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Awake time for 4 to 6 month old babies

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#1 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 24 January 2017 - 10:47 AM

How long should babies who are 4 months old be awake for in the day?

Is it a total awake time or awake for a certain length of time?

My bubs can happily be awake for an hour to an hour and a half, but then only sleeps for 40 mins and is good to go again. I am wondering if I should be trying to having him awake for longer at a time and then he might sleep for longer? So same amount of awake and sleep time, but in longer blocks?

On good days, he sleeps about 12 to 14 hours (normally closer to 12) over night, feeding twice in that time (so bed at 7pm, feeding at 1am, 4 or 5am or even 6am, wake at 9am). Though, he doesn't even open his eyes to feed, he cries, feeds and goes back to deep sleep all without opening his eyes. Not so good nights are 10 hours sleep time waking twice (so bed at 10pm and feeding at 1am and 4:30am and waking at 8am.)

Sometimes I can get a longer nap out of him in the morning. Otherwise, naps are no longer than 40 mins ever. He will NOT resettle. But he is happy and ready to be awake again after the 40 mins.

Do I need to try to lengthen his awake time and nap times as he gets older or just leave it and it will naturally happen when he's older?

He does have reflux and is very difficult to settle when it's flaring up. He is on medication, which I am about to increase because we've gone back to me needing to hold him for 20 mins of the 40 min nap and not being able to sit down or he screams. When his reflux is under control he goes to bed at 7, when it's not, it's 10.

#2 seayork2002

Posted 24 January 2017 - 10:51 AM

my son did have two long sleeps a day but I just let him tell me what he needed - I did not control his awake/sleep times etc. and night or day I did not wake him to feed him - I just let him sleep or be awake when he chose to

#3 sandshoes

Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:06 PM

My DS2 usually:
wakes at 8am feed, bath, play etc
sleeps say 10-12 (sometimes on/off)
wakes 12ish for a feed and play
sleeps 2-4 (although im trying to get him to sleep now and its becomming very difficult)
bath around 6ish
catnaps after a bath for about an hour
will usually go down for the night around 10pm-8am might wake once in the night for a feed

so will have around 15hours a day if Im home. If im out its usually sleeping in the car or on/off sleeps if that makes sense.

DS1 well really he was completely different who didnt sleep and would be lucky to get 12 hours total sleep at that age. Ive always thought my DS2 sleeps alot more but maybe because I was so used to DS1 not sleeping, I didnt know any different or just lucked out on a good sleeping baby.

#4 Hands Up

Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:36 PM

At four months my babies could only stay awake for 1.5 hours. It does mean a short cycle  with cat napping though...

#5 mandala

Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:53 PM

That sounds utterly typical of a 4mo. 90 minutes awake followed by a cat nap is very common, with about 4-5 naps a day with longer sleeps (with wake ups for feeds) at night. Total sleep is around 14 hours, usually, so 12 hours total in 24 hours is on the low side, but not ridiculously so.

Cat napping seems to be an age thing, with lots of babies growing into longer naps naturally as they get past 6 months. Plenty don't, however, and do need a bit of assistance, while some forever struggle.

The purpose of naps at any age is to get through to bedtime with a minimum of tears, from either you or the baby, and to make sure that your baby is rested enough that they're not waking overnight from overtiredness rather than hunger.

From what you've said, the naps are achieving that, so trying to extend into longer naps is really up to you. If it were me, I would be sticking with the 90 minutes awake, and making sure to get as many naps in as needed to make it from morning to bedtime.

For my money, I consider a lot of the time trying to extend DS1's naps was wasted effort, and I should have just given up and gone with it until he was at least 6 months, but then he was also a miserable, overtired little boy so I probably would have persisted even knowing what I do now!

I hope it all settles down a bit once you get his reflux meds under control. Getting pain under control is a first step for any kind of extension of sleep time.

Good luck!

#6 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 24 January 2017 - 03:47 PM

Thanks everyone :)

When we had a week of the meds having the reflux under control I had a bubs who would self settle and sometimes sleep longer (once every few days).

Here's hoping he returns lol! But I will just wait for him to hopefully start linking his sleep cycles. He can do it sometimes, so I think it might happen eventually. Hopefully lol

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