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3 month old only napsfor 30/40 mins- help!

(19 Posts)
JenniferR Fri 15-Jul-11 10:24:51

Hi ther

My 3 month and 1 week old baby will only take naps of about 30/40minutes and it can take a while to put her down for these naps. At night after a lot of fussing she tends to sleep 7ishpm-12isham feed 12.30-3isham feed 3.30-6amish feed then up at 7am

She sometimes wakes up smiling and playful but other times wakes up cranky. I try to put her back down after a cuddle and/or feed (BF) but she just screams and screams until I have to put her on her playmat.

Does anyone else have this problem- is it a problem? I read that short naps are no good for babies- is that true?

Have no idea how gto give my baby the sleep she needs and am gettin g really down and tired of sitting in a dark room crying while baby screams and kicks fighting sleep.

Any advice would be great.

haloflo Fri 15-Jul-11 15:38:40

Hiya I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. My 15 week old DD is the same.

I just make sure she naps often (sometimes 5 times a day if we have an early start) and always try to extend the nap.

Where does she nap? Does she nap longer if her pram/sling/bouncy chair? When DD naps in her pram or chair I rock her a little if she starts to stir to see if I can extend the nap. If you are always trying to make her nap in her cot then maybe go for a walk - get out of the dark room!

From reading some babies are like this and it often something they grow out of.

I wouldn't worry about it being bad for her. You sound like you are doing your best and you can't do any more. You can't make them sleep!

cocoachannel Fri 15-Jul-11 16:19:01

My NCT group were talking about this today. All 7 babies (18 - 20 weeks) only nap for 30-45mins! Occasionally my DD will have a longer nap (about once a week) but it is totally random. Most days she has 4 x 45mins.

My DD has a similar night pattern to yours, although has started sleeping through very occasionally if dreamfed at 10.30pm. We have found a 10.30pm dreamfeed introduced when she was 15 weeks helpful as it means only getting up once, around 3am.

cheekyginger Fri 15-Jul-11 18:15:09

You should look up "the science of sleep" its on net mums, if you cant find it just google it. It has interesting information about a baby's sleep cycle.

Problem is all babies are different. But if they are still grumpy i would reckon they need more sleep.

My 11 week old tends to have anywhere between 45mins - 1.5 hours in the morning, then about same in afternoon, and about 40 mins in early evening. If he starts grumping after 45 mins i'll try popping his dummy in and see if he settles, (i try and do this with no eye contact and no interacting). If he doesnt re-settle i take it that he has had enough.
Takes after his mum likes his sleep!

AnaYorks Fri 15-Jul-11 20:24:00

I just wanted to let you know that it does get better. I could have written your post when my DD was 3mths old; she is now 5mths old and just this week has started going to sleep within 10 mins and consistently taking naps of 1.5 hrs. Things which helped for us included: napping in her cot rather than moses basket/pushchair (really hard at first, but has produced better naps in the long run), blackout blinds, radio static, tucking her in really well with a sheet, cuddling, rocking, shushing and patting to sleep (still do this for daytime naps as she is a nap-fighter, but she can self-settle when she goes to sleep in the evenings).

I too ended up crying in a darkened room, but what experience has taught me is that I was trying to make my baby conform to what I felt she should be doing (i.e. having longer naps) - once I started to go with the flow a bit more, things somehow seemed to get a bit easier. As halo and cocoa say, if naps are short, try to encourage more of them, maybe by varying between cot, pushchair, sling to give yourself a break. Also, make sure your DP does his share of the settling! It was my husband that first got our DD to self-settle - sometimes they are really good at this because they don't smell of milk.

It does get better. ((Hugs))

PinkSchmoo Sat 16-Jul-11 16:10:12

Was coming on to post this thread today. Really feel like I've reached the end of my tether. Cried half the day I'm just so tired and feel like an utter failure. DS goes to sleep well enough at night but daytime is a nightmare. He won't sleep in the house or out.

If I try to fight him down in the house I pat him whilst he cries for 30-45 mins before he goes over and within minutes he wakes with a hard cry and it's time to begin again.

If I take him out in the car he cries hard, goes to sleep but wakes when we stop. Buggy is similar. He can cry for 30 mins in the buggy.

Sometimes he will stay over but I basically need to continually be there to pat or rock him.

He is very spewy and I wOnder is he maybe suffering from a wee bit of reflux. I have no routine for naps as I can't face the same fight several times a day but I know that doesn't help and it just makes me feel like more of a failure.

I am just so demoralised.

PinkSchmoo Sat 16-Jul-11 16:13:45

Btw how, how do you get a baby to self soothe?

JenniferR Sat 16-Jul-11 19:32:28

Thank you to everyone for responding- it feels so god to know that there are others out there experiencing this too!

I went out in the pram today and baby slept for about 30 minutes on a couple of occasions. I've also tried playing with her in her cot to try and get her to feel like it is a safe place and added a mobile.
It's just really harad as she doesn't seem to know how to self-soothe and go to sleep.

