My little daytime insomniac...

Maybe you kind folks can help me...

Collen is a terrible napper. Terrible. Today, for example, I think he napped all of 1.5 hours....most of which were either in our bed next to me (our morning nap) or in my arms in the rocking chair.

Something's gotta give.

For a few weeks, I had Collen buying into napping in his pac'n play, which is also where he sleeps at night. I wanted him to associate his bed with sleeping. This worked until he changed his napping routine.

Typically, he gets up around 6:30 in the morning after going down around 8pm the night before. So, that's a total of about 10 hours of sleep...give or take. At 6:30, I change him, nurse him, then he goes back to sleep until about 8:30 or 9, then he's up for the day. Normally, this "nap" takes place in our bed since Jeremy has gotten up and left for work (I know....I probably need to put him back in his bed....but I do love this time with him.) After this, he's up and it's either time for a little play time or time to eat. I try to feed him his solids first because he eats those better when he's hungry, so he gets some applesauce with rice cereal or bananas...or some other fruit of sorts. Then, I give him his bottle, and we're good to go. Typically, he'll take another nap around 11ish, which could last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours....if I want to achieve a long nap, I have to lay down with him....the entire time, which is getting old. I used to be able to lay him down, sleepy, in his bed, and he'd take a good one hour - two hour nap. His afternoon nap falls anywhere from 2pm - 5pm....he's never predictable....and I'm left most days on-edge just waiting for the cues, knowing he has to be getting sleepy because he's cranky and irritable.

The past few days have not been very fun. :(

He has been so fussy. Yesterday, he cried for an hour straight....inconsolably. He was fed, changed, comfortable, and he was sleepy, but he fought me all day long.

I'm lucky, most days, to get him to nap a total of 2 hours all day long. A child his age should be getting 13-16 hours of sleep a day. He just barely gets the minimum. This results in a tired, cranky baby and a strung-out, frazzled Mommy who just needs her child to sleep so she can regroup. My "me" time consists of the 5 minutes I get in the shower (if he'll allow even that!). He's also seeming to have some separation anxiety, too. He won't let me out of his sight. He'll play fine in his exersaucer or jumper for about 10-15 minutes, but then when I come into view....oh no....he insists that I pick him up....but then that gets old after a little while. He must constantly be entertained (he's just like me....oh, dear...) and he does not play well alone.

I'm not complaining at all. I know this comes with being a stay-at-home mom. He's going to be fussy, irritable, clingy, etc. I expected all of that. What I didn't expect was to have a daytime insomniac resulting in a very unhappy baby for the greater part of every day. He can be such a happy child, and I hate that he's spending so much of his time upset because he's tired but will not give in and take a good nap.

I try simulating bedtime as much as possible. I lay him down sleepy, turn the white noise on, give him his paci, and walk away. This works like a charm at night, and it was working well during the day until now. I'm considering making the room darker so it looks more like night time to him. Maybe I can fake him out.... Another problem is that he is an incredibly light sleeper. A little sniffle of the nose can wake him up. Sheesh...

I also think teething MAY have something to do with it, but he doesn't really act like his tooth is bothering him. Teething hasn't seemed to be particularly hard on him, so I'm not sure on that one.

I'm just at a loss with him as far as napping goes. There are much larger problems than this in the world, I understand, but our little world is being rocked by this right now. I need my baby to sleep and be rested so he can be happy....and I can be calm and collected.

If you've never spent the day with an incredibly fussy baby....try it sometime and see how your nerves are at the end of the day.

And to add to this, Jeremy has injured his knee. He think it's something with his ACL. He goes for an MRI in the morning, and I am praying that it's just a bad sprain. If he has to have surgery, he's going to be limited for some time, and I need my extra set of back up!!! He's the one who steps in so I can cook dinner, or clean up, or run errands. If he's out of commission, I'm going to be a frazzled mess really soon. I commend single mothers. You ladies are awesome! I don't know how you do it!! You've got to be superwoman because I can't imagine doing all of this on my own.

So, if you have any napping advice, I'm open to suggestions!!



  1. Normally they don't go down to one nap until they are older, but could you try to hold off until noon and do one consolidated nap and see if that would help him sleep better? Not sure what else to suggest... my 10-month old little girl was never a great sleeper until recently and after my 3-year old always being an awesome sleeper, that was pretty tough.

