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4 month old who fights napping/sleeping EVERY TIME :(

(3 Posts)
WongGying30 Tue 02-Feb-16 14:36:03

I am finding it difficult to settle my 4 month old into any form of sleep, naps or bedtime.

Here's a little background:

She has been swaddled tightly (arms not legs) for most of her sleep since birth.

She does sleep once down (usually for long periods: naps 1-2hrs & bedtime 4-5hrs), but whether I catch her in that "magic" sleepy moment or not and get her into her routine, she starts fussing once she knows she's tired and knows that I've started her routine.

Here's a scenario that's been happening lately;

I catch her in her magic sleepy moment (usually anywhere btwn 1-1.5hrs after being awake).
I bring her to her room and attempt to read her a book and turn on the white noise in the background. Lights are lowered.
I lay her down in her crib on the swaddle and tell her it's sleepytime.
She starts to fuss and cry and roll.
I don't usually swaddle her until she's calmed down a bit otherwise I'll just have to reswaddle her properly. She's quite strong so she can bust out of the snaps if she really wanted to.
(I've even tried to NOT swaddle her and let her fuss it out a bit, but she escalates and becomes overtired and that results in a stressed out baby who skips her nap).

She just seems to all of a sudden not know how to sleep?!? It's not necessarily a sleep regression as we went through that when she was 3months old.

She can usually sleep once she gets there... which now-a-days includes;

Sometimes swaddling her after several attempts and pinning her down sorta so she'll stop fighting and "give up".
Firm bum pats which seem to settle her wails and/or rocking.
Lastly, nursing to sleep if she cannot be consoled after a period of trying all of the above.

All of the above must result in her being swaddled before she falls asleep completely as she does gets the sleep she needs best when swaddled.

I'm at a loss here. My poor baby seems to be afraid of falling asleep. I read that she just wants to be near me and I've introduced a lovely. I've tried playing with her and getting her used to being in her crib. She isn't left in a dirty diaper or is hungry. She isn't afraid of her crib. She just doesn't want to fall asleep.

I have stood over her trying to console her, I've tried picking her up and cuddling... it seems like I've tried everything to just get her to calm down and it's a battle every time.

I have tried to ramp down outdoors too, like taking her for a long stroller ride, but she has a meltdown EVERY time she gets to that point where she knows she's getting sleepy regardless of where she is. I've tried to block out light and put a scarf over the stroller too if she starts getting a bit fussy and is nearing her nap time... to avoid her being overstimulated. No dice. She will fuss and cry under there just like she does in her crib when we try at home.

HELP!!! I feel like she's being traumatized every time I attempt to put her down to sleep.

poocatcherchampion Tue 02-Feb-16 14:38:51

She is learning yo fall asleep (aka 4 month sleep regression). She will get there; it sounds like you are doing the right sorts of things

FATEdestiny Tue 02-Feb-16 15:26:50

I love a swaddle. I used one long-ish term with my DD. She loved that tight, secure feeling. Have you tried a firm hand over her swaddle (when in the cot) as a means to keep her still?

It's often at this age when a dummy starts to help to allow for independent sleeping.

What is your cot set-up? I found 3 sided cot butted up to my bed helpful (I just removed one side off our cot to do this), rolled up towel to make a small "barrier" to divide the space between cot and my bed.

Then I would lie on my bed with baby swaddled in the cot. I could lie eye-to-eye, even leaning right into the cot to cuddle up. Firm hand across the chest and re-inserting dummy as needed until baby is asleep.

Slowly, gradually, over time I was able to reduce the amount of reassurance needed to go to sleep until it just needed her dummy and me close by, then just her dummy and she's do the rest herself.

If possible, try not to pick her up and instead do the settling in the cot. This is just as a means to teach good sleep habits in the long term. But cot settling is hard, hard, hard without a dummy so you might need to tolerate baby crying if you decide not to use a dummy.

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