To top it off she went to her grandparents this morning and they put her down in pram and after 10 minutes she just dropped off- she's NEVER done that for me. I hope they don't think I'm just making it all up confused

PinkSchmoo- I know exactly how you feel, I often feel like a failure and am guilty when ever I get my baby to sleep anywhere but her cot. Come 5pm every evening I feel 'the fear' set in as we like to call it as hubby and I know we are going to be in for a battle to get her to sleep at night.
hanks for everyones tips- good to know that I'm not being a terrible mum at this smile

Petalouda Sat 16-Jul-11 19:47:44

Great question. My DS is 15 weeks and will.only nap for 35 minutes at a time. Trouble is, he can only stay awake 'happily' for an hour. I spend the whole day trying to get him to fall asleep.

He's also teething, so is extra screamy.

Any idea how I get him to sleep for longer during the day?

He's also ok at night, after I feed him back to sleep after the first 35 mins!estion. My DS is 15 weeks and will.only nap for 35 minutes at a time. Trouble is, he can only stay awake 'happily' for an hour. I spend the whole day trying to get him to fall asleep.

He's also teething, so is extra screamy.

Any idea how I get him to sleep for longer during the day?

He's also ok at night, after I feed him back to sleep after the first 35 mins!

cheekyginger Sun 17-Jul-11 09:54:11

You mentioned your wee one is "sicky". My DS is FF and has been "sicky" since birth (12wo). I didnt bother going to the Dr to fight for gaviscon as i didnt really want him medicated. Tried carobel thickening agent from cow and gate and OMG what a defference. He now possitts a little bit rather than chucking up half his feed and is a much happier wee boy. We've been using it for 3 days and he slept through the night for the first time last night 8pm till 6.30am, and i really believe its because he kept all his feeds down!!

RitaMorgan Sun 17-Jul-11 09:58:18

Mine was a 45 minute napper too - not sure there's much you can do about it. I would try to feed or rock him back to sleep after the first sleep cycle, or I found he slept much better on my lap or in bed with me.

At 7 months he suddenly started sleeping 2 hours at a time, nothing I did.

3 months is pretty young to self-soothe, most babies need help to fall asleep at that age. Mine started getting the hang of it around 6-7 months, and could settle himself to sleep every time by about 9 months.

PinkSchmoo Sun 17-Jul-11 14:18:23

Jennifer, our only saving grace is that DS goes down ok at night. Believe it or not he is my second! Kept a diary of DD and looked at it last night and she was WORSE than him at this age. I know it gets better. It really does. But some days it's just impossible to believe you will ever get there.

mercibucket Sun 17-Jul-11 14:24:36

I was happiest once I accepted that my babies weren't 'sleep for hours' types and gave up on the idea of a routine or specific time for a nap. the kids were happier too. turns out we are a 'go with the flow, catch a bit of sleep here and there' family. dd was the easiest cos I just stuck her in a sling and carried her round the whole time. she'd drift to sleep as and when and was really very happy like that. much better than the other two who used to get enforced cot time and were a bit hit and miss about the whole idea. mine have never been great daytime sleepers though, unless in the car or long buggy journey. they also stopped napping altogether at about 18 months and even now seem to need less sleep overall than other children their age. sigh

DialsMavis Sun 17-Jul-11 19:42:08

DD was like this I tried everything to extend her naps. At 7 months she started having 2 longer Naps (around 1.5 hours) and dropped the 3rd nap. For her and many others it seems tha longer naps just don't happen until they are developmentally ready. She had self settled and slept through (12hrs) for ages, she just couldn't pass from one sleep cycle to the next in the daytime. Now she sleeps 13ish hours at night (14+ the last 2 nights) and naps twice for at least an hour, I am in heaven! She is 8.5 months smile

mammainlove Sun 17-Jul-11 23:03:04

When she starts to show signs of waking up, before she's opened her eyes, start feeding her again. This should help her sleep for longer.

Caz10 Sun 17-Jul-11 23:26:10

To the dreading trying to get her to bed at night, this might not suit you, but have you considered not bothering?! My dd2 is 9 weeks and just stays downstairs with me, feeding and napping most of the evening. When I feel she's about to go into a longer stretch of sleep, normally around 11pm, we come up to bed. There was a thread recently about this, I'll try and find it and link it!

Caz10 Sun 17-Jul-11 23:30:29


JenniferR Wed 20-Jul-11 20:14:14

Thanks for the link Caz10- I did try a later bed time but she ended up screaming for about 1.5hrs and seems to naturally want to go down at 7pmish.

Latest development is that she's now waking up laughing and wanting to be up at 5am! That is after an additional 2 through the night wakes- oh the joys smile

fififrog Wed 20-Jul-11 20:43:36

It all changes with time. Two weeks ago we had 2x1.5 hours and 2x30 mins, now we're on 4x30-45 minutes. I can't do anything about it, I don't feed her to sleep. I always try to extend the nap. She wakes up after 30 mins whether in my bed or in the car or in the pushchair. She sometimes goes longer in my arms, but I'm finding she's getting too heavy to rock her to sleep in my arms (17 weeks) and at least if she sleeps on the bed she wakes of her own accord rather than because I need the loo! I am hoping that they will get longer again in their own good time.

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