still trying to find the best bed time for her. It is really hard to decide because she isn't waking at the same times in the afternoon. Ideally, I would love for her to nap 2:00- 4:00. Start bedtime routine at 7:00 and bed no later than 7:30.

    Thanks SO MUCH for your response.
    I looked over the post you recommended, and I think that style is right up our alley!!!
    :) Have a wonderful 4th!

    1. Lindsey,
      That is great that things improved. It's amazing how too little or too much waketime (and oddly enough, it is sometimes hard to figure out which you need) can make such a big difference. I hope things keep improving and that the teething isn't too rough for the two of you!


  65. Hi, thanks for your blog! I just started doing babywise the other day, last night was the first night he slept 5 hours, I am very happy with the results. I do have a question though and I can't seem to find it anywhere, in the book or online and am a bit confused. I put my 5 week old son down for a nap after his feeding at 11:30 am after around a 45 minute waketime/feeding. He fussed in his napper for a bit, I went over and put his paci in and he fell asleep. About an hour into it he woke up, it might have even been 45 minutes. I went over and tried to put him back to sleep, took him out, changed his diaper, and put him back with his paci and still didn't go back to sleep so I figured maybe he's doing a growth spurt early, I took him and fed him again on both sides, and he seems to feed very quickly, about 10-12 min max between both sides instead of the 15-20 minutes. Well, my question is after this do I put him back down for a nap again or do I just start the whole feed/wake/sleep cycle again? If he's supposed to be sleeping 1 1/2-2 hours between feedings, and he's only getting 1 hour or 45 minutes, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing here. I just put him down again and he started fussing and so I've got him in his swing, he's fussing some now but I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong here. I'm feeding him until he won't take it again, I'm burping him and I know he's clean. Now yesterday my first day doing it was really good, but not every feed/wake/sleep cycle was right on, yet he did sleep the first time a full 5 hours last night. He's generally a very happy baby and I don't know if he's just trying to reject the new schedule, or if he's having a growth spurt early, or if he's not feeding enough even though he stops taking my breast? I want to get this down for him because I saw it worked yesterday when doing it with him and the full 5 hours told me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Oh and another question (sorry for so many) if I swaddle him to sleep at night should I also be doing this for naps? I haven't been and I do see him startle while napping so maybe he's waking himself up? So, finally as I write this, 45 minutes from his last feeding I recorded, he's finally fallen asleep. So, if he wakes before 1 1/2-2 hour mark, what do I do??? Start a new cycle all over again? Thanks in advance for any tips here.

  66. I just wanted to add he woke up several times from my last comment. The total time I recorded for his nap was 1 hour 10 minutes, but he didn't sleep for probably 15-20 minutes at a time. I finally took him out changed him (he had a dirty diaper) and put him back in and swaddled him. Well, that lasted for a good 10 minutes more, then he screamed again and now I'm feeding him yet again. 7 minutes into feeding he's barely sucking, so I switch sides,burp him, I can hear he's clearly getting milk from my other side, and now he's done 8 minutes later. My main concern is he's not getting enough food, because when I went to the lactation clinic they called him a lazy nurser, and not getting more than 1 1/2- 2 ounces per breast. Plus his weight was low at first, now he's 8.6 lbs according to my home scale and he was 8 lbs 5.8 oz on July 24th at the ped's office. I know they told me at the lactation clinic it's okay that he's not taking in more per feeding, as long as I get in 9-10 a day he's fine but how do I fit that in with babywise? I can't seem to get him to eat more even when he's awake...and he doesn't seem to be gaining the weight. Yet in all this, he's a happy baby, very content when he's not dirty or wet, and when he's had his fill at my breast. So, I don't know what to do here.

    1. Mannaboy1,
      If he wakes early fom a nap I'd try to get him ack to sleep. If he won't go back to sleep, consider that it might be a growth spurt. See if he takes a full feed. Only change a diaper during a nap if it is poopy. Look over the top sleep tips post found in the index and the corresponding links on that.

      Remember that babies cry and fuss for many other reasons besides being hungry so make sure to evaluate things before immediately assuming the issue is hunger.

      I doubt you need to feed 9-10 times a day. Usually you can feed less frequently but more full feeds. Baby will get the same both ways and eat more less frequently because he'll be more hungry. It may even solve the "lazy nursing" problem. Obviously continue to monitor his weight and output. Remember to make sure to feed completely fom both side. Do not move to the next until you've emptied one. It seems that I've talked about this under the PDF feeding post you can find in the index. Also, keep n mind that most lactation consultants are ant-routine so you'll likely get advice contrary to that. If you have a supply issue and have to feed more often, that is a different issue.

      I would probably swaddle for naps at this age.

  67. Rachel,

    My 6 week old son was taking long naps during the day (like a newborn should) and going 4 hours between feedings at night before waking. In the past week or two, he has been very sleepy about 15-30 minutes after finishing eating so we will put him down for a nap (sometimes in his crib, other times in his carseat if we are going somewhere, sometimes on us or in his swing) but he has been waking up 30-45 minutes into his nap. We will wait about 5 minutes to see if he will go back to sleep on his own but he gets himself very worked up screaming. We check his diaper and change it if it's wet or dirty and make sure he isn't too hot or too cold. Once we've ruled those out as the problem, we try to rock him back to sleep. He will fall asleep after a few minutes then after only a minute or two of sleep will wake up crying again and will do this for about 30-45 minutes at which point he is either very hungry or may pass out for about 30 minutes before eating again. He has also only been going 3 hours between feedings during the night over the past few nights but has had no problems sleeping, just shorter stretches. We are trying Babywise and are on a 3 hour routine most of the time. Any advice would be very much appreciated.


  68. Rachel - Thank you for bringing so much information together in your blog. I'm doing my best to follow Weissbluth's HSHB book and am looking for clarification on handling a short napper; I would be grateful for advice.

