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06/03/2014 at 09:17
O will be 16 weeks tomorrow and I'm finding naps a real struggle. He's usually up around 6:30 and used to go back down at about 9 for 45 mins. Then I usually manage 2 more of a similar length, I haven't been able to get longer than 1 hr for a long time. We've just been through the 16w growth spurt and I can't get him to nap, yesterday morning I took him out for a walk and he napped but he wakes as soon as we get back which is a pain as doesn't give me chance to do much round the house.
He's resisting again this morning, he dozed off in my arms after a feed but woke when I put him down, I've tried ssh-pat, that worked once. Tried a dummy, that worked once. Tried just leaving him for a bit but he fusses and it escalates to crying and I can't leave him to 'cry-it-out'. I find it a bit frustrating when I know he is tired but he won't give in! Luckily he falls asleep fine at night.
So...how do you get your LO to sleep in the day?
06/03/2014 at 09:26
06/03/2014 at 09:30
My O was a nightmare napper from the first day he was born- at 6 months he still isn't a child to fall asleep where he is when tiredness hits he fights it for hours and gets really grumpy. At about 3 months I read the baby whisperer (you may have read it already, obviously I understand its bit for everyone but I took what I thought might work for me from it) and spent a few days watching him to see when he started getting tired and noted the times, then I started putting him in his cot as soon as I noticed tiredness was staring. To start with he just played in his cot or watched me (I always stayed with him tidying the bedroom or reading on the bed) after 45 mins if he hasn't fallen asleep I took him out and back downstairs, after a few days he would get quieter and quieter in these times and would occasionally fall asleep, after a week he would always fall asleep (might take 30 mins) then as time went on it got quicker and quicker and he would fall asleep within minutes. I kept watching and changed nap times as he got older etc and over time they have got longer and now he generally take one 1.5 hour nap and a one hour nap.
The only trouble I have now is he is very difficult to get to sleep if we are out and about but I settle for good naps if we are at home!
06/03/2014 at 09:34
I seem to remember this being a bit of a tricky age for naps. If we were at home I would do the same thing every time I put her down for a nap (darken the room (she would be in that same room as me, so I watched lots of TV in the dark!!), sing a lullaby, put her down, turn on slumber bear, just putting my hand on her helped settle her - consistency seemed to help her) If we were out and about, she would sleep in the pram/car/on me!
At that age she would only be able to stay awake for around 1hr45/2hrs before needing a nap so maybe try putting her down a little earlier?
However - don't forget to enjoy the snuggly sleepy cuddles - E will very rarely sleep on me these days and I miss it!!
06/03/2014 at 09:42
A went through a phase of refusing to nap - it coincided with when he realised there was a whole world out there and he was just too fascinated to close his eyes! He would only sleep on me after a feed or in the pram or car. Then he started sleeping even less because he got scared of being in the car and too interested in the world in the pram! Up til then is been very baby-led but it soon became clear that I couldn't just trust in him to sleep when he felt tired. He used to get very red-eyed and sob because he was so sleepy! So I started enforcing naps whenever he looked even a little bit less than perky; I rocked him to sleep, of he woke when I put him down I picked him up and did it again, and repeated til he'd had a decent length nap in total. I was exhausted from all the rocking but within a week he was much happier and would stay asleep for a decent length of time. Now he will settle for a nap if I lay him in his poddle and give him his dummy.
Now, at 17 weeks, he needs a nap every 2 hours, no matter how long the nap was - even if he has a meganap he will still only go 2 hours before rubbing his eyes and conking out! And most of his naps are half an hour long, he needs lots of cat naps rather than one or two big naps. Every 10 days or so he will have a huge sleep for a couple of hours in the day but those are very rare.
06/03/2014 at 09:47
Oh, and my revelation came when I read the Elizabeth Pantley book and realised that there was no way he's be able to drift off of his own accord if he was overtired, and we was massively overtired after weeks of not enough napping - so my first focus was on getting him to catch up on sleep rather than getting him to self-settle or whatever. I did anything at all that I could to get him to sleep so that he was well rested and able to enjoy feeling sleepy rather than just frustrated about how tired he was. Once he'd caught up a bit we could focus more on him learning how to get himself to sleep.
For the same reason, be on red alert for any small sign of sleepiness and start trying to put them down then rather than waiting for it to become massively obvious that they are overdue a nap! Every 2 hours is a good guide for us but it might be less or more for you.
Thanks for your replies, very interesting! I definitely think he needs to nap sooner, I think I leave it until he is already very tired and then it's a battle. Considering trying a different dummy, what do you use TT?
Seems like I need to get my bum in gear and hopefully after a week or so we'll be in a better place with it :-)
06/03/2014 at 09:54
We have Avent ones because his bottles are Avent too so I thought that might make a difference? (Probably not.) I'm considering a change to ones more moulded to the face though as he pulls his out now and then gets upset about where it's gone!
