6 month old won't nap, days are a nightmare, please help!!!!

(9 Posts)
tinybaba Sat 20-Jun-09 10:02:33

Apologies for the long thread but I feel I need to explain the whole situation.

My DD has never napped well since being 3 months old. She gets very tired but literally fights sleep (shaking her head, screaming). We have tried everything we can think of and it's making our lives miserable. When she naps well she is a lovely, happy, smiley baby and sleeps well at night. When she's tired, she screams all day long (not crying at first just screaming, she's not ill) and I can't do anything or go anywhere. Some info:

Sleeping in car - will do sometimes but wakes as soon as we stop driving. Sometimes drive for over an hour and she won't sleep
Sleeping in pram - does very occasionally, have walked up to 2.5 hours with no sleep
Sleeping in cot - completely random. Sometimes goes to sleep first time, sometimes takes 1.5 hours for a 45 minute nap. This is the method we mainly use. We don't pick her up once she's in the cot (unless it takes 1.5 hours at which point I give up).

Things we've tried:
Routine - does not suit her at all. Some days she's more tired than others (especially if we've been swimming etc)
Putting her down when she looks tired (rubbing eyes, yawns) - works sometimes, others times fails miserably
Putting her on her tummy and rubbing her back in case she has wind - this worked for a couple of days, then she worked out what we were doing and screamed every time we tried to turn her over
Using a mobile - she ignores it
Very mild controlled crying (going to see her every 2 mins, getting gradually longer). It seems the more we go in to 'settle' her, the worse she becomes and screams the place down. I'm not prepared to let her cry it out.
PUPD - just winds her up unbelievably

We have been consistent with what we've done and sometimes it works, then it all goes pear shaped and we're back to square one.

She's not fed to sleep and can settle herself to sleep during the night (if she's slept well in the day she only wakes once for a quick feed).
She sometimes falls asleep lying on her playmat but again it's completely random.
She only ever sleeps for 45 minutes at a time (tried to get her to sleep longer but that ended in tears). She seems to need a lot of sleep, 12-13 hours overnight and 3-4 hours during the day.

Any help would be really appreciated. My days are a nightmare. I can't go out for the day as she won't sleep and screams all day. If I stay home I spend all day walking up and down stairs trying to get her to sleep.

kittywise Sat 20-Jun-09 10:09:09

Sorry no advice, just sympathies. Dc no 6 (now 2 has) only ever slept in the day if he occasionally falls asleep in the car.
It's very tricky and tiring for all concerend. I have NEVER been able to put him down for daytime naps, even as a newborn. Some kids are like this. Some sleep for England some don't IME.

More sympathy from here. Putting DS in a sling (an Ergo carrier by teh time he was 6 months) and walking, walking, walking was the only thing that worked for him. God, could that child resist sleep. I so relate to the walking with the pram for mile upon mile with a fully wakeful baby.

I think so much of this is down to personality - I now have a 3 month old DD who is a 'normal' sleeper, and can finally see how all the advice about routine, shush-pat and so on can work. It would never, ever have worked for DS.

Try a sling of some kind if you haven't already - it may do the trick.

tinybaba Sat 20-Jun-09 12:02:44

It's good to know I'm not alone!!! Have tried sling also, too many interesting things for her to see so no sleep there either. I think you're right with the personality thing, DD is so lively and alert and (if it's possible at 6 months??) very stubborn!!

hemjo1 Sat 20-Jun-09 12:07:48

Our 3 month ds is exactly the same, the sure way of getting him to at least have an hour nap in the day is wear him in a carrier outside, and walk, walk and he falls straight to sleep! Guess its a combination of the whitenoise and being close to the body. We are struggling sometimes to get him have at least 5 hours total naptime in the day...as CaptainKarvol suggests try a sling or a carrier whichever your DD feels comfortable in. I stress this as every baby is different, some like slings others perfer carriers, try some out in the shops.hope this helps

feralgirl Sat 20-Jun-09 13:13:30

I co-slept one nap a day with DS for about 6 weeks which set his body clock enough for him to now be able to do it himself. If I wasn't sleepy then I'd read or watch TV for 2 hours. He'd still wake up after every sleep cycle but I'd be able to cuddle him back to sleep quickly.

After a while I was able to stay until he was in deep sleep then leave, now he settles himself in his own cot three times a day and naps so well I usually have to go and wake him up.

If you've got the time in your day to co-sleep a nap then it might be worth a go, you've tried everything else!

One of my friends is trying the wake to sleep thing with her DD who is a bloody awful napper and sounds very similar to yours! The other thing she does which seems to work is to leave the radio on quietly in her DD's room (the afternoon play on radio 4 works best, she says!)

Best of luck.

tinybaba Sat 20-Jun-09 14:04:41

Will try wake to sleep as we're def stuck at 45 mins for naps. She's sleeping now (1st nap we've managed today) and she was not at all happy about it. I'm exhausted, it's weekend and I haven't done anything all day......

iwantitnow Sat 20-Jun-09 18:26:07

have you tried a white noise cd or download

Allegrogirl Sun 21-Jun-09 11:30:40

Haven't got any words of advice because we're tried everything suggested here and at 20 months nap times are still unpredictable. I often feel I never get anything done around the house and traveling by car is a nightmare as she doesn't sleep. Since she was born I have struggled to plan everything around her erratic nap times because she would never nod off quietly anywhere. Carrying did help in the earlier months but I never got a rest as I would be walking her to sleep everyday.

Luckily I managed to get a bed time routine established by 3 months and she does sleep well most nights.

I wish I'd known of more people with babies like this before as I always felt I was doing something wrong. Now I realise it's just her personality and what makes her a bright, enquiring, enthuistic and energetic toddler. It's exhausting though.

I've just put her down for a nap now after a frantic session in the pool this morning and hardly any naps all week and she is still chattering away to herself. Hey ho.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now