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12 week old waking early from naps

(11 Posts)
Bodensmummy Thu 11-Aug-11 21:44:29

My 12wk old son was born 4 weeks prem by c section. He is fed on aptamil and is gaining weight well.
We've had problems since going completely onto formula with his tummy with excessive bottom wind which has woken him in the nights before now. He has improved over the last few weeks and sleeps quite well at night, only feeding once between 7pm and 7am. He stirs at 4.30/5am every morning and we have found turning him on his tummy settles him back again although means we have to sit and watch him sleep!
My problem is with his daytime naps. He has been able to fall asleep on his own for a few weeks now and originally was napping for 1-1.5 hours usually. He has now started waking really quickly from naps, often screaming and is very difficult to settle if not impossible. I am desperately trying not to nurse and rock him to sleep and I go in and reassure/pat/shushh etc and I pick him up if he won't settle with my touch but put him back down if he goes quiet.
We are both getting more and more tired (I don't sleep well at night even though he does!) and to top it all off I have post natal depression too which means I really struggle to hear him cry and feel like I'm doing something wrong all the time.
I wouldn't mind the very short naps if he woke up and wanted to be awake which he doesn't. What makes it worse is that he can also only manage about 1 hour of awake time before he is yawning and tired which ends up him waking a long time before his next feed and we end up with him falling asleep on his bottle and not getting his wind up thus affecting his tummy later on!!!
I feel at the end of my tether right now and find I'm wishing him to be older all the time and not enjoying the time I have with him now at all.
Any help greatly appreciated!

RitaMorgan Thu 11-Aug-11 21:50:52

My ds only napped for 45 minutes at a time for ages - it was the length of one sleep cycle. Does your ds always wake up after the same length of time?

One thing you can do to try to help them get into the next sleep cycle is go in 5 minutes before you think they'll wake and pat/shush etc as soon as you see him stir. It works for some people, and eventually the baby starts sleeping longer without your help. Didn't work for me though unfortunately!

Is there a particular reason you don't want to rock/nurse him to sleep? I found my ds really needed at least one long nap a day, so I would let him have a short nap in the morning, and then after lunch I would feed or rock him back to sleep everytime he woke to ensure he got a couple of hours - or I would take him out for one long walk in the sling/pram every day. Then he'd have another short nap late afternoon.

One day at around 7 months ds suddenly started doing 2 hour naps on his own in his cot.

Bodensmummy Thu 11-Aug-11 22:06:55

I already find it hurts my back holding him for any length of time and I guess I don't want him to rely on me rocking him to get him off....he is only going to get heavier!
He sometimes does a 45 min nap but it's often now 20 mins and he just cries his heart out cause he wants to sleep but has woken for some reason. I suspect that it's started because of his tummy problems but might be becoming habit instead.
I just would like some harmony in the household!
My dd1 also only napped 45 mins at a time and started to lengthen on her own around 7months too......I wouldn't mind this at all if he seemed content to be awake and if his wakeful time was a bit longer as really he ends up needing two naps every feed cycle!

RitaMorgan Thu 11-Aug-11 22:17:49

Do you have a sling? If you find a comfy one you could put him in that to nap.

Bodensmummy Fri 12-Aug-11 07:42:33

I do have a sling and it is comfy but when I've used it even now I really feel the weight on my shoulders.....obviously need to go to the gym!!!

RitaMorgan Fri 12-Aug-11 08:22:54

Is it a Baby Bjorn? I found those awful on back/shoulders. I got a Close carrier in the end and it distributes the baby's weight much better - I used it for hours a day til ds was about 6 months.

Bodensmummy Fri 12-Aug-11 11:56:12

Yes it is, had it from my first.....did you find your ds wanted to be held to go to sleep at night too? I've never really believed in carrying all day...I'm a bit of a Tracey Hogg convert! I think I might have to drop my expectations a little as every day is turning into a battle to get him to nap and it's driving me to distraction! I'm trying to laugh it off today.....see how long that lasts!

fififrog Fri 12-Aug-11 18:48:02

I fully expect he'll grow out of it. DD used to have at least one 1.5 hour nap but for the last few weeks her male have got shorter and shorter, and she's protested more.andmore.about having them. So spending half an hour trying to get her to have a 20min nap is not much fun! I was getting really annoyed about it but I feel.considerably better having decided eat shall be will be. I have friends whose babies.temporarily stopped napping altogether. I think it's just developmental.
I hope things improve for you though, it must be really hard coping with depression. And I know what you mean about them waking distressed. We had the full death rattle.thisafternoon.

