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Baby refuses to nap - only sleeps about 10 hours a day

(18 Posts)
fierydormouse Sat 03-Nov-12 12:07:11

Hello folks,

We are having a terrible time trying to get our baby to take naps during the day. He is 3 weeks old and I believe as such he should be getting 16-18 hours sleep a day - we really struggle to get him to do more than 10 hours a day.

The thing is he is a brilliant little sleeper at night - at least 6 hours, sometimes more. But during the day he just doesn't want to know.

It really isn't that we haven't tried...we sometimes manage to persuade him to sleep in the end (an hour plus sometimes), but he either then wakes up really quickly, or we have to wake him as otherwise he'd be going too long between feeds.

If it's not doing him any harm, I don't see it as a problem. He feeds well, he is peeing and pooping plenty (loads!) and at his last check he was putting on weight (although that was a week and a half ago, not sure since). But I'd be very reassured to hear if anyone else had a baby like this - what did you do about daytime naps, and did it do your baby any harm in the long run that they didn't get loads of sleep?

Many thanks and best wishes to all.xx

fierydormouse Sat 03-Nov-12 12:13:50

Just to explain, where I said "an hour plus" I meant that is how long it takes to persuade him to go to sleep.xx

haloflo Sat 03-Nov-12 14:34:13

My DD was alert from early on. Just like your DS I didn't have a sleepy baby but I have no idea now how much she slept at 3 weeks. Does your DS feed to sleep? Then you know he will be sleeping on a full tummy? Does he sleep more on you or next to you? Do want you need to get him to sleep, you can always gently move the location when he is older. And remember you can only do what you can to make them sleep so if he seems ok he probably is!

nutella81 Sat 03-Nov-12 17:01:37

My 16 week old only slept about 11/12 hours a day max when she was newborn, and like you most was late evening/nighttime. I think they say 16-18 hours is average, but it can be a lot more or a lot less as all babies are unique. She was absolutely fine, and at 3.5 months now sleeps about 14 in total now (12 of which at night). I think if he feeds well and you think he's ok, then I wouldn't worry smile x

claudiebelle Sat 03-Nov-12 20:06:37

My baby was similar, rarely slept at all during the daytime and nothing would get him to sleep. I sometimes used to walk for hours in the hope he would drop off only to get about 20 mins sleep out of him. In hindsight I worry that he must have been dreadfully overtired. He finally started napping at around 8 weeks and now at 4.5 months sleeps about 15 hours a day. It doesn't seem to have done him any harm, but it just means you never get a break so I feel for you!

Fairylea Sat 03-Nov-12 20:08:35

I think you have one of my babies !!

Both mine slept well at night and hardly at all during the day. Ds is now 4months and sleeps two naps of 20 mins from 5.30am to 5pm and sleeps through the night !

I think some babies just dont needs as much sleep during the day.

AngelDog Sat 03-Nov-12 21:20:54

DS1 was dreadful. It would take up to 2 hours each time to get him to sleep. It started off as a nap problem and soon became a night problem too - each time he woke he'd be up for at least 2 hours. We got into a vicious cycle - he was so overtired he couldn't sleep, which made him more overtired...

What sorted it was getting a sling and taking him out for walks in it when we thought he was tired. He had all his naps in it till 3.5 months. Then he started being able to be rocked to sleep or fed to sleep. Nights improved massively once he started having more naps in the day.

Trying to get them to sleep before they're overtired helps - usually babies can only happily stay awake for about 1.5 hours at a time.

And giving up any idea of trying to put them down once they're asleep helps too. IIRC when DS was 6 weeks old, he'd nap for 30 mins if you put him down in his carry cot (which you could only do if you'd held him for the first 15 mins), or for up to 3 hours if you kept on holding him. Until they're about 3 months babies go straight into REM sleep for the first 10-15 mins which means they're easily disturbed when you put them down. After about 3 months they go straight into a deeper sleep so putting them down sooner is easier.