  2. As a mother of 3 young sons, I will tell you it took me three tries to get it right, but I think what is most important is consistency. As hard as it is, it is most importnat to stick with it. Tough love, if you will. I know that may not be for everyone. Heck, it wasn't for me until I had my third child and just didn't have the time or patience to fight a fussy sleepy baby all day! But once I got to that point of desperation, it was downhill from there. After about a week of rough battles at naptime, he began to lay down for naps just like he does bedtime, awake, just sleepy. Now, he's 18 months old, and when I take him in for his naps, he practically dives for the bed! But, like the old cliche goes, this too shall pass. And don't feel like you are complaining needlessly. Few things are as stressful or exhausting as trying to ease the tempers of a fussy baby all day! Fight the good fight (another cliche)!

  3. My Jack went through the same thing. Now, at 10 months, he sleeps 9:30/10:30ish PM to 8AM and takes two naps during the day. The two nap a day routine JUST kicked in a couple of weeks ago.

    At 6 months, babies have a lot of new stuff going on. Most are beginning to learn new things like sitting, rolling and, of course, teething. This tends to keep babies up when they are sleeping because they want to explore and test out their new skills.

    Good Luck!

  4. I have an almost 7 month old. She is doing the exact same things! I think (fingers-crossed) after recovering from sickness and sticking it out for a few weeks that we are getting back on track!! Of which I am so very thankful! This age is one of the peaks in separation anxiety, when they are awake they know you are out there somewhere and they just want to see you, very sweet and very exhausting! Also teething usually comes on full-force if they don't already have teeth! They are also getting more mobile and figuring out that they can make their bodies move, and thats way more fun than sleeping! So between all that, it's just one of those ages, you just have to push through! My oldest also went through the same things at this age. It's just a stage, it won't last, just keep on, keeping on! (but also don't create bad habits that you don't
    want to continue after the stage has past!) good luck!

  5. I'm going to get in hot water over this, but here goes: smart babies don't want to miss out and they will stay awake unless unwell or over stimulated to the point of exhaustion. (As always this is not the case for every baby, please no hate mail from the smart babies who napped unitl they were in kindergarten, I know you are out there too.)

    He is getting older and you have a pretty sweet routine for the nighttime hours. I know you want him sleeping during the day too, but don't jeopardize that sweet night schedule.

    I will pray for Jeremy, and for you. And I agree, praise for the single parents who juggle it all.

  6. Hi:)

    I've been a follower for a while and our babies are the same age. I don't have much advice on napping, because my daughter (also six months old) is not a good napper either. Her best naps are also with me.

    But as far as the fussiness goes, when all else fails, we use our Ergo carrier. If I wear her, she is usually completely content, and I can get things done too. Other carriers like the Bjorn, the Snugli, etc. were never comfortable. But this one is awesome! You can wear the baby in the front or on your back (I prefer the latter when I'm doing chores). It has saved my sanity. We found ours cheap on craigslist, because new, they are kind of pricey.

    Just a suggestion from a mama who feels your pain!!

  7. Hi Lindsay, I have been a follower of your blog but have never left a comment. Both of my children were terrible nappers, I found reading The Baby Whisper was a excellent resource. I modified it somewhat and around 6 or 7 months they improved. Hope this helps.

  8. it could be teething, even if it doesn't seem to bother him too much on the outside. It could be what's keeping him up and cranky. Have you tried the teething tablets? The homeopathic ones with chamomile? That tends to make them a bit sleepy. Or at least it did with my boys

  9. I dunno...I stopped giving advice when I had kids :) I will let you in on one helpful tidbit someone told me when I had my second (wish I had known this with my 1st!)...Babies cycle in a sleep/wake pattern. So usually the time between waking and going back to sleep is around 2 1/2-3 hours. If you can "catch" Collen in this "sweet spot" and lay him down (even if he doesn't act sleepy) he may start to establish a routine. I dunno mama once told me "The only thing that stays the same is that everything changes" and boy is that true! So...chances are he'll be a FANTASTIC sleeper for you today :)
    Praying for Jeremy's knees...
    Kathryn in Kansas City

