Daytime nap issues - help!

(21 Posts)
Echocave Wed 26-Feb-14 23:20:17

My second dc is now 15 weeks old and we are having loads of problems with daytime naps. She is good at night but haven't yet tried sleeping through.
I feel like we've tried everything and I'm on the verge of going mad over this.
Every nap she wakes up 40 minutes in. Sometimes she resettles, sometimes she needs help, most of the time she won't/cannot go back to sleep.
We have tried white noise, dummy, picking up, not picking up, patting, shushing. Nothing works except an hour and a half walk round town in buggy. I am at my wits end and very worried this will soon affect her night sleeping.

She is well fed (bottle fed express milk and sometimes formula so getting plenty), I try to wind her thoroughly (always been windy baby but that's improving) and I let her play and keep an eye on the time etc so she doesn't get overtired. But though she goes down ok she cannot get over this 40 minute sleep cycle problem.

I am wondering if there is something physically wrong with her that makes her wake up and unable to get back to sleep.
Does anyone have any advice? Am out of ideas but am so miserable I can't go on like this. Thank you.

magicalmrmistoffelees Thu 27-Feb-14 11:09:28

I'm sorry I've got absolutely no advice but I'm watching with interest as my 15 week old DD also doesn't nap longer than 40 minutes in the day!

MillionPramMiles Thu 27-Feb-14 12:02:20

This is pretty much what my dd did. Unfortunately it didn�t improve, we tried everything, I even hired a very experienced maternity nurse. Dd was the only newborn I know who only slept for 2x40 min naps over a 5 hour car journey.

In the end I had to find ways to get dd to take 40 min naps 3 times a day. So every 2ish hours I�d try to get dd to take a 40 min nap, either in cot after a bf or in the pram. For a few weeks I used a wrap sling and would replace the dummy when dd woke after 40 mins. This did increase her naps for about 3 wks but after that dd decided she hated the sling. The main thing was getting her to get some sleep, regularly during the day before she became overwrought. She regularly screamed herself to sleep (while I held her) though. She was just so tired, it was awful.

If it�s really not working, my suggestion would be to stick to regular short naps rather than spending hours trying to get a crying baby back to sleep (as I did, it was miserable). Give a wrap sling a go if you haven�t already, it�s worked well for some mums I know. Doesn�t give you a break but it�s less tiring than pushing a pram.

It got easier to structure the day around mealtimes once dd was taking solids. So dd had one nap a couple of hours after breakfast and another one after lunch. I just had to accept I wasn�t going to get the 2 hour breaks that some other mums had.

There have been brief periods (eg when dd started crawling and again when she started walking) that dd has taken longer naps for a week or two. It gave me an insight into what other parents lives were like and helped me understand why I wasn�t enjoying mat leave as much as they were smile

But now dd is 21 mths things are so much better. She still sleeps less than most other toddlers her age (10.5 hrs overnight and one 1 hour nap) but she sleeps through and is so much happier as she needs less sleep. I don�t have to worry about shortening naps to improve bedtimes (as some others are finding). I�m finding the toddler stage a breeze compared to the baby stage!

Hang in there, it might be tough for a while but it doesn�t last forever.

ZuleikaD Thu 27-Feb-14 12:41:40

It's not a 'problem' it's perfectly normal for a 15 week old to only go one sleep cycle at a time! You will probably find that she'll do 90 minutes awake, 40-45 minutes asleep all day at this point. Trying to make her do anything else will only drive both of you crazy! It'll change in a few weeks as she starts to go down from five naps a day (which is what she should be having at this point) to four, then three. She will start to be awake for longer, and asleep for longer. Don't worry - neither you nor she are doing anything wrong, it is NORMAL!!

Taler Thu 27-Feb-14 13:06:21

Sounds normal to me! Well 'normal' as far as my DD goes! She is 16 weeks old and prior to about a week ago she would always nap in the day for 20/30 minutes. She was a cat napper, and only very very occasionally slept for an hour, possibly an hour and a half!

I watched for sleep cues religiously as dealing with an over tired baby aint much fun! But even putting her down to sleep before she got too tired she would still be waking up 20/30 minutes later.

Now though she seems to nap for 40 mins to an hour on average. I was a bit worried (which is ironic as you want then to sleep for longer and when they do you worry?!?!), but have since been told that their sleep patterns to continually change so hopefully that's all it is.

I found the 20/30 minutes napping pretty hard going as it gave me barely any time to do anything. But I took her lead, as I am continuing to do and I just thought if she's tired she'll sleep longer or at least how signs and then I can help her get back to sleep.