ZuleikaD Sun 04-Nov-12 06:28:20

Are you feeding him to sleep? I always found that worked a treat.

beyoglu Sun 04-Nov-12 07:09:35

At 3 weeks I just wore mine in the baby carrier all the time - they would fall asleep in it at will so I just assumed that the amount of sleep they were getting was what they needed. It did seem to be a lot less than they say in the books..

we swaddled them from 8 weeks on (wish I'd started sooner) and followed Harvey Karp's baby-settling techniques - dummy, swaddle, gentle bouncing/vibrating motion and white noise. It took our wee cryer from mental to fast asleep in about 30 seconds!

nellyjelly Sun 04-Nov-12 07:12:36

I got mine to nap in day by taking them out in the pram. Worked a treat. They were not the sort of babies who could fall asleep on their own so a car ride or pram ride usually did the trick.

nellyjelly Sun 04-Nov-12 07:13:56

Btw he is 3 weeks old so expect it will all change again soon.

willyk Sun 04-Nov-12 07:34:12

Our dd was a terrible sleeper, day or night. The only way we coul get her off in the day was cuddling, in the sling (she loved being close) or out in the pram - though the pram was not guaranteed. She actually had silent reflux, we discovered at 5 months, and so lying down in her cot was very uncomfortable.
The sling was great, at least you cam get stuff done when wearing it.
We now has dd (4 weeks) he sleeps really well generally, but still using the sling, makes so much difference!

fierydormouse Sun 04-Nov-12 09:53:32

Many thanks for the messages. Yes I do feed him to sleep sometimes, that usually works last thing before I put him down for the night. We also take him out in the pram and sometimes that works too. Car seat is a dead cert for getting him off, although he'll usually wake the second we get home!

Sounds like I need to try a sling actually - we have a hand me down baby bjorn which I haven't used yet, so I will give that a go!

Anyway, good to hear others have been/are in a similar situation and doesn't sound like it's caused any problems for the baby (even if the parents don't get a daytime break!). If I have any luck with the baby carrier at least I'll be able to get a few jobs done! Thanks for the feedback, everyone xxx

ZuleikaD Sun 04-Nov-12 12:27:24

When you use the Bjorn, make sure baby is in a 'sitting' position in it - when he's in hoik his legs up so his legs are bent at knee and hip and his knees are spread either side of your tummy. Carrying babies in a legs-straight-down position (which you see a lot with Bjorns) is bad for the pelvis.

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 04-Nov-12 13:08:43

I think three weeks is a bit young for a Baby Bjorn, unfortunately. Baby will be bolt upright and the head support is not good enough for a baby of that age. My DS would fall asleep in the Bjorn when we used it with him when he was a little older, but in a really awful position with his face planted between my boobs. I wish I'd got another style of sling, in hindsight.

nellyjelly Mon 05-Nov-12 08:30:22

Yes there are better slings for small babies. i would ask around on mumsnet for advice on this.

broodylicious Mon 05-Nov-12 09:48:16

We have a caboo sling that I used to put dd in when she was that little. The fabric is very soft and warm so I'd have no problems recommending that. I'd agree the bjorn is a bit too much for a tiny newborn - but that's what we use now and it's amazing so keep it as you'll love it for later on!!
Our dd is a dreadful nighttime sleeper and was a real nap dodger until about a month ago so I cannot possibly suggest particular methods that will help you but all I would say is try, try, try and try some more to get dc into a napping routine however you can. I spent ages trying with ours but winded up getting cross and giving up when really I should have persevered a little longer.
Best of luck xx

beyoglu Tue 06-Nov-12 14:25:13

I'll put in a good word for the Weego baby carrier although we had the twin version not the single one. It worked a treat up until about 14 weeks, then they got too big, but it was great in the early weeks. And the Ergobaby has a newborn insert. Just in case you're interested in baby wearing but, like me, don't get on with slings very well smile

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