Do I really need to sleep train my baby?

(14 Posts)
nibbysmum Thu 30-Jan-14 13:03:33

Lo is 4 months old. Wakes for a feed or two on a night but usually sleeps well although since turning 4 months we've had a number of occasions where he won't go back down upon waking. We have a bedtime routine .. baby massage and calm play before his bath. He gets very giddy in bath as he likes to splash so things do rev up a little but it doesn't seem to matter. Then dressed, into his grobag and given a bottle. He's usually asleep by 7-7.30 He does fall asleep on bottle but we wake him before laying him in cot. What's worrying me is his daytime naps are hard work. He seems to understand his night routine and that tells him it's sleep time but in the day he either goes to sleep on me after a bottle or sleeps in his pram/car/car seat. At 9am he has his first nap which is easy as he's basically fed to sleep but he won't go in cot at this time. He has 1 or 2 other naps which are either me pushing him in his pram round house or going for a long walk if I've cabin fever. I'm worried that actually minus the bottle and car/pram I don't know how else to put him to sleep. I can rock him to sleep which works but whenever he goes in cot, despite knowing he sleeps there at night he just babbles and plays! I'm worried I'm creating sleep crutches with rocking, putting in pram etc and that this will encroach into his night sleep eventually. I've read so much conflicting advice online I don't know what to do and I'm wondering if anyone has actually just left baby to it and had a positive outcome (ie they are good sleepers in day as toddlers). I do wish he only needed to sleep at night!!!

gamerchick Thu 30-Jan-14 13:08:22

he's only just come out of the 4th trimester.. still little and doesn't need any kind of training.. you can't 'spoil' them at this age.

As far as i'm concerned... doing things at the same time each day is enough.. the building blocks for later on.

it seems you've got things pretty much nailed until the next development stage when things may be unsettled a tad anyway.

He's doing fab at night.. that's a really good thing, don't worry too much about daytime naps and just carry on with what works.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 30-Jan-14 13:13:47

It sounds completely normal for 4 months old and any sleep training associated to crying wouldn't be effective yet - they need to understand that you still exist if you're not in the room and that doesn't happen until 6 months plus.

We used shh-pat at 3/4 months old to encourage self settling and cot naps, ds was sleeping much as yours is now. I would suggest that and a nap time routine might help, so books and grobag etc.

FWIW, my ds still puts up a bit of a fight for naps now whereas bedtime I get a cuddle and 'na-night' before he indicates that he wants to go in his cot.

keepitgoing Thu 30-Jan-14 16:41:01

hi, my 12 week old is the same. settles ok at night but in the day only on me/pram/sling/car. a couple of weeks ago I tried getting her on the cot but she either wakes straight away, or lasts 20 mins if I waited till she was in a deep sleep. she ended up v tired and her night sleep suffered. for now I'm just going with it. night sleep is more important to me. but like you I wish she didn't need any naps!! I know I need to keep trying as they change all the time.

tanimbar Thu 30-Jan-14 20:54:53

I reckon you're doing pretty well. He's still tiny. Make the most of him needing motion to nap and get out. Before you know it he'll only sleep in his cot and you'll have a two-hour window for excursions. None of my children have self-settled for naps until at least 5 months.

nibbysmum Sat 01-Feb-14 10:23:08

Thanks for your replies. I feel a lot better knowing its not just me. Every nap is a battle at moment and it's wearing thin. I like the suggestion of a nap routine..even if he sleeps on me with rocking (don't have car everyday) at least eventually he may understand the routine goes with his naps. I do know when he needs morning/afternoon nap roughly but even though he's furiously rubbing eyes he fights it. I guess I just pick him up from playing though and expect him just to sleep which is stupid really. It's just so hard to Do the same things everyday. This week we've had some terrible nights too .. I don't know why but feel like it's my fault!

BranchingOut Sat 01-Feb-14 10:38:00

Maybe he is getting to the point where he does not need so many naps?

I did no sleep training whatsoever grin, but at about 4 months I began to set in place one long lunchtime nap eg. at about 1pm I would always take him for a walk in the pram.

THis was great as he begn to sleep for more than an hour at the same time each day (mostly 2pm) and this lasted through until he was 2.6 approx. No other sleeps though, unless for a car journey. The only thing i would do differently is to make that sleep a bit earlier.

Night time sleep was trickier, but we eventually cracked it using gradual retreat, no crying, when he was a toddler.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Sat 01-Feb-14 21:29:19

He sounds overtired. He needs about 4 naps, unlsss they're long. Start to settle after 1hr 15 minutes of awake time. Often by the time they seem tired, they're passed it and you've missed their sweet spot.

Oly4 Sat 01-Feb-14 22:29:16

Don't worry, your baby is still small! I was rocking or had my son in my arms for all naps at your stage. He didn't take to the cot til he was 6 months + for daytime naps. Now he settles himself there and sleeps for 2.5 hours every afternoon. Had done since he was 1. You're not 'spoiling' your baby. My best advice is to throw the parenting books away ;-)

Jackanory1978 Sun 02-Feb-14 05:29:20

I absolutely agree with oly4, throw the books away! I didn't worry about making sleep crutches etc with my ds, I just followed his lead. He breast feeds to sleep every night & last night slept 19:15-05:00, so it can't be that bad a thing.

Also he's only now, at 9.5 months, started napping in his cot, & he still falls asleep on me a lot or in his buggy. I think you just do what works for your baby.

DipDabDabDip Sun 02-Feb-14 06:17:24

Dd is 10 months and for naps I bring her into my darkened room, put her in her bag and put her white noise on and I feed her to sleep on my bed. I'm only now considering trying to get her on her cot. It works for us at the minute though and I'm loathe to mess things up.

claudeekishi Sun 02-Feb-14 07:03:29

You're doing great and so is he - totally normal and better than average I'd say!

I don't know why those books and sleep experts get so het up about rocking to sleep in the pram. The pram is the best invention ever. You get fresh air while he naps, or if the weather is shit, you just rock him to sleep in your kitchen. Eventually - probably not for another couple of months - you can try rocking him to sleep in the house in the pram, and as soon as he settles but isn't quite asleep, very gently stop rocking the pram. Gradually phase out the rocking over a week or so, so by the end you're just putting him into the pram for his nap, maybe in his gro bag, and let him snooze.

So after a while you can do that in the stationary cot! That's all the 'sleep training' I did with an extremely needy EBF baby.

But sleeping on you or in a sling or pram or whatever is totally normal right now. The main thing is that he sleeps.

nibbysmum Mon 03-Feb-14 08:37:15

I can't tell you how much your replies have helped. I guess I was told babies sleep and feed and that's it! I have met some mums with similar issues but I go to baby massage and one mum in particular makes me feel bad by saying rocking to sleep is terrible. Our nights on the whole are pretty good with no rocking needed. Some days naps are easy and others are a battle and since posting I've realised things are always worse if our (sort of) routine is broken or if there's people here (including his daddy sometimes!!) Really though you've all made me feel much better. Thank you

AnythingNotEverything Mon 03-Feb-14 08:47:37

DD is 15 weeks and we're the same. Night time is fine, even self settling some nights, but some days (particularly when we stay home) I spend lots of time wrestling her to sleep and being stuck under the baby.

I'm hoping it'll right itself if I'm mindful of it ... She's too young for cot naps IMO so extra baby cuddles it is grin

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