Nat has returned to sleeping till 7am for the past 2 nights, hopefully his early awakening remains just a phase that has passed. Actually there was a blindspot – too short waketime in the morning, which our friend then advised us to try and put him down to nap later around 830/845am. Nat’s length for his 3 naps were also in the incorrect order, with his last one being the longest, that affected night sleep. I am just so glad that we’re not alone in trying to understand baby sleep and how everything is connected (naps, waketime, feeding etc.)
So now that we’re back in business to having a continuous night’s rest… I was able to consolidate some thoughts based on the past 2 days of experimentation.
- By right, for a 5-6 month old baby, they should be able to have 2.5 hours of waketime before the next nap. Nat is able to do this in the day except after his first feed at 645/7am. We would let him fall back to sleep right after his feed so while the other waketimes were being stretched, his early morning one was stagnant.
- As such, I’ve started engaging him by reading books and playing music between 715-830am before letting him go down for a nap.
- By extension of no. 1, his nap times will be pushed back a bit and by right, the first two naps are supposed to be longer than the final 3rd one.
- However, Nat’s mid-day nap is always the shortest except on Friday where he napped from 1230-115pm. This was much later and longer than usual. Perhaps, his body is also naturally adjusting?
- So say he wakes up at 10/1030am, his 2nd nap should be 1230/1pm followed by his last nap at 3/330pm. Then the length of his last nap is supposed to be the shortest since it is a bridging nap to evening bedtime.
- However, not all babies go according to plan and when I experimented, Nat still snoozed the shortest for his 2nd nap (we were out at a family lunch) before clocking 1h55mins for his 3rd nap. Thankfully he woke up naturally before 5pm, if not I would have had to do what I am reluctant to, which is to wake him up.
- I guess for now, especially on days we have lunch appointments, I am okay with his mid-day nap still being shorter as long as his total day time sleep does not exceed 4/4.5 hours.
Never wake a sleeping baby?
MYTH. Debunked here.
I am aware of this and have roused Nat from his sleep by 530pm a few times before because if he’s allowed to nap beyond that, he won’t be tired at 8pm and night sleep will be compromised.
Of course now the challenge is to explain this to my mom and helper who will be his main caretakers when I return to office in mid-May. At most, there may be a bit of inconsistency but at least I will be the key person enforcing his routine 4 days a week when I’m not in office.
My principle is as such – there are certain times when it is legit and necessary to wake a sleeping baby. I also certainly don’t want to compromise night sleep or deal with repeated early awakenings. So as peaceful as Nat’s face may look when he’s napping, when I have to rouse him, I have to rouse him.
I also know some babies have greater sleep needs so for Nat, so I’ve included some flexible leeway. For example, while experts recommend no more than 3-4 hours of day time sleep for babies at 5 months, ill cap his at maybe 4.5 hours? So depending on the time he goes down to nap for his final one, 530pm is my current absolute deadline.
Sigh… so complex but necessary to understand and experiment.
Hoping next week will continue to be fairly stable 🙂