You could set your watch by Charlotte. Without fail she has exactly 40 minutes for her morning nap, and 25 minutes for each one after.
It doesn't matter if it's in her cot, her pram - even the car these days, which makes for very long car journeys (i.e. the six hours North we did at the weekend), as she understandably gets bored in her car seat for the hours she's not asleep and gets grizzly. And in my book, 25 minutes is not nearly long enough - averaging out at about 2 hours of naptime a day, if we're lucky.
And she seems increasingly tired and ratty - making for fussy or sleepy feeds, and less happy Charlotte time. So what can I do about it? How can I get her to sleep longer than 25 minutes at a time in the day?
I've looked at the 'Wake To Sleep' technique - but it goes against all my instincts, despite the fact I think it's worked a couple of times accidentally. For example when I've brought her out of the car just before she's about to wake up and she's stayed asleep for another 45 minutes in the flat in her car seat, or out in the pram when she's just about woken but I've rocked her a bit more and she's gone back down.
The thing I keep telling myself is that 10-15 years ago, Mums didn't have the internet or parenting books to turn to for advice or theories every time they thought their child was doing something not quite 'normal', They just got on with it and accepted that's how their baby is. And that's what I'm trying to do, in the hope that this is a phase that will pass and Charlotte will eventually nap for longer, or prove to me she doesn't need more than 2 hours in short spells every day.
She's also taken to waking at night, usually around 11.30pm, not for hunger. I'm not sure what's waking her - possibly very early teething or growing pains. We tried Calpol one night in case it was either of those things, but despite all other Mums telling me how brilliant it is at knocking babies right out to sleep for ages, it didn't work. For a few nights I ended up feeding her back to sleep, but I know that's a really bad habit to get into. Last night I put her dummy in (she goes to sleep without one usually) and soothed her - and on the third attempt she went back off to sleep for another three hours until she really did wake for a feed.
I have a new mantra to go with Patience and Perseverance... it's Relax and Enjoy. But that's proving harder and harder to tell myself the more she fights her sleep and sleeps on me instead of eating :(.