A.S. asks from Dallas, TX on March 12, 2009
Should I Wake My 9 Month Old from Naps?
My 9 month old son has always been on a schedule, and he has always been a good napper (takes long consistent naps). When he got a little older (around 6 months), I started following the recommended sleep schedule in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. He woke on his own around 6:30, morning nap around 9:00 and afternoon nap around 2:00 (he dropped the third nap around 6 or 7 months) . His afternoon nap progressively got later until he was going down at 3:00 (the book says it should be no later than 3:00). But just this week, his morning nap has gotten later beginning around 10:00/10:30 and sleeping until noon. If I let him sleep until noon, it doesn't leave enough time for the afternoon nap (he then goes down around 4:00 falling asleep at 4:30, and I have to wake him around 5:00 in order to get him to bed by 7:30/8:00). So I'm struggling with "do I wake him from his morning at 11:00/11:30, so he can get a good afternoon nap"? It seems like I should because his napping so late is completely throwing the whole day off. St this moment, it's 5:15pm, and he's sleeping soundly (fell asleep at 4:30) but I really need to wake him. Has anyone dealt with this, and have any advice? By the way, I'm not sure if this is just related to the time change since we just started daylight savings. Its seems like it is, but I put him to bed an hour early the other night, and he still slept a little later than usual in the morning. If anyone can follow this convoluted mess, please help!!
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for everyone's advice and reassurance. I think the root of our problem was the time change. My son has been sleeping about an hour later in the morning (although I was putting him to bed at the same time as usual), and mommy was enjoying the extra sleep. This morning I woke him at 6:30, and our day has been great. Naps at 9am and 2pm. It really helps to hear from experienced moms and what has worked for all of you. You read the books but just don't know what's right or if it works like they say it does. So thanks again for your help!
T.M. answers from Dallas on March 16, 2009
Maybe try to see if you can delay his morning nap until around 11:30 and see if he will just take one long nap in the afternoon. Both of my children switched to one long nap a day around 10-11 mos. Hope this helps!
S.J. answers from Dallas on March 14, 2009
i have @ 11 m/o twinboys & they've done the same thing. I'd let him sleep & when he wakes he can eat, have bath & bottle, play & bed again w/in 1.5 hrs. hope this helps! have a great w/e
M.M. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2009
Z.Z. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2009
Our son takes two naps and the timing of those usually runs around 10:30-11am for the first nap and back down in the afternoon from 4pm til 5:30 or 6pm (usually his afternoon nap lasts for an hour and a half). He goes to bed every night at 8pm. We don't have any problems with him not wanting to go to bed at night from the afternoon nap. He is now 17 months old and has been on this schedule for months now. I'm sure every child is different but have you tried letting him sleep til 5:30 or 6pm and seeing if he will still go to bed around 8pm? Babies tend to adjust well to schedules so hopefully he will get used to this routine. =-)
R.W. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2009
The same thing happened with our daughter around the time she turned 9 months. I had to start waking her up earlier in the morning so that her morning nap would be earlier. That sort of shifted the whole schedule for the day a little earlier. I only woke her up about 30 mins earlier in the mornings but that seemed to do the trick for us. If we have a day that she doesn't wake up at the earlier time, then I do wake her up in the afternoon so that she doesn't nap past 5:30p.
K.H. answers from Dallas on March 12, 2009
I have a 13 month old son that follows a similar schedule. I think he was around 11 months when he was doing the same thing - not wanting to go down until 10 and then wouldn't take an afternoon nap. Everyone told me that he was just cutting out the afternoon nap, but he would be so cranky without it. I too have Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and I felt it reminded me that I was putting him down too late in the morning. I was still rocking him to sleep - I couldn't bare to let him cry it out, and he would not go to sleep at 9am for me anymore! So, I decided to do the unthinkable - one evening, with my husband's help, I let him cry it out. He cried for about an hour with us going and laying him back down, and patting him about every 15 minutes. Then, the next day, I had to do it myself with naps. He didn't cry very long, and then didn't make a peep that evening. He is so good at putting himself to sleep!
Once I got that set, I started putting him back down at 9am. He would play in his crib for about 10 minutes and then go on to sleep, waking at 10:30ish, and go back down at 2pm. He still does this and is very happy.
I'm not sure if you rock your child to sleep of he puts himself to sleep, I was just thinking maybe you rock him since he is determining when he naps...that's the way my child was. But - he is SO SO much happier putting himself to sleep and following the 2 nap schedule at 9am and 2pm.
Daylight savings does complicate things. I would keep working with him, but 10am is probably way too late to still be having an afternoon nap.
Hope it gets better!
G.A. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2009
I have a home day care and it is strange but my youngest children seem to drop about 10-11. They usually sleep while I am making lunch. Some sleep while the kids are all eating. But I have woken them about 11:30 then after lunch may let them play a little while before putting them down for afternoon nap. I would not let kids sleep past 4pm. Most by the time I change diapers and get mats out it is about 1pm and they usually sleep anywhere from 2:30-4. Most will sleep until about 3:30. It seems most wear out in 3-4 hours want snack or a meal and play another 3-4 hours. I called some centers that feed their children at 11am nap after and they will turn on the lights at 2:30 to wake them up. I do not by what I do like that. I have a light breakfast at 8 or when kids come after we have a snack at 10. Then play until lunch at 12. By 12:30 we are done with lunch and takes time to get out mats and change diapers. I find if they wait a little those dirty diapers are taken care of before nap and they sleep longer. By about 5:00-6:00 they are really ready to go home be fed and bed. I would let him sleep from 10 until about 11:30 the latest then lunch play time and nap by 1pm But they really do chose their own schedules. My son years ago would fall asleep about 4 in the after noon. The doctor said that was his time and was fine. I have kids who may just fall asleep playing their energy runs out and when it is out they are done. So try different things to see what works for you but nice to have a napper. By the time I get breakfast for 6 and snack and change diapers for all of them I am exhausted by nap time. I need my nap and here and there there will be one that will not go to sleep. Seems Mondays they are all crabby and need naps. You are doing a great job and enjoy God's wonderful gift of children. God Bless G. W
E.M. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2009
The first year can be a little rough sometimes. My son is a napper and during his first year putting him to bed by 8pm would have been impossible. He would wake at 7am, nap by 11am, wake at 1pm, and then would be ready for another nap at around 4pm. Needless to say, he did not get sleepy until about 9:30pm. It changes though and gets better. We were never really on a "set" schedule until he turned about 15 months. Now he is in bed by 8:30 every night. I always let my son nap as long as he wanted, but I did always make sure to wake him up no later than 7AM. That kept him on somewhat of a schedule. Do what is best for you and don't worry, it gets easier.
D.M. answers from Dallas on March 13, 2009
he just hasn't adjusted to the time change
as far as he's concerned he's still on schedule
J.H. answers from Amarillo on March 13, 2009
I always hated to wake my children from naps, but in your circumstances I'd wake him from the morning one and let him lunch by 11 or 11:30 and I think he would go to his afternoon nap by at least 2:30 if not before that way.. You sure don't want to mess up the night time, or it would affect your whole family. Seems like they get too cranky at this age without the afternoon one, but I think waking from the morning one would do the trick. Hope this works out.