3 1/2 month old and daytime nap problems

(23 Posts)
Chocolateyclaire76 Tue 05-Mar-13 11:33:48

I have been relying on the pushchair for all the daytime naps of my 3 1/2 month old but it's getting to the point now when I really need to try the cot as there's only so much walking around town I can do!

I have tried her in her cot for her morning nap which should be at least 45 mins but she wakes after 20 and won't re-settle even though she's obviously still tired. She's then cranky for the rest of the morning until midday when I take her out in the pram and she will sleep whilst out and about for 2 hours. I daren't try the big nap in the cot as if that's messed up she'll be a nightmare!

Has anyone got any advice or tips for the transition from pushchair to cot??

mummytopoppy1 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:40:16

Could you put her down for a number of shorter naps during the day in her cot instead, if she won't nap for long? This way she might get enough daytime sleep, and she'll get more and more used to being in her cot and eventually extend the naps herself.

ZuleikaD Tue 05-Mar-13 16:16:55

There is no 'should' at this age. Do you feed to sleep? It can be very useful. Also you might be better off starting with a few more, shorter naps while she gets used to the change. DS was doing about 90m awake and 45 minutes asleep during the day at this age.

mummytopoppy1 Tue 05-Mar-13 17:12:02

My DD is a week short of four months - she also does 90 minutes awake and 45 minutes down - sometimes her awake time is nearer 2 hours but that is very recent. This usually equates to three naps a day, with a fairly early bedtime. Occasionally she will have another half an hour or so in the early evening if she needs it. Works for her.

DD is just over 4 months and takes all naps in the sling (bouncing and rocking) or pushchair (when out and about) and - she's my second nap fighting baby and after reading advice on here I've been putting her in the sling after 80 minutes of awake time and she us falling asleep after 90 minutes almost every time (generally has closer to an hour awake before the first nap and 2 hours before bed) - she's fallen asleep much easier and cried much less since doing this. It's a major time for development, growth and sleep issues so my thinking is as long as she's getting sleep I'll worry about where she takes it later down the line.

DS was 7 months before he could fall asleep without movement and closer to 18 months before he could fall asleep without being fed. My mantra (although I am a pretty anxious mum at times) is "do whatever works at the time" - they're only little once and it passes so quickly

The no cry nap solution is recommended on here a lot. I think it says in there that if your baby wakes after 20 minutes of being put down your need to wait for them to fall into a deeper sleep before putting them down - assuming you've been rocking/feeding up to that point. If you're just putting your baby down awake and they're waking after 20 minutes I have no clue what to suggest because I've never had a baby that could fall asleep by themselves wink

tinierclanger Tue 05-Mar-13 19:09:34

Can you put her down in the pram inside the house and start giving her a little rock after 20 mins to get her through the wakeful bit?

MsInterpret Tue 05-Mar-13 19:14:34

Yep, I also use the pram in the house. Has a little windchime on it that dd likes and it also serves as a 'she's wriggling awake!' alarm so I can often get to her quick enough to rock her into the next cycle. I'm not worrying about cot naps too much yet and she's 5mths. If they happen, great, if not - pushchair it is!

mummybare Tue 05-Mar-13 19:36:36

When DD was about the same age she only wanted to sleep on me. My solution was to throw a load of 'sleep associations' at her (not literally) - dummy, comforter, swaddle, stroking her forehead, a certain song, anything I could think of really. Then I started putting her down when she was asleep, but being there when she woke up, then putting her down sleepy but awake, with all the associations, before doing gradual withdrawal.

It was a very gradual process - about a month I think - but I wanted her to take naps in the cot and didn't want lots of crying, so it was worth it. Now, at 10mo, i can tuck her in, leave the room, and she's happy to self-settle in her cot.

Chocolateyclaire76 Thu 07-Mar-13 08:25:40

I could do shorter naps but I'm then worried about it messing up my feeding routine. I'm bottle feeding at 7am and then about 10.30-11am. I try and put her down at 9am, she settles about 9.15am and then sleeps for 20mins and wakes up really tired but just won't settle. If I get her up and bring her downstairs her next tired time could run into when she should be feeding. I don't know whether I should just carry on for a few days in the hope that the 20mins will gradually increase. Any thoughts?

