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How do you establish naps?

(21 Posts)
NuzzleandScratch Tue 16-Oct-12 21:36:12

Dd2 is nearly 12 weeks, and for the past 2 weeks or so, has slept 6-8 hrs a night (!). However, she barely naps in the day, unless I'm holding her, which is tricky when I have dd1 to deal with. I'm not hugely pro-routine, but I wonder if establishing set times for her to nap would be helpful.

So my question is, how on earth do I go about doing this?! Dd1 just used to nap whenever, wherever, often in the pram, but dd2 isn't keen on napping in the pram, which leaves me at a bit of a loss. I don't particularly want to be tied to her napping in her crib. We have a Moses basket downstairs, so ideally she'd nap in that, but if she's asleep in my arms, then I put her down, she wakes up within a few minutes.

Any advice gratefully received! Also, how much daytime sleep would you expect a baby this age to need?

aimingtobeaperfectionist Tue 16-Oct-12 21:51:50

Similar situation here so watching with interest what advice people have.

LIG1979 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:19:18

No idea - but also waiting to see if anyone has good ideas. I have taken to a sling walk just so she will nap as otherwise she gets very cranky by the afternoon.

NuzzleandScratch Wed 17-Oct-12 19:18:00

Bumping.

Flisspaps Wed 17-Oct-12 19:21:55

With DS (now 6m) I found that swaddling him in a blanket (no longer advised apparently) and putting white noise on allowed me to get him in the pram for 45-90 minutes. Twice a day. Without the swaddling he pulls his dummy out as he's a bloody fidget. I just watch to see when he got tired and its generally around 10 and 1.

There's a white noise app (a free one and a paid for version) and it has saved my sanity.

NuzzleandScratch Wed 17-Oct-12 19:28:34

Thanks Flisspaps. Do you still have to do the swaddling and white noise, or can he nap without it now?

RottenLuck Wed 17-Oct-12 19:40:20

With Dd 1 there were no naps without feeding or walking to sleep. With dd2 she would want to nap after having been awake for about an hour. Sometimes I would put her in a sling, other times I would put her in cot and just see what happened. 9 times out of ten she went to sleep. It was easier in the sling but I tried to make sure one nap a day she got the chance to fall asleep in the cot. Gradually all the naps were in the cot. Part of it was me learning the difference between a bit of shouting before she was dropping off and proper crying.

Flisspaps Wed 17-Oct-12 20:27:33

He needs it for his naps, otherwise he flails and pulls his dummy out and cant get the sodding thing back in but he sleeps from 7pm - 11pm without the noise or swaddling!

I'm just pleased to have free-arm time; he wouldn't be put down at all for the first 12 weeks or so.

NuzzleandScratch Wed 17-Oct-12 20:51:45

Thanks Rottenluck, that sounds good. I think I'm getting better at recognising the tired signs. So after a while, would your dd fall asleep in the cot without a fuss?

Flisspaps, free arm time is what I'm after, I'm going to build a bicep like Popeye soon, she's in my left arm practically all day! I'm perfecting the art of doing everything with one hand!

RottenLuck Wed 17-Oct-12 21:35:16

Yes now she makes a dive for the cot while I'm trying to cuddle her. I would only wait a few minutes before going to her if she cried but often she'd be asleep before I got to the top of the stairs. I used to put the radio on sometimes as well. I wouldn't worry too much about props at this age.

NuzzleandScratch Wed 17-Oct-12 21:43:34

That sounds great, I'd love to achieve that! So do you now have set nap times, or do you just put her down when she shows signs of being tired? When you first started doing it, what would you do if she kept crying? Do you just pick them up and abandon the nap, or try to resettle?

Sorry, I know these questions probably sound daft when this is my second baby, but with dd1, she just slept on me/in pram, because I didn't have another child to worry about!

teacher123 Wed 17-Oct-12 22:04:56

DS (5 1/2 months) was a nightmare non napper for 4 months. I walked for miles in the rain, crying as he woke 4 times a night as well.... The following things helped to get him in the cot (and me on the sofa)
1- realising when he was tired. (2 1/2 hours EXACTLY from waking!) and making sure he had a walk/drive at those times.
2- attempting self settling at bedtime which then helped at nap time
3 - nap time routine-nappy change, dim lights, into grobag, quick feed, cuddle and put down. Always the same everytime.
4- white noise-radio static works a treat and blocks out any background noise.

I found the non napping absolutely soul destroying, and we are both much happier now. He has whole days where he doesn't cry at all as he isn't overtired! It's amazing. And he tends to sleep better at night when he's had two good naps in his cot.

A good day looks like this-
7.00 wake up
9.30 nap (45 mins)
12.45 nap (1 to 1 1/2 hours)
6.00 bedtime

Hope it improves soon!

NuzzleandScratch Wed 17-Oct-12 22:25:01

Thanks for taking the time to reply Teacher123, some useful tips there. That makes sense about the self settling at night helping for naps too. Dd1 always had to be fed to sleep, so I was quite surprised to find that dd2 could drop off by herself sometimes! We'll have to work on that. When dd1 stopped feeding to sleep, we eventually had to resort to cc, which I'd like to avoid this time round (obviously dd1 was much older when we did that, about 15 months I think).

That's a good tip too about imitating the bedtime routine for naps. Going into the Grobag seems so obvious, but I hadn't thought of that!

