9 week old won't nap/overtired

(14 Posts)
Gidders Mon 12-Apr-10 16:11:46

Apologies in advance if this post is long and rambly - having numerous doubts about DD's sleep problems.

My DD is 9 and a half weeks old and pretty much refuses to nap anywhere in the daytime except a sling. She will sometimes lie in her moses basket/cot without crying, and occasionally even falls asleep with the aid of a dummy, but will wake after 25 mins, at best. I can get her to sleep in the sling fine - and she will sleep for up to 2 hours in it.

What puzzles me is that she sleeps fine at night - she is in cot next to our bed and every night goes down with pretty much no persuading needed after a feed, wakes once in night for a feed and settles back down again easily.

I can't work out what is different in the day time. I have tried lying down next to her like we do at night and that doesn't help.

She definately needs more sleep, but I don't want her to be getting all her sleep in the sling - I'm fed up and tired of carrying her for hours every day, and DH has to wear the sling in the evenings - she won't go down in cot until we go to bed. I am also worried about her just never learning to nap properly.

I know it's meant to be common for babies of this age to want to sleep in people's arms, but no one I know seems to have the same problem- everyone in my NCT group is able to put their baby down for a nap, and able to put them to bed early in the evening.

So what am I doing wrong? Should I be letting her sleep so much in the sling? I am completely against leaving her to cry, so how can I persuade her to sleep in cot? Or is it just a case of waiting for her to grow out of this on her own? To be honest, it's the staying up in the evening in the sling which bothers me most - I feel like I'm failing her somehow because all the other babies have lovely bedtime routines and are all tucked up sleeping while she's still up. MIL was most unimpressed when I said she went to bed at 10pm - 11pm!

Any help/experiences would be much appreciated - beginning to feel I can't talk to people in real life about it because they look at me like I'm mad when I say I can't put her down sad.

anniepan4 Mon 12-Apr-10 16:29:35

hey! i have pretty much the same problem.... he's baby no 4 and 14 wks old... he hates to sleep during the day unless attached to me! as soon as i slip away..bang.. wide awake! arrgghhhhhh he cried pretty much the whole time up until 7 weeks unless in my arms so i'm nowjust grateful he'll be happy to watch the world go round not attached .. like you he sleeps like a dream, last feed at 9 10 ish then sleeps all night.. but god i wish he'd have a daytime sleep!!!! i justwant to hang out the washing/hoover etc ..lol xx

mnistooaddictive Mon 12-Apr-10 16:31:33

Don't worry about other people they will have other problems later that you don't have - it all evens out in the end! I had a baby that couldn't be put down and know the complete frustration. People who say they could hold their baby all day and just look at them have never had a baby who won't be put down! Have you tried putting her in a pram and taking her for a walk. DD1 would fall asleep then and stay asleep for about an hour. We also used to swaddle her as that made a huge difference.
What worked for us was routine - take her for a walk everyday at the same time so she gets used to be asleep then and then does it without the walk.
For dd2 we found sitting with her with our hand on our tummy menat she would go to sleep. It used to take about 40 minutes sometimes but it was progress and once this was working we left herto cry. I know it sounds terrible but she cried for 5 minutes. She has been a brilliant sleeper ever since. It takes them a while to get used to a routine so decide what you want it to be and do it every night even iof you have to go to bed at 8pm for a couple of weeks until it is all sorted.
Sorry this is so long. Good luck

Gidders Mon 12-Apr-10 19:41:12

Thanks anniepan - it's good to know someone else hs the same thing happening. I suppose we should at least be grateful we're getting the night time sleep - better that way round than crying all night!

mnistoo - pram does work sometimes - it's a good idea to take her out at the same time every day, I will try that, thanks.

anniepan4 Mon 12-Apr-10 20:01:42

God yes!!! I'd rather have sleep all night far more than be bothered about hanging the washing out! lol.....
I wish Harry would sleep in the pram..... he hates it! is it any wonder we dont go any where!???!!! xx

AngelDog Mon 12-Apr-10 20:30:26

Gidders, this sounds very familiar. We have lots of babies like this on the 'Challenging 3 month olds' thread, so you might find it useful to have a read through some of our escapades.

I could only get my DS to sleep in a sling during the day between 9 weeks and 12 weeks (at night he would happily feed to sleep, but never, ever in the daytime!) He would wake lots at night and be virtually impossible to re-settle after feeding. On the other hand, I know lots of people with non-nappers who do sleep wonderfully at night, so it's not that unusual.

Since then I have had increasing success in getting him off without the sling (he's now 14 weeks). Partly that is him being older and easily to settle, and partly I've got better at identifying his tired signals. There's an explanation of my 'method' for getting him off on the 3 month olds thread in case that helps you.

DH and I spent most of our evenings for a month pacing the streets with a (crying) baby in a sling. Today for the first time we didn't need to use the sling at all in the evening. grin

I wouldn't worry too much about the late evenings. Babies have their own ideas about when day & night are, so IMO it's best to work with them rather than against them. Up until about 12/13 weeks old, DS could never be persuaded that it was bedtime before 8pm (then 9pm, once the clocks changed!) but in the last week or two that has been gradually changing, and today I managed to persuade him it was bedtime at 6.45pm! grin The most important thing IMO is that she is sleeping well at night and that you're getting enough sleep to cope.