Apologies for poor typing, new phone!

fififrog Fri 12-Aug-11 18:52:34

Ps I really like the close.carrier too for naps but DD now wriggles to see out at 20 weeks gets uncomfy. I can enclose her better in my wrapsody. She also sleeps ok in the baby bjorpn facing in.

LittleMilla Sat 13-Aug-11 17:07:04

I have a 30-40 minute daytime napper too, it drives me nuts when I think about it too much. I feel your pain as my DS often wakes up grouchy because he clearly needs to sleep more, but I figure that so long as I'm giving him the chance to nap (try and get him in his cot for a couple of naps a day) then he'll do it when ready. My day is often mapped out to give him a chance to kip every two hours or so (he's ready for first sleep about an hour after waking) in either cot/sling/pushchair.

Against my better judgement, I let my DS sleep on his tummy. I know the SIDS risks, but it means that he's able to get a decent night's sleep and some proper naps in his cot, which is his favourite place to sleep. And he's practically rolling over already at 14 weeks, so I am feeling more relaxed now. It's a very personal choice that you need to make though - I still wake up before DS in the night to check on him! I cannot advocate it (and I know I'll be flamed for saying that I let him sleep that way), but simply say it works for us.

You've already got children so are likely to be more pro than me. But I just try not to let DS get overtired and let him have frequent naps as/when he's tired. It is bloody frustrating and I can 100% sympathise...I swing from being chilled about it, to crying with exhaustion, wanting him to sleep so that I can try and rest too. But please don't beat yourself up about it - you're no doubt doing a fantastic job. And occasionally feeding him back to sleep really doesn't make for bad habits. I do this on the odd day when DS (and me!) is having a particularly crap day.

Oh, and we are shhh/pat converts. When in his cot, I'll sing a short lulluby, put him down, then leave him for ten mins to shout/get comfy. Then if he hasn't settled, DH or I will go in and give him a shhh/pat. Usually leave him a few times before picking him up and 9/10 he'll fall asleep.

Your DS is able to sleep for long periods if he wants to as his nightime sleeping proves this. It'll come with time (this is my mantra, anyway!). x

Bodensmummy Tue 16-Aug-11 14:33:13

Thanks so much for that littlemilla, we too are pitting ds on his tummy and I have to say he sleeps so much better. Wheb he stirs at night now we flip him over and he will always go back to sleep for often several hours so we gave been able to get the night feeds down to only 1 which is great.
I completely sympathise about your worry re SIDS as we went through the sane tough choice too and we have started using an angelcare breathing monitor to give us some peace of mind. Used for first time last night and so far so good!
Daytime naps are slightly better, I think I've been putting him to bed too early....I would put him in his cot after he had yawned a couple if times....only prob was, he yawns right from when he wakes up!! I got to the point where he would be going in his cot after only being awake 1 hour and would cry so much when I put him down that he would spend longer crying than he actually slept for! Over the weekend I tried to keep him up for closer to two hours and he seems to be going off easier and his naps are abut longer, often now 45 mins. He still wakes and doesn't want to but the trauma of going off to sleep now seems better so I don't feel so bad!
I am finding it hard to amuse him for 2 hours especially like you say, after his first feed, but I figure that will improve with his age too.
It's hard with a premie cause you have to keep reminding yourself that they aren't as old as it feels they should be (?)!
All in all I think tummy sleeping has probably made the biggest difference to him with his tummy being so uncomfortable and like you say it's a personal choice but I think sometimes there is a lot to be said for trusting your instincts. I read another post about tummy sleeping on mumsnet which made my mind up- position of sleep is not the only factor in SIDS, there is smoking, temperature, place of sleep etc- that made me feel a whole lot better!
Thanks everyone for your kind messages and suggestions x

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