    I read Weissbluth early and knew about the 2-3 hr wake-time, but, being a first-time parent, thought I could handle Method B, and let my baby sleep anywhere/anytime (stroller, car, etc) during naps. I kept the 2-3 hr limit, but there wasn't a set schedule, and I didn't put her in the crib awake or let her CIO. She has always been a short-napper.

    I hit a turning point at 10-months when it seemed my baby was getting harder to put down, even with soothing, and only wanted to sleep in the car or being held, and I realized she was becoming more dependent instead of less. I've switched to using a schedule (9AM and 1PM naps), using Method A (down in the crib drowsy but awake), and letting her CIO, as of roughly 2 weeks ago. I knew about early bedtimes and set wake-times, so she goes down about 6:30pm (dinner, bath, bed) and I pick her up at 6:00am, when she's most often already awake. She is sleeping soundly through the night.

    What seems to be happening during the naps is that she cries 5-10 min, falls asleep for 20-30, wakes up and cries anywhere from 10-20 min, then may or may not fall asleep again for another 20-30 min. So it seems to me that she isn't getting into deep sleep. I've been working through your suggestions above to try to trouble shoot possible causes (darkness, temperature, etc.).

    I'm re-reading Weissbluth's book for advice; it sounds like most of the "parent accounts" suggest their baby adjusted and started taking solid, longer naps within 3 days to 1-2 weeks. He also writes "and then there are the short nappers" - about 20% of babies - and I'm not sure whether we should continue the new routine, being consistent, in the hope that eventually my baby will adapt and take 1-1 1/2 hr naps, or we should adjust the schedule into "snaps" and plan her day with 3 or 4 1/2 hr naps in it. Currently, she spends 2-3 hrs in her crib, but because she isn't sleeping during much of that. She's crying and frustrated; I'm second-guessing what I'm doing and wondering what would be best.

  69. Hi Rachel,

    I'm chasing some advice and really hoping you can help me! My baby boy is just over 5 months old. He has been taking short (30 min) naps since I can remember! We eventually discovered around 8 weeks old that he is lactose intolerant (we both had a very rough first few weeks with never more than 1.5-2 hrs sleep at a time, even at night) and I feel this impacted on his sleep habits.

    His night sleep has just recently improved since around the 4 month mark and he now goes to bed around 6:30pm, has a dreamfeed at 10pm and then sleeps soundly until around 7am. However I am still struggling with day naps. He usually starts showing tired signs after around an hour and a half to an hour and 45 mins and we have a solid sleep time routine - stories and a song and into bed with his 'bed-ted' (lovey blanket) and he'll play with it for a few mins then put himself happily off to sleep. He has been putting himself to sleep this way since around 10wks except we used to use a dummy. I've recently weaned him from the dummy in the hope that would help. I think that might be why his night sleep has dramatically improved and he has been without dummy for a couple of weeks now.

    However the problem I am having is that through the day he will sleep 30 mins on the dot, then wake up happy and play in his cot. Under pediatricians advice I leave him there in hope that he will go back to sleep. He plays for half an hour then starts to cry. If I leave him to cio he gets really worked up. I.ve tried going in periodically to soothe him but the second he sees me his face lights up and he laughs! So there is no soothing him back to sleep as my presence seems to stimulate him - one day I tried going in and out like this but it kept up right through til next feed time! I've also tried getting him up and playing with him until I see tired signs again, but the second time I try to put him down results in a bawling match as he is obviously overtired from not sleeping long enough the first time round! At this point I have to just leave him cio til he goes to sleep. Luckily it only takes 10-15 mins coz thats bad enough I say! I feel like I've tried every trick in the book and don't know where I'm going wrong!

    Every couple of days he will miraculously sleep through the 30 min mark and he'll take a 2.5 hr nap! And the rest of the day will be like bliss! So I'm assuming from this that he does need long naps, I just don't know how to help him do it! Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you, Ali.

  70. Dear Rachel,

    Your blog is amazing with a lot of good advice. I do find myself a bit overwhelmed by all of the different techniques. My 4 month old (18 weeks) daughter has been a terrible napper since day one. I feel she is perpetually over tired and I am exhausted from the efforts of getting her to sleep. I feel like a bad mother when she is fussy all the time and my family talks about how she is a crabby baby.

    She goes to bed at about 7:30 PM. She will wake once to feed and then wake up around 7:00 – 8:00 AM. Sometimes we have trouble with her falling back asleep after the feed or waking extra times. We’ve also had some pretty terrible evenings lately where she will wake at 8:00 PM and then we struggle to get her back to sleep for 1-2 hours.

    Anyway, the naps are the biggest issue for us since she is so much happier when she gets solid naps. So when she wakes up in the morning, I have found she needs to go down for a nap after about 1 hour. So, she wakes, eats, plays, then naps. Her naps rarely last longer than 30-40 minutes. She wakes up crying and cranky. We put her to sleep with vigorous rocking, bouncing, patting, shushing. The routine I came up with was to change her diaper, put her in a zip up sleep sack (encases her arms too but allows freedom to suck on cloth covered hands or flip over), close blinds (a lot of light still gets through), turn on white noise, and rock to sleep. She rarely goes down 100% asleep. She often opens her eyes or maybe fusses a bit then usually falls asleep after settling in.

    The process of putting her to sleep is ridiculous. She seems to know we are putting her to sleep and begins fussing. Then she starts crying and throwing her arms, legs, and body around. It seems to be getting worse too. Then after at least 5 minutes but sometimes up to 15 or so, she will fall asleep. Thirty minutes later, she’s awake. I have never been consistent with my response because I just don’t know what to do. If I let her fuss, she will sometimes put herself back to sleep. Other times it turns into all out wailing. If I respond right away, sometimes I can rock her back to sleep with another 10 minutes or so of effort. Sometimes that just wakes her up more. If I do not respond and let her cry, she will not go back to sleep (although I think the most she’s actually cried and not just fussed is 15 minutes).

