Back to Basics

So it’s been 2 weeks since I returned to office on a 3 day work week. Nat has also been shuttling between our house and my mom’s place. Thankfully, he still sleeps throughout until 6am, functioning as both our alarm clocks. However, we noted that it’s been quite hard getting him to nap for long periods in the day (>1.5hrs). I’m not exactly sure why but the last thing I need is for his day time naps to affect his night time sleep then we’re doomed. We also noticed that he has taken to love sleeping on his tummy, in a crawling position?? Weirdo. 

So on the issue of nap patterns,  this article summarizes some reasons why naps can’t last for longer than an hour. 

Just up till a week ago, Nat sleeps the longest for his 1st and 2nd nap (usually between 1.5 – 2 hours each time). 

His 3rd and last nap is usually under an hour, between 4-5pm, just before his evening purée. 

Currently, on the days I go into office, he clocks 1hr for his 1st nap, wakes up around 915am and doesn’t want to go back to sleep. By extension, his subsequent naps are brought forward because he can’t and should not stay awake for more than 2.5hrs between naps. 

I also noticed that this does not really happen on the days I am at home in the morning. Usually I’ll let him nap on my bed next to me and he is able to snooze from 8-10am. Sigh… so perhaps, the change in the morning environment (going to my mom’s place or sleeping in his crib at home) plays some role? I’m not too sure. 

Then as I was reading the article, I realized that we have allowed Nat to form certain sleep associations, just by the sheer effectiveness of some of them. 

Sleep Associations – it is the number one reason that a baby will take short naps. If a child is needing to be bounced/rocked/nursed to sleep then when baby wakes up after his first sleep cycle (which is approximately 45-50 minutes long) he will need those same conditions to fall back asleep.  

For Nat, he sleeps the fastest when we smack/pat him to sleep. No bouncing, rocking or nursing. Just firm pats to his butt always does the trick. He has also taken to sucking his thumb/fingers to self-soothe, of which we always try to take them out. 

So could his nap changes be partly attributed to the effects of sleep associations? I am not sure. 

I’ll wait till this weekend and experiment – as to whether Nat really naps longer for his 1st morning nap because he’s snoozing on my bed next to me? 

I won’t label this as a sleep regression episode because he is still able to sleep through most of the night after his last 10pm feed. As and when he’s not able to sleep at 8pm, it is also usually because he’s peckish and wants milk i.e. maybe a growth spurt? 

This is all quite puzzling. Let’s not even talk about the transition from 3 to 2 naps. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. 

– CK 


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