Can't get 2mo to settle for naps - help!(16 Posts)
Is 9 weeks too young for a baby to start learning to self-settle? She is up screaming after half an hour during the day and no amount of soothing/stroking/gradual withdrawal etc etc will get her back to sleep. I know these things take time but it feels like an own goal when her two-hour 'nap time' in middle of day is mostly spent crying. Am finding the endless catnaps exhausting, and frustrating for 3yo older daughter as I spend half the day in a dark room getting her sister to sleep. Do I persist - or try a dummy? Slightly dread the dummy detox further down the line. Any advice much appreciated
If I were you I would try a dummy and worry about it much later
I think you would know if she needed a dummy, some babies are just more 'sucky' than others. Does she 'latch' if you put your little finger in her mouth? If so, try a dummy, it's better than the current stress.
Some babies do not nap. My DS hardly napped at all until he was 7 months. He would sometimes fall asleep in his pram or in the car, or doze off after a feed in my arms, but would never be 'put down' at set times like my friends' babies. I got so stressed about his lack of naps but he always seemed fine without, tbh. So in the end I gave up the fight.
From 9 months onwards he has loved to be put down in a darkened room around lunchtime and goes for 2+ hours no problems. So it can and does change.
Is she cross and fed-up if she doesn't nap? Could you take her into a darkened room and feed or cuddle to sleep? I wouldn't worry about self-settling yet that's for sure, she's so tiny still.
I'd just feed her to sleep.... so so tiny still.
Where did you get the idea she needs a 2 hour nap time? Because unless it's the baby's idea you're destined to struggle! Let her sleep as and when she will. I do sympathise, I went through awful struggles getting DS to sleep, and DD is only 8 weeks so I'm going through it all again - every nap counts, be it in a sling, pram, cot or your arms. It took me until he was around 7 or 8 months to have any sort of nap routine.
I agree with B******s - why are you trying to keep her asleep for 2 hours?? My dd never slept for anything like that long at 2 months - half hour naps were definitely the rule. And she is too little to learn to self-settle - try a dummy if you're desperate but you might just have to go with her flow.
I've gone through this with DS1 and DS2, 9 or 10 weeks was always crunch time when I got the routines going and life became easier!
First I got them used to napping in a routine by getting them to sleep by whatever means was reliable (for DS1 walking in pram, and for DS2 carrying in sling was the only thing that worked - and kept them in this for whole nap). The routine I followed was wake up 7am, first nap 8.30am to 10 or 10.15 latest, lunchtime nap 12 or 12.30pm for 2 hours, last nap somewhere between 4 and 5 pm, waking them at 5 so they sleep again at 7pm.
After a week or so they were used to the routine, and expected to sleep at these times, so made it easier to settle them. For DS1 it was a case of dummy and gentle bouncing (I also cracked and got an Amby hammock) and for DS2 he preferred Moses basket but had to be total darkness, to mimic night time. I use radio 4 on very very gently in the background (so you can barely make out the words) as they go to sleep, and leave it on for a longer nap - i guess they hear it as they wake and settle back to sleep.
now routine is like clockwork (age 7 mo and 2.2 years) and they both sleep 2 hours over lunch - bliss!
My DD didn't self settle til 4 months, didn't have longer naps til then either (and even now, still only has 1.5 naps occasionally).
Dummy was a god send for us! Yes it falls out and she whinges for it, but if we hadn't given her that I think we'd still be rocking her pram for 4 hours a day to get her to sleep
Maybe just go with the flow a bit more, she's still really young.
Thanks so much all - she IS tired, so does want to nap after an hour and a half: I just get the feeling she is waking up before she's ready, ie not hungry and not really happy to be awake - and settling a cross baby for four or five short naps a day is v tiring/time-consuming. And means it's hard to have much quality time with DD1, who did eventually nap two hours a day but guess I've forgotten how long it took to get to that point.. Think I'll try sticking to some sort of routine by any means necessary - sling/pram/dummy, thanks porcupine11 - and not stress about the settling thing at this age: I think it's just winding her up - and then DD1 picks up on my stress. I like the Radio 4 tip - You and Yours should send her off!
have you tried swaddling her? Swaddling can be a great tool for helping her learn to settle herself back to sleep. It sounds like she is waking after one sleep cycle and is not able to put herself back to sleep for the next.