I used to push her in the pram in the kitchen with the extractor fan on which works but if I transfer her from her cot to the pram when she wakes all hell brakes loose!!

God knows how I'll tackle the longer lunchtime naps! Currently it's pouring down and I really don't fancy walking the streets in the rain with her!

mummytopoppy1 Thu 07-Mar-13 09:16:58

Maybe try to put her down by 8.30 - 8.45 in the morning, perhaps she is overtired if she is awake for two hours before she goes back down? Does she wake at 7, or earlier and you just feed her at 7? If she's awake before 7 then she's been awake over two hours which would almost certainly mean she's overtired and might find it hard to have a decent length nap. Even if she's awake by 9, she can play or do whatever you normally do, and you can still feed her at her normal time. Perhaps you will be able to feed her to sleep for her next nap about 10.30 if she's both tired and hungry?

If you want her asleep for two hours at lunchtime, then I guess you'll have to stick with your pram walks for now! Or try a day of frequent short naps and just see what happens with your feeding. I don't know what your feeding routine is, but if you feed her three hourly it could work with short naps if you do 1.5 - 2ish hours awake time, a nap, a little play again, feed and then start again! Good luck.

SuperDuperTrooper Thu 07-Mar-13 10:42:46

I've had similar problems with my DS - now 14 months. I used to pound the streets for hours a day. The advantage was weight loss!

To make the transition gradually I would still go out but perhaps stop and sit on a wall/ bench for periods of the nap so the she gradually gets used to the lack of motion. I would then start trying to get her to nap indoors in the pram using some rocking to help her fall asleep and whenever she goes into a light sleep.

When this seems to work you could then try the pram in her nursery and, hopefully, start trying her in her cot. When I tried the switch to cot it was a battle which required endless shushing and singing but we got there in the end.

Now my ds has 2 naps a day. The first he has in his cot but the second in his pram. For some reason he always resisted the afternoon nap in this cot so I let him win that battle and am happy to keep him in his pram. It won't be long before that nap gets dropped I shouldn't think.

I know my suggestions may seem OTT to some but if you've ever had a fussy sleeper then you'd understand the need for the softly softly approach!

Chocolateyclaire76 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:20:04

SuperDuperTrooper, what you have done doesn't seen extreme to me! We've had a constant battle with sleep as although she gets so tired she just does not like to doze off. She can self settle a bit and does at night but in the day it is such a battle. Instead of sleeping she screams, kicks and wriggles!

Maybe I should look at 2 shorter length naps in the morning and see how it works! For lunchtimes it's roaming the streets again - good exercise though!

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:42:44

hi chocolateyclaire, I am in a very similar position to you.

I've come to the conclusion that the Gina style nap routine (ie 45 min at 9am, 2hrs at 12, 30 mins at 4.30) is just not natural for most 3-4 month old babies and so the only way it will ever work is 1) using the pram to 'force' the sleep at those times or 2) wait till they get older...!

I'm currently trying to decide whether to switch to 4 shorter naps (which is probably more what my DD naturally wants, though as you say it buggers up the feeds... would probably require an extra feed in the middle of the day) or stick with this nap pattern but accept using the pram for the lunch and afternoon naps.

Iggly Fri 08-Mar-13 21:56:15

Wait a couple of months then try again. They settle down nap wise from 5 months as in a bit easier as they need slightly less.

minipie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:58:11

thank god! grin

DangerMousey Fri 08-Mar-13 22:08:05

Hello I am so glad I found this thread! My DS is 3 months old this week and currently doesn't seem to be able to nap for more than 40 minutes during the day. Today he ended up having 5 naps varying from 25 minutes to 40 minutes in length.

I have been feeling really stressed about this cod he is not fitting into the pattern I expected of 45 mins in the morning, a long nap over lunchtime and a short kip at teatime, but this week my HV told me to chill the fuck out about it (not in those words but u get the idea!) and that it would be v unusual for a 3-4 month old to do this kind of regimented pattern of naps in the day. She said she would expect this more from a 6-8 month old.

