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4 month old - won't sleep in the day- HELP

(8 Posts)
PotPourri Thu 14-Apr-05 14:01:01

I hope someone can help. My DD is 4 months old and will only go to sleep in the day if I hug her to sleep. She has always slept well at night from birth (5 hours, slowly increasing to the full night). For a long time though, she was awake ALL day. As she has got older she has settled into a pattern of 3 hourly feeds, needing a nap gnerally after about 2 hours (i.e. waking for her next feed). I have created the problem for myself, I know, as when she started needing a nap in the day I would hug her to sleep - this has only been since about 12 weeks, as she was awake all day before then.

She still sleeps really well at night and when I go through teh night routine she knows it is bedtime and happily goes down, even if not asleep already.

How can I get her to sleep during the day without hugging her to sleep? The only other thing that stops her screaming her head off is taking her out in the sling or buggy.

I just don't know what to do...

TracyK Thu 14-Apr-05 14:08:54

can you leave her once she's asleep?
My ds was a nightmare to get him to nap in the daytime.
I used to use different ways to get him to sleep - so he wouldn't get too used to one particular way.
Pram, cot, couch, car, hugging - make sure you get the right sleepy signals and you should be ok.
If you are sure she's sleepy, full tummy, clean nappy and nice and cosy - then be strict with her in whichever place you want her to sleep.
I went through a stage of ds in the cot. Put him down, stroke his forehead, he'd get up to play, I'd put him back down and leave the room. He'd cry - I'd go in, lay him down and stroke his head some more. dep. on how tied he was - I sometimes had to do this twice or sometimes 6 times. But the crying means he is sleepy, playing means he's not!
But tbh your dd is still v. young - hug her if it gets her to nap!
It took about 7 or 8 months before my ds would willingly go for his naps (or maybe it took me that long to recognise the sleepy signals)

frazzled2 Thu 14-Apr-05 14:24:14

I went through the same sleepless days until my dd turned 6 months then miracuously she suddenly started to drop off at 10ish and 2ish each day although I still have to rock her to sleep then, but its a start. I also find that by having a routine she knows its sleep time - going to her room, pulling on the curtains and putting on some soothing music helps. Think I'm also more aware of when she's tired as I get to know her better.
Good luck!

pabla Thu 14-Apr-05 14:26:19

Potpourri, earlier I posted on a similar topic in the Sleep section if you want to take a look- hope it helps.

lupinjess Thu 14-Apr-05 14:30:48

Have you tried controlled crying?
I was skeptical but tried it in desperation when DD was 5 months and too heavy to be carried and rocked to sleep during the day. She would also go to bed at night with no bother and slept through, it was just daytime naps that were the problem. I couldn't event get her into her cot once she was asleep as she'd wake up and cry straight away.

The CC took about a week to sort things out and it was only the first two days which were really bad (crying for 10 mins solid before finally calming down and dropping off).

She's now 7 months and goes for naps with no fuss. She'll happily sleep in any cot, anywhere as long as she's tired.

Dominoes Thu 14-Apr-05 14:48:39

PP - have you tried introducing a different set of associations/ routine for your dd during her daytime naps and have you tried swaddling her during the days?

Like you, at one point it seemed that ds would only go to sleep in my arms (or whilst bring BF). I started off by swaddling and holding him gently in my arms ( sometimes patted his shoulder gently), then when I knew he was close to sleep - just as his eyes were starting to close, I would put him into his baby chair or moses basket. If he started to protest, initially I picked him up and repeated to put him back down when he was very close to sleep. After a few days, started putting him into chair/basket when his eyes were at that fixed 'stary' stage just before they start to close and instead of picking him back up, I could gently pat his bottom and make quite loud shush noises. Worked really well. After a week or so, I watched for the signs that he was tired and swaddled him and put him into his chair / basket without any real diffculty. My ds 'knew' that being swaddled meant sleep time. HTH and good luck with it I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advice on here

mum2max Thu 14-Apr-05 22:29:20

Dominoes, you could be the baby whisperer reincarnated! That's exactly what I have done with my 5mth ds since day 1. He now happily naps for upto 2h. He does of course wake up every now and then, nobody's perfect! It has been a battle at times but you have to persevere with a routine. I use a similar routine to night time (apart from the bath, massage and bottle of course!). I give him a dummy, sit and cradle him (not rocking) and read a story for 5 mins then put him down half awake. If he went hyper then the pick up/put down method worked a treat (it started at about an hour of up/down, after which it's a matter of minutes - remember to put down AS SOON AS THEY STOP CRYING) He rarely cries now during his naptime. Hope that helps Whatever method you choose, remember it's up to you and don't let anyone bully you into something different e.g. parents/ in laws! Also tell the neighbours cos they might think you're torturing you lo

fairyfeet Wed 20-Apr-05 14:44:00

Perhaps I am being a bit controversial here. But my philosophy has always been that if they don't sleep then their not tired. In my opinion not all babies and children need vast amounts of sleep. My DD is 5 months and does not sleep alot during the day. We don't do scheduled nap times because I am not about to stress myself out trying to get a baby to sleep when she obviously doesn't want to sleep.

I have also found that the less naps she has during the day the more likely she is to have a sound 12 hour sleep throughout the night without waking (works for me!)

I also think at this age they are starting to teeth and so this could well make them more tetchy about having a nap.

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