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11 week old no nap nightmare!!

(25 Posts)
YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 16-Apr-13 18:15:14

My DS will be 11 weeks old tomorrow and i have never been able to get him to nap during the day for more than 20 minutes when he wakes up crying. I am at my wits end as i cant get anything done during the day, im stressed, and baby is stressed because he is clearly so tired he works himself into a frenzy.

I am very loosely following EASY and will put him down for a nap when i see the initial tiredness cues. During the day i will put him in his cot with him dummy in and cot mobile on, or in his pram with his dummy in by the washing machine. He will always be awake when i put him down and will either drift off without much intervention or with only a few interventions in which ill pat/sssh him or put his dummy back in. The problem is, after around 20mins without fail he will wake crying and i cant get him back to sleep. I have tried patting/ssshing/replacing dummy and also picking him up to calm him down after which i intend to put him back down but usually he will just become more and more hysterical to the point that i give up.

I feel that his lack of sleep during the day is making him a grump and generally a nightmare because he ends up over tired. And i think it is preventing him from going longer stretches at night. He currently goes for one 3.5-4 hour stretch at night followed by approx 3 hour stretches or sometimes less. He is ebf. I cant nap with him during the day to catch up on lost night time sleep so i am getting more exhausted daily and even thinking of giving up bf so my partner can help and at least ill get some rest.

Please any advice would be amazing as i am obviously doing something wrong?! Thanks

poozlepants Tue 16-Apr-13 18:28:42

I had one of these. He never ever napped for more than 20 minutes and at one point he did two minute naps of 10 minutes. He also woke early and was a crap sleeper at night. He eventually gave up his nap altogether at 20 months. Some babies just don't sleep much and I used to knock myself out trying to find a solution when there just wasn't one.
It was a nightmare and my house looked like a bombsite for 2 years.
Your ds is only 11 weeks and he is only waking once which is pretty good all things considered.
I ebf as well and I probably would've introduced a bottle before 7 months but he had dodgy digestion so didn't dare until then. Once I did I could get the occasional straight run of sleep but it didn't start him napping.
Sorry- I know it is really hard going but I wish someone had told me it was entirely normal and I wouldn't have felt such a failure.

YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 16-Apr-13 19:40:47

Thanks very much for sharing your experience poozlepants - it really helps to know im not the only one because i do feel like im failing.

Just to clarify the night time thing, we have started doing a bed time feed at 8pm which i do in our dimly lit bedroom before putting him down (awake). He usually feeds for 40-50 mins because i think he quickly realised it was his "last" feed. He then generally wakes up for a feed at about 12.30am, 3.00am and 6.30am but these times can vary a bit and he will usually be unsettled without needing a feed at about 5am. He wants toget up after the 6.30am feed too. Im shattered! I have started double guessing myself on whether he really needs these night time feeds but it does sound like a hungry cry when he wakes up and he usually gets quite hysterical if i just try to settle him instead as a first port of call.

My ds is exactly the same with digestive problems which is exactly why i want to avoid any formula at all. He has had bad colic and is also very windy. I wonder if this could be the cause of their rubbish sleeping habits?

spekulatius Tue 16-Apr-13 20:12:29

I think it's quite common at that age. Not all babies nap for 3hours. Mine is 5 months now and still only naps 3x30 minutes. In the beginning I was worried but have been reading up on it, apparently it's after 6months when they need longer naps less often x2. DD also used to sleep 3-4 hour spells, I found that enough for me. Since we left hospital I've not slept during day. I find it ok. I enjoy the time with her. To me house work is less important. She goes to sleep around 7now so I can do a little bit then.

YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 16-Apr-13 22:20:16

Thanks spekulatius, its very nice to hear its normal because you hear allsorts of different things about what other people's babies do, and most seem to take longer naps than ds so i began to worry! Its hardto know what is the "normal" thing when its your first isnt it.

I have never been worried about trying to get him to sleep through the night as i just think its a natural and normal need for bf babies to feed frequently at night...but i was hoping to catch up on some lost sleep in the day as i dont cope too well on lack of sleep as much as i wish i did!

Also though, if ds was waking happily from his short daytime naps i wouldnt worry but whats worrying me is that hes really upset when he wakes and still seems tired and grumpy as though hes not been able to fall into a deeper sleep that he needs...

omama Tue 16-Apr-13 22:45:24

How long is he awake inbetween his naps? He might be a bit overtired & might nap a bit longer if he goes down a bit sooner.

I found with ds when he was tiny that his tired signs often came too late & if i waited for them he was already overtired. He could handle being awake for around 1.5hrs at most at that age, so I used to start his wind down at about 1h 15 & this seemed to help.