    I try to do the EAS method. So when she wakes I feed her, then she’s awake, and when she’s getting fussy, eye rubbing, or yawning, I try to put her down. Then since the nap is so short, we skip the Eat part and spend some active time before sleep. By the end of the day, the lack of solid sleep has her in a mess. I am usually trying to get her last nap around 4:00-5:00 PM every day and she will not have it. Then she’s awake until 7:30 PM. Her awake times are too long a lot of days but with the physical struggle I just cannot take holding her screaming and throwing legs and arms around by the end of the day, I am past exhaustion.

    I just really don’t know what is age appropriate with the large amounts of advice out there for babies from infants to toddlers. I need to get my husband on board with something and start working on extending the naps so we are all more rested.

    I would appreciate any advice.



    1. Amy Halsall,
      Look over the top sleep post. Try to be as consistent as possible with whatever methods you are using (pre-sleep routine, sleep training etc). Choose a sleep training method (go to the sleep training index and read through some methods or go to the book review index and read through different authors to see which method sounds good to you (each post as links to posts about them too).

      When to start sleep training? That depends on what you do and how you feel about it. A common time recommended as a minimum to start sleep training that involves crying is 4-8 months. I personally feel fine with some cio before this if it is very limited, but that is just me.


  71. Wow you are so dedicated to your readers! Thanks for all your help.
    I'm presently trying to teach my soon to be 4month old to take day naps by himself without being cuddled or rocked....(almost impossible, but as God is my witness we'll get there!), my problem is he will only sleep 45 mins which you've just enlightened me, is the moment of transition... My question is; if he wakes up happy and ready for play, is it necessary for him to sleep longer?

    1. Katy Parratt,
      It is unusual to only need 45 minutes, but sometimes it is all a child will do and they are happy with it so just go with it. I'd try to extend before deciding 45 minutes is all that is necessary. It may happen on it's own as he gets used to going to sleep on his own. make sure to not rush in at that 45 minute mark (unless you've found helping him go back to sleep super quick the best option for him).


    2. Thank you I'm taking your advice and trying to shush and pat him back to sleep - Which seems a little silly as he's not crying and is actually happy... Any other suggestions to extending this nap period? How long do you think i should let him try to fall back to sleep before giving up getting him up and letting him play?
      I should also mention he is being trained not to use the boob as a sleep prop at the moment.
      Perhaps it's best to wait until he falls asleep happily on his own before trying to extend his naps?
      Again, i think you are amazing! And am so happye found your page. Thanks so Munch fooch in behalf of all us desperate mums

    3. Oops sorry that last part needed editing; happy to have found your page! Thanks so much on behalf...etc.
      Haha, telephone auto correct.
      By the way, I'm going to try the method you suggest of holding him before he stirs awake at the 40min mark.
      And 1 more question, after unsuccessfully to get him back to sleep, I left him in bed the full 45mins. I'm wondering if i should now put him Back to nap in 45mins, or let him have a proper awake play time, eg. 1 and 1/2, even though that will mean he's been awake a total of 2 1/4 hours...???

    4. Katy Parratt,
      If you're going to teach him to fall asleep on his own for naps/nights, then I would probably hold off on intervening much for the 45 minute naps just yet as they might fix themselves. Make sure, even right now, you don't rush into them and give him some time to see if he'll fall back asleep on his own. Varies how long you wait (you'll get an idea, over time, when you reach a point that baby will not fall asleep after) and you may wait longer if you are working on the sleep training. You will do a shorter waketime than usual if he sleeps only for 45 minutes. There are some babies that will do better with set nap times no matter what, but often they are a bit older.

      The shush-pat to extend naps will only work if it helps soothe them. But don't give up too soon, many babies don't seem like they're going to fall asleep at first but after play (or crying) for a bit they nod off.


    5. Thanks a lot Rachel for all your advice, I'll get back to you on how we get on.
      Skip is just the sweetest happiest and smartest little boy, I'm sure he'll figure this all out soon!


  72. Hi Rachel. I have spent all day reading through you posts. You are amazing at helping people out with their sleep troubles. I am desperate at this point and would really like some advice from you. I have a 10 week old who started sleeping through the night (9-12 hours) at 6 weeks old. She was also taking 3-4 naps during the day. The first one being about an hour after waking she would sleep for an hour. Her second nap was usually around 3 hours and the third around 2 hours. I don't know what happened but 2 weeks ago she all of a sudden stopped napping during the day and will only take 40 minute naps, if I'm lucky. This has been very tough as I had her on the EASY schedule and she was doing amazing on it. Now all of a sudden I have an I can't that doesn't want to nap and 2 other children that need lots of attention as well. I feel bad for my other 2. It seems as though my days are now spent getting her to fall asleep for nap. She used to be able to be put down drowsy and fall asleep on her own. Now I have been doing the shush/pat method. The only way I got her to take a nap longer than 20-30 minutes today was nurse to sleep and hold her. She usually has no longer than 1 hour of awake time before she is getting ready for nap. I would really appreciate some help/ advice from you as I know you are very busy. Thank you!!!

  73. I have a question- so say your baby is a 45 min napper. How do you adjust his EASY schedule? is his A time shorter? or do you still follow the 3 hr EASY? my little guy is almost 5 months and has gotten back into the short nap routine. He's happy after his naps and sleeps through the night with a dream feed. He often cries after the 40-45 min mark to let me know hes awake. I've gotten him back to sleep with the shush pat method a couple of times but most of the time he either smile and agoos at me or he screams his head off. Im at a loss.

    1. Keis-hohoheart look at this post about short nappers and easy

      Let me known if you still have questions after that


  74. Help! My daughter (4 months old in a few days) has always been a chronic cat mapper - 30 minutes. However, lately her naps have all gone to 20 minutes. I keep her up less than 1.5 hours. I even try to have her asleep within an hour of waking first thing in the morning. she is obviously extremely overtired, but I don't know how to catch her up on sleep. She is becoming a complete mess. She can put herself to sleep in her crib (put down awake and she sucks hef thumb to soothe - other arm swaddled.). Suggestions? She needs more sleep, and my oldest daughter needs more of my attention! Thanks!!!

