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  • Emma

    March 28, 2024 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    When your little one gets sick or starts teething, continue using the settling pyramid. You may need to provide extra comfort during this time. For example, you might rock them in your arms for a little longer than usual before laying them in the crib, pat them for longer, or move higher up that pyramid. What’s important is you try to avoid falling into habits where they need you to fall asleep. For example, if you start rocking/holding them until they fall asleep or feeding them until they fall asleep.

    Also, I just wanted to let you know that teething pain should only last a few days (so the time it takes for the tooth to erupt), not go for weeks. If your little one’s sleep is disrupted for weeks, it’s most likely not teething.

    There are some telltale signs to help you identify if it is actually time to drop a nap.

    The first indicator is your baby’s age.

    There are general age ranges that most babies and toddlers follow when transitioning between nap schedules:

    • 0-4 months: Typically, they have 4-5 naps daily.
    • 4-6 months: They transition from 4 naps to 3.
    • 6-9 months: This is where they might shift from 3 to 2 naps.
    • 12-18 months: Most transition from 2 naps to 1, with many making this change around the 15-month mark.
    • 2.5-6 years: This is when they might move from having 1 nap to no daily naps.

    If your baby’s age matches one of these nap transition stages, and you’ve also noticed some of the sleep changes below lasting more than a couple of weeks, they might be ready to drop a nap.

    The additional signs to look for are:

    1. They have trouble falling asleep at one of their regular nap times

    If your child struggles to fall asleep during their usual nap time, especially in the afternoon, it’s a sign they might be ready to drop that nap. This is often because they aren’t tired enough and need more awake time between naps.

    2. They find it difficult to fall asleep at night

    If your child used to fall asleep quickly but suddenly resists bedtime, it might be due to the last nap of the day being too close to bedtime. This doesn’t allow them enough awake time to get sufficiently tired for their night sleep.

    3. They wake up earlier than usual in the morning

    If your child starts waking up earlier than usual, like shifting from a 6:30am wake to 5am, it might indicate the need to drop a daytime nap. As children grow, their overall sleep needs decrease, and excessive daytime napping can reduce their nighttime sleep duration.

    4. They have shorter naps than usual

    If your baby begins to have shorter naps, waking up much earlier than usual, it might be a sign they’re ready to drop a nap. This change often occurs because they’re not tired enough for a long nap, possibly due to shorter periods of awake time.

    Regarding dropping a feed, as you adopt a wake, feed, play, and sleep routine during the day, and their wake windows increase, the time between feeds will also increase. What generally happens overnight is that as your baby approaches 2 to 3 months, they may begin to sleep for longer stretches at the start of the night, reducing the number of feedings to about 2 to 3 times per night. After 4 months of age, it’s common for babies to have a long stretch of sleep, often lasting between 5 to 8 hours, before waking for their first feed. After this feed, some babies may wake every 3 – 4 hours for a feed and continue to do this until wake-up time. If your baby is over 3 months of age and wakes every 90 minutes to 2 hours overnight for a feed, this behaviour suggests that they are not necessarily hungry, but they are using a feed to help them fall back to sleep after each sleep cycle.

    I do suggest you wake your baby up from his last nap of the day if it’s getting too close to his bedtime and causing some bedtime resistance. This will just ensure that he has enough awake time to feel sleepy again when it’s time to go to bed.

    You can hum and make eye contact with your little one if you like. I would refrain from talking as this might be stimulating for your little one.

    I hope that helps!