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Naps Too Short

naps too short

My daughter is almost 11 months old and has never been a good napper.  We put her down for a nap 2X/day around 10 and 2 (depending on her wake time.)  She puts herself to sleep fairly easily within 5 minutes (no soother) but only sleeps for 30 minutes and wakes up. She literally goes from sound asleep to wide awake at the 30 minute mark. It is very difficult and almost impossible for her to go back to sleep after that unless I go in and rock her to sleep and sometimes this doesn’t work. I know that she needs more than a 30 minute nap because she awakens crying and fussy. How do I get her to take longer naps so that she isnt tired all the time.

Sounds like you are doing many of the right things. I agree you must let her fall asleep on her own to get “good” naps. Make sure the room is dark and the house is quiet.

Try to get her outside prior to napping and change to a single nap. Get her outside for 30 minutes, feed her an early lunch and try to put her down about 11AM.

Unfortunately, some children are just not good nappers. Naps are not required. It is only nighttime sleep that is essential for physical and mental health. (Though naps seems good for my mental health.)

Follow up (3 months later - 14 months)

We are still having nap and sleep issues (my daughter is 14 months). For a while there she was doing well with naps  and was starting to extend her naps to 45 min-1hr twice a day. But the past month we have regressed. Not only are her naps getting shorter again, but now she is crying and not putting herself to sleep. I have tried going to one nap a day but she doesn't sleep longer.  I think a lot of her problem is that she is constantly sick and has recurrent ear infections. So I tend to worry about letting her cry it out if I think she is in pain or not feeling well. My husband and I are very frustrated at this point and are ready for Super Nanny to come to our house. We are expecting our second baby in the fall and hope to get some kinks worked out before the next baby comes.

Follow up (6 months later - 17 months)

Naps are still a fight everyday. Somedays she cries and never goes down, other days she will go to sleep fairly quick but still only sleeps 45 min max. When she wakes up she is crying and upset for at least 20 min before calming down.  I don't know what to do at this point, have tried everything. She is definitely not getting enough sleep though. Very frustrating.

I am out of suggestions. If you have any ideas to help I have posted this as a facebook discussion. short naps not improving

Read all nap related questions - naps


Originally written December, 2010
follow up posted March 2011
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician







gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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