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Nap time help!(18 Posts)
I am a FTM to a 4 month old and really struggling in the daytime with naps. He sleeps ok at night usually with only one or two wake-ups, but the days have become miserable because he refuses to nap. I can spot when he’s becoming tired and try everything to get him to sleep before he melts down but it never happens.
This morning, for example, he started to yawn at around half eight and so I put him down in his pram with white noise and he started screaming inconsolably. I’ve tried his crib and the carrier so far and he’s still refusing to sleep. He has fed a lot so I know he’s not hungry. This happens every day and I’m lucky if he gets one decent nap a day. I can walk for miles with his pram and he just cries.
I feel hopeless because the days are awful - I feel so low and can’t stop crying because I must be doing something really wrong but I don’t know what. I am trying to follow an EASY structure but it’s impossible because nap time never comes. I know he’s only young but I need some sort of structure to my day or at least five minutes to put him down without him screaming. Does anyone have any advice or do I just need to wait it out and hope it improves?
I had exactly the same problem. The only thing that helped was a structured routine, perseverance, and a dummy. The dunny was key, but i know they're not for everyone. Sends my LO straight to sleep if I have put him down at the right time.
Thanks for replying - it’s good to know that you got there in the end. He rejects a dummy at the moment but I’ll keep trying! I also will try to be stricter about timings and maybe try and catch him before he starts yawning because that’s obviously too late.
Have a look at an app called huckleberry x
My son is 13 months now but he spent pretty much his first year only napping if being cuddled.... massively inconvenient but kind of nice in its own way.
I went with it and either napped with him, or watched tv / read etc while he napped.
He’s just recently started napping in his cot in the afternoon and I don’t know what to do with myself haha.
My baby is the same age and has to be held to sleep, and then I put him down next to me on our corner sofa - I always just sit next to him when he’s napping. I wish we could crack naps upstairs in his cot 😭 I’ve tried and tried. All my friends and family tell me this is bad but it’s the only thing that’s working right now.
I have a four month old too. Napping suddenly became very difficult, she just screamed every time we tried. I assume it's the four month regression (have you looked into this?). Basically at this age they need to learn the skill of falling asleep. It can be hard (hey, I've got a few years on my baby and I still find it hard to nod off sometimes!)
It was really getting me down though so in the last week we've been following a sleep course. I am currently typing this as my little one is 1hr+ into a nap in her cot, and she soothed herself to sleep in there in under 5 mins. It doesn't always work but practice, practice, practice. It's basically setting up a mini nap routine, keep the place they nap in dark, ideally the same place they sleep at night. White noise on the whole time. Pop in the sleeping bag. Sing a lullaby. Put them in. They are bound to protest - monitor and pick them up if they're getting really worked up, soothe and start again.
I think at this age it's so much about awake windows, too, and making sure as much as you can that you're putting them down when they're tired but not overtired. the Huckleberry app can help you to work this out.
Also I try to remind myself that they're still so little. If they need holding/feeding to sleep, then that's fine. It won't last forever and the extra comfort will hopefully ensure they are better rested.
It’s so difficult isn’t it? I’m having a similar issue with my DS and started a thread on here the other day. People have given lots of good advice.
I’m thinking of getting some blackout blinds to help him sleep in the evenings before it gets dark. I’m not sure about using them in the day though - could it upset his understanding of night and day?
Thanks so much for all the input. I have started using the Huckleberry app so hopefully that will help me time his naps more accurately. I think blackout blinds would be really useful as he is so easily distracted. I am trying a gentle sleep method (The Baby Whisperer) which involves lots of shush-patting and soothing when he gets upset, but doesn’t seem to be working very well. I guess he just needs to be held at the moment.
I also have a 4 month old who was a good sleeper in general, but all of a sudden turned into an absolute monster. He takes all his naps in his cot, but went back to needing to be rocked and shushed to sleep again. This week hes just started self soothing again, just like that as if nothing had happened. He doesnt sleep any longer than 45mins though 😭 I think its the sleep regression, and if they're already a bad sleeper it just makes things worse.
Hoping this is a phase for you!
@Alovelycupoftea88 when in his pram is he on his back? Any chance you can try on his side? Mine only tolerated it that way.
The other thing to check is is he not too hot? My 8mo now sleeps one of his naps in the pram and he has to be in the vest only, (nappy and vest) no pants no socks nothing. Short sleeve vest, and a muslin. Anything more he screams and wakes up in 20 minutes.
Between 3-5 months his max awake time should be 60-75 minutes so as long as he goes for a nap within this time he should not be too tired.
Thanks for all the advice. I hasn’t thought about his temperature so will check if he’s too hot. Today has been a bit better for naps because I’ve let him sleep in the carrier whenever he’s seemed tired. It’s not ideal in the long run but it has mean that he has napped three times today which is better than usual.
I agree that if you're waiting until he starts yawning then he could be overtired. You said you tried to put him down at 8.30 - what time did he wake up? Until 13 months mine would nap for about an hour within an hour of waking up. I just used to take him upstairs after 60-70 mins regardless of what signals he was giving and he'd usually go to sleep pretty easily. We have a nap/sleep routine similar to @endlessblue has described, shut curtains, sleeping bag, white noise (he has different music for naps than at night) etc - I think we started doing this around 3 months and he's now approaching 17 months. There have been upsets, particularly around 4 months and then teething etc but in general he's quite a good sleeper in comparison to our friends as we've always been able to do the "routine" and then leave the room, shut the door and know he will go to sleep within 5-10 mins. Now he's older he expects this to happen immediately after eating lunch and regardless of how not tired he appears, I know he will sleep for 2-2.5 hours in the afternoon.
Also, don't immediately go back in if they're fussing/making noise which isn't crying. Mine used to make a lot of noise before he went to sleep (kinda like an aeroplane taking off) and as it got louder, the closer to being asleep he got despite the fact it sounded the opposite on the monitor.
Thanks - I maybe need more of a nap routine so I will try putting him in his sleeping bag and persevering with that!
Just an update that he has just gone down for a nap in his crib this morning! It took a lot of perseverance and soothing with lots of pick ups/put downs but he has finally accepted being put down 🎉 I think it definitely helped to have his sleeping bag/white noise on and I also made sure he has eaten enough as I think he needs to be full to sleep properly. Thanks for the advice everyone!
Hooray! Babies do seem to love routine and knowing what's happening. The white noise, dark room, sleeping bag etc all tell them what's next. It's a perseverance thing for sure, it might be up and down... Mine didn't go down today so resorted to feeding to sleep - just have to see every time as an opportunity to practice, it's never a fail!
Aww well done for preserving!! Once they get to know what happens next then it's ideal for them - babies love predicability as it makes them feel safe and comfortable even if it's boring for adults. During lockdown I've gone mad doing literally the same thing every day for 4 months but my now toddler has thrived on it. You'll have times when it feels like you've gone back to square one for sure though!
Mine had to be moving in the buggy to nod off at 4 months. After a month or so of this she would accept a quick jiggle to send her off (I used to sit at the kitchen table and jiggle with my feet).
Never even attempted cot naps as I’d seen friends get tied to the house that way. Still naps in her buggy at 20 months. Terrible mummy!
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