  75. More info - she is normally asleep by 7 pm and up around 7 am. She wakes once to eat. The past couple days, she has woken after 30 min at bedtime and takes a while to settle back down. Classic overtired sign, I know. She also is taking longer to go back to sleep in the middle of the night feed - just "talks/plays" in bed.

    1. Krista,
      You may want to try an earlier bedtime for a while. You might also want to have her work on some soothing methods herself when she wakes (in the least, don't rush in) however you like going about doing that. Some kids need more work getting back to sleep in the middle of the nap even when they go to go to sleep initially by themselves. You could try to settle her right back to sleep too, if it works.

  76. Thanks, Rachel. I do leave her in the crib for at least 30 minutes to an hour after her crappy 20 minute nap. Sometimes she'll fall back asleep....for another 20 minutes. Ugh! Not sure how I can get her to bed much earlier. Today I put her down at 4:30 and boom - another 20 minute nap. Maybe could get her bedtime to 6:00, but probably not much earlier - she'll think it's just another nap. Is 6:00 early enough?
    I've thought about 2 courses of action besides an earlier bedtime. 1) let her sleep in the swing and see if I can catch her up in sleep. Sometimes she will extend naps in the swing. I don't like this because then she will only sleep in the swing for naps and night and we'll have to break her of it again. 2) extend her waketimes. Is it possible she needs longer (closer to 2 hour) wake times?
    What do you think?

    1. Krista,
      Anything earlier than 7 is earlier than it was before so you are good, even if you can only do 10 minutes earlier. Just do what you can. 6 sounds plenty early.

      Both 1 and 2 are good ideas. With 1, I would try to have her start off her nap in her bed and either put her to in the swing right she wakes (so she doesn't fully wake up) or put her in the swing after she tries to fall back asleep but doesn't. You'll have to see what works best for her. With 2, there are some babies where extending will help a lot. But she is so overtired that I'd be surprised if 1.5 wasn't enough for her but some babies don't always follow the norm so it is worth checking out if other things haven't helped.

      Once you get kids out of the overtired cycle it can often make teaching them to sleep much easier. And the swing may or may not become a prop. It depends on the child. Maybe if you can use it short term to get her back to normal she'll be able to pop back to her old sleep habits with a few days work.

      It sounds like you know what you are doing ;) Just wish I could tell you for sure which thing will work the best but it isn't that simple.

  77. Hey Rachel,
    Thanks for the suggestions. Ironically, our swing broke yesterday, so that answers that delimma!
    I do think she is just so overtired (night wakings have worsened - just waking, talking and crying - lovely!) that her body is just going to biologically catch up at some point in time. So until then, we'll endure short naps, give her plenty of opportunities to sleep, and enjoy her! I will post an update whenever naps improve, so future readers will have something to reference! Wish us luck....and patience!

    1. Krista,
      Best of luck! You may want to have her sleep past the 3/4 hour mark if she ever does take a long nap to help her catch up. Some times holding to slep(if it works) for a few days works for some kids too--but it has potential to backfire of ourse. Thanks for keeping people updated!

  78. I have been looking over your site and am hoping for advice. This is my 4th baby but I still have so much trouble with sleep issues when they're young. My other 3 ended up being great sleepers at some point. 2 closer to a year or over and my 3rd at around 4-5 mo. So, this little one is 12 weeks. Usually I was wearing her in a sling almost constantly. She has been much more demanding than my boys. I HAD to wear her to get anything done. We also home school. Now she won't sleep like that, she really won't sleep well much of any where. Not in a bassinet, car seat, swing, bed. Sometimes at night I can get her to sleep for a few hours in a swing to get the house in relative order. We co-sleep at night, which I've always done for maybe 4-8 mo. I'm thinking she's definitely going through a milestone developmentally and/or growth spurt. Any advice? I know she's overtired,for sure. I'm not sure if this is the time for cio, she seems young. I've never done it this young. I really need to establish a better routine and a quite/dark sleep place but am feeling super bad that she's so overtired. Thanks!

    1. MG,
      Work on decreasing environmental stimulation (there are some posts under that on the nap index) to see if it helps with sleep. Look over the top sleep post. Try to keep good waketimes. I guess what I'm trying to say, is set her up for good sleep. She may be going through a developmental leap which is making sleep worse, but it may also be her age. Many babies at this age stop sleeping on the go--they need a semi-quiet, dark, private place to sleep or they'll stay away and want to take part in the action. Maybe wait it out a little bit more to get a better idea of what is going on before changing tons. If she seems like she may no longer sleep even with your help, your best bet might be helping her learn to sleep on her own. You don't need to do cio if you don't feel comfortable with it right now. Or you can even to the baby sleep solution cio (there's a post on it in sleep training) that has shorter cio periods. Take a look at the sleep training label too. You'll have to see what will work best for her and your family.

  79. Hello Rachel,
    I would greatly appreciate some advice regarding my 16week old.

    For a week now she refuses to take her 4th nap, screaming bloody murder, and so i am assuming that she has independently dropped this nap.

    The problem is that she is still on a 3hr EASY schedule (i EBF on demand approx every 3 hrs). Her 3rd nap of the day is only 45 mins (infact she always wakes after 45 mins, but for the other 2 i can soothe her to sleep another 45 mins).

    After this short nap she is super fussy. She wont play on her own, wants to be held otherwise cries. Come bed time and she is total mess.
    Do you have any advice on what i can do? How long will this last?

    p/s: bedtime btw 8:00-8:30, wakes up 7:00, nurses 2 or 3 times during the night, and uses a pacifier to soothe.