It all sounds pretty normal to me smile

naty1 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:28:17

Mine only did 40 min naps until i did CC at 11m.
She wasnt able to get herself to sleep and hadnt learnt the skill.
Impossible as it is in the long term they need to get themselves to sleep with no rocking or patting etc.
She now sleeps 12h at night and 1-2 hrs once or twice a day at 20m.
(Very rarely do i wake her up some sort of body clock wakes her after these times.)

MyNameIsAnAnagram Thu 27-Feb-14 13:30:08

Ime that is totally normal. I found mine just gradually increased the length of their naps by themselves.

Poshers Thu 27-Feb-14 13:31:27

Read troublesometots.com the swing saved my life!!!

Echocave Thu 27-Feb-14 14:32:20

I feel quite depressed reading this as personally I don't think 40 minutes of sleep is normal - it is one sleep cycle and a baby needs to learn to get over this sleep pattern. I don't understand how you can fit that many naps in during a day. My dd is only having 3 naps (bad ones at that). She is fed roughly 3 and a half to 4 hourly. How on earth do you fit 5 naps in in a day?

findingherfeet Thu 27-Feb-14 14:33:07

Yep we got a swing, lifesaver when it was pouring with rain and buggy trip to ensure constant motion wasn't appealing...smile

findingherfeet Thu 27-Feb-14 14:37:29

And she's only young, it will improve. Using 'sleep props' didn't affect my daughters increasing ability to nap for longer nor affect her night time sleep, she's two now and has a nap for at Least 3hrs and a full 12hrs at night (in a normal bed - no vibrations/rocking/music etc!)

Just do what's necessary to make your life easier at this stage and to encourage LO to get enough rest...

Artandco Thu 27-Feb-14 14:38:30

Normal. A sleep cycle from baby- puberty is around 45 mins. So that's how long they generally sleep for when small. What you can do is teach them to come out of one sleep cycle and straight into the other.

Try one nap a day in the pram. After 30 mins sleep, start gently rocking the pram and make sure they are comfy. This often helps them continue nap.
If in cot/ Moses basket you can do the same 30 mins nap, then gently pat and shush before they wake fully, hopefully they will stay settling to sleep through another 45 mins

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 27-Feb-14 14:46:35

DS had a similar sleep cycle but he was bf so I would spend most of the day on the sofa. He'd have a bf, sleep on my shoulder for 40 mins, wake, have a nappy change/time on baby gym then repeat (yes I fed to sleep). He switched to napping easily in his cot for up to two hours of his own accord, nothing I did helped.

Echocave Thu 27-Feb-14 15:29:33

I am torn between thinking I need to sleep train now before it is too late and thinking she's too young and I should wait. I am a huge control freak which is making this hard.
I was quite interventionist with dd1 (who was in fact naturally a better sleeper than dd2) and she has always been a good sleeper. By this stage she was a lot better at self settling. What worries me is dd2 seems to be getting worse...!

ZuleikaD Thu 27-Feb-14 16:29:10

You don't need to sleep train - babies sort this stuff out for themselves when they're ready.

Echocave Thu 27-Feb-14 17:12:47

Do they? I dont really know what to do in the meantime. Im trying to find a routine which makes my day vaguely practical as there is an older child who never gets enough of my attention.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Thu 27-Feb-14 17:18:21

Electric swinging chair and sling. I couldn't have coped without them and ds1 would never have got played with!

naty1 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:15:42

Was other DC bf?
I think hv advised only sleep training from 6m on.

Echocave Thu 27-Feb-14 19:39:18

No my other daughter was bottle fed - formula or expressed milk. Dd2 has one bottle of formula a day and the rest is either bf or expressed milk in bottles. She is definitely not hungry though.

mummybare Thu 27-Feb-14 19:41:30

I did similar to Artandco - at the 40min mark, I would make sure I was by the cot and hold DD's arms still - she would jolt and her arms startling would wake her, even with the swaddle. It took a couple of weeks, but she went from waking ever time to going from one sleep cycle to another herself, via stirring but not quite waking while I held her arms.

She was soon having 1.5hr naps, which worked much better for me and she wasn't overtired by the end of the day. I think she was a similar age so it might be worth a try?

Echocave Thu 27-Feb-14 19:51:07

I have tried being there and shushing, patting, putting a dummy in, anything to avoid her waking and being inconsolable. Today I heard her stir, so I crept in and peered at her in the dark. Her eyes were wide open and I then had to decide what to do. After trying to give her a dummy and putting up the volume on the white noise, she became more and more awake until she started screaming. I then had to pick her up. And sadly that was that.

I can't rock her as she's in a travel cot. We moved her out of her basket on the advice of a nanny friend who suggested that she might be waking herself up by kicking the side of the basket.

There seems to be no way through the 40 minutes plus rocky period.

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