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4 month old napping problems, any advice?

(10 Posts)
kayjudd Thu 18-Oct-12 19:12:37

My 4 month old dd who I am lucky to say has been a complete joy up until now, is now not napping. This was not a problem before - she was happy with 3 x 40 minute naps a day and sleeping 12 hours at night. She is not rocked/soothed to sleep and has been able to settled herself. I usually put her down just before I know she will start yawning etc (about 2 hours after each previous waking). She would maybe grizzle for a few minutes but rarely have a problem. In fact last week I was just (foolishly) thinking how well she was settling herself. Nothing has changed in our routine except she has a complete meltdown at nap time. It begins with grizzling then esculates into full blown ear piercing screaming with her clawing at her face (if I don't pick her up it won't stop & I have tried soothing her before she gets this bad and it still can happen). It takes quite a while to get her down from this (and if I try to put her down to sleep again (or even if not) it will start again!). I managed one half hour nap yesterday with the aid of a dummy (she's not usually interested in one & it has worked again only to fend off the meltdown, not get her to go to sleep), I thought maybe it might be her teeth but she's not generally like this except at nap time (she is ok at night unless dad tries now - but I'm hoping thats just a phase of wanting me!). I try to give her 2 out of 3 naps at least in her cot, the 3rd is often en-route somewhere in the buggy (she can still seem to fall asleep in the buggy, but I dont want to get to the point where she'll only sleep in there [it has to be on the move for her to fall asleep - if we stop she wakes up anyway], especially as we dont usually have a problem. Any experience of this? Is it just a four month growth spurt or something? She does sometimes take a long time to bring up wind but that has been happening for a couple of months, the napping problem about a week. We were doing so well! Sorry, this probably seems like a minor problem but I do so hate to see her so unhappy. Thanks. K x

Sprite21 Thu 18-Oct-12 19:37:35

I'm no expert and I still struggle to get DD down for a nap at 13 months. But if I were you I would not worry so much about 'bad habits ' and just use whatever works. Can you feed her to sleep lying down or nap with her in bed?
It sounds like she really needs more sleep. I remember feeling like I spent the whole day trying to get DD to sleep at that age. It gets easier when they start dropping naps.
Four months is a classic sleep regression point but I don't know if it effects naps as well.

Emmaonthehill Thu 18-Oct-12 20:00:08

What's a sleep regression point- I don't like the sound of that!
My 11week old doesn't nap at all in his cot. Will settle himself at night fine and sleep for 12 hrs but cries incessantly if I put him in cot in day. He seems to cat nap and if I catch him and try to get him in cot he's wide awake as if to say 'oh no you don't!' He'll nap in car or in pram but like you wakes as soon as it stops. Would just do whatever works and not worry about habits- far too stressful worrying about those!

Gooseysgirl Thu 18-Oct-12 20:18:05

12 hours sleep at night at only 4 months... you are very lucky!!!

kayjudd Fri 19-Oct-12 07:42:37

Least I'm not the only one with nap trouble, thanks ladies, and I know I am lucky with 12 hours at night, no tips on that I'm afraid, she just found her thumb to suck when tired at 12 weeks and that was it

LeBFG Fri 19-Oct-12 09:25:15

Can a four month old have napping problems?

I noticed with my one and only (experienced, eh?) that he would go in and out of "routines" for about the first 6-8 months before finally settling into calm and easy naps. From what I read on here, I think this is quite common.

kayjudd Fri 19-Oct-12 10:08:40

I wouldn't mind if she just napped at random times, but up until now she has needed a nap roughly every couple of hours and been happy with that (i wrote down everything she did for a week or so (i was feeding on demand/letting her sleep whenever) to work out her own natural rough schedule of sleep/feeding needs & it has kept her a very happy baby up until now) it's the sudden no napping at all I don't like when I can see (& hear!) she is tired. Oh well, hopefully it will pass! thanks for the comments :0)

heidibristol Fri 19-Oct-12 10:50:18

Hi there..I know how painful sleep deprivation can be!
Have you thought about introducing food? I know you may be thinking that it may be too early but it worked a treat for me! Nothing too heavy for the first few months. My son just had baby rice at tea time and porridge or weetabix at breakfast and it really helped to calm him down and level out his moods. Then after a month of that I introduced little pieces of toast and banana and then at 6 months veg puree, fruit puree baby jars etc.Good luck!

Sprite21 Fri 19-Oct-12 19:51:38

Emma, sleep regression is when they start waking more often after seeming to settle into a pattern. I think it's linked to a growth spurt at 4 months. But this doesn't affect all babies so I wouldn't worry about it now.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 19-Oct-12 20:20:53

It sounds to me like the four month sleep regression. It certainly affected my DS's naps - they went from over two hours to not much more than 30 minutes.

Please don't even think about giving food as suggested above. There's a reason the World Health Organisation recommends 6 months as the age to introduce solids. Apart from anything else, she has a huge amount of growing and developing to do between 4 and 6 months (hence the sleep changes) which needs the concentrated calories milk can provide. Fill her immature digestive tract up with solids this young and she won't have room for the fuel she needs, not to mention risking allergies and gastrointestinal problems in later life.

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