    1. Patty, you'll probably need to do a combination of having an early bedtime and doing some relaxing things during that time for a bit as her body adjusts. A walk in the stroller or putting her in a baby carrier with a pacifier will likely work well. Since she won't sleep, use this time to go out and get some air, or, if you can get her to not be too fussy, visit some friends.

      Also, ideally her bedtime should be about 12 hours after she wake in the morning. And if she's not taking that last nap of the day, it'll probably be even sooner.

  80. HI Rachel,
    Hoping you are still replying as I'd love some advice. We are having both nightime sleep and nap issues, and I'm assuming they are related. My daughter is now 16 weeks old, and at about 12 weeks, she went from 2 - 2 hour naps and one shorter a day, to 3-4 30 minute naps a day. She wakes up screaming and crying and impossible to get back to sleep. In the last few weeks, this seems to have started affecting her nightime sleep because she was getting close to only waking me once a night, and is now back to 3 times a night. (I feed her when she wakes at night).
    The short naps are making having a routine nearly impossible during the day, I can' figure out when to feed since she is up for an hour - hour and a half, then naps for 30 mins, and feel like we are tied to the house so that I can give her her best chance for a good nap.
    We put her to sleep (and nap) in her crib and awake, however we do use a pacifier, as she doesn't seem to know when to sleep without it (despite showing us sleep signals).
    Any advice on where to start? We have discussed sleep training (CIO) since she is over 14 lbs now and has given me over 7 hours at night before all this began, but we don't know if that will help with the daytime naps as well. Or if we should be doing the CIO at naptime and see if that corrects the nightime sleeps as well.

    Any advice is highly appreciated

  81. Rachel and fellow readers -
    I posted on her when my youngest daughter was in the heyday of her chronic cat napping last year. She took 30-20 minute naps, no matter what I did. She was fully sleep trained, but still took short, crappy naps. I kept leaving her in her crib 30 - 60 minutes (depending on the intensity of fussing - ha!) after each short nap. Around 8 months old, she finally just 'got it'. I quit listening intently to the monitor or peeking in her room (difficult to do with a 3 year old to take care of, anyway), so I don't know exactly when she started to actually sleep longer vs. just lying in her bed resting after her nap. No matter, she was more rested after nap time. I also put her down for a 3 naps more "by the clock" starting at 6 or 7 months, mostly for my sanity. It seemed to help her, too. She took 3 naps each day until she was 9 months old and had 1+ hour naps. This is totally different from my oldest daughter, who dropped to 2 naps (at least 1.5 hours each) a day at 6 months old. I did the same thing with my oldest and my youngest; just shows you each baby is hard wired differently!!
    My youngest daughter is now almost 15 months old, and she a good, long, and adaptable napper. She takes one long (2.5 hour+) nap, and I can put her down early or late in the afternoon, depending on what we've got going on.
    I hope this is encouraging for some of you mommas with short nappers!

    1. Thanks for sharing your success story Krista! Sometimes 'time' and practice is the main thing that helps with stubborn short naps. I hope she keeps up the good sleep!


  82. Hi Rachel,
    My LO is almost 3 months old and her naps are killing us both! The morning one is about 40 mins on the dot and the other 3-4 are around 30-40...it's like clockwork and I've tried the sleep to wake but to no avail. I staked out in her room and held her tummy when I knew she'd start stirring but it didn't help. I held her yesterday after this happened and she fell back to sleep for another hour which was great...but it didn't happen today when I tried. She is miserable when she wakes up from her 30 min naps and I can't even put her down bc she screams! Not sure what to do when I can't extend the naps since I have two other kids I need to worry about too. I hope these naps get a tad longer sooner than later and any suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you! Cathy

  83. Hello,

    Uhh..i digged the entire web to find answers for my 3 month old little boy who takes 30 minutes naps. I tried every non crying solution but nothing works. He wake up crying from the short nap and I cry with him because i don't know what to do. So, CIO remains the only solution?

  84. Our story is like that:

    About 6-8 weeks my LO started to take short naps (30 min). Our schedule is like that:

    wake up time - 730 to 9.30 (no later that 9.30 AM), on average around 8.30 AM

    them 1,5 h playing and eating

    get fussy and start shooting; falss asleep very quickly

    He wakes up afetr 30 minutes
    And the rest o f the day is limiar, 1,5 h awake, 30 minute sleept and so on. There are about 4 short naps

    Bed time starts at 7.45 PM, bath, eating and 20.30 falss asleep.

    Naps are the main issue; he wakes up everytime crying. I tried CIO but no mopre than 30 minutes and it didn't work :(

    What is wrong? is something with his schedule?

    If I try wake to sleep method to make the naps longer it will work to restore the naps or will become a habit for each nap?

    Thank a lot,


  85. Thank you Dr Ativie you are the best spell caster that i have ever seen in my life the spell you casted for me have work very perfectly my ex gorlfriend who live me for over 3week now is back and apologizing for me to come back to him that she is very sorry for the pain she cost me and i am so happy. Doctor your spell is nice and make me fill alive again i will keep sharing you good work all over the world about the good spell you cast for me to get Annabella back and i will also give your email address to everybody who is in need of help like you told me that you can cast a spell to bring ex back, Money spell, Protection spell, lotto spell, Good job spell, pregnant spell, Love spell, and many other spell you told me you can cast for me if i need them i hope you will find a place to help other so they can give testimonies like me Doctor Ativie please help others many people are having problem try to get help from people but they is nobody like you to help them solve there problem like you do Dr Ativie if anyone need the help of this nice man contact him via this email ativiehealingspellhome@gmail.com best regards to Dr your child Frank Silver from usa

