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Totally losing the plot, very very confused! 5.5 month old refuses to nap, has totally regressed!

(7 Posts)
toolittletime89 Wed 05-Oct-11 12:10:57

Hi there,

My DD is just over 5.5 months and is running (err...lying like a sack of potatoes) rings around me at the moment with her daytime sleep.
She has never been a great napper, though there have been Golden Weeks were she would settle easily, sleep for ages, give reliable sleepy-cues, naturally fell into a routine-just general bliss!

Granted not very often grin

There were always issues, such as she would settle herself easily, only to wake after 45 mins. As soon as this would be resolved she wouldn't settle down again. I noticed that every time she would become difficult to settle within a week or so she would be managing to stay awake longer, learnt something new etc. The naps would again settle for a week or so then she would up and change once more.

I have been waiting for her to settle down again now for nearly two months!!
I know I'm going wrong with the timing of putting her down. I used to wind her down with cuddles and singing, walking around etc. I would wait for the eye rubbing, blank stare, red eyes etc. One or more of these signs and I'd put her down, within 5-10 (max) mins she would be sound asleep. Sometimes she would wake early and go back to sleep for around 2hrs, give or take.
For the last few weeks now the sleepy cues don't work. She will show them, I put her down, she will either chatter away until she is over-tired, or scream instantly, refusing to sleep, eventually going into melt-down.
I have tried everything; putting her down earlier-she fights it, keeping her up longer-becomes over tired very quickly, going by the clock-she will show tired cues an hr earlier than predicted.
I have a short nap routine to signal nap time. I do a wind down when I think she will start getting tired. Nothing is working.
I am in tears every day. She does not cope well without the sleep, she needs it.
Believe it or not, I have tried to remain consistent through all of this, but am failing dramatically. Now she and I are so confused we don't know what we're doing anymore.

I'm sorry its long-winded, but there is more. Does anyone have any advice at all for me?
Why has she gone into total melt-down (me included) and how to get back on track??
Every day is a nightmare, we are both very miserable.


clarejane Wed 05-Oct-11 13:35:53

So sorry you're miserable and both in meltdown. I know it's frustrating and exhausting! I've had days when I feel like all I've done is try to get DS to take a nap - and it's a major victory if he does! You're not failing at all, you're doing the very best you can which is all any of us can do smile Have you tried making nap routine shorter? At 10 mos mine is now just close curtains, stick baby in cot, leave room, done! And if you feel a total meltdown coming on get out of the house! Stick baby in the sling / pram and go for a walk - whether she falls asleep or not you'll both feel better for a change of scene. Good luck.

toolittletime89 Wed 05-Oct-11 14:23:18

Thanks for the kind words!
Her nap routine takes about two mins, upstairs, in sleeping bag, quick cuddle, cot. Has a little music box i put on for her too.
But you may be on to something there, she will always go down within minutes if I get her daddy to put her down, and though I do try and encourage him to sing to her, cuddle her etc, he is a bloke and is rather reluctant, so he just puts her in her bag and straight in the cot (no nonsense as he calls it) and straight to sleep! shock Maybe she just knows that I mean business when I get him to do it LOL
She had a melt-down this morning and I had to feed her to sleep after trying for nearly 2 hours to get her to sleep (she very rarely feeds to sleep only when V overtired!)
I managed to put her down 40 mins ago, with no cries, minimal fussing grin she didn't start eye rubbing until I put her in the bag, so perhaps eye rubbing is far too late???

I'm now just listening out for any chattering in the next 5 minutes...

fififrog Wed 05-Oct-11 14:26:27

Hi I had something very similar about the same time DD now 6.5 months. She had previously been having about 4 naps a day and awake about 1.5-2 hrs between naps. Suddenly, like overnight, she switched to 2 naps on a good day and stays awake 2hr45-3hr between. The curious thing is she still shows some of the classic tired signs at 1.5hr but all hell will break loose if I try to make her nap then. Could it be your DD has done something similar? I.e. It's not just a bit of a longer wakeful period, it's a whole new regime, but maybe is still yawning at the old times?

I had a foul two weeks til I worked it out so I can imagine what you're going through. Poor both of you!

toolittletime89 Wed 05-Oct-11 14:31:04

This is EXACTLY what she is doing, showing tired signs after 1.5 hrs, screaming in protest if I try and put her down then, however, how did you know when your LO really WAS tired then??? This is where I'm going wrong I think!

Shit I think she just woke up shock

fififrog Wed 05-Oct-11 15:25:18

Yeah, good question! I just kept her awake until I was absolutely sure she was knackered, starting at the weekend when DH could help me decide. I often pick her up and walk around a bit because I find it hard to tell when she is occupied and stimulated, but often if I pick her up she will perhaps yawn or rub her eyes when she finally gets tired enough. I find she starts getting hyper at the wind-down stage, but may or may not go quiet and still after that. But I start watching closely at the hyper stage!

I also started putting her in her sleeping bag for naps - if she's tired she'll usually whinge and then yawn, but if she goes nuts at that point I know it's too early. I had assumed if I popped her in the cot 10mins too early she'd just potter around and bat at her mobile, but no, it's a full-on screamfest if I don't get the timing quite right! I'm beginning to be able to tell whether she'll quieten down when I put her in the cot. If I think she won't I just take her out for a while.

So not a perfect system but at least it normally works ok most days - she only managed 15mins this morning though - which I sometimes think is another sign of me getting it too early. Incidentally I think she is now better able to cope with being tired than she was, so I worry less nowadays about being 10mins too late than 10mins too early!

Good luck, let us know if you make any progress!

toolittletime89 Fri 21-Oct-11 12:25:14

Thought i would update that DD had tonsilitus so that was probably a major issue. She is much better now and although not perfect she is much better with her naps now. 2 on a good day, though sometimes 3 shortish ones. Things are much better now, Fififrog, i noe wait for the hyper stage to pass and she is managing around 2-2.5 hrs between sleeps, longer before bedtime.
Fingers crossed that this growth spurt passes soon though, missing my night sleep!
Thanks everyone for your advice smile

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