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6 month old only naps when cuddled - any advice?

(3 Posts)
GumtreeGirl Mon 27-Jul-09 13:27:48

Sorry, this has almost certainly been raised before, so if there's a thread I've missed, please feel free to redirect me!

My 6 month old son sleeps well at night (recently started going down for 10-12 hours - yippee) but has almost never gone down for a daytime nap without me or DH cuddling him to sleep, followed by pantomime of stealthily putting him in his cot and sneaking out. This usually works and he can sleep for up to an hour and a half.

However, if he wakes, he won't or can't self-soothe back to sleep, and there's absolutely no way that I can put him down when still awake, however tired he is.

We've been trying to leave him to cry, but DH and I are divided about how long to leave him - regular intervals of 15 min/ pat/ leave again, until he sleeps; or do we leave him (checking every so often that he's not got a foot wedged somewhere awkward) for a set period of time - i.e. as long as he'd usually nap for, before getting him up and carrying on as before, whether he's slept or not. Hope that makes sense.

I'm really worried that if he doesn't nap, this will impact on his night sleep, so I feel caught between carrying on cuddling as we're doing to ensure this, or risking the night sleep by training him for day-time naps.

He's also going to start part-time nursery in a couple of months when I go back to work, so I'd like to try and get him into a good habit before then.

Any advice or suggestions really appreciated - at the moment I'm tired, grumpy and not really sure how best to go.


heron22 Mon 27-Jul-09 19:15:42

hi, i am sorry to hear of your troubles and that you are tired and grumpy. not surprising. i have a 6 month old and a 5 yr old. it is hard when sleep is an issue.

it is great that he sleeps well at night. you are right, if he does not nap properly during the day, it will affect his night sleep.

i would go with putting him down drowsy and then go in every 5 mins. pat him but dont pick him up. stay with him for a couple of mins. and then leave. i think that he has got used to you or your DH as sleep aid during the day.

it is really hard to do. at the moment, my 6 month old has started screeching after he has gone down for about 45-50 mins. this only happens when he goes down for the night. does not happen during his daytime naps (touch wood!)

GumtreeGirl Tue 28-Jul-09 11:01:00

Thanks heron22,

We're trying a new routine this week, starting today. The plan is to spot when he starts getting sleepy after his morning feed, then do 10 minutes of cuddling and reading a story before putting him down. I'm also making sure that his taggie is with us when we do this, so he starts associating it with 'sleepy time'.

So far today, it's been a resounding failure! grin

He's been down for an hour, and screamed most of it. If he slept it was for 10 minutes max. We're now down for round 2 (more screaming as I type), for another hour and after that we'll have lunch with him.

I think we're doing this the right way, but if anyone has any suggestions/ encouragement/ gin, then I'd love to hear/ drink it.

Seriously, though - how long can sleep, and specifically nap training take? I'm not about to throw in the towel after a morning, but would like some idea of how long this might go on for all of us... sad

Many thanks!

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