The day I decided we had to do something about A's sleep, we put him in the pram and went for a 3 hour walk. He slept for the whole thing! We were knackered but it helped reset his "sleep clock" and meant we could start regular napping without it being an even bigger battle.
06/03/2014 at 10:15
Resetting the clock sounds like a good idea! I've got him down, after a big battle of him waking every time I put him down, I took his poddle away (only thing I could think of!) and he's been asleep for 25mins and counting....interesting!!
06/03/2014 at 12:05
Yay great start! Yes I remember the first day I tried putting him down for naps it took about an hour to get him to have 20 minutes' sleep, it was ridiculous! But paid off in the end. I just put him in his poddle now, blanket over, dummy in, sat next to him and after 6 minutes of getting comfy he turned his head away and fell asleep. I still think this is amazing every time it happens!
06/03/2014 at 13:14
I second Elizabeth Pantley's book, it helped me understand more about baby naps! Also slings/wraps are great if your baby will only settle on you, or you need to be out and about/doing other things as well. Hope things keep getting better! x
06/03/2014 at 13:47
S was a nightmare to get to sleep during the day for ages. I was definitely leaving it too long before putting him down. He varies how long he needs to be awake for before tired depending on the time of day. He sleeps 12 hours at night but is tired only an hour after waking. After that, he can go a couple of hours before he's sleepy. Definitely try putting him down earlier.
I would have to rock S to sleep for every nap and at night until I realised that he was getting frustrated at the interference! So I put him down and he eventually nodded off on his own with the help of his dummy. If he struggles, I do a version of spaced soothing that a friend told me about. I do 1 minute soothing, 2 minutes space where I leave him (I actually just hide out of his sight lol!). He usually only sort of grizzled half-heartedly during this time, then if he still hasn't settled I soothe again but I don't pick him up unless he's really upset, it just winds him up more. I also tend to pair socks or stuff my cloth nappies during the space time as 2 minutes feels loooong and it occupies me!
Dummy wise we use mam and avent.
06/03/2014 at 14:24
I would get S to nap 1.5-2 hours after every waking. It seemed a lot but he was ready for it. Once we started doing that it changed my life! I also think the no cry book is good - there's a great section on getting longer naps, basically when they stir / start to wake, say after 30 mintues, go in and do whatever you need to get them back to sleep - rock, shh etc. then after a few days they should transition through to the next cycle. This is of course for naps that are meant to be longer, for example O's morning one sounds right, but maybe his afternoon one is the one to be getting to 2 hours. S isn't 100% at 2 hours, even now, but his naps got much longer and therefore better quality once we did this. I would also personally put O down for his first nap by 830 if he's waking at 630. He might be getting over tired by that point. Good luck!
07/03/2014 at 13:19
Just wanted to say thanks for the advice yesterday. He woke at 7 today and I managed to get him down at 9, he only had 30mins but seemed refreshed from it. We were then out the door at 11:30 and I walked for an hour with him asleep in the pram (made me realise how unfit I am!) We've now been outside the house for 50 mins as he always wakes when we go in the front door. So he's been asleep for 1hr 50mins and counting :-D Fortunately it's dry but it is quite cold and I may get piles if I'm sat on this step for much longer!! Xx
07/03/2014 at 14:59
Ooh well done you! It's very satisfying when you know they are getting the sleep they need. Bar the cold bum of course! S used to wake when I brought him inside then at about 5 months changed, I could, and still can, have him nap for 15 minutes while walking, bring him in and he'll carry on sleeping for 1h+ so in some ways they definitely get easier as they get older / more secure etc.
He also got better with going down easily for naps at about 5 m - I was still rocking him until very drowsy but it was that for a couple of minutes or a cuddle, as opposed to a 20+ minute battle! I think once O is in a good routine of regular naps, you'll find it easier to tackle the SS as his body clock will know it's nap time and that's half the battle. I would just say, learn from me and do it before he's 9m old and mobile - defnitely more of a PITA!! I was so loathe to have him miss naps, or as Tina says, only get a 20 mintue one after an hour of trying, that I never persevered with ss, until I snapped the other week, put him down in his cot consistently and things are now a million times better at night, as between the dummy and rocking, he had become quite a challenge sleep wise! Anyway, if I'd done it before 9m, life could have been a fair bit easier! He wasn't ready at O's age (not saying O isn't), but with reflux and being a velcro one any attempts were a nightmare. I should have probably done it at 6m though!
Hope things keep improving x
07/03/2014 at 15:13
Do you have an outside space where you can put him to sleep in his pram? I used to find my daughter woke up as soon as we got back from a nap. But if I pushed her straight out into our back garden she would stay asleep. For her, I realised that she needed to hear a bit more noise and she liked the motion of the pushchair. So I would often put her in the pram in the house (if the weather was rubbish) and then put the radio on low to give a bit more noise or put her outside and rock her in the pram until she gave up and went to sleep. She was a spring baby but as long as they are wrapped up properly there's no reason why they shouldn't be outside for a nap.
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