10 week old 40 minute sleeps

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10 week old 40 minute sleeps

Postby Hannah » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 10:47 am

I am concerned by my daughters sleeping habits. She sleeps for 45 minutes max then wakes up and is very tricky to re settle. Usually I am unable. When she wakes she is happy usually until the next feed and people say if she is happy I should not worry but I think she should be sleeping but is just waking at the end of a sleep cycle. I have been counting her hours of sleep and as she is a good night sleeper she usually averages 14-15 hours of sleep in a 24 period. Is this normal? And is 45 minute sleeps per feed cycle enough and should I be worrying so much?
Thank you,
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Re: 10 week old 40 minute sleeps

Postby NgalaOnline » Wed 12 Dec, 2012 11:00 pm

Hi Hannah

Catnapping and waking after one sleep cycle are common issues for babies, particularly young babies such as yours. It can be a frustrating thing for parents to deal with. Often babies will wake after one sleep cycle if something about their sleeping environment has changed between when they initially fell asleep and when they roused after their first sleep cycle - for instance if your baby was being held or rocked when she fell asleep but not when she roused after the first sleep cycle. For babies that are rousing because there is a sleep association present at the time they fall asleep that is not there when the baby rouses, the first step to take towards improving catnapping is working on helping the baby to learn to fall asleep in her bed without needing external sleep associations that she can not perform by herself. You might like to ring the Ngala helpline or attend the Ngala Parenting Workshop "Sleep and Your Growing Baby" to find out more about how to begin to work on gently helping your baby to learn how to self settle - your baby is approaching the optimal age to begin teaching self settling as sleep associations typically begin to emerge between 3 - 4 months of age.

If your baby is self settling, and there is no difference in her environment between falling asleep and waking up, you will quite likely find that her catnapping does resolve and she begins to sleep for longer periods at least some of the time as she gets a little older. It is common for babies to learn to initially self settle, but to take a little bit more time to learn how to resettle between sleep cycles. Continuing to put your baby into her bed awake is the best way of working towards her developing the ability to do this. Attempting to resettle her after some catnaps for around 20 minutes after she wakes up, on the times you feel you have the energy and patience to try this, is a good idea. Many parents find that it is easier to resettle a baby earlier in the day rather than later. If she will not resettle it is fine to get her up. Catnapping does not harm a baby but many parents do find that the baby is more likely to be grumpy or unable to stay happy for long as often the first 40 minutes of sleep take the edge off the baby's tiredness but do not allow for deeper and more rejuvenating sleep to occur. For this reason many parents do choose to work on resettling for longer sleep. If your baby is happy though and not affected by the short naps, it does not harm her to get her up after a catnap. You may need to watch her for tired signs and return her to bed sooner than a baby who sleeps for longer may go between naps. I hope this information is helpful. Please ring the Ngala helpline if you would like more information or support.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online http://www.ngala.com.au/Ngala-and-You/Ngala-Helpline/Contact-Ngala-Helpline-Online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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