One other thing to mention is at that age they can often be woken by a strong moro reflex as they transition from light to deep sleep, this is something he will eventually grow out of. Like pp said naps generally tend to condense into 2 longer ones around 6 months.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 17-Apr-13 03:08:54

Hi omama. He is generally only awake 2 hours max before i notice tired signs ans try to put him down and a lot of the time when i do, he starts closing his eyes as soon as i lay him down as though he is grateful to be put down. He seems to have little problem with actually getting to sleep, its staying asleep.

However, i think you are 100% right, i think there is definately over tiredness coming into play. I just go off his tiredness cues rather then strictly timing his awake time so i will definately start timing it and winding down as you describe.

I have heard about the transition from light to deep sleep and wondered if he has a problem making it, but i just dont know how to help him. Someone suggested the 20 min mark may be his transition point and that i need to be aware of it, so i have tried being ultra quiey until this point to make sure hes not disturbed when falling into a deeper sleep, or another trick ive heard is to introduce white noise around the 20 min mark. Neither work! I suppose the startle reflex will wake them anyway though - doyou know if its possible to hell them through his transition stage into deeper sleep? That is so good to know about the startle reflex thank you because it gives me hope that he will grow out of it!

noblegiraffe Wed 17-Apr-13 04:09:45

My DD the same age had a day of only 20 minute naps recently and it was awful so you have my sympathy. She was overtired and grumpy all day.
She normally naps from between 45 minutes to 3 hours but especially early in the day can only cope with being awake for an hour, closer to bedtime she is awake for longer.
You haven't said if he will sleep longer if you don't put him down. Would he sleep longer in your arms/sling? The pram? Car? If you get him to have a decent first nap so he's not overtired, the rest of the day might be better. I'd attempt to get him to sleep an hour after first waking, using a sling or whatever method will help him sleep longer and see if that helps with the grumpy overtiredness. By the tired signs it might be too late.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 17-Apr-13 06:53:50

Thanks noblegiraffe it is hard work when theyre like that isnt it!

He will definately sleep longer in anythingthats moving such as the car seat, pram or sling, but wakes up and cries as soon as you stop. I have tried slinging him round the house but any slight stop in movement and he cries. He used to sleep on me when he was very little but now if i try he is very fussy and routes for food even if hes just been fed. He actually did manage to fall asleep on me yesterday but woke crying after 20 mins and i hadnt moved an inch!

In the morning after his 6.30 feed i tend to get him up (he wont settlwe anyway so this must be his gettin up time), go downstairs so i can have breakfast whilst he goes on his playmat, the rug or bouncer or sometimes we'll just have cuddles on the couch. I then bath and dress him before which he is normally ready for a nap. So in in all he is awake around 2 hours. I will maybe skip the going downstairs bit today and try and get him back down at 7.30 and see how that goes!

ThisIsYourSong Wed 17-Apr-13 08:07:42

Does he ever seem uncomfortable at other times lying on his back? Could be silent reflux as he is waking screaming rather than just waking naturally. He might also have wind, not all babies need to be winded but some do.

Did you have any cranial osteopathy after he was born? That's another option to look at.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 17-Apr-13 08:24:26

He does sometimes settle after we put him on his tummy instead (i stay awake so i can check on him constantly). And we have actually considered silent reflux in the past - when we first took him to the doctors i had been doing some research and he seemed like he had this. The doctor thought it sounded more like colic though and he has been on colief since. He definately settled down after he went on colief because before this he has just spent almost every waking hour between feeding, screaming. You are right though, he does wake up crying from every single nap and sleep. We are going to wean him off the colief in a week or so so if it continues after this we could possibly consider trying some reflux treatment and see if it helps.

What is cranial osteopathy sorry? (Although im guessing i didnt have it if i dont know what it is!)

Thanks for your help :-)

spekulatius Wed 17-Apr-13 09:35:05

Yes mine doesn't wake up screaming but with a smile on her face but that's because she falls asleep feeding and I have to hold her while she sleeps. If I put her down once she is asleep she either wakes up straight away or after 10 minutes screaming. Maybe he just doesn't want to be on his own?

At least you can put him down awake, that's a big advantage. At that age it used to take me at least 3 hours to feed DD to sleep.

ThisIsYourSong Wed 17-Apr-13 10:31:18

Here is an explanation of cranial osteopathy:
[[http://www.cranial.org.uk/page3.html ]]

Every case is different but it does sound like reflux to me, sorry. The only thing that really helped me with DT1 was winding, often and for a long time. Wind after a feed, then try again 10 minutes later, etc etc.

If you do go back to the doctors be firm with what you want, if you want medication. If you start on the meds and they're not working you can always stop, or try a different one. But leaving your baby in pain is not fair on him or you. I'm just saying this as your doctor may not be very supportive.