I would ignore your MIL. My mother thought at first that I was neurotic about DS's sleeping, and (I suspect) thought I was 'doing something wrong' because DS was so difficult to get to sleep. After spending a bit more time with him, she was much more sympathetic to our difficulties!

Lots of babies who struggle to nap during the day will only sleep for about 30 mins at a time, so don't worry about that. A paediatrician friend who recently gave us some advice on DS's sleeping said that it's perfectly normal to only sleep for such a short time and we shouldn't worry about it. Some babies 'graduate' onto longer naps once they're a bit older.

One thing that makes a real difference is being able to identify your DC's sleep cues and try to get them to nap then, as you're much more likely to be successful. Signs include yawning, grizzling, a starey look (but these vary from baby to baby).

I found this page useful - it gives rough averages of awake time for babies of different ages. If you can't spot your DD's tired signs, try getting her off to sleep once she's been awake for the average length of time babies of her age can stay up. If she likes the sling, then probably motion in your arms is a good way to start. I tried jiggling DS upright, as if he were in the sling, but he didn't like it, whereas cradled in my arms and jiggled was much more successful. If she will take a dummy, that can make a real difference too, so keep going with that. I find that swaddling helps - it might suit her as it might feel cosier, like being a sling.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley has some good suggestions about changing babies' sleeping habits without leaving them to cry. One suggestion is to get them to the point of very sleepy in the sling and then take them out and try settling them in the cot or in your arms. I've not tried it myself, since I have a baby carrier that would be hard to extract a sleepy child from, but it might be easier with a single ring sling. I think this would only work though if you've caught your DD at a time when she's naturally sleepy.

FWIW, everyone else in my NCT group seems to be able to put their baby down for naps too. envy I found it very isolating until one of my friends told me that her daughter spent her first 4 months in a sling because she was so hard to settle.

Apologies for the essay, but I wanted to share some of my experiences. Feel free to join us on the 3 month olds thread - we're not picky about the age of the babies and you'll find plenty of similar problems (along with some improvements). smile

Shaz10 Mon 12-Apr-10 20:32:17

My 9 month old very rarely naps in the day unless he's on me (or in the pram). He sleeps all night though so I just suck it up and get on the internet during the day!

Thandeka Tue 13-Apr-10 15:07:05

have exactly same prob with my 9.5 week old dd. she just doesn't seem to like to sleep during the day unless in sling, pram or in carseat in car. She will have mini catnaps on the boob but they usually last a max of 20 mins before she wants to get back on the boob (and in meantime I can't sleep too!). She sleeps great at night and if we go out for the day in the car she will sleep most of the day and it doesn't seem to affect her night sleeping. I suspect she does need more sleep but she doesn't seem tired until the evening. Am watching this thread with interest!

foureleven Tue 13-Apr-10 15:14:15

Is it to do with it being too light in the day time?

Are you trying to put her down at the same time each day? That might help.

In my experience 9 weeks is about the time we all start worrying about sleep patterns, feeding times etc etc because once all the commotion of having a brand new baby settles you start to question every little thing and try to fit in to a 'perfect' routine.

I had this feeling from about 9 weeks until 12 weeks. Then I gave up trying, and my daughter just fell in to a routine by herself...

Fathoming these little creatures is the hardest thing we will ever do and in my opinion reading endless books etc will only confuse you and make you think that your not doing things 'right'

Just put your jammies on, get in to bed with your bub and snuggle down for a nice nap...

it'll all come in in the wash - as my wise old mum would say grin

Gidders Tue 13-Apr-10 18:24:04

Thanks Angeldog, I will check out the thread - it looks busy, so at least I know I am far from alone! Those times are interesting - according to that she should be napping every hour 20 mins or so - she goes far far longer than that most days. I do think I am missing her sleepy cues, and of course if she gets overtired it's so much harder.

Thandeka - can you get your dd to sleep in the early evening away from you? Interesting that they are the same age and are exactly the same with sleep.

Foureleven - it could well be a light thing, that is on my list of things to try. I didn't reallyy want to go down the route of her having to nap in a dark room, but of course that would be better than not napping at all. Good to hear your daughter sorted her sleep out by herself - I definitely think it's possible to interfere too much with a baby's natural pattern.

Thandeka Tue 13-Apr-10 22:13:31

Yup dh often takes dd in sling in early eve and age will nap but most evenings are cluster feeds so she doesn't really sleep then. As I write this am trying to get her to sleep, she has been awake since 11.30 this am and not had more than 20 min nap this evening. Gah!

mummyB123 Wed 22-Jul-15 16:33:57

Oh my goodness I could have written this very same post! No advice I'm afraid as in the same boat with my 9 week old but reassuring to 'sail' with other people! Watching thus thread while I bounce on a ball with a sling and baby!

mummyB123 Wed 22-Jul-15 16:36:01

Doh just seen how old this post is!hope sleep got better for you!!

taylormommy Thu 10-Mar-16 01:57:26

My 9 week old is the same way, today was the first time it happened ever and after reading this I think it may just be so phase I'm gonna have to deal with.

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