Our current sleep 'routine' is that she doses on my lap downstairs in the evening in Grobag (after dd1 has gone to bed, before which they have a bath together). Then at about 11, I change her nappy and do a feed (dreamfeed?), then, fingers crossed, she'll sleep until about 7am. After this, I feed her and then lay her on our bed (still in Grobag), where she might sleep for another hour or two. I'm not sure if this counts as part of her nighttime sleep, or a nap. I think of it as a part of her night sleep, as she's not spending time awake in between. I lay her on our bed, as I know she'll nod off quickly there, but ideally she'd go back in her crib, as I know she's safer there.

I'm not sure why I'm rambling on about this, but now you know! In the day, she'll literally dose for 15 minute bursts here and there, with the odd exception.

Glad you managed to get things sorted!

Ouchdownthere Wed 17-Oct-12 22:38:14

Echo teacher123. DS longest time awake one day when only a few weeks old was almost 8 hours. I had no idea how to recognise cues or how to get him to sleep. He was a terrible sleeper all round and I got help from a sleep lady.

Learning to recognise when he was tired and to put him into sleep mode (in his case pram during day) was the key to then getting him the daytime sleep he needed in order to then be more rested for self settling at bed time (with a cast iron routine of bath or wash, feed, same story, grobag, song, lights off, bed). It took a while to establish the cues but it paid off and I soon got to recognise and then anticipate when DS was tired. Rather than going on set times it has worked to purely go off his cues and that in itself presented a kind of schedule.

Appreciate much easier to work at these things when don't have another to consider but I think working out how long baby can go between naps then anticipating sleep time was key for us.

DuelingFanjo Wed 17-Oct-12 22:46:30

At around 16 weeks, after only sleeping on me or with me, I managed to get ds to nap on my bed twice a day. I read something on here about how babies like to nap every couple of hours so I would wake with ds around 7.30 am then go all out to entertain him for a couple of hours then if he started looking tired I would feed him then rock him and sing. Then he would fall asleep in my arms so I would lie down and gently roll him onto the bed. At first he sometimes woke but I persevered and pretty soon he was napping twice a day for over an hour. Breast feeding helped.

ceeveebee Wed 17-Oct-12 22:58:17

I had two very sleepy babies (twins) and used to only wake up to feed (in fact I had to wake them when they were very little). Then they gradually started to stay awake for maybe 30 mins after each feed, then up to an hour etc. I used to wait until they seemed tired (cryibg, eye rubbibg etc) swaddle them and put in a travel cot downstairs together and play 'classic fm for babies' and they would drop off.

Worked until about 5 months when they decided they didn't want to sleep together and just wanted to play. So then I started putting in seperate cots upstairs for naps, with lullabies playing and a blackout blind. By then they were staying awake for 2-2.5 hours. Now at 11 mo they stay awake for about 3-4 hrs(wake at 7, nap at 10am for an hour, nap at 2pm for an hour, bed at 7)

Runningblue Wed 17-Oct-12 23:03:12

Baby whisperer is seen as the devil by many, but the list of sleep cues in that book are very handy, as is the no cry nap solution by Elizabeth pantly
I think it was the no cry book which gives the best gentle tips on getting naps on the go.

teacher123 Thu 18-Oct-12 07:15:33

I honestly think that there are sleepy babies and non sleepy babies. A friend has an 8 week old who consistently sleeps better than DS does and he's 6 months next week. If you have a non sleepy baby I think routine is probably the way forward. I am a bit of a nap bore and now I have him in this routine I get quite stressed about changing it. I also am very strict about bedtime and have had a bit of piss taking from my family about it, who think that I should be happy to take DS out for a pub meal in the evening etc even though he would be a screaming overtired nightmare! Anyway, I digress!

I honestly thought it would never get better and I am quite prepared for this to not be the end of the sleep battle, but to give you hope it will improve!

RottenLuck Thu 18-Oct-12 09:51:42

If she cried and it sounded like distress I would go to her, was usually wind or something. But if it was a tired sounding cry, sort of more like shouting then I would maybe wait a few minutes to see what happened. If she couldn't settle I would wind up her musical mobile which played soothing music and leave her again. I do think some babies are just easier to settle than others, my dd sucks her thumb and this helps a lot. Am sure I won't be so glad of it in later life!

NuzzleandScratch Thu 18-Oct-12 13:07:30

Thanks Ouchdownthere, dd2 has definitely done 8 hrs awake, it's ridiculous! I like the idea of reading her cues, rather than being rigid about the times, that's more my style. Napping in the pram could also work well, then we could be in or out.

Duelingfanjo, she definitely finds out bed comfy, so perhaps that could be our starting point!

Ceeveebee, classic fm for babies sounds lovely, I'll have to find that! If you can get twins into a nap routine, I'm sure I can do it for one!

Runningblue, I do have the No Cry book, so perhaps I should read that it, thanks for the tip!

Rottenluck, dd1 still sucks her thumb at 2.7, we know she's tired when the thumb goes in!

Thanks for all the replies. I was feeling really positive last night about giving this a try, but we had a really rough night last night. Dd1 decided to start crying at 3am, and ended up in our bed, but faffed about so much, she woke up dd2, who'd been sleeping soundly! angry. So I ended up getting about 4 hours sleep, and feel dreadful.

Anyway, onwards and upwards!

Runningblue Thu 18-Oct-12 21:41:43

I really liked the no cry book nuzzle - it is very gentle and makes you feel better even if you choose not to bother with some or all of the advice unlike the baby whisperer

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