Front sleeping was also much better for us, and we used a heartrate monitor. It doesn't prevent anything happening but at least you don't lie awake at night worrying about it.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

ThisIsYourSong Wed 17-Apr-13 10:33:32

Spekulatius - I have one of those too. He's still b/f at just over 2 and doesn't look like stopping (or even cutting down) any time soon...

MajaBiene Wed 17-Apr-13 10:38:50

I used to take DS to bed with me to ensure at least one decent nap a day.

Other thing you can do if go and sit in his room at 15 minutes and as soon as he starts to stir rock/feed/pat him back to sleep.

noblegiraffe Wed 17-Apr-13 13:23:53

I'd try to crack the sleep first before reflux meds as over tiredness can present many of the same symptoms.

They say sleep begets sleep so I'd go with doing everything you can to prolong his naps - long walks in the sling or pram, or driving in the car. If his mood improves when he is getting a better amount of sleep then you know that's the problem. Some babies unfortunately need more help with sleep than others. I'd suggest that two hours awake is definitely too long and contributing to the poor naps. Overstimulation can also cause a fussy baby, is he being bombarded with lights, noise, baby gyms? Keep it calm and quiet.

ThisIsYourSong Wed 17-Apr-13 21:06:56

Overtiredness causes problems getting to sleep, not staying asleep. The fact its always 20 minutes is another indicator it could be reflux.

If it is reflux then no amount of working on the sleep will help as the baby is waking up screaming in pain which is awful for the baby. If its not reflux then the meds won't work and the OP can just stop them.

orangeandlemons Wed 17-Apr-13 21:12:37

I thought this was meant to improve at around 4months, I think it did with dd who was a nightmare napper.

meepsmum Wed 17-Apr-13 21:13:37

you are not alone...my 6mo only ever has 20min naps unless held by me and i shove a boob in mouth when he wakes!!
he is ebf too.
sounds like yours is much better night sleeper than mine tho...
stick with it. u r doing a great job and not all babies are the same.
took me a long time to realise this and not feel i was doing something wrong...
housework can wait. snuggle up and enjoy short but frequent naps!!!

meepsmum Wed 17-Apr-13 21:15:53

oh and he has 2hrs awake between each nap so maybe u should try shortening this if your babe is only 11wks. In the morning mine wakes about 6 and naps at 8 then again someti.es by 9:30....

noblegiraffe Wed 17-Apr-13 21:37:59

Trust me, overtiredness can cause problems with staying asleep. DS always slept worse when he was frantically tired. They say sleep begets sleep.

YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 17-Apr-13 22:33:39

Hi all, apologies i am just catching up on posts after a busy day.

Thanks so much for all of your input and advice i really appreciate it all. Having thought about his behaviour, if im honest, my gut feeling is it is not reflux as i know due to the colic what his pain cry sounds like (i had four weeks of it!) and i havent heard him cry like that since he has been on colief. I dont know too much about reflux but please do correct me if none of what im saying makes sense, but the other thing that makes me think its not is that he is very happy lying down playing during his "activity" times and doesnt seem in pain at all. He is sometimes awake for a fair while after eating, in all different positions, and is fine. Its just when he sleeps he cries.

Also, sorry if my original post was misleading but i think i said he wakes crying after 20 minutes, not screaming. He becomes hysterical if i leave him lying down and try to resettle him. Its as though once he is awake that is it there no chance of resettling.

Its really reassuring to hear that i am not the only one, thank you. Meepsmum lol at popping the boob in the mouth - the only thing stopping me doing this is the faff of having to express some with colief first before every feed!!

I think ill try the points about making his awake time shorter and see if that helps as a few posters have mentioned that. Thanks again

MajaBiene Wed 17-Apr-13 22:33:44

I also think the short naps are typical of overtiredness.

gutzgutz Thu 18-Apr-13 19:58:32

Came on here to find a solution to my 12 week old who has a very similar napping/ sleep problem. I will shorten his awake time and try that, thanks noblegiraffe . We don't have blackout blinds in his room but the room is reasonably dark, any thoughts on these? I don't want to create a problem where we have to take blinds when visiting people!! Also he has wall stickers around his cot. Maybe these contribute to overstimulation?

DS1 was a great sleeper from such a young age that I really thought I had this sleep thing cracked and was quite smug about it. Guess I have got my comeuppance! blush

spekulatius Thu 18-Apr-13 20:36:08

Ha Meeps, that's exactly what I do when I hold her. When she strts waking up, boob back in and she's off again. Today I sat on the bed with her like I do at night. She drank until she feel asleep, I waited a few minutes then kind of lied on the bed with her. Both on our sides, facing each other, I had one arm under her so I could rock her back to sleep. And we were body on body, so close and so lovely! And for the first time I could sleep at the same time. (Since she's been waking up every hour at night last few nights). For 1.5 hours in the morning and 1 hour in afternoon!!!

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