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7 wk old doesn't nap during the day

(31 Posts)
gertrudestein Sat 07-Sep-13 03:38:38

He sleeps from about 11 to 7, waking two or three times to feed. But he has now stopped napping during the day, which means that by 5 or 6 he's totally wired from over tiredness, and takes hours to calm down. He starts getting cranky around midday and it just builds from there, but nothing I can do makes him settle.

I've tried white noise, feeding him to sleep (he just wakes up a few minutes later), rocking and patting, going for walks. The only thing that does work occassionally is if I take him for a walk in thr sling (not the buggy), but I have a weak back and I can't wear him all or most of the day.

I try to act on his yawns, but his eyes stay wide open even when he's obviously tired. I think he needs to suck a lot but he won't take a dummy.

I spend all day trying to soothe him or feeding him, and it's driving me crazy!

mrsspagbol Sat 07-Sep-13 11:34:45

Sounds just like my 6 week old so watching with interest for any advice ...

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 07-Sep-13 15:37:16

god poor you, that sounds tough.
How long after he wakes are you trying to get him down again? if I remember rightly, at that age my dd couldn't stay awake for more than about 45 minutes. I tended to try and get her down after that time regardless of tiredness signs. So that would be my advice really- aim to try putting down earlier than you would otherwise plan too and see if that helps. I found the guide on this really helpful:
It's all very well being baby led but some babies just don't give tiredness signs until it's too late!

Good luck- it's always only a phase so however hard it is, it won't last.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 07-Sep-13 15:37:57


GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 07-Sep-13 15:38:20

MortifiedAdams Sat 07-Sep-13 15:39:25

Have you tried swaddling? If he wakes at 7, try a feed at eight then swaddled and down into his pram maybe give it a little push around?

crikeybadger Sat 07-Sep-13 15:47:49

Sympathies, my 7 week old has been just like this today. Finally got her to sleep in the sling but I see it's not an option for you. Would it work if you sling first then gently transfer to a cot though?

nickelbabe Sat 07-Sep-13 15:47:54

I think DD was the same, we called her "the baby who never sleeps"

she literally just slept for about half an hour after an hour long feed (which I'm pretty sure was mostly dream feeding)

I can't remember what we did, just stuck with it I think.

she still only sleeps in short bursts now

nickelbabe Sat 07-Sep-13 15:52:51

"I spend all day trying to soothe him or feeding him, and it's driving me crazy!"

that might be your problem.
this might sound unsympathetic, but why does it worry you?

he'll be tiny for such a short period of time.

what I mean is, is you think to yourself, "it's normal, it doesn't matter, this too shall pass", you might find that it worries you less.

It doesn't matter what every one else says is normal, what everyone else says your baby should be doing, just do what's best for you, for your family. brewcake

BushCricket Sat 07-Sep-13 16:24:27

Mine did this because she was not feeding properly - when that was sorted she was more settled. Is he gaining weight as expected?
Also as someone else pointed out, I was also not picking up on cues and she would go past the sleepy phase and get over tired.

gertrudestein Sat 07-Sep-13 17:55:46

Thanks everyone - I think I'm definitely missing the cues or sometimes putting him down too late, because he does get overtired. nickel that's the only reason it worries me - I can see he's overtired and stressed out and that if he had a nap he'd feel much better. Although perhaps I am getting too worried about it too, and he's picking up on it.

guy thank you for that link! I had been trying to put him down after 2 hrs but it sounds like that's already too long so I will try after 1 and let you know how I get on!

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 07-Sep-13 18:48:28

yep I'd definitely try close to one hour.
also could you co-sleep for daytime naps? good excuse for you to get some rest and if your baby likes being in the sling, maybe he'll settle easier if he's near you. it's nice to feed laying down and then just drift off together!

AnythingNotEverything Sat 07-Sep-13 19:02:59

Also, if your sling isn't good on your back, could you try a different one from your local sling library?