  86. Hi Rachel,

    Things were going great with my 8 month old and this past week his naps have just tanked. A few things are going on that could be causing the problems but I still don't know what to do about it. I'm visiting my mom for a few weeks, so the change in sleep environment could be an issue, though it has not had an impact on his night sleep, except for some early morning wakings. He's also started pulling himself up using any vertical surface he can find. He dropped his third nap about three weeks ago but now I'm wondering if I need to bring it back? I'm feeling pretty worried about this, especially that this vacation is long enough to really mess with his sleep habits. I've read through all of the posts on naps and am wondering what I should try first. If he wakes after 45, should I just get him up? I have been trying gradual checks which have worked recently but this has not been effective lately. I am considering 20 mins of CIO to see if my presence was distracting, but iam skeptical. Wake to sleep makes me so nervous that he'll wake fully and then what should I do if he does? He was so tired today and I hate seeing him like this. I really want to help him push through this I'm just not sure how. I don't know how much effort I should put into extending a nap. He gets pretty pissed off pretty quickly and then it seems there is no recovering from that until he's up... And fed! I'm questioning if I even should have brought him on this trip but then I think that is silly, surely traveling with babies is fine for them, even if it's a long trip, right? Do you have any problem-solving techniques specific to being away from home?

    Thanks so much for your time!


  87. Hi Rachel,
    I was spoiled with an amazing sleeper in my first child. Now he's 2 years old and has a 3 month old brother who did not inherit the lovely, easy sleep of his older brother. My 3 month old will show me signs of tiredness in the morning about 1-1/5 hours after his first morning feed (typically 7:30am since he has been sleeping -- albeit swaddled -- from 7pm/7:30pm-about 7am, rarely waking up only if his arm has popped out of the swaddle). I put him in his crib (per his pediatrician's recommendation) and try to get him to sleep. He does not go down easily. He never cries, but he's very active, looking around, kicking his legs, arms all over the place. After about 5-10 min of this, I go in with a pacifier, and usually a small blanket because he likes to grab at things to calm himself down. He may take up to 30 min to fall asleep, then it's only for about 30-35 minutes. At next feeding (he's getting 6-6.5oz four times a day at the 3.5/four hour mark), he's falling asleep at the feeding because he's so tired. I usually keep him up just long enough so he can burp and digest a bit (was a heavy spitter-upper and is starting to calm that down now), the I try again the same strategies in his crib. The afternoon tends to be harder. If he gives me anything, it's again about 30 min. Then he's up again. I try for a late afternoon nap and am usually so stressed at this point (baby napping issues and dealing with a toddler), that I'll put him in a little chair (no vibration on, but have it reclined). He may give me about 20 min. I will put him on the play mat in the living room and he sometimes will pass out near bedtime because he's so exhausted. But that doesn't last too long, usually due to his active big brother. We have minimized noise when we try to put him down, we keep him active when he's up, darken the room, nothings seems to work. He also takes a long time to fall asleep in the stroller and will again only give about 30 minutes, if that. Really need some help, especially because per pediatrician's recommendation, I need to stop swaddling, and I'm worried that since that seems to be the only time he sleeps well, he will be a mess with not sleeping at night or in the day. Thanks in advance for your help!

  88. Hi Rachel and fellow parents,
    I'm so confised right now. My almost 10 month old is taking 15 to 30 min naps. I have her room dark and she gets up in the morning plays eats then nap. I try to keep it consistent, but with my mother watching her 3 to 4 days a week while I work I'm not sure if she does what I do. But that being said we aim to have a schedule. Its literally 30 mins. On the dot when she gets up. I have let her cry for maybe 5 or so mins to see if she will go back to sleep and she usually doesn't. She normally doesn't have a hard time getting to sleep we will either rock her or she falls asleep laying on you. When she does wake up from naps or middle of the night she is screaming and crying. The naps wouldn't bother me as bad if she got her needed rest at night. That's not the case. She wakes up 2 to 4 times everynight. Hungry most of the time. I have tried benedrly she still doesn't sleep thru the night. We have a bathtime at 8. By that time she is cranky. We haven't tried an early bath time because I'm kinda worried she will wake up even more in the night. I have searched but im i just dont know what to do. I would appreciate any help!

  89. Hi Rachel,

    My name's Shoba and I have 3.5 month old baby boy named Nathan.

    For almost three months I stayed with my parents post delivery. It was a nightmare! They wouldn't let me sleep train him, nor was he allowed to cry or be left alone to play and I had to permanently keep feeding him. It came to a point where I would feed him every hour even at 2.5 months.

    Now finally I've come back home. And we slowly started sleep training him with CIO. Three days of heart breaking crying and he slowly started to settle down. Then the three month growth spurt hit! Four days his routine was a mess. Then finally he got back to his three hour routine but from that day he wakes up 30-45 minutes into sleep. And first he whimpers and tries sucking his finger to put himself back to sleep but it just doesn't work and he starts howling.

    I've tried everything to help him sleep. Tried feeding him, patting him, picking him up and walking with him, keeping him up longer, not keeping him up too long, even tried holding him down so he doesn't jerk and wake himself. Nothing worked!! Finally we got a swing, put him on that, rocked him and he sleeps in 15-30 minutes.

    Right now that's the only thing that helps him sleep after his 45 intruder kicks in. And now he cries all the time, any time I put him down he cries! He's confused the poor child coz sometimes he's rocked and other times he's just put in the crib.

    Is there any other way to help him? I'm so confused! And exhausted all the time. So now a days I just put him on the swing. I'm thinking that I'll let him sleep on the swing until he's able to put himself to sleep on his own and then start the CIO all over again! I feel helpless!

    Is there anything else I can do? Please help!

    1. Shobs,
      I think it is fine to use the swing to extend sleep right now. Often babies have much better luck extending naps when they get closer to the 6 month mark. He may do it on his own, or some sleep training for a few days at a later time may help him get to that point.

      Good luck!

