Author Topic: short naps - remember to consider overstimulation!  (Read 48710 times)

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Offline katemom

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short naps - remember to consider overstimulation!
« on: April 10, 2007, 19:29:43 PM »
Hi,

Thanks to all that have posted in reply to my questions, as well as the many others I have had the benefit of reading.  I just wanted to share some success and a reminder of what to ask ourselves as we try to solve our lo's napping problems.

I recently posted about new nap troubles for my 5 month old, with short napping.  I tweaked her schedule and still struggled, and was getting VERY discouraged.  Finally I read other people's situations and resolutions enough times that I realized that while the awake periods might be right, it may be that she was overstimulated during those awake periods.  Just too many toys, activity, and not enough mellow time to make it easier for my lo to fall asleep, and stay asleep.

I changed how she spent her awake periods and it immediately extended her naps to 1:20 to 1:30 minutes each for the first 2 naps, and 45 minutes for her catnap.  (They were getting to be 35-45 minutes for the first 2, and 30 minutes for the catnap before I changed things). 

Anyway, I just wanted to post this as another reminder to always consider how stimulated your lo's are!  If you can help them play and be active at the beginning of the awake period (and limit how long), then you can slowly bring the level of intensity down, so that by the end of their awake period, they are in a pretty mellow state, and can drift off easily, and be rested enough to make it through those jolts.

It's not the answer to every problem or situation, but it's an important one to keep in mind along the way! 

Best of luck to all the parents of short nappers - I know the stress of it!

kate's mom

Offline sarahmom

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Re: short naps - remember to consider overstimulation!
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 19:54:15 PM »
It sounds like that might be the problem with my baby...except he's only two months old.  The problem is I don't think I do anything too stimulating...unless he finds sitting in his infant seat looking at a couple dangly animals, or lying on the floor looking at himself in the mirror too stimulating.  Any ideas on relaxing/mellow activities for a baby this age?

Offline katemom

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Re: short naps - remember to consider overstimulation!
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 20:27:51 PM »
Yes, actually, I noticed the same things with my lo back at that age.  We found that those dangly toys are inescapable for a baby that young, so it may be best to only have one hanging at a time, and then switch it out to keep their interest.  This way they can get a variety of things to look at, but not get overwhelmed by multiple things at the same time.  Also consider how long you let your lo sit there, I would limit it to a pretty short time period.  (Sorry, I already forgot what the awake periods are like for a baby that age, but I would keep it to maybe 15-20% at the most, but watch your lo's cues). 

For calming activities you may like using a baby carrier (or just carry them in your arms) for about 20 minutes before you'd like to put them in bed.  They can still look around, but the motion is calming.  (Unless doing it for that long puts them to sleep, and then I would do it for less time).  You could sing to them while they lay on their back, do a few calm action songs baby to keep them interested without getting overly excited.  You could also read books with them over the shoulder so that they don't get worked up over the illustrations, but enjoy listening to your voice.  You could also get some soft stuffed animals and other textural toys and rub them on your lo's arms, and face to give them a chance have sensory experiences without working to hard.  A slow dance close to end of the awake period is nice for both mummy and baby, and that will help prep. them for naptime.  Tummy time may be good too, some babies love it and can lay peacefully when they get tired - although some babies find it uncomfortable.  I would just experiment and see how your baby reacts to some of these or any others you come up with and see which activities are the most stimulating, and do those first, and then change each activity to progress towards the most calming.  It takes a bit more work to organize their awake periods into little chunks like that, but the result of longer naps, and a more rested child is worth it in my opinion.

Hope that helps!

katemom

Offline Sarah Samspon

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Re: short naps - remember to consider overstimulation!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 23:29:48 PM »
I think 'over stimulation' has definitely caused my 9 week old to have sleep problems. But I think I am possibly overcoming this, I have found that after a short stint under the baby gym, a couple of stories are really worthwhile. I do let him see the pictures, but to counter that, he is swaddled between leaving the gym and starting the stories. Although swaddling may not be appropriate for bigger babies, its working for us at this age. He knows that swaddling happens at bedtime, its one of his first cues that it is time to chill out and having his arms tucked away helps calm him down and settle after the gym activity. After the stories, we move to the dim bedroom, sing his songs (another part of our settling routine) and then put him down.  :)

Offline chanashleigh

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Re: short naps - remember to consider overstimulation!
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2007, 00:31:20 AM »
Thank you ladies, I think I have just figured out that my DD is getting overstimulated as well! She is a very alert baby and usually wakes up after every 45 minutes when napping and for the first time ever she is still asleep and its been 1.10 minutes..wooo hoooo, I know this could only be a one off as well but I kept activity extremely low this morning, the most she did was sit in her bouncer with a few hanging toys but that was very early on in her awake time....fingers crossed. I also think that I need to limit activity in the afternoon as well because she is only napping for 30 minutes and she clearly needs more because DD is very grumpy after that haha....thanks for the helpful thread..good luck to you all!