Well done on the night sleeps!

gertrudestein Sun 08-Sep-13 09:42:35

Interim update ... He is asleep! Woke up at 7.30, fed, played a bit then I started rocking him to sleep around 9. So far he's been asleep for half an hr - he's on me, which isn't ideal, but I will worry about how to get him to sleep in his crib later! I hope I can keep this routine up all day ....

MortifiedAdams Sun 08-Sep-13 09:55:05

Thats lovely! Be prepared that he may only sleep 45mins which is one sleep cycle. No.matter, simply time him again from.when he wakes.and do the same again.

Once he is reliably sleeping through the day, you can try and lengthen the cycles (Google Wake to Sleep Method which worked for us). And if you want sleep in a crib work on that later too.

My SIL used to have her dd nap.on her all the time and she got out of that so so quickly - she was worried but neice just didnt mind cot.or mum.

upanddown83 Mon 09-Sep-13 09:07:31

My ds is 15 weeks and I remember from 6-9 weeks he only ever napped 45mins at the most with someone standing up rocking him if we sat down he would wake up!
Now though at 15 weeks he sleeps an hr in morning and then another 2-3 hr long naps through out the day on the sofa swaddled without much help to go over! He hated Moses basket swing and bouncer!
I don't know what happened to change his behaviour but it was like something did just suddenly clicked with him and he realised that napping was ok and he wasn't going to miss anything!
Try swaddling if your not already and I have tv down low and nothing else interesting happening when I want him to nap so he's not stimulated my anything.
It will pass and your not doing anything wrong ur baby is just trying to get the hang of things it will get easier as you both get more of a routine and get to know each other.

StuckOnARollercoaster Mon 09-Sep-13 09:24:03

If I have a quiet day at home then I put dd down for naps whether or not she looks tired half an hour after her feed is finished (her feeds take 1 hour so 1.5 hours after she's woken up). I stay with her but don't play with her. She will gurgle and kick her legs happily but if it looks a bit frantic I'll put my hand on her chest to calm her down. I figured a 'rest' in her cot is better than nothing to try and stop that over tiredness. We're now finding that she settles herself down and after about half an hour can fall asleep.
I also find that these sleeps where she settles herself in her own cot wit me next to her rather than me cuddling or feeding when we're out and about seem to be better/longer, so now I alternate days out. If we've been out one day, the next day is a calmer day at home to catch back up on sleep.

Bloodsocks Mon 09-Sep-13 09:31:29

My baby never slept during the day at the start but now at 24 weeks she normally will reliably go down after up to 2 hours of being awake. She mostly only sleeps for half an hour at a time though.

If you drive you could try popping him in his car seat and having a drive round to see if that sends him off.

CityDweller Mon 09-Sep-13 19:11:38

Just to echo that mine was much like this. Only slept in sling or on me or DH until she was about 14 weeks. She hated pram (carry cot) loves it now I changed it to buggy set-up with fleecey liner thing, which I did when she was about 3.5 mo. I can now also get her to nap for 45 mins in cot. I'm saying this to reiterate that this too shall pass. I rather miss the napping-on-me thing, but at the time it drove me a bit potty. But, like you, mine was a grump if overtired so I just had to go with what worked to get her to sleep.

I think she naturally developed ability to nap differently, but the one thing I did do for naps in cot at home was start a little pre-nap routine. Just closing blind, putting on white noise, puting DD in her sleeping bag and singing a little song. I still have to do a cross between pick-up-put-down and cuddling to get her off, but it doesn't take long.

Hang in there (and appreciate the sleepy daytime snuggles while they last!)

gertrudestein Thu 12-Sep-13 19:21:00

Aaah, it's driving me crazy! He won't go to sleep unless we go for a walk in the sling. Absolutely nothing else works. The evenings are unbearable. How do you actually get a baby to sleep? Should I have the same routine every day? Should I try to follow his cues? This is getting unbearable!

minipie Thu 12-Sep-13 20:16:12

oh I feel your pain! Been there with dd at a similar age. The only thing that worked was loooong pram walks - sometimes I would walk for 45 mins (with no stops at all!) before she went to sleep. But she always did sleep eventually. Then I'd have to keep walking to keep her asleep.