  90. My 10wo is a great night sleeper (9-10hrs avg, last night 11hrs!) but takes horrible naps. He gets very cranky around 1hr if waketime but is hard to get to sleep it stay asleep. Should I expect short naps due to the long stretches of sleep at night? I was trying to do eat/wake/sleep but he often doesn't sleep quite to the next feeding

    1. Jo,
      Short naps are pretty common at this age. Time and working at them (baby learning to fall asleep on own well and learning to fall asleep during transition well) helps. Make sure to glance at the nap extending post.

    2. I am having similar issue with my 8.5 week old not sleeping till the next feeding. What can I do to keep him on the 3 hour schedule when he is up 30-45 min beforehand? Is it okay to change the schedule back to a 2.5 hour one as needed? Or will the change in feeding times (from 7, 10, 1 and 4) to other times mess him up otherwise?

    3. Keithlynn,
      Adjust things as needed, either having some 2.5 hour periods and some 3.5 hour periods or by feeding him 30 minutes after he gets up (if he's ok with this) if he'll often sleep longer the next sleep period. The 3 hour routine is just approximate. Some babies follow it easily while other babies vary quite a bit more at this age and become more predictable and follow a route closer as they get older. So keep the idea of a routine AND your babies patterns in mind with feeds and naps. Good luck!!

  91. Thanks for your response! So if I play with him 30 min before I feed that means just a few minutes of wake time before I put him down for another nap. Will that make for problems in the future with E/W/S as his routine gets more predictable?

    1. Keithlynn,
      It shouldn't cause issues if he's up for a few minutes before s feed. If he consistently takes a short nap during the next period that would put feeds even closer together so you'd probably want to drop the entire or part of the routine to 2.5 or change the ews patterns around. The most important key is to not have him eat to sleep with this pattern.

  92. Rachel,
    My daughter is 5.5 weeks old and will not nap in her crib! She cried if I put her down ever since we brought her home from the hospital so I have gotten in the habit of nursing/rocking her to sleep, but then after I put her down she wakes up between 5-30 minutes later. She sleeps for longer stretches in her crib at night, but during the day it never happens. I think her problem is the change of environment as you wrote about, but she is too young to do CIO. I swaddle her, her room is dim, I keep a fan going for white noise, and it's still a problem. She then gets over tired very quickly, and gets very grouchy! Should I hold her for all naps until I can sleep train her? Or should I keep trying the crib, hoping she'll start to get it?

    1. unknown,
      take a look at the newborn sleep guide for some ideas of what to do outside of just holding or cio. At this age, you want to work towards having her learn to sleep on her own, but it is more important that she gets good sleep--so sleeping on her own may only happen a little with some babies.

  93. Your blog has helped so much the last 9.5mths! Thanks! About a month ago my DD begun to drop to 2 day sleeps however she then begun to teeth which sent her back to 3 sleeps, catnaps 30mins-1hr, and a loss of routine. Im at a loss as to what to do to help reestablish 1 a routine and 2 longer day naps. She sleeps relatively well at night 6-6 waking once around 4am. Ive tried extending her awake times, I've tried just following her cues (having at home days so she isn't being disrupted) I've tried resettling her after she wakes (however she is very content to just play in her cot for up to 1.5hrs before she'll go back to sleep). Help Ive run out of things to try and not coping with the unpredictable grizzly days....

  94. This comment has been removed by the author.

  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

  96. Hi,

    I've been struggling with my baby's sleep schedule for as long as he was born. He's extremely fussy, now at 6.5 months it's getting a little better but it's been a hard road.
    Like many people commented over here, he only naps for 20 minutes, sometimes 30 and on rare occasions 40 minutes. He wakes up and whines/cries rubs his eyes and yawns, which makes me think he didn't get enough sleep, but there is no way to extend the nap. I got excited when I read someone tried waiting 15 minutes and then their baby slept for 90 more minutes, but it didn't work for me. I even tried the "crib hour". Nothing. When he was 2-3 months old I would lay down next to him and give him my pinky (never ever took a pacifier) and he would sleep an extra hour. Every time I think I have it figured out, there is a change and the "tricks" won't work anymore.
    I'm really desperate, exhausted and also tired of other parents judging me because it's obviously me who's doing something wrong (according to them, Judgy Mc Judgersons).
    The other thing is, we're traveling overseas so that my family can meet him for the first time (yes, did I mention I'm completely alone for 11 hours a day with a tired cranky baby?) and I'm beyond scared of what the time difference is gonna do to him. The plane travel and the stay there is scary but I know when it will start and end. What terrifies me is when we come back, his schedule might completely turn upside down. Not that it's a great one now, but he sleeps for a good 6 hours at night. He even slept for 9 hours once. I even considered not going, but my mum is paralyzed from the neck down and cannot travel at all. The only thing she ever wanted was a grand child, and now that she finally has one, he's 7000 miles away. Sometimes I think I shouldn't even worry about trying to "work" on his schedule now, since it will be thrown out the window in 2 months, but it's so hard seeing him so unhappy and in need of rest but unable to fall back asleep.
    Weirdly enough his naps before were almost always 45 minutes, which I read is a sleep cycle at their age, and that he was having trouble transitioning into the next one. That it would get better in time, especially after eating solids (he had extreme colic). I am still breastfeeding on demand on top of adding 5 tbsp of vegetables and fruits daily. He will be 7 months on August 8th and his sleep is worse than it's ever been.
    Please, what can I do?

    PS: Forgive my English, it's not my first language.

  97. Hi Rachel, what a great site you have! I have a quick question for you. My 3 1/2 month old son is taking really short naps. They range from 30 to 45 minutes. Given his schedule, he wakes up at 6:45 AM and he normally wakes from his third nap at 2:30 PM. The sweet spot for him seems to be two hours of a wait time. I tried putting him down earlier than that and he's normally wide-awake in the crib and just cries. I have tried to keep him up after 230 with the goal of having an earlier bedtime at 530 but that extra hour he struggles with. My question is, should I put him down for another nap at 4:30 and then wake him up from that nap 30 or 40 minutes later? So that we can have a normal bedtime routine at seven? Or should I put him down for a nap at 4:30, and just let him sleep until he's finished and then start our normal bedtime routine after that? I'm not sure what's more important, him not being woken up from sleep or a consistent bedtime routine at the same time. Thanks so much!

