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Help with daytime napping please?

(7 Posts)
Katyh19 Tue 25-Mar-14 22:34:14

Hello everyone,

I'm new to mumsnet so apologies for any lack of etiquette but was wondering if anyone (or everyone) could help with my four month old baby boys daytime napping.....or lack of it.

I'm sure people are going to curse my name but... My DS slept very well during the day from birth to about 3 months. From 8 weeks he miraculously slept through the night which he still mostly does but his daytime napping has gone very wrong somewhere.

I used the gina ford routine to start with, because as a new mum I didn't have a clue what to do with a baby throughout the day and how long to let him sleep etc. so used this as a rough guideline and it worked brilliantly.

My DS was born with reflux so he had to stay upright after a feed and that did mean that he fell asleep in someone's arms sometimes initially but when he was in his Moses basket, he would happily sleep and settle himself etc.

He is now sleeping around 10-12 hours a night (sometimes waking when he is congested etc) but day time sleep is awful!

About a month ago he started to scream and sob as soon as I put him down for a nap in his Moses basket. It isn't just a moan and whine....there are proper tears involved.

We have since moved him into his cot, which we had to do at nighttime sleeps when he would actually sleep.

So to go get my DS to nap during the day we tried: leaving a light on, making the room pitch black, being quiet, having background noise, staying next to his cot, picking him up and settling him until he went back to sleep, getting a light show toy, using a mobile, sleeping in the bed next to him during the day, singing to him and controlled crying (which I really did not like but tried it as a last resort - he would end up with a sore throat and get very sweaty so we didn't do that for long and don't really want to try it again)

We gave him a dummy which worked for about 10 days but then back to the screaming!

If he is in a deep sleep, he'll stay asleep in his cot for about 30-45 mins after being rocked to sleep before, again, waking up and screaming.

The only way to get him to stay asleep is to hug him and rock him. Even then randomly cries and screams for about a minute then I have to rock him to go back off.

Yesterday we started reading him a story to send him to sleep which works but he still wakes up in a state about 30-45 mins later.

I know that I've created sleep associations by rocking him but he was so exhausted I didn't know what else to do.
He wants to sleep a lot during the day, as I think he needs to catch up, so as soon as he starts to yawn and rub his eyes etc, I try to get him to nap.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to get as much info out there. Any help would be amazing!!

Thank you

claremoss Wed 26-Mar-14 10:40:32

It may be that by the time he yawns/rubs his eyes, he is overtired, hence all the tears. Try putting him down 15 mins before you would normally? Worth a try grin)

Chocoholism Wed 26-Mar-14 11:20:26

I too find it hard and can't offer any suggestions just empathy as I have a 4 month old and mostly the same problem, sleeps well at night but will not settle on her own and I just hold her or put In pram and walk for naps! She has about 4 naps a day lasting about 40 mins to an hour

akuabadoll Wed 26-Mar-14 12:21:58

I think I might be able to help or at least give something to think about.
My first boy was an amazing sleeper, very routine based, always slept in the cot (if at home) and was always put to bed awake and fell asleep by himself without drama. Unsurprisingly I repeated the same with my second (who is now almost 5 months) but he finds the world of sleep a more challenging place.
His daytime naps (which were never great) started to degrade somewhere between 3 and 4 months to something like you describe - a lot of work to put him to sleep, 30 mins if lucky and wake up screaming.
It took me a while to get my head around this but getting a baby to nap by whatever means trumps the way you do it because they need the sleep. I have now worked out the ways he will sleep and he gets most of his daytime sleep using motion. I thought I'd write this as you mentioned rocking. If you rock him and put him down he will tend to wake up in 30 mins or so. If my experience is anything to go by continued, movement should keep him asleep. Mostly this is achieved by using a baby swing, here is a link to someone is a big swing advocate - scroll down to number 1
swings she also has other swing stuff and something on short naps.
I hope it helps.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 26-Mar-14 12:40:20

Just posted this elsewhere, although it is more linked to the EASY routine than the Gina Ford routine. It just gives an idea of waketime length for the age to avoid overtiredness as suggested by PP.

GF routines always seem to have long waketimes IME www.mybabysleepguide.com/2009/02/wake-time.html

Katyh19 Wed 26-Mar-14 17:28:56

Thank you for all of your suggestions!!

I tried putting him in his cot 15 mins earlier today as suggested and this seems to help!!
I read to him for about 10 mins (ironically a book about solving nap problems) and this seems to send him off.
I stayed in the room with him and only had to go to him twice and that was just to pop the dummy back in (another habit to break at another time maybe).

I have tried swing chairs etc and he didn't like them but i did try him in one before I started having to rock him! T
So this will be my next trick if the story telling and putting him to bed early doesn't work smile

I agree about the Gina ford routine...the awake periods are really long and my DS couldn't cope with it...especially the long afternoon one! That link is fabulous and seems true to what my DS seems to want to do!

Today has been good but he still screams when I'm not in the room.
One step at a time though!!

Thank you guys again smile

Katyh19 Wed 26-Mar-14 20:08:43

Chocoholism- I hope your little one sleeps more soon. I'm reading a nap time solutions book so if it's any good I'll let u know!

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