  10. My experience with my firstborn was quite similar. He was what could generously described as a fussy baby who all but dropped his daytime naps very early. Poor mite suffered when teething mostly before the teeth were visible in his gums - as they worked they way up through his gums from in his jaw. So the cause of his distress was invisible to us. Eventually we also discovered he was suffering from 'glue ear' and this was exacerbated by his response to the teething process. The pressure in his ears built up when he lay down so his sleep was often disturbed. There were days when my sunny boy resurfaced but in between it was a struggle. My best advice would be to enlist as much additional help as you can. My son grew out of it as he became mobile and literally physically tired himself out more. Once he had minor surgery to aleviate his glue ear we never looked back! Thinking of you all xx

  11. Hey girly! I would definitely try the room darkening curtains. I had to buy some of those for Harper when he was a bit younger and it really helped him. I hope he starts sleeping better soon :)

  12. Hey Lindsay. It's been a while since I commented, but I do try to read your blog regularly. Something that helped us when Seth was teething and having sleeping difficulties was to put him down with a cold pacifier. We kept a supply in the refrigerator and they helped his mouth feel good. He did NOT get the cold paci when he was awake and he came to associate that with going to sleep in his crib--nap or nighttime sleeping, so he kind of looked forward to getting that cold paci. I realize this may not work for everyone, but it did work for us, and we were at a point where we would try many things to get him to go to sleep for a couple of hours on his own(including The Happiest Baby on the Block and the 4 Ss!) Swaddling, shushing, and swaying helped us as well. Good Luck!

  13. I am usually a fly by the seat of my pants mommy... I do what works for me and my child.... However I find much great advice in the book "the baby whisperer solves allyour problems." I use her advice for teching a baby to sleep and nap. It is great and has always worked for me.
    Good luck with whatever you do! I will be praying.

  14. Landon went through spells when his sleeping habits change and he still does....I noticed them at growth spurts and with teething. Hopefully this is just a phase with collen and he will soon get back to "normal"...or he could be like landon and just be too darn nosey to sleep long!

  15. My advice is to schedule a play date or appointment that you need to be at...he will fall asleep about 5 minutes before you need to leave for that! ha. Wish I had some actual advice to offer, but that was my life for a little while too. I'm sure he'll grow out of it soon...hang in there.

  16. I have absolutely no advice, only empathy. My son is now 26 months old and he's never been a predictable napper. While all my friends had their kids on a schedule where they'd go to bed at 7:00 or 8:00 at night, mine would stay up until 9 one night and 11 the next. Sometimes he naps in the morning.. sometimes in the afternoon... sometimes not at all. He's always been that way, so I think that some kids are just not champs at this napping stuff... But I wish you luck and as you know, even when it's frustrating and exhausting, it's still such a blessing and so yummy!

  17. My advice...put him in a baby sling and walk with him for a few minutes. He will fall asleep fast. My daughter (7 months) is teething and our Ergo is the only thing giving us any kind of peace right now. She loves it. Puts her to sleep within 15 mins. Babies go through growth spurts. During those spurts they are pretty fussy. It will get better :)

  18. As mommy to 6 kids and day care provider to many more, I have to say routine, routine, routine is the ticket. It took some doing by all of my kids, and those I cared for were great nappers. I am currently babysitting for a baby, who I was told "is not a napper." At the time, I thought to myself "that will have to change." And it did. At that age they will likely only be able to be awake about 2.5-3 hours at a time before needing a nap, maybe a little longer in the evenings. I usually put babies down in the morning around 9:30 for an hour and then at 1:30 and they would sleep around 2 hours. They do not like this too well at first but they will adjust to it and come to welcome nap time. A dark room is best. It took a few weeks but the little guy I babysit right now is on the same schedule. His mom says he will not nap at home, but then she will not stick to a routine either. Pick your times for naps and then stick to it. Plan your day around naps. It will make for an all around happy baby. I promise.

  19. Just my opinion....It's all about routine. As hard as it may be, it may just take a bit of tough love. I'm a mom of 3 little boys and at times I had to close the door and let them cry themselves to sleep. I know it's heartbreaking! However, you as a mother know how much your heart can handle.

    Stacey from CA

  20. Stick with it. By this age, both of my boys were taking two naps. One around 10am (till 12) and one at about 3pm (till 4 or 5). Bedtime at 7:30 to 8pm. My first was harder. He wasn't a good sleeper. But keep it up! Babies do need lots of sleep.
    Someone once told me, "Sleep begets sleep." The more they sleep, the more they'll continue to sleep. And they're happier for it! :)
    P.S. Growth spurts can interrupt their sleep too.