Naptime nightmares. Considering sleep clinic for 5mo...is she too young? Thought please.

(14 Posts)
CoffeeChocolateWine Sat 22-Dec-12 11:59:11

I find myself here again to beg for the umpteenth time for advice on how to get my baby napping during the day. I think I've been posting similar threads every month!

DD is 5 months old and is hopeless at napping and always has been...even as a newborn. The first 3 months were a nightmare because she only slept in bursts of 15mins and would have about 3 maybe 4 of these a day and screamed for most of the time she was awake. Things then got easier for a while when she finally decided she would sleep in a sling. But when she got too heavy for me, I went on strike(!). That was about 3 weeks ago.

For the past 3 weeks I have pretty much cut myself off socially during the day so that I can put all my time and energy into getting her used to sleeping in the cot or pram and last week I really felt like I was getting somewhere. She was napping for around 30-45mins and was doing this about 3 times a day. She was still very overtired having got used to having 2 hour sleeps in the sling but we could get by on it.

But this week I just feel like crying (and have done several times) because I feel like we are back to those dreadful early weeks. She fights her sleep every time I put her in the cot even though I know she is tired. I battle with her for up to 45 mins and then when she finally gives in she sleeps for 15-20mins and wakes up screaming and looking so tired. She will sleep for up to 45mins in the pram but the weather is so awful at the moment and I have another child aged 4. I feel like such an awful parent forcing him to come out with me in the cold and rain just so I can get her to sleep (and in the past two days he's had a really dreadful cough...can't help but blame myself for it) but I don't know what else to do...I can't listen to her inconsolable screaming and I don't like my 4yo having to listen to it either.

She doesn't sleep badly at night and is able to settle herself very quickly and easily in the evening so I can't understand why she is completely incapable of doing it during the day. She usually sleep from about 7 until about 3.30-4ish but is near on impossible to settle back to sleep. I'm generally up with her for 2-2.5 hours and sometimes she doesn't go back to sleep at all. I have consulted numerous books on sleep but nothing seems to help. I put her in the cot and soothe her and stroke her and pat her but she just gets more and more agitated.

Please don't tell me that some babies just don't need as much sleep as others as countless people have told me. My baby is miserable and overtired...that is not a baby who is getting enough sleep. And I'm exhausted and fed up with it. And I have the additional guilt of feeling like I'm neglecting my DS because DD is so high maintenance. I've spoken to the HV but she was very unconcerned by it. I haven't been to the GP but I think I will after Christmas. I'm also seriously considering taking her to a sleep clinic, but is 5 months too young? Has anyone tried a sleep clinic and could recommend one in the London or SW London area?

If you feel that's what you need to do then do it. People will agree and people will disagree but it's your baby, your life and your choice. You have to do whats best for your family as a whole.

Ultimately wanting your child to sleep and fit the routine you need to have is not a bad thing. I'm sure anythin that the clinic advises will be taylored to your babies needs. Please don't feel bad for just trying to be a good mum to both your dc smile

rubyslippers Sat 22-Dec-12 12:13:39

you can try a sleep clinic
the fact she sleeps at night for a bit and self settles is encouraging

TBH I had two fairly non sleeping babies and it's the pits

i wouldn't attempt 45 mins to get to sleep

i would be putting her down for a nap much earlier than you think and then bum patting and shushing until she settles

she is in a cycle of being over tired so harder to settle

so say she gets up at 7, but her down again by 8.30

I used Millpond sleep clinic for my DD when she was 6.5 months to night wean

it was gentle and worked - took 2 weeks

llamallama Sat 22-Dec-12 12:15:00

What sling were you using?

I still carry my 15 month old as I have the right sling for her, basically not a baby Bjorn type that wrecked my shoulders after about 4 months of age!

If a sling works for her then consider getting some advice on getting another one. I have a ring sling, wrap and a mei tai and they are all fab and don't hurt my back at all.

Are you near south London? The south London sling library is fantastic!

KatAndKit Sat 22-Dec-12 15:13:30

I think getting a better sling and perhaps also learning to back carry might help you. Perhaps just one sling nap a day and the other in a cot/pram?

I have a bondolino and can carry my 20lb 8 month old baby on my front in it without being in pain.

CoffeeChocolateWine Sun 23-Dec-12 13:15:46

Thanks for the advice all. While I do agree that investing in a new better sling is worthwhile, I'm still so keen to get her napping in the pram or cot. I have a bad back anyway and in this cold weather, without wanting to sound selfish, I don't want to have to go out every day to take her for a 2 hour walk in the sling. A few weeks ago I desperately tried to get her to nap in the cot but she wasn't having an of it. In the end I took her out in the sling and it was raining, horribly windy and freezing cold and I resented every moment of it. As we in winter now as well I'm also concerned about when it's icy...I can't see very well where I'm stepping with her on my front and I'm concerned about slipping on ice. Every now and then is fine but to me that is not the long-term solution I'm after.