So I am going to try really hard to relax and observe DS's cues rather than trying to shoehorn him into a pattern he's not ready for yet.

Incidentally, in case anyone is interested tuisbisbwhat he did today, which is looking fairly typical ATM:

7am wake up
7.30am breakfast bottle
8.30-9.10 nap in cot
Playtime
10.45-11.20 nap in cot
11.30am lunch bottle
13.00-13.40 nap in car and buggy
Awake time in buggy at shops
1430-1500 nap in car on way home
1530 afternoon bottle
Playtime
1640-1700 nap in cot
Playtime then bath
1830 bedtime bottle
1845 bed
2200 dream feed bottle
(He then won't feed again till morning and will sleep pretty soundly until 3/4am...after that he occasionally stirs, needs his dummy putting in until he properly wakes up at 7am).

I am by nature a control freak and I really thought DS would just slot into a Gina style routine but I think I am going to chuck that stupid book in the bin!! I am learning that if a baby doesn't want to sleep for longer than 30 mins you can't make him!!

Iggly Sat 09-Mar-13 09:17:42

PMSL at your HV. She speaks sense!

Gina ford's book is based on the routines of easier babies.

If you get out a lot, stick baby in sling/pushchair they'll get naps an you get less stressed (I speak as a control freak!)

minipie Sat 09-Mar-13 10:30:04

Danger thanks for posting yr DS's pattern! how do you get him to have that 10.45 nap in his cot...? I think DD needs a nap around then (as she's often fractious from 10am onwards) but she won't self settle at that time...

DangerMousey Sun 10-Mar-13 20:51:34

Hey minipie with that 1045am nap we do the same as we do with all naps when we're at home:

- quiet cuddle in his bedroom in the dark saying quiet things like "you're feeling a bit tired now aren't you? You need a little sleep don't you" etc etc for a couple of minutes
- then put down in his cot inside Grobag, give him dummy, continuing to give quiet reassurances ("you're only going to sleep and when you come back you'll feel much better and mummy will still be here cos she loves you very much"--I actually say this every time he goes to sleep! Sounds daft but I think it helps!)
- I then put the monitor and quietly leave the room. He may grizzle a bit for a couple of minutes...if he does I will pop back in and out his dummy back in, rub his tummy and say shhhh shhhh shhhh and then leave again. I might have to pop back in and repeat again 3-4 mins later and the. He normally will go to sleep

(I don't really think of this as "crying it out" by the way...he is making a tired grizzly moaning noise, he is not full on yelling/crying...if he wabi would of course pick him up and cuddle him--probably until how fell asleep in my arms and I would just resign myself that day to him having his nap like that).

One other thing about that 1045 ish nap: I think he is only having this at the moment cos he is not capable of having a longer nap at 0830 ish...so this is like a little catnap to help see him through to his lunch bottle. So sometimes he will go down for it just 1hr20 mins or so after he wakes up from his first nap of the day. I think the key is putting him down for this little extra catnap before he gets too overtired.

Hope that helps??

minipie Sun 10-Mar-13 21:22:37

Thanks Danger! that is similar to how I settle DD for her naps but she would usually be too hungry (ie too long since her 7/7.30 am feed) to nap after 10. maybe I would need to add another mini feed...

DangerMousey Sun 10-Mar-13 21:40:19

IS she ff or bf? Cos if ff you could try offering a bigger bottle at the 7am feed? or how old/big is she? - maybe in another week or so she will take bigger bottles of her own accord and then just naturally go longer between them?

DS is 13 weeks old and it is literally in the last week or so that he has gone up to having 7oz bottles during the day (and 8oz at the 7pm bedtime feed and the 10pm dream feed)...he is a 16lb heffer though!! only once the bottles got this big was he able to happily go a good four hours between feeds. In face he doesn't often even cry with hunger after 4 hours but I just tend to offer him the bottle then anyway and he will usually take it.

minipie Mon 11-Mar-13 09:25:00

no she's BF so that may be why she isn't full for as long... i have no idea how much she gets at each feed!

she's 13lb and is 13 weeks corrected age (actually 19 weeks but was born 6 weeks prem)

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