97 answers

45 Minute Intruder

Hi there - I have an awesome new baby who is 12 weeks old (3 months next week). She's doing very well with sleep at night, but she will only nap for 45 minutes at a time during the day. The routine is 45 minutes of sleep, awake for a hour and a half. she feeds every 3.5 to 4 hours, as we're trying to get her on a regular schedule. I know she should be sleeping 1.5 to 2.5 hours every 4 hours (as per the babywise method) but the naps are 45 minutes on the nose. I've tried to settle her in the crib - not for very long - but she is wide awake and ready to play after 45 minutes. So I let her get up, we play, and within an hour and a half she's sleepy again.
I'm inclined to think this is OK, because she is a happy baby and a good night sleeper, but I keep hearing that it's not enough day sleep (it works out to around 4 hours of napping a day). Did anyone else have this problem and how did you deal with it. Should I really be worried at all? The only real problem is that it's hard for me to get much done because her naps are so short. Thanks!!

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So What Happened?™

thanks everyone for your advice. i'm relieved to know i'm not the only one who has encountered this problem, and it sounds like it's not much of a problem at all. i'll just keep doing what i'm doing and see how her sleep patterns evolve.

Featured Answers

My son did the exact same thing. It drove me crazy because it didn't give me enough time to do anything around the house or for myself. Trying to chane it was a huge and futile exercise in frustration. I had also been following the Baby Wise method. He just grew out of it on his own and eventually settled into 2 longer naps a day at around 5 months. Good luck.

Hi, I'm a single mother of a 3yr old little girl, and I never listened to all those baby sleep methods. Even when I learned other babies wake up at 6am every day and crau sh in the evening. I'm a night owl, and my daughter is too. But I'd say as long as she's healthy and happy she's doing fine, I think the settling into regular rhythms of night and day sleep and not napping is when she is older, for now, you are doing great, and if you need to adapt her rhythms at all try gradually waking her up from certain naps earlier and let her sleep later for other. You'll be more tired if that's at all possible, but have hope, someday you will catch up on sleep. Just not this week. take care.. S.

Thank the lord that her sleep is great at night!!!! You can still get stuff done while she is awake, you will just be interrupted more. It is actually pretty cool that you can go grocery shopping without having to wait for her to wake up. I wouldn't push it, if she is sleeping well at night THAT IS SO HUGE!!!!!

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Hiya, I'm in the same boat with my 10-week old. He sleeps like a champion at night but is very alert during the day and fights going to sleep. Initially I just accepted that he would not sleep during the day -- at all, not even 10 minutes -- but when he started getting bags under his eyes, I thought I should keep trying to get him to sleep! A friend gave me Harvey Karp's video (http://www.thehappiestbaby.com/), and I have managed to get him down pretty successfully using some of his techniques. However, I am thrilled if he sleeps 45 minutes, because for the first 6 weeks or so he got almost no sleep during the day, which certainly wasn't god.

Since using the Karp techniques, I am much better at settling him, but rarely does he sleep more than 45 mins -- sometimes only 20 or 30. Once he slept about 2.5 hours, but I have not seen a repeat performance of that at all. Sometimes he sleeps at the breast or on a walk.

Like yours, mine seems quite happy and healthy, so I am not terribly worried. I'd be interested in others' take on this.

1 mom found this helpful

We had the same problem with our son. He just did not want to nap. If she is happy and thriving then don't worry too much. My son is now 9 months and he still doesn't nap very well but sleeps all night. I think it is better for mom to sleep all night.

Hey there,

We are having the same issue at present. Our baby is 2.5 months and slept for only 45 minutes at a time during the day as well. She sleeps pretty good at night with only one middle of the night feeding and wakes in the morning anywhere from 5:30-7:00 a.m.. She was not a happy baby during the day with her 45 minute naps. She would wake out of the nap crying and I would assume she was hungry so I would go get her. She was initially interested in the bottle, but only for a few minutes and would never even take a half feeding. Now that I have learned of the 45 minute intruder we wait it out for 5-15 minutes. She usually settles herself back into sleep, and is a much happier baby during the day now when she is awake. I can totally relate to the frustration. I too could not get one thing done during the day.

Hi, A.. I just wanted to let you know that my baby who is now 9 months old did the same thing when he was that young and even now. He's just not a big napper. He would do 45 minutes here, 20 minutes there, etc. but otherwise he was happy, he seemed energized and ready to go. Other mommies also were concerned because he wasn't sleeping the 18 hours their babies were sleeping but I asked my doctor and a dula and experienced mom of 8 and they say that it's fine. As long as he is getting some naps and doesn't seem cranky or tired from not getting enough sleep, to not worry about it. Some kids just don't need that much sleep. Which is exactly like his dad. I have a hard time understanding this, because it seems like I can never get enough sleep (even before baby) but my husband can be fine w/ 6-7 hours of sleep. :) I say all this because just as adults, kids are all different. I have other mommy friends that their baby's are sleeping 12 hours a night, and that has never happened w/ mine. He sleeps 9-10 hours a night max. and takes a couple of naps during the day. ANyway, sorry to go on and on but I just wanted to let you know that it sounds like your little one is just fine. Take care and God bless!

each child is different some at that age only sleep all day and are up all night as long as she is sleeping all night i would not worry. if she started to be awake durring the night then she would not be getting enough sleep. you can also try to put lullaby tapes in her room.

My 1 year old son - identical pattern! and to this day, he may go up to 60 minutes, but that is rare. Just realize, all kids are different - and plan accordingly.

I see you got a lot of responses so I am hesitant to reply. However I just have to tell you that I have a friend's whose baby does the exact same thing! Between the two of us, we have read every book and tried evey sleep method that was mentioned in the below responses. I did read one book (the Sleep easy Solution) that said, it doesn't matter what your baby naps as long as they are happy and playful during the day. I just want you to be aware that you may try all these new "sleep training" methods and realize that after months of frustrations and trying... none of them work. Your baby, if she is happy during the day, is probably just a short napper. :)

I truly believe that every baby (just like every person) is beautifully unique! You shouldn't be worried at all...just see it as a blessing that your baby wants to hang out with you so much! ;)


We had the same challenge. Somewhere around 5-6 months our daughter finally started to take 2, 2 hour naps instead of the 3 - 45 min. ones. Our dr. said as long as she seems happy and acts as if she has had enough sleep it was fine. Not all babies sleep like it says in "the books". Use your "mommy gut". I loved baby wise too but not everything is going to be the same or work for your baby and you can really make yourself nuts over it. She will be sleeping longer before you know it. hope this helps. J. M.

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