After a few days of doing numerous long pram walks and getting 3/4 hours of day sleep into her that way, she was no longer overtired and much much easier to get to sleep. (I could even stop the pram without her waking up...)

Getting an overtired baby to sleep is completely different and about a million times harder than getting a non overtired baby to sleep. most of the usual tips such as swaddling, white noise etc etc won't really work on an overtired baby... they might help a bit, but not work alone.

Maybe try again in the buggy but keep going for longer? unless you've already tried that. I found it helped if i put a dark scarf over the buggy to block out any stimulation. A friend also played white noise in the pram too on her iphone. Or try the car? Some find an electric swing helps but it didn't work for my dd - maybe you can borrow one to try?

I buggered up my back by rocking dd during her worst overtired phase, so I understand your sling reluctance. But could someone else (DP?) walk her round in the sling a lot at the weekend? a few days of "sleep cramming" makes such a difference and once they are no longer overtired you can then go back to easier methods like the pram or feeding to sleep.

It does get easier I promise!

minipie Thu 12-Sep-13 20:20:27

Oh yeah and as BushCricket says, feeding problems will contribute to napping problems - my dd had undiagnosed tongue tie and napping got better when that was fixed. Any chance that's what is going on?

gertrudestein Fri 13-Sep-13 09:43:03

Thanks miniple. Good to know I'm not alone. Don't think it's tongue tie as he's always sticking his tongue out! Dp works long hours and sleeps a lot at the weekend. He does what he can but really can't cope with late or broken nights and work.

I think for now I will have to try to get him to nap however I can for a few days, then try to take it from there. Will it really grt better on it's own? Or should I try to train him to do certain things? I feel like I'm disappearing into chaos ...

minipie Fri 13-Sep-13 14:24:16

dd was always sticking her tongue out miles too - she had posterior tongue tie nonetheless. does your ds have any signs of TT such as clicking sound when feeding, shallow latch (ie not a big mouthful of breast but just the nipple), having to be relatched, very farty? are your nipples flat or white tipped after feeds or dry/scabby at the ends or cracked at all? Of course your ds may not have TT at all but it's amazing how often it is missed and I suspect is often a hidden cause behind bad sleeping.

re DP - honestly my DH works v long hours and high pressure job too but he could still manage to help out at the weekends when dd was at her worst - I have a similar job and I think that looking after a screaming baby who won't sleep is harder than my job and i think pretty much any job out there! unless your DP is say a surgeon or pilot or something involving major physical effort then he can cope with being a bit tired ... I'm not saying he should be up all night but surely he can do some sling walks in the day at the weekend. that is up to you and him though of course smile

good luck! Yes it will get easier on its own because as they get older, they need less day sleep and can go longer without getting overtired and get better at switching off and going to sleep... this won't happen for a while though, but a month or two from where you are now you will see a big difference, and then the naps just keep getting easier from then on (with a few blips along the way... ). At this age I really wouldn't worry about bad habits, the main thing is just to get enough sleep in so they are not overtired, or to put it another way the most important habit right now is regular napping however you achieve that. Worry about training him to sleep on his own etc later.

CityDweller Fri 13-Sep-13 14:26:56

I do think it will get better on its own, but probably not straight away. DD didn't start napping in pram until about 3.5 month and not in cot until about 4 and a bit months. Prior to that all naps in sling/ on us.

For now I think you need to do whatever it takes to get LO to nap to avoid chronic over tiredness. 7 wks is still very tiny and quite young to be able to put down for daytime sleeps IMO.

As I said before, a nap time routine helped us move to am naps in cot. Perseverence and switching to buggy set-up helped with pram. But DD was also just develolpmentally ready. There's no way she would have napped in cot/ pram at 7 wks old, regardless of nap time routines, etc

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