Rubyslippers, part of the problem I have with her is that I've noticed she very rarely yawns. And when she does it when she's far past the overtired stage. I've tried clock watching and putting her down anytime between up for an hour and 2.5 hours and she doesn't go down easily whtever time I try. And even when she does go down with relative ease, she doesn't stay asleep for a decent amount of time.

People keep saying, she'll get there eventually but it just seems so painfully slow!

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Sun 23-Dec-12 13:23:54

Can you lie with her on your bed instead of putting her down on her own or using the sling? Having had 2 poor sleepers and one good sleeper (both night and naps) I think that, although there are strategies that work for some people, sleep is largely down to luck and child's personality at that particular stage. Lying down with my youngest, who is my worst sleeper, works if he is tired, although he has always been a cat napper (45 min naps) - some children just will never do those mammoth 2 hour naps in the cot which other mums take for granted...

dizzy77 Sun 23-Dec-12 13:24:14

I hear your pain OP. I was in the same boat last year with DS, who refused to nap in his cot. I ended up doing very long walks each afternoon to send him off to take edge off, whilst cold and grim in December wrapped up in my north face coat it was mildly less horrid than a whole afternoon in with a screaming 6mo. It had the fringe benefit that all the walking took off the baby weight.

I read the no cry nap solution (shushing, bum patting & gradual withdrawal but tbh just tried laying in his cot on the off chance one day at about 8mo when I thought it was time for a walk - in hindsight, just before he got too tired - and bingo. wishing you luck.

blushingmare Sun 23-Dec-12 19:36:19

I feel your pain - sounds very much like my dd. this doesn't really help you, but perhaps to give you a bit of hope, she hit 6 months and almost overnight started napping in her pram indoors, with just a bit of jiggling it backwards and forwards. Now, 3 weeks in, I can put her down when she hardly looks sleepy, but I know from the clock she's due a nap, and she will just drop off - it feels like a miracle every time! She now has big long sleeps of up to 2 and a half hours in the pram. I don't bother with the cot at all during the day now as it's not worth the battling when I lnow she'll sleep so well in the pram. I really think it just took her a while to learn how to do it. Can't say your's will be the same, but maybe!

I always do the same things to get her off. Put her in the pram, give her her teddy, cover the pram with a towel and gently rock it. She also has a sheepskin liner in it - it looks so cozy, I'd love to sleep in there! I don't know if she needs the dark to sleep, but it's a definite sleep cue for her now. When we are out and about in the pram she won't actually sleep now unless I lie it flat and cover it over.

Before I start to sound smug, don't even mention nighttime sleeping - agh awful!! confused

Good luck - I hope you see some improvements soon.

SwivelHips Sun 23-Dec-12 20:34:16

Another one here with a ds nearly 7 months finally going for naps in pram indoors. If I catch him within 2 hrs he goes down easily otherwise he's overtired and v hyper.
We still struggle at night, halfway through ncss waiting for inspiration...

SwivelHips Sun 23-Dec-12 20:37:07

Forgot to say ds naps are 45 mins always, but I've just realised if I catch him when he's transitioning I can get him back to sleep for another 45 mins within seconds. Doesn't work every time plus I'm trying to judge how much he actually nee

mewkins Sun 23-Dec-12 22:42:13

I would maybe hold on another month. Dd could self settle at 4 mo but weirdly not for naps until 6mo. Different types of sleep apparently!

CoffeeChocolateWine Mon 24-Dec-12 00:04:54

Thank you so much everyone. It really does give me a boost to know I'm not the only one going through this and my baby isn't the only one who doesn't nap. As I walk round town seeing every single baby sound asleep in their prams while mine is wide awake sometimes screaming sometimes not, I start to think that she is! I get such terrible sleeping-baby envy! It gives me hope that some of your babies have come out the other side!

TheUKGrinch, I tried taking her to bed with me for a while a few weeks ago without much success. She thinks it's brilliant fun...she just pokes my face, flaps her arms, coos and blows raspberries!! And this is when I know she is tired. DH has actually had a bit more succes when he tries but we've got a 4yo too so it's not very often practical to take her to bed and lie with her. But, I do remember I could do that with my DS when he was a baby and it worked well.

Anyway, we'll plod on I guess and hopefully one day she'll get it...hopefully sooner rather than later. Maybe I will put off going to a clinic for another month or so as a lot of people are saying their babies clicked at around 6 months. I'm not holding out for her to suddenly start sleeping for two hours, but when she started doing stretches of 45mins that felt like a massive breakthrough and she could get by on 3 of those naps a day. But after getting that breakthrough and then for her to suddenly go back to 15-20 for no obvious reason just feels so frustrating.

dizzy77 Tue 25-Dec-12 21:37:19

Hi coffee. The sleep consultant most of my friends are using starts at 6mo. Not all babies click but I do remember it as the point at which the fog started to clear in so many different ways. She also describes it as a lot like Weightwatchers - common sense stuff you probably already know but with the support, check-ins and encouragenent to help you stick to it: she doesnt promise magic. Hang on in there.

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