Skip to main navigation Skip to content
Please enter a search term

Day time naps and sleep patterns

Day time naps and sleep patterns

Hello. My 5 almost 6 month old was only waking up once a night. But now she is waking up at 10.30 and will not go back to sleep. She then wakes more times throughout the night. She is sleeping well in the day, sleeping for two long naps, morning and afternoon and then one at about 4.30 and then bed at 7. But it’s just not working and I don’t know what to do anymore.

We have all been there, so frustrated that they were doing amazingly well at their sleeping last week and now **BAM** they aren't.

Here are two things I'd try. First, can you make that last nap a little earlier? There's only a short break between the 4.30 nap and the 7pm bed time. If you could bring that last nap forward, it might help because she'll be less rested before bed. The other thing I'd try is to shorten the last nap a bit, if there's too much sleeping before the bedtime, she might just not be tired and that's why she's waking during the night.

See how those ideas go. Good luck!

Dr Rebecca English

Dr Rebecca English

Lecturer, Faculty of Education (QUT)

See more

We have had a number of similar questions recently so not to worry this is not uncommon. The first two things to consider is whether your child is getting enough to eat before going to sleep... it may be that your child is hungry. Second, perhaps the daytime naps are now too many and/or too long and you may need to change that habit by having a single nap around midday as well as considering a bit of a later bedtime... maybe 7.30.  Try changing either or both of these things and see if that helps. If the problem persists then it could be something to chat to your pediatrician about as you may be dealing with some form of reflux or other discomfort.

Dr Michael Nagel

Dr Michael Nagel

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast

See more

Other questions about this topic

Is time-out okay for kids?

I’ve always understood that time-out was a reasonable way to deal with behaviour issues. Now I’m seeing some articles suggesting that time-out has had its day. Is time-out OK and if not, what’s the alternative?

Learning to follow directions

I have a 3.5-year-old who won’t listen to anything. We both just end up getting upset. I'm concerned that she will face problems in preschool if she won’t start following directions.

Help! My child is biting other children

I’m so embarrassed but my child care provider called me in to say my two-year-old has been biting other children. I hate to think what the other parents must be thinking. What do I do?

Preparing a toddler for a new baby

My toddler isn’t happy about the arrival of our second child. How do I prepare my child for the birth a new baby?

4-yr-old throwing tantrums

I have a four year old daughter, and the tantrums are worse now than they were in the ‘terrible twos’. She seems to fluctuate from happiness to meltdown so quickly and sometimes it seems that no amount of effort from us helps. Is this normal? I thought she’d be growing out of this by now.