  98. Thank you again for your blog! I definitely refer to it often. My daughter is almost 7 months old. I have been struggling with short naps with her and was hoping they would improve by now. The strange thing is that sometimes her naps are short and sometimes they are long, and I cannot figure out why there is such inconsistency. It has been this way from the beginning. Currently we are on a three nap schedule and usually one out of the three naps is long (an hour to an hour and a half) and the others are a half hour. Sometimes it is the first nap, sometimes the second nap, and sometimes it is the third nap that is long. Then there are days where each one is a half hour. I have tried wake to sleep, different wake times, different pre sleep routines, and made her room darker and lighter. She does have a lovie, and we use a sound machine. When she was younger she would sometimes go back to sleep when she woke up early but even if I leave her in her crib now she usually just plays until I get her. Do you have any suggestions or any ideas on why there is such inconsistency? Thank you so much!!!!

  99. I think something is wrong with my baby... but he doesn't seem sick at all. He is a very nice baby when he is awake. he will be 7 weeks tomorrow. But when I try to put him down to sleep, he just fights and cries. I read about a pre-sleep routine and have been trying to do what I can. I don't swaddle because it's so hot here. He even sleeps with a fan almost all of the time, and you can still feel the heat. He sweats a lot. so I don't swaddle, but I tell him a story, play background music, and sing to him. As soon as he hears the singing, he seems to understand it is time to sleep and he starts crying. I can't sit still because he is fighting so hard, so I try to rock him to sleep, but he won't stop crying for a long time. What I do sometimes, is walk outside, in the yard, then he falls asleep. But sometimes he wakes as soon as I enter the room. Some times he will stay asleep on me, but when I put him down, 1 or 2 minutes later, he will wake up and start crying. Today I tried since 7;50 and he didn't go to sleep until 11:15. He went to sleep about three times, but he woke up about 1 or 2 minutes later, and one time, about 15 minutes later.

    I have been trying hard to establish a good routine, and have structure, but with this problem, everything is out of control. He was sleeping pretty good, but about a week ago, he started with this problem. Still, it seems it hasn't affected his nightime sleep very much. He is still sleeping pretty good. If he tries to stay up after his feed in the middle of the night, it's usually not hard to put him back to sleep. I play some music, rock him a bit, put him down, some times he goes to sleep easy, some times he will cry a little, but not for so long and he goes back to sleep. But no way to do this during the day. What am I doing wrong? He's been taking about two naps in the day, and sometimes, one of them is a 45-minute one. It isn't uncommon for me to try half of the day to make him go to sleep one nap.

    My mom says some children don't nap very much, but I am afraid this wouldn't be good for him, or if I take that assumption, then I would fall in the demand type, letting him decide everything... without a structure...

    For some time, it was very hard to wake him so he would stay on schedule with his feedings. And now it's hard to get him to sleep and have him stay asleep. But I've tried to have a consistent routine... I don't know what's wrong!

  100. P.S. I am trying to start his pre-sleep routine at 50 minutes after he wakes up... but he does have a problem. He is on formula and I strive to give him a full feeding of 4 ounces. Sometimes he is very active and he will drink the 4 ounces really fast. Sometimes he wants more and I have to give him one extra ounce. Which I don't like, but he doesn't seem satisfied some times, especially, at night. But some times, he sucks vigorously one ounce, and then it seems like he is only playing with the bottle tip. Some times it takes him about 1 hour to drink the 4 ounces. So I try to keep him awake a bit more. And so he goes off the routine.

    Also, some times, he is like half asleep while he eats... does this time count as wake time? Some times he is wide awake until I change his diaper and take him outside.

    I would appreciate your input on this! Thank you! your site is a great help!

  101. Hello, is this blog still working? A.

  102. Hello, is this blog still working? A.

  103. My 18 week old sleeps well at night (in crib between 6 & 6:30pm, wakes once to eat around 12:30, sleeps till 4:30 but babbles back to sleep, then up for the day between 6 & 6:30am). I'm trying to get him on a daytime 3 nap schedule but he only naps for 45 mins on the dot so he ends up taking 5 naps as his wake time is about 1.5 hours... his room is super dark and he sleeps with white noise, I play soft music for him to fall asleep to so I've been starting it up at 35 mins hoping to aid his sleep cycle transition but it's not working... sarah

  104. Hello! I am desperate for help getting my 10 week old to nap! Right now he wakes up at 20 minutes exactly after every time I get him to sleep. I will let him sit after waking up for 5 minutes and he will not go back to sleep. Rarely am I able to get him back to sleep after waking. He will sleep great on people though. He does not do well getting himself to sleep, crying doesn't seem to work, and he will not take a paci. He is always over tired because he doesn't sleep, so he screams before each nap. I just dont know what to do. He sleeps much better at night time, thank goodness. Do you have any suggestions?

  105. My LO is 30 days old, and is having an extrmely hard time sleeping day and night (especially during the day). I have been trying to establish a consistent wake up time at 730 and follow E/W/S but establishing a feeding schedule (solely on formula) apart from wake time has been impossible. He’s been feeding every 1.5-2.5 hours, and will have one 3 hr period during the day. During the day now he pretty much can’t fall asleep unless he has a pacifier. I tried (and keep trying) many different methods including 4s, gentle CIO, shorter wake time, shush pat, rocking, walking, etc., and nothing seems to soothe him enough to fall asleep. Then of course he gets hungry faster because he’s been awake. How can I help him to go to sleep without creating a bad habit?
    Also, he keeps waking up during the night and is extremely fussy, needing to be in my arms or a pacifier to fall asleep (even when he isn’t going through growth spurt)
    Any advice is appreciated!