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How do I get my ds to nap and also to evening sleep?

(5 Posts)
sleepdodger Tue 28-Jun-11 08:45:25

Ds 12wo has never napped....
He was generally a terrible sleep from birth tho we have now improved to approx 6 hrs sleep a night 12-3 and 4-7
sometimes he will then do another 2 hrs 8-10 sometimes not...
I have only ever managed to feed him to sleep

I'm really keen to get him in a routine, and have been feed/bath/feeding but he will NOT go to sleep before midnight- his bath is at 8pm, so we either have hours of crying or comfort feeding
he is ebf

So ....
How do encorage him to daytime nap? It's so frustrating, I get nothing else done during day and feel like a knackered failure when I go to other mums houses and they put their baby to nap then go about house things or even shock horror some relaxing & me time. I've tried tiring him out through playing and going for walks but nothing seems to result in more than about 5 mins sleep occassionally :-(

then, how should I try to get him to sleep at night at a good time, I recognize 12 is far to late
how also can I get him to sleep not being fed?

I feel like such a let down, I'm on mat leave and this is my new 'job' yet I can't even get the basics right, I feel like I'm failing my baby, am knackered constantly, & do nothing at home either

any advice really appreciated

CharlotteBronteSaurus Tue 28-Jun-11 08:53:30

i would recommend reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It has a leetle bit of nonsense in it about leaving them to cry from 5mo, BUT ignore that bit - the rest is good info on the science of sleep and how to get them napping.

his evening sleep may well improve when he starts having a few naps.
are you trying to put him down to sleep? lots of small babies aren't keen on this. dd2 only napped on me for about 3-4 months. use a sling and you can do things at the same time, or go to bed with him and catch up on some sleep yourself. Try to start rocking him to sleep within an hour of when he last woke up, and certainly no more than 2 hours. it might take ages at first, but when he becomes better rested he will nap more easily.

Clueless79 Tue 28-Jun-11 19:56:11

sleepdodger - you could be me! or I could be you...or something! Will join you here and follow with interest. I have an 8 week old ds who is absolutely delightful but really doesn't care much for sleep. It doesn't appear to be a bother to him - he is happy and lively - but like you I envy friends whose babies go for proper naps allowing them to rest or actually get stuff done! My boy has a self imposed bedtime of half 11. He'll then sleep till anywhere between 3 and 5 (once managed till 6) and then that's it. He's awake and alert and won't really go back for any longer than another hour even though I do all of the stuff to keep it like a night time feed - dark, quiet, no eye contact etc. His only sleeps are casual brief naps in the day mostly when we're out or when he's on me. I've just bought a sling but he's only sleeping in that when I'm sitting down - the rest of the time he's loving being a nosey parker! So that doesn't really help at all. I don't know about you but I'm not ready for trying co-sleeping - too anxious and wouldn't be able to rest. Anyway, am off to download that book onto my kindle, charlotte, thank you. Let's see how we get on...

LittleMilla Tue 28-Jun-11 22:05:45

I am not an expert, but appear to have turned a corner with our 8 week old DS.

Been reading the baby whisperer and it ahs helped us recognise when he's asleep (any time from 45 mins - 2 hours after waking up) and then I do whatever it takes to get him to sleep - less success with other suggestions in the book, but anyway. Started off by making sure i'd leave house to go out once he started to yawn, and made sure that I'd stay out until he'd had a decent sleep. If/when he wakes up and still seems tired, I'll do whatever to get him back to sleep.

Friday night was another first as I let him cry it out (I was with my mum who made me!). He was fed/burped/pooed and was simply tired and struggling to nod off. She said to leave him for ten mins - I was saying the whole time "he won't sleep, honestly" and so of course he did. It was SO hard for me, but since then I've done it a couple more times. I couldn't/wouldn't do this until you're sure that he's tired and ready to sleep and am not doing it EVERY time. But still. I know that others aren't keen on this approach...and I wasn't either, but I was rather desperate with back ache.

Other thing is that I am trying not to feed him to sleep. Often means he falls asleep windy, so then wakes up again after 10/15 mins. Feeding him more during the day too - every 2-3 hours, rather than trying to be regimented about the 3 hours. He starts cluster feeding from about 5pm too, getting ready for bed. Also given him a FF at night too, but not doing it religiously.

I am noticing that by getting one good sleep (maybe 2 hours) and 2-3 shorter ones of 30-40 mins he is sleeping so much better at night. Did a six hour stretch last night shock and whilst i'm not expecting this to stay, I feel more confident with him.

Two weeks ago I was at the end of my tether (you'll see a post by me about him being awake for six hours!) and so we really have turned a corner. I do feel that much of it is realising that he's actually tired. I was mistaking his alertness for being really overtired. Which made it harder to then get him off. Also sticking to the bedtime routine of bath, massage in dim room, boob and then bed. If he's still hungry then he'll have a FF top up. Or if he wakes up after a couple of hours.

To reiterate, I am not an expert and hope I don't sound smug. I am not expecting this to last, but feel more confident about rectifying things if/when he starts to regress. Good luck - I hope that things improve soon. x

sleepdodger Wed 29-Jun-11 00:11:19

Thanks all I appreciate your replies and I'm off to click on the books suggested for some light Reading!!

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