We used a swaddle pod for DD but woombies are very good too, or you can just use a cot sheet.
porcupine11, how on earth did you achieve this?:
"The routine I followed was wake up 7am, first nap 8.30am to 10 or 10.15 latest, lunchtime nap 12 or 12.30pm for 2 hours, last nap somewhere between 4 and 5 pm, waking them at 5 so they sleep again at 7pm."
My DD might go to sleep happily enough at 8.30 but she wakes up when she feels like it! How did you manage to make sure your DC slept for the requisite time? Bloomin heck, you even had to wake your kids up???!!!!
It's a bit Gina Ford but the theory is if you let them sleep past 7 am they will only want to go to sleep in evening 12 hours from when they got up, and the daytime naps will be messed up... so if you want them to sleep 2 hours or more at lunch, the first nap must be shortish.
my neighbour swore by it so when DS1 was 5 months I took the plunge and stopped our lie ins (which he would often do if he'd woken lots in the night). After about 3 days he automatically woke for the day at 7am after going to be at 7pm, and DS2 just fell into this as I put him down at 7pm from the start (and DS1 was already waking at 7am of course, and bounding into the room to see his baby bro...). and most days we need to wake DS2 up at 10 am to get to whatever coffee date or activity DS1 is doing that morning. then it ensures they both nap simultaneously at lunch, which is v important for me as I squeeze in some work.
why does he sleep for the requisite time? i think gina ford's routines really do 'get' baby sleep patterns (feed patterns are a different matter and i've never followed a feeding routine).
Not great in the mornings, but bliss to put them down at 7pm and have a whole evening.
daytime naps and evenings sorted, but night times are a completely different matter with multiple night wakings at the moment, and then all my resolve goes and i comfort feed DS2 to sleep... [yawn]
That's fab how DS fell into his big bro's routine. Unfortunately I have a baby that I can't just 'put down' for naps! Bedtime is fine though, I too enjoy my baby-free evenings!
I haven't done Gina Ford, but I've found similarly to porcupine that if I get up at 7 our day falls into place much better than if I feed ds in bed to get another hour or so lie in.
My ds also wakes up after 30-45 minutes of every nap - he does the same thing at bedtime actually, goes to bed at 7pm, wakes at 7.45pm and then needs resettling to go to sleep for the night. I guess it's just at the end of the first sleep cycle?
I tend to take him for his first nap around 8.30am/9ish. I have been feeding him to sleep but trying to phase that out now at 15 weeks. He has a dummy and I sit with him and stroke his face or pat and shush him off to sleep - he can't self settle yet. He normally just sleeps 30-45 minutes in the morning, but if I want him to have a longer nap after lunch I tend to stay with him or nearby so I can rush in and pat/stroke/shush him back to sleep as soon as he starts to stir. I'm hoping eventually he'll learn to keep himself asleep at the end of a sleep cycle
I have a 15 week old and use GF's rough nap schedule (actually her schedule for 8-12 week old babies, since that's what DD seems to need, plus a longer nap in the PM than GF recommends), since it works for DD, but don't use her feeding schedule. The two hour midday nap then co-incides with 22 month old DS's nap.
I swaddle her, and gently rock her in her crib to get her off. If she wakes, I go back in and shh her and rock her again, and that's usually enough to get her back to sleep. If not, white noise.
I'd LOVE her to take a dummy! Once DS stated taking a dummy (after I'd finally relented, having been extremely anti), sleep and naps were revolutionised. DD however, just won't take one.
But - swaddling and white noise seem to be working instead.
I'd also recommend doing the same thing each time you put her down, so that she starts to get the cues, and knows what's happening. Take her in, cuddle her, pull the curtains, lay her down, swaddle her - whatever you want to do - so that she knows it's nap time, and that she's safe. It just takes a bit of perseverance but is worth it, since enough day time sleep keeps them happy
It's just routine - but it needs to be a routine based on your babies cycles which are much shorter than for an adult - imagine if you were put to bed at 11am in the morning - you'd probably cry too!!!
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