help! my baby won't nap.(23 Posts)
My 4.5 month old is getting worse and worse at settling for day time naps... She's never been good during the day (OK a night) but it's really starting to get me down. She'll cry hysterically for 10 mins as soon as I put her down then eventually nap for just 20-30 mins max. An hour and half later, she's showing all the signs of being tired, and the cycle starts again. Every day is the same.
I feel like she needs to nap for longer as she's clearly still tired when she wakes but I can't see how to make this happen, as well as trying to get her to settle without tears in the first place.
We've stopped using a dummy because it was disrupting her night time sleep, which is now much better.
Any advice gratefully received!
Are you putting green her down at a specific time, on sleep cues or the propsed 1hr30 minutes after she wakes?
The only way I can get my DS the same age to sleep longer than 30 mins is in the sling and even that's hit and miss tbh. He pretty much won't sleep anywhere else, except for in bed next to me between about midnight and 8am (waking a couple of times for a feed).
It's bloody tiring wearing him in a carrier for so much of the day but he gets really overtired otherwise and will just scream for hours.
I used to take ds out in the car when he wouldn't nap and just drive around the bypass until he was asleep. Then find a lay by or park outside the house and we'd both nap in the car. It's a horrible time but it will pass.
I used to find that putting them in the pram and going for a walk before they usually woke, encouraged my 20 min napper to have a full 1 1/2- 2hr nap. As she got older s 5min walk ensured a 2hr nap!!
Some babies just don't seem to be able to do long naps when they're small. My nearly 5 month old only has half hour naps, just like his older brother did. It drove me mad with ds1 but nothing seemed to make much difference so I'm just going with it this time. I do try to put him down (pram/ car/ sling/ rocking/ whatever) as soon as he looks tired though as overtired screaming is no fun!
My daughter did this. It drove me demented. It got better when she got to around 6 months - now she has two long naps per day.
Short naps are completely normal at that age - a small baby's sleep cycle is about 45 minutes long so many will wake after that time. Mine did it until about 8 or 9 months, then she suddenly started sleeping for a couple of hours at a time. A sling can help them stay asleep for a couple of cycles.
Mine is the same. He tends to have 3 1/2 hour naps a day, sometimes 4. If I'm very, very lucky, he might do 45 mins or on a very rare occasion over an hour. The longer naps are rare and usually because he slept badly the night before, or something. He also, will only sleep on me or DP in the day. I got him to go down in his cot this morning which was a small miracle. Its frustrating but I think it's just how he is. Oh and he's also 4.5 months.
I also tried resettling when they woke up which encouraged a longer nap. Took 2 weeks of sitting in the room with him when he was napping and then he moved to longer stretches. This was around 6 months.
Ditto. Short naps are normal. They will get longer between 6 to 9 months. Aim for 1 hour 30 mins awake time. Also normal x x
Thanks everyone, good to know it's normal and we're not alone.
I put her down at sleep cues, which tend to come after 1-2 hours of awake time.
It just feels like a constant battle to get her down for these 4-5 short naps a day. We go for lots of walks but that doesn't send her off like it used to... When it does she wakes the moment the pram stops!
Same with the sling, she used to drop straight off in that but not anymore.
About a month ago we resorted to cry-it-out after the dummy was disrupting night sleep, I hate it but can't figure out another way to get her to sleep at home. I try it when she wakes between cycles to get her back to sleep, but she just works herself into such a state I can't help give in and get her up.
I'm grateful she's good at night but the days are such hard work!
Yes sounds normal - they don't tend to link sleep cycles at this age for naps. My DS used to nap for 23 minutes, no more no less! Occasionally he pulled a longer nap but it was only when he dropped to two naps a day that he started regularly napping for much longer.
Every baby and mum is different but I wouldn't even attempt cry it out yet. My DD1 was an incredibly clingy baby (very independent 3 year old now) and on the rare occasion I left her to cry she would get so worked up it was horrible to see. She also wouldn't nap longer than 30 mins and had to be held all the time. However, as others have said the nap times stretch out, they need you less and less and sometimes the fussiest babies end up being better sleepers than the babies that "sleep through" at 6 weeks. I know of a lot of mums who would brag about their young babies sleeping through and now as toddlers won't go to bed/ stay in bed. Don't despair
My DS was terrible at sleep for the first year but he morphed into a pretty great sleeper after that (it's my own insomnia that has me posting at this time in the morning, honest!). i wish I had known all his sleep 'problems' were just a normal phase, I would have spent less time worrying about how to 'fix' them!
It feels like an eternity when you're in it, so bloody hard, but certainly by 1 naps were much better with DC1.
It's quite normal (and soul destroying) for babies this age to cat nap. The longer and better nap routine does come as they get older and especially as they become more physically active. It does get easier in some areas, harder in others.
That first year is magical but I've never experienced anything easy about it. I think the key is to focus on you, your sleep, your nutrition, and health so that you're 'prepared' for the unpredictability that comes with that first year. From 9 months onward, there's a lot more routine which makes life more manageable. The first 6 months are tough...you're down there in the trenches a bit with the sleep- or lack of it.
Crying it out was never for me. My friend swears by it. I think it requires a sort of 'tough as nails/crack on with it' approach. I am way too soft. But we did try it with DC2 (my DH was a control freak after her birth and I felt very much pushed into controlled crying). The result was a very anxious baby and mum because it wasn't right for me. There's nothing as upsetting as a hysterical baby...not cool.
I feel for you. It's tough. But look at the bright side, your baby is good at night! That's great news. Use that as your time to get a good sleep so that you can better cope with your long days.
Do you ever try a soothing day time bath?
Does she enjoy her baby gym mat, if she has one?
Get a jumperoo! I can't recommend this enough. It is so much fun and it tires them out. You may get her to take a longer nap.
My DD has just turned 1, and it's only in the last couple of months that she's doing long naps in her cot. Before that I had her in the sling, on me or in the pram to get her beyond 30 mins! I was feeling a bit hopeless with it all but it's much better (night time a different story though!) Try not to stress it, if it's lots of short naps she needs, on you, then just go with it. She's still so very little.
I remember with my first just getting so ANGRY and frustrated that whatever I did he would not nap. I'd spend an hour trying to get him to sleep only for him to nap for 20 minutes. It actually developed into PND. I eventually realised that I couldn't force him to do anything and the better i could accept that, take a deep breath and try to go with the flow, the happier we would all be. The 4 month stage was probably the hardest for me if it's any consolation.
Welcome to the first sleep regression! They last around 3 weeks
Try white noise (try the sleep sounds app) my DD loves the hairdryer
Feeling your pain my almost 4 month old DS2 is a serial 30 min napper, some days 20mins. He currently naps in the living room in his bouncer and if I can catch him right I can sometimes re-bounce him to sleep but then have to keep bouncing him to keep him sleeping. Not ideal with my three year old DS1 running about (he's watching ALOT of tv at the moment!)
With DS1 he was a 45min napper and would only sleep on me - never realised what a luxury having baby snuggles sat in a chair is though until I had DS2!!
So glad I found this... and that I'm not the only one dealing with this. My LG (3 months) will only nap for 20 -30 min during the day on her own, but if I'm holding her she goes for 2 hours. No idea why. We've done everything. hoping she will grow out of it, she's still so small and needs her sleep
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