Tell me what to do with my nap fighting 4 month old!(14 Posts)
Just that really - I am getting really, really frustrated with him - and I know it's not his fault.
He basically fights and fights every nap - if I hold him and try to rock/calm him, he wriggles and bashes my face and scratches my chest. If I lay him in his cot he cries as he doesn't know what to do. Sling doesn't work now, he'll sometimes fall asleep in the car or pram after about 20 mins, but only if he's calm enough to take his dummy. I've tried swaddle, white noise, etc etc. More often than not, it feels like he just falls asleep through exhaustion - poor baby.
What works with him one day will not work the next. I feel terrible that I can't work out how to calm my baby and help him sleep. He's had 30 mins sleep since 8.30 this morning. I feel like I can't go anywhere in case I miss his window of sleep.
I'm aware of the 4 month sleep regression but this has been going on since he hit 3 months. I want a happy napper! I'm worried I'm giving him negative association with sleep. This is more difficult that the newborn stage!
Any tips to help him fall asleep? We have a nap time routine.
Its awful isn't it. DS at that age would only sleep on me, not a chance I'd ever get him in his cot. I was also an avid pram walker, like you 20 mins to get him to sleep then I'd stay out until he woke (45 mins on the button). I should be slim. Now he's older I put him in pram and wheel him in the hall. Again 45 mins. Bit of a pain but at least I can tidy round, cook etc.
I also found that i'd need to catch him before he got overtired otherwise meltdown time. Can't remember at that age is it maybe awake time 1.5 hours...sorry I dont retain much these days.
Hope things get better, it did here and I never thought it would
If it helps DS barely slept at all from 16-20 weeks. Was a total nightmare. Got better once that growth spurt was over
Agree with swivel - try to get him down no later than 90 mins after waking. I had a non-napping baby until I started be more conscious of this, and watching for eg fists to chest, glassy stare etc.
I find a Snooze Shade on the pram to be useful at getting DS to stay asleep in pram.
IMO if it causes distress puting the baby down for naps then just don't do it. The baby will sleep when sleep s needed, just as they did in the womb when they didn't have someone telling them about their own needs.
One thing though. Appetite increases massively at this age so if grisly, feed.
No idea if DS (5mo) and I are on the right track, but over the past month he has settled a lot better so thought I'd share what we do. However I would also like to preface this with a huge "touch wood".
We do eat, play, sleep. After a couple of days watching him like a hawk I discovered that he starts to get tired somewhere around 90 min after waking or about an hour after he has finished eating (cos he doesn't always BF straight after waking and sometimes takes shorter/longer time to eat). I keep an eye out for the very first yawn as I read that the sleeping window lasts exactly 3 yawns. So now that I know his individual rhythm, I can anticipate when the yawn is likely to present itself which thankfully takes out a bit guesswork.
I aim to start his routine on the first yawn. This involves a cuddle on my lap then rocking. When we started out I had to rock and rock (and rock and rock) to get him to the nodding off stage then put him down while sleepy but still conscious. Thankfully this is now down to about 5-10min. Once in basket/crib I very gently swaddle the arms by tucking a large muslin across chest and under arms. This is just to counteract his startle reflex as he relaxes. He soon brings hands up but is really relaxed by then so he doesn't wake himself. Again, when we first started this could be a long drawn out process requiring re-swaddling and "shhhh" sounds.
Nothing is fool proof, but I have found that he responds well if I'm consistent.
I should probably add that he was much better at 1st nap of the day then got progressively worse as the day went on. Now I'd say that it's still harder in the afternoon, but much easier than a month ago.
My six month ds usually needs a nap after being awake for 2 and a half hours. I watch out for the rubbing of the eyes followed by his first bit of grizzliness then put him straight in his cot with the cot mobile playing. tell him its time for bo bo's, kiss him then leave the room. He settles himself off to sleep within about five mins depending how tired he is. if he is still awake and grizzly when the music from his cot mobile has finished i will go in and wind it up again but i wont say anything to my ds i will just place my hand on his tummy briefly as a sign of comfort. This has worked for us from when he was approx three months old. However this may not work for some babies. they are all different. but its important they learn to settle themselves off to sleep
oh and he has a morning, lunchtime and afternoon nap all of which last roughly 45 mins to 1hr. sometimes his lunch time nap lasts two hrs if i am lucky
Knitted, your baby sounds like a lovely sleeper, wish I could do that with mine.
As DS (20 weeks) has got older its got harder to get him to nap in different places. But he now seems to associate my bedroom with sleep so I close the blinds and feed him and it usually works if he's not overtired. Usually about 90 mins to 2 hours after waking is optimum.
Out and about is harder now. In the pram he will sleep but fight it, the eyes drift close, then ping open, again and again. It usually takes 20 mins if walking with him in the sling.
he is good however he does wake up at 5:30 am every morning. but thankfully i am lucky enough in that he does sleep thru.
Some babies do not fall asleep when they are tired, rather they get more and more worked up until they are inconsolable.
Agree that you need to look out for tired signs much sooner than you might expect, or even just go by your watch rather than the baby.
My DS was awfully bad tempered until I realised that he needed major help getting to sleep. What actually worked was manic rocking. No gentle rocking and shushing for this baby, but putting on very lively music and dancing around quite violently with him.
Thank you everyone for your advice! We too try to stick to Eat/Play/Sleep, and have figured out he can do about 1hr 40 awake if he's had a good nap before. It just gets tricky if we are out and about still! He's also going through a short-nap phase (40 mins/one sleep cycle) which is slightly annoying! Also means that the Eat/Play/Sleep routine gets a bit messed up. I've just bought a blackout blind for his room and DH has taken a couple of days off work to help me crack it! One nap took me less than 10 mins from taking him into his room to him being asleep enough for me to leave - amazing! So he can do it
Short naps are my current bugbear, as they get progressively shorter as the day goes on and he's getting more overtired/stimulated - meaning he is always tired/needing a nap so his tired cues are constant/a bit all over the place!! I usually go on eye-rubbing, and often the yawn comes as I start calming/laying in cot...progress possibly?!
And if he's determined not to sleep, I give up and try again later, for my own sanity as much as anything.
Zoobaby and Knitted - thanks for sharing, sounds like you have cracked it
Seriouslysleepdeprived (me too!) - I am desperately hoping it is just a phase!
Noblegiraffe - wonderful image of the 'manic rocking' - I might give something similar a try!
I keep banging on about this in almost every sleep-related post... but seriously, I gained confidence after reading Dr Harvey Karp who advocates the 5Ss. Swaddling, shushing, swaying, something and something else. He taught me how to "shut down" DS relatively quickly - plus he also talks about the need to get a little vigorous a-la Noblegiraffe's method .
Join the discussion
Please login first.