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My dd is nearly 5 months. For past couple weeks she has been fighting EVERY nap (and bedtime)...it is rather exhausting! She is obviously tired. I have tried catching her as early as possible (or even before the first yawn) and tried leaving her a little longer. There seems to be no window of opportunity! If I just lie her down she might settle for a minute but then seems to get frustrated by not being able to sleep and starts crying (starts of light and gets worse and worse). When holding/rocking/bouncing she cries on and off. Am using a dummy aswell. She always falls asleep in my arms eventually (after about 30 mins) but the whole thing is quite traumatic (hate seeing her cry). Not willing to let her CIO. Have tried putting her down drowsy a million times and it never works. Sometimes if she is in the buggy or sling she will fall asleep without crying. I am trying to follow BW 4 hour EASY. I'm sure if I fed her it would settle but I know she's not hungry (would be for comfort) and everything I read says creating an association btw bf and sleep is bad. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and sorry for the loooong post. NB She is such a happy baby the rest of the time but as soon as I try to put her to sleep she flips.
I had a hardcore nap refuser - he never slept at home in the daytime from the day he came out of hospital until he was 5 months. His record was to be awake 9 hours-we were all beside ourselves.
This is what worked for us: Create a daytime sleep routine-at that age DS would either nap at 9, 12 and 3 or 9 and 1 depending on what we were doing. I began to take him for walks in the pushchair/out in the car at the same time everyday to get him to sleep at these times. Decide on a routine for naps-ours is a shortened bedtime one. Nappy change, curtains drawn, quiet white noise on, trousers off, into grobag, kiss and leave. Try and encourage self settling at bedtime. Have a solid routine then as well. Whilst DS was bf in the daytime and first on solids but not eating much I would give him a quick bf before all naps, and put him down half asleep (same way as at bedtime). At 6 1/2 months I decided to stop bf in the daytime so I just cut those feeds out, as by that time he was eating plenty and having formula. I made sure naps were relatively soon after meals so that he was not hungry. Yesterday I gave him a quick bf before his nap as he had a tantrum due to a dirty nappy and was beside himself. That's the first time I've fed him pre-nap for a month. So it's not necessarily a rod for your own back.
Thanks! Been working hard all week at it. Been very militant with timings and bedtime routine. Napping well in the buggy (same times) and fell asleep on own for first time ever this evening. Going to keep persevering. So nice to see progress!