3 month old only naps in sling

(9 Posts)
Cinnamon84 Tue 15-Nov-16 09:13:49

I have a 3 month old ds.
He is mix fed (1 bottle of expressed/formula at night and 1 in the morning)

Generally the routine is wake, feed, play, sleep.

He sleeps ok at night - he sleeps in bed with me and still wakes for feeds every 3-5 hours which I think is still normal?

I'm going crazy trying to get him to nap in the day. Up until a couple of weeks ago he would happily sleep if we went out for a walk in the prAm- now he starts off shouting at me then it turns into full on red faced wailing until I pick him up. I've tried taking straight after a feed, when he's starting to look a bit tired and when he's very tired, also tried covering it with a muslin so he can't see out and pushing down a quiet road vs a loud road and uphill vs downhill, nothing seems to work.

The only way I can get him to sleep is in the sling- he won't just fall asleep thoug, every time I put him in the he cries for about 10 mins before drifting off, and he only stays asleep when I'm moving- even after half an hour of bouncing, swaying, walking around the house and up the stairs, he'll wake up as soon as I sit down! It's really starting to wear me out.

I'm wondering if he has too much / too little sleep? I've read so much conflicting advice- Gina ford says 3 hrs max sleep during the day with 45 min naps and another book I have, which is close to what I do says 2 2hr naps then 45 mins in the afternoon (that's when ds has his biggest meltdowns).

I'm working to 3 hour cycles, times vary but this is what the day normally looks like:
7.30ish- dp feeds ds bottle
8.45ish- asleep in sling
10.30ish- stop moving when ds is due next feed
10.30 feed
11 play
11.30-12ish put ds back in sling
2ish wake for feed
2 feed
2.30 play
3ish sling
5 feed

I'm so tired I can't really work out where I'm going wrong, can anyone help? I'm starting to feel a bit claustrophobic being stuck in the house but can't face ds having another huge meltdown in public.

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 13:13:38

I used to do 2 hourly Eat-Activity-Sleep-You cycles at 3 months old. In fact sometimes they were 90 minutes cycles.

The great thing about EASY is that you can make it child lead. Are you tuned into tired signs? If you see any tired signs then that actually is the start of over-tired and baby could have done with being asleep half an hour earlier. So you can use this to inform your next EASY cycle and reducecactivity time accordingly.

The ideal is that baby is still happy, just moving out of the Happy/Awake stage when you get them to sleep. Grumpy means baby is already too tired. Screaming or crying means you're we past the ideal timing for a sleep.

At 3 months old I would have been expecting about 30-45 minutes awake time, rising to 40-80m awake time by 4 or 5 months old. But then you seem to be getting very long naps. Our Out of the newborn passive sleep stage, I'd be exoecting naps of 30-45 minutes so maybe your baby-led way is longer awake time and longer naps?

Because we had limited awake time at age, I'd use most of that as floor time. So nappy off kick around, not if tummy time and then under the playgym. I would use the calling to want to be picked up and cuddled as the sleep time sign.

As soon as baby first started grumbgrumbling and not being happy on te floor, straight into the bouncy chair, dummy in and bounce bounce bounce until asleep.

If baby likes movement to sleep have you tried a bouncer? Bouncing it with your four while sitting on the sofa watching tv. Foot bounce back to sleep any time baby stirs awake. If you've missed the nap-window and got into over tiredness you can just keep bouncing the bouncer with your foot for the whole time to keep baby asleep.

RedLemonade Tue 15-Nov-16 17:35:35

FATE can I hijack slightly to ask if you think a 4 month old sling napper could be encouraged into napping in bouncer?

She naturally follows EASY and I sling or rock her to sleep as soon as she starts grumbling but it would be great to have an alternative for days my back is tired! She is so far refusing a dummy so should I have some other sleep cues when she goes into bouncer or just bounce bounce bounce till asleep?

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 18:41:27

It depends on her reason for liking the sling. If it's primarily movement (if you away to get her to sleep, or whatever), then while she might protest about the bouncy chair initially- the movement from tge bouncy chair should still get her to sleep.

If it's the closeness she craves, you may need to go a different route and go via co-sleeping for naps into a co-sleeper cot (cuddling in with her) and straight to cot settling.

I used to do this ^ at bedtime, then bouncer for daytime. That gets baby used to both. By the time naps lengthened, she was used enough to cot-sleeps at bedtimr that the transition to cot naps for daytime was easier.

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 18:42:22

(if you away sway* to get her to sleep, or whatever),

RedLemonade Tue 15-Nov-16 18:49:30

Thanks FATE.

I do sway her to sleep in the sling, though in the morning I often do a "feed or rock and then co-sleep" nap so I know she loves the closeness too.

Unfortunately I'm back to work part time in a couple of weeks so need an alternative the CM can work with bearing in mind the presence of 2 year old DD1!

I might get try the bouncer naps for a few mornings and see how we go.

Thanks again!

FATEdestiny Tue 15-Nov-16 20:25:47

I suggested swapping sling for bouncer to the op because she mentioned baby having a 10 minute cry before going tonskeep in the sling. Same is likely to be true in the bouncer, but at least then you can leave baby undisturbed one asleep.

If you've got a baby who goes off to sleep without a peep in the sling, you might have to tolerate a bit of crying with the change to a bouncer. As long as you're ok with that and have realistic expectations, then you might as well give it a go.

Having said that, if baby is going to a childminder, pushchair might be a better idea for daytime sleeps. That will work when cm needs to be outand about.

Good luck!

Cinnamon84 Wed 16-Nov-16 08:51:44

Thanks FATE, I tried the bouncer yesterday so I could give my back a rest but it didn't work... he was pretty content though which was a good thing.

I am following the EASY pattern, just so confused and thought maybe I'm trying to make him sleep too much? I've read various things saying 3-6 month olds only need 3 hrs sleep a day and then other people say they need 1-2 hours 3 times a day?

We are getting long naps but they only last as long as I'm moving about, as soon as I sit down or try and put him down he wakes up- this is why I'm so exhausted... hoping it's all a short phase and I can go back to taking him out in his pram and leaving him sleeping for another hour or so!

FATEdestiny Wed 16-Nov-16 11:42:04

saying 3-6 month olds only need 3 hrs sleep a day

My 2 year old has 3 hours daytime sleep a day. Plus 11-12h uninterupted sleep at night.

If you have a 3-6 month old getting 12 hours uninterrupted sleep a day, then yes I'd say 3h daytime sleep (give or take, maybe 2-4h) would be fine.

I had one of those in my four children. DC3 was sleeping 12-13h sleep uninterrupted per night from 7 weeks old <lucky me>. I'd say he only had a couple of hours of daytime sleep.

DC4 (and DC1 and DC2) were not sleeping though at this age. Nowhere near in fact. So they had much, much more daytime sleep.

I'd say your average 3-6 month old needs 15-18h sleep in 24h. There's an NHS webpage for recommended amount of sleep for a baby and child. Lack of sleep can have significant health issues similar to things caused by obesity. So it getting plenty of sleep is very important for a baby.

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