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How to put a baby down to nap(19 Posts)
Sorry if this is a stupid question - ftm and I suspect I may getting many things wrong
How the flip do you "put a baby down to nap"? Dd is 5 months, I'm pretty sure she needs to nap after being awake for 2 hours (gets grumpy after this time) but the only reliable way I've found to do it is to walk her in the pram.. I'm going for 3 + walks a day, every day, and tbh it's getting a bit wearing! Very occasionally she'll fall asleep while feeding and we'll manage to put her down without waking her. If I try to put her down awake (usually in the pram but in the living room and just push her back and forth) she'll suddenly perk up and get chatty, then start complaining and eventually cry so we pick her up. She falls asleep eventually but only after being awake (and unhappy)for 3-4 hours which is not ideal.
It's hard! My first born would never have went for a nap without being fed or cuddled. Mainly cuddled and if I tried to transfer her to the cot she'd wake up 🙈
My second born didn't like to cuddle to sleep and I also tried to get her more used to going down in the cot/basket to sleep. She's 1 now, we just put her in the cot and she goes to sleep. She did go through a spell of crying for a few mins but wld always eventually go to sleep. I wld go get her if she was hysterical though.
The only problem I have now is if I'm not at home she won't nap unless being walked in pram or in a car.
I have a 6mo like this. We were going for 3 walks a day too and this was on top of waking every 1-2hrs at night. It was absolutely exhausting. I think I got into a cycle of it too because I didn’t have the energy to battle with getting him into the cot when I knew I could walk to the end of the road and he’d be asleep.
DH has had the last 2 weeks off work so I’ve had more support and energy to try to crack it. We feed him, put his sleeping bag on then put him down in his cot and he does the same as your DD. He will roll around and laugh for about 15mins. We’ve found after that we have to let him cry for a few minutes to wear himself out. If we pick him up straight away he just perks up again. If he cries for a bit then he’ll usually fall straight asleep on my shoulder and I can put him down again. It feels a little mean but it’s about 3mins of crying. It’s getting quicker and quicker, it now takes about 30mins instead of over an hour.
Depends on the baby. My first I fed to sleep, then waited about 20 minutes, then tried to put her down, then she'd wake and cry, then I'd pick her up, then she'd fall asleep, then I'd hold her until the end of the nap. Or, she'd stay asleep during transfer, then wake after 40 minutes. Did this until about 10 months old when suddenly she was able to be transferred successfully and sleep for a couple of hours in her cot.
My second, I wait until he's tired, then pop him in his cot. Then he falls asleep.
Omg I could have written this!! I have a 4.5 month old and have exactly this problem. I usually have to put her in the sling and constantly pace the living room or go for a walk. You're right... It's exhausting. I've been trying to feed her to sleep and transfer to the cot but 9 times out of 10, she'll immediately wake up. If not, she'll sleep 30 mins max. I wonder if the only way to do it is to leave her to cry for a bit but I just can't do this... I hate the idea of letting her cry.
I thought I'd comment as it's nice to know you're not the only one xx
We made life easy for ourselves (i think! Might not be the case for everyone) by always putting DS in his pram/buggy for naps. We just rocked him in the house for a bit til he fell asleep and then he would usually stay asleep for about 45 mins at 5 months and then gradually went to about two hours. He is now 2.5 and still sleeps in his buggy for his naps, we have a mountain buggy so it’s big enough for him! If that works for you I would just do it!
My DD has to be fed/rocked/pushchair/sling to sleep. With the rocking/patting, this has taken some time to perfect. Intially we'd get her pretty sleepy being fed and then quite vigorously rock, pat, shush and jiggle around the room. Now it's much easier, both me and DH can do it and is easier than faffing with pram or sling. Up till about 6 months we then just had to hold her, however from 6 months ish we can put her in the cot and we don't have to be particularly careful about it. She will only sleep about 45 mins, perhaps an hour and that has only been recently.
Thanks all, this is helpful.
@Betsyboo87 sorry if this is a stupid question but do you change him into his night clothes before going into the sleeping bag, or just leave him dressed? (Btw, DD sleeps terribly at night too... It's relentless isn't it?!)
Mini routine of sleeping bag, book and then down in cot here - took a bit of work though.
Just a 1 tog bag for the day - in his clothes and generally the heating on so don’t need anything too thick.
@ASomers - yes, it is nice to know you're not alone! What with the various lockdowns my main contact with my antenatal group is via the picture perfect snaps they post on our WhatsApp group so it can feel a bit like everyone else must have it easy..
@CatandBaby I undress him down to his vest and then put a 1 tog sleeping bag on. We found once he started to sleep better in the cot in the day the nights improved too (actually not sure which one came first). Yes relentless!
@CatandBaby what helped us was a thick blanket. Once finished feeding, I had the baby in the blanket and carried/cuddled till asleep. When then putting down, the blanket was still around the baby and that stopped him from waking up. This way I could transfer him either to the pram, or to his cot, wherever needed. Swaddle may help too but for us, the fact the blanket was thick and cosy made all the difference (and he still cannot fall asleep without it at 15m
Thanks again all. I think we're going to try putting her into her cot in a sleeping bag and see how that goes. The blanket idea sounds interesting too.
@CatandBaby we have a very similar experience to you - our 15 week old only naps in a moving buggy but will nap for 2 hours in it! We have taken to walking her until she goes to sleep (anything from to the end of the road to 10 minutes) and then coming home and putting the Rockit buggy rocker on and some white noise. She'll keep sleeping - the Rockit has been a game changer. I don't mind going to the end of the road and back to get her to sleep in the buggy as it means I can go to anyone's house (in non covid times!) And know that she can still have a nap, so more flexibility. If your buggy isn't too heavy you could think about the Rockit? It runs for half an hour before switching off automatically so we just put a timer on to remind us to reset it if we want her to keep sleeping. Just an idea if you want to keep the flexibility of the buggy going
Have you got a baby carrier?
I know some people say it forms bad habits to always rock them to sleep but it hasn’t done mine any harm. With both of them I used to put them in the baby carrier when they seemed sleepy, then transferred them to the cot.
Ours only naps in the pram. Just push him around in house and he snoozes fine if I’m not planning on a walk.
I don’t mind, makes it easier to go out and about
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My DS went through a stage around 4 months where he was over tired and had to be fed or rocked / put in his graco glider to sleep. We started by feeding him to sleep, giving him a few mins in arms until he was in a deeper sleep (too long in arms he could wake up and be rearing to go for another 2 hours, he could survive on a 15 min nap) but we started putting him in his cot with the blinds down, sleeping bag on and ollie the owl on. Kept repeating and then eventually we was able to put him straight in the cot with the owl on and he goes to sleep without needing to be fed. Alot of the time he does roll around and talk to himself for 10-15 mins but he does fall asleep.
If he cries i go up to him, put his dummy in and pick him up, give him a rock to make him drowsy and put him straight back down and he nods off. Hes nearly 7m now x
I feel you OP. Have a 6mo and it can be exhausting. I was using a sling when smaller but now use the buggy. I rock back to be forth in the house if not wanting to go outside. I use a towel on the floor to make it bumpy or go over the door threshold. Had started sleep training before LO got to cold and had managed to get him to nap in cot a few times which was a luxury. Will start again once back to full health x
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