sociable baby never sleepy, in need of advice/reassurance that this will end!!(5 Posts)
My DD is 14 weeks and up until a week or so ago was generally good at sleeping. I didn't worry too much about naps and she tended to drift off on her own, or with a bit of rocking and shushing if she was clearly in need of some help napping. It's always been hard to put her down to sleep, except at night in her Sleepyhead which she was generally fine in. With night time sleep from about 8 weeks we started to do a very short routine of bath, change into PJs then cuddle and feed to sleep. She generally had one sleep of around 5/6 hours then maybe another 3 hours if we were lucky, but generally a bit restless after that. We were initially doing bath and bed around 9pm as it suited us so we got a bit of an evening first and she seemed to be a real night owl (not previously settled until 1am!) but I noticed she was getting tired earlier so we've been moving it forward and generally now it is anywhere between 6.30 and 8.30, but closer to 6.30 these days.
We have just returned from two weeks away, visiting relatives and a holiday, which I'm sure is part of the problem, but seeing as she didn't really have a massively fixed routine before I didn't think it would be that much of an issue. On holiday I really tried to get her to nap as soon as she was tired, and she generally slept very well at night (amazing black out blinds on holiday!!!). Since we have got back it has all become incredibly difficult...
She is an incredibly alert and sociable baby, everyone comments about how much she looks around at everything and she beams huge smiles at everyone, which is lovely. However, it means that she HATES being encouraged to nap. I watch really closely for signs of tiredness and start trying to get her to nap as soon as I see one. We don't really have a nap routine as such as we are out and about quite a bit, and I have been wary of her only learning to go to sleep in one place. Previously I would just pace around patting and shushing her until she eventually conked out on my shoulder. Now as I start any kind of move towards a nap she starts really fighting, she will hold her head up bolt upright so it isn't resting on my shoulder and will squawk and cry as I try to calm her. She used to nap in her buggy but now it is very hit and miss and if she does fall asleep whilst we are moving she wakes as soon as we stop. Occasionally I can catch her as she wakes and shush her back to sleep, but this is maybe 1% of the time and most often she is eyes wide open and smiling, ready to face the world again! (But yawning and rubbing her eyes minutes later as she hasn't had enough sleep!) She used to sleep well in car seat but rarely anymore. She sleeps well in the sling (can sleep for 2 hours with my shushing and patting her when she stirs) but it can take up to 20 mins of me walking around shushing patting and singing to her before she'll sleep.
When she gets tired, esp in the sling she'll frantically suck her hands/my collar bone/my DHs arms and this seems to help her get to sleep. However she doesn't really find her hands at any other time and a dummy works sometimes but other times she struggles to keep it in her mouth and if I try to gently hold it in for her she ends up being sick
I briefly tried pick up put down but found she just wound up over tired. I believe she is too young for controlled crying and not sure I will have the heart for it as just hearing her crying in the sling or the buggy makes me cry
I've read A LOT of posts about her being too young to self settle, which is fine, I don't necessarily want her to self settle, I just want to be able to rock her to sleep again without her screaming the minute she knows I'm thinking about sleep
She is also waking up far more frequently at night and we've gone from her sleeping in her sleepyhead pillow, to just sleeping next to me as I can feed her so much easier. Generally she goes straight back to sleep after feeding, although occasionally gets incredibly wriggly and can't get back to sleep.
I know she may be having a growth spurt at this age but would that account for her getting so cross when I try to get her to sleep? She acts as if she is overtired but how do I get her to not be overtired if I can't get her to sleep???
Anyway, apologies for the absolutely huge post, congratulations if you manage to read it all!! Any advice/encouragement welcome. I would just like to start enjoying my little girl again and not be counting down the minutes until the next nap battle
Oh god this sounds like my dd (now 6 months) at that age, she's always been very bright and alert and at that stage she just seemed to find everything too interesting!
My tip is just ride it out, I think with dd it lasted about 6-8 weeks and I eventually gave up getting her to sleep anywhere other than the sling and just went with it, I so wanted to nap while she napped but she would only nap in there so I was zombified for a few months! She would still often end up having an overtired meltdown in the evening though and there was the odd night where I had to put the sling on at 3am to get her back to sleep, agh! Mostly though I'd get dh to rock her for the bedtime sleep, but that would take a while and she'd often be trying to wriggle out of his arms!
So, I would just relax, it will get better, dd now self settles both at night and for naps so it doesn't last forever. Go with the sling naps and just get her to sleep anyway you can.
I hear you about the buggy as well, if anything woke dd up there was NO way she was gonna go back to sleep, it was very frustrating, I would be furious at random dogs or people laughing too loudly near me, ridiculous! But lack of sleep will do that to you,
I had dreadful issues with DD1 and overtiredness and the only thing that worked was walking with her in the buggy until she fell asleep, then keep walking (no stopping AT ALL) for an hour or as long as I could bear. Then repeated 3x a day. Only needed to do that pram walking regime for a few days, after that she was much easier to get to sleep (until the next overtiredness phase anyway!). Sounds like you could do the same but with sling? Aim for 4 hours naps in the day.
Sounds like dd. I did pretty much exactly the same as minipie. At 18m she will only nap in her buggy or car seat but to be honest it's not the end of the world as by their nature they tend to be wherever she is anyway! I would definitely persist with getting her to nap because it does makes them much happier andmord likely to sleep well at night imo
Thanks guys. It's good to know it's not just us. I think I'll resign myself to a week or so of sling naps and see what happens! I'm also going to try getting up at the same time in the mornings as I have no routine currently so can't expect the little one to have one!! She's currently fallen asleep on me but this is rare and only because she's work herself out crying after her 12 week jabs!
Can I ask what did people do in the evenings? When it's actual bed time ie when I go to bed, I feed her lying down and she falls asleep and as we currently cosleep I don't have to bother about moving her anywhere once asleep. But we do our "bedtime" routine earlier in the eve and then I pop her in the sling where she usually sleeps for 2, 3 if I'm lucky, hours until I pop her into bed with me. I guess my questions are, does this seem right or should I just do a nap early evening then her bath time etc when she wakes from this? (Prob around 9) Currently if she wakes in the sling I'll just jump into bed with her to stop her waking up, but this sometimes sees me wind up in bed at 8pm...
Also re naps and wake time, when I do get her to sleep in the sling in lucky that she generally sleeps 1.5 hours or more, 2.5 this morning!! So when she has long naps, should I leave longer between naps or still try to limit her wake time to 1.5/2 hours? I know it sounds very analytical and I'd love to just go with the flow but when I do that she goes from happy cooing baby to overtired and crying in seconds!!
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