3 month old sleeps only in sling

(9 Posts)
Cinnamon84 Tue 15-Nov-16 09:47:45

I have a 3 month old ds.
He is mix fed (1 bottle of expressed/formula at night and 1 in the morning)

Generally the routine is wake, feed, play, sleep.

He sleeps ok at night - he sleeps in bed with me and still wakes for feeds every 3-5 hours which I think is still normal?

I'm going crazy trying to get him to nap in the day. Up until a couple of weeks ago he would happily sleep if we went out for a walk in the prAm- now he starts off shouting at me then it turns into full on red faced wailing until I pick him up. I've tried taking straight after a feed, when he's starting to look a bit tired and when he's very tired, also tried covering it with a muslin so he can't see out and pushing down a quiet road vs a loud road and uphill vs downhill, nothing seems to work.

The only way I can get him to sleep is in the sling- he won't just fall asleep thoug, every time I put him in the he cries for about 10 mins before drifting off, and he only stays asleep when I'm moving- even after half an hour of bouncing, swaying, walking around the house and up the stairs, he'll wake up as soon as I sit down! It's really starting to wear me out.

I'm wondering if he has too much / too little sleep? I've read so much conflicting advice- Gina ford says 3 hrs max sleep during the day with 45 min naps and another book I have, which is close to what I do says 2 2hr naps then 45 mins in the afternoon (that's when ds has his biggest meltdowns).

I'm working to 3 hour cycles, times vary but this is what the day normally looks like:
7.30ish- dp feeds ds bottle
8.45ish- asleep in sling
10.30ish- stop moving when ds is due next feed
10.30 feed
11 play
11.30-12ish put ds back in sling
2ish wake for feed
2 feed
2.30 play
3ish sling
5 feed

I'm so tired I can't really work out where I'm going wrong, can anyone help? I'm starting to feel a bit claustrophobic being stuck in the house but can't face ds having another huge meltdown in public.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Tue 15-Nov-16 09:54:50

Oh dear, you sound like me 9 months ago. I'd give you flowers if I knew how to do it!
In your position I'd probably stop trying to make my baby sleep. I know it sounds counterintuitive but he may be picking up on your anxiety. If you are breastfeeding I suggest trying some lying down feeds in the daytime so that you can rest too.
Also the EASY routine has never worked for my baby, she needs to sleep either on the boob or immediately after eating otherwise she gets overtired, perhaps you might want to try that. Also my daughter was totally irregular in her sleeping habits both day and night till she was about 5 months.
Good luck xx

Abrahamkin Tue 15-Nov-16 10:13:38

I was like that around 1 year ago! I followed this mainly, and mine followed the times between naps quite OK.

I remember the time around 3-4 month where sleeping in the pram stopped working! What worked when it started working again was going on a rumbly bit (like gravel) for around 100 m, then a quiet bit. Don't have better ideas though!

Highlove Tue 15-Nov-16 10:23:21

Assuming he's gaining weight nicely, I'd not be waking to feed at this age. At least not unless baby's been asleep three hours or so.

My DD2 (14 weeks) gets progressively harder to settle as the say goes on - it's normal, I think. She might have a short nap in her boumcer first thing, otherwise its the sling. And last nap of the day will invariably mean ten mind of crying in the sling first.

I'm by no means an expert but I know lots of babies this age will still be on four naps a day, or more. Multiple, shorter naps are pretty common at this age. They'll lengthen in time.

If Gina's not working, give up on her - sounds like you might be tying yourself up in knots. (Easily done - been there!)

It's tough - this is a notoriously difficult age for naps.

Highlove Tue 15-Nov-16 10:24:22

Sorry for typos - on phone and feeding!

Abrahamkin Tue 15-Nov-16 10:36:43

Oh yes! I never woke to feed (except maybe the first week, but then my DS was never that good a sleeper that this was necessary wink). So if i got him to sleep I would let him sleep till he woke up. Then feed, play and try to get back to sleep as soon as I could see he is getting tired. With mine at that age it was as soon as he is starting to lose eye contact with me that was a sign he was tired. If he yawned more than 3 times i was in big trouble. I used the times in the link I sent earlier as a guideline as to how long he was to be awake after a nap. BUt goodness! Definitely never woke up to feed.

Cinnamon84 Tue 15-Nov-16 11:15:28

Hi thanks for the responses.

I'm not waking him up to feed- he sleeps til I stop moving, so if he's due a feed at 10.30 I would finally stop bouncing/ walking etc, sit on the sofa which would wake him up (normally crying)

I'm actively trying to get him to sleep cos if I don't he won't and then he gets overtired and becomes inconsolable... going to try the pram again as the sling is really starting to wear me out

Highlove Tue 15-Nov-16 14:01:52

It is really exhausting. I am not a natural 'baby wearer' - in fact I bloody hate that phrase with all the judgement wrapped up in it. But I've come to acceot my life is easier if I just put up with the sling. I drove myself half mad trying to get DD1 to sleep in the cot/pram/anywhere but on me. In the end she worked it out for herself sbout 5/6 months and went on to bece a champion napper. Ah the days of a three-hour after lunch nap...good times.

It's exhausting but he'll get easier/better at napping in a few months. Meanwhile brew cake

scrumptiouscrumpets Tue 15-Nov-16 17:42:33

I have been wondering the same - Gina Ford suggests very little daytime sleep, while others say sleep begets sleep and a baby should sleep as much as possible during the day. No idea who's right !

If I've read your routine correctly, your LO is actually getting three nice long naps. Personally, I think Gina Ford babies seem to need very little sleep. DS 2 is the same age as yours and no way would he last till bedtime on a 15 minute catnap! If your LO isn't showing signs of being overtired or not being tired in the evening, I'd stick with the current length of naps. Does he take very long to go to sleep in the evening ? If so, I'd gradually reduce the length of his last nap.

How do you put him to sleep in the evening? Have you tried replicating this during the day ?
Have you tried putting him to sleep in the bouncer ? That way, at least you could sit down while he naps.

In any case, you will be able to work on breaking the sleep association in about a month. At 4 months, they are old enough to learn a new habit without too many tears (there will be some tears though, ime). DS 1 would only go to sleep while feeding, at 4 months old, I started putting him in his cot awake after his feed, and he'd go to sleep with white noise and me patting his back. He got the hang after a few days.

Google precious little sleep - a very helpful site IMO.

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