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Daytime naps argggh!!

(6 Posts)
Mamakath Mon 10-Oct-11 16:58:46

13 week old DS has never been a good daytime napper, but things are just getting worse and worse and I think he is basically chronically overtired. He used to be lively and smiley between naps, and now he is just grumpy and glum most of the time. It's getting to the point where I feel that I can't take him anywhere as he will inevitably have a meltdown - this seems to be the only way he can get to sleep these days.

On a typical day he will fall asleep 4 times (up at 7, napping at say 9, 11, 2, 5, then bedtime between 7 and 8). One problem is the naps never last more than 40 minutes, and often as little as 10 - and I can see he is still tired afterwards. The other problem is how he gets to sleep: until a couple of weeks ago we had some success getting him to sleep in his cot and to settle himself for naps, but he just doesn't seem to be able to do this any more. If I spot that he's tired (yawning, rubbing eyes, etc) and attempt to settle him in his cot he just cries, and when I try to calm him and get him to resettle it just seems to wind him up even more; he ends up crying himself to sleep while I shush him or play him white noise. He will sometimes go to sleep without crying if I walk him around in his sling or the pram, but I am really exhausted with doing this (and it feels like I'm getting little out of it when I walk him around for hours to get him to sleep and his nap only lasts 10 minutes!!). Is there anything at all that I can do about any of this? Part of me thinks that I should just stop worrying about it and he will end up sleeping when he is really exhausted, but the other part thinks it's irresponsible not to intervene before he gets to the point where he is crying himself to sleep... Any tips on how to break the overtired-can't-sleep cycle??

Nevercan Mon 10-Oct-11 19:56:50

It sounds like he is coming out of initial sleep but not resettling himself for a longer snooze. I have found that my babies usually cry a little before going to sleep and sometimes the more you intervene the more wound up they get as they can see you and the interaction stops them dropping off. I am not suggesting you leave DS crying for ages but waiting 5 minutes or so and see if he goes off to sleep. might take a bit longer initially.
If I am home I always put baby to sleep in the same place so they get used to it. My dd2 has a little way for a couple of minutes and then drifts off. I can walk past and she will be awake after half an hour but look in again 10 mins later and she is back asleep.
Good luck smile

redcamels Mon 10-Oct-11 21:21:24

I could have written this myself.

DS is on day time nap strike...every nap is a battle of wills. Some days I can deal with it fine, other days I want to cry.

I am trying desperately not to get into the habit of rocking him to sleep bangs head against wall

RitaMorgan Mon 10-Oct-11 21:27:21

Will he stay asleep if he's moving in the pram/sling?

At this age I had to either have DS in the sling/pram and keep moving for the length of the nap, or feed him to sleep and either sleep in bed with him or hold him in my arms.

Don't worry about "bad habits" now, just do whatever works at the moment and you can sort it out later.

DS didn't start napping in his cot at all til after 5 months - and until 7 months he could only sleep 45 minutes at a time. I just made sure he got at least 1 long (90 minutes+) nap by walking with him or feeding him back to sleep when he woke after the first 45 minutes.

Mamakath Tue 11-Oct-11 08:53:58

Hi all, thanks for the replies. It's good to know that we're not the only ones this has happened to! Yes, I think he's probably waking after the first sleep cycle and not resettling. Occasionally he will go back to sleep if I keep moving (if he's in the pram/ sling) OR feed him back to sleep (I usually feed him straight after a nap anyway, and it's a bonus if he falls back asleep), but this is getting rarer. Oh well, I guess I can't force him to sleep. Will try leaving him in his cot when he wakes to see if he resettles.

AAW1 Tue 11-Oct-11 16:05:44

This the exact same situation with my 16 week old !! Their sleep cycle is 40 mins so she wakes herself up bang on 40mins. Resorted to driving around in the afternoon to help her to sleep or walk around with the bjorn carrier. I agree sometimes when she is fed and nappy changed and I know she is just overtired, I can just leave her for 5 mins and she whimpers and whines a bit and then goes to sleep. My other theory is that a blackout blind may help - my flat is never dark enough in the daytime

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