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settling for naps in cot -- argh!

(8 Posts)
manateeandcake Tue 16-Aug-16 10:28:41

DS is nearly 10 months. He is capable of falling asleep by himself in his cot at bedtime (though it often doesn't work out like this as he shares a room with his older sibling and we don't want them keeping each other awake). However, he has never ever settled himself in the cot for a nap. We have tried on and off but always end up rocking (or occasionally feeding) him to sleep.

This morning when it was time for his first nap, I started rocking him but he is getting so heavy I just couldn't take it. So I put him in the cot and tried patting, shushing, stroking, singing ... He just screamed and screamed. I couldn't leave him even for a couple of minutes as he would thrash around and end up sitting up. After nearly an hour I had to pick him up and cuddle him until he calmed down and I was able to stroke him to sleep in the cot. I just feel really despondent now: I never wanted to do CIO, and it doesn't seem to be working anyway, but I also don't want to end up in the situation we were in with DD -- having to put her in the pushchair and walk her until she fell alseep for every nap, rain or shine.

If anyone has been here and has any wisdom to offer, it would be gratefully received!

minipie Tue 16-Aug-16 17:19:37

What time are you trying to do the first nap (relative to when he wakes)? Just wondering if he is overtired/not tired enough?

manateeandcake Tue 16-Aug-16 21:21:05

We do it about 2 hours after he wakes, minipie. We can tell whether he's over or undertired by how easy it is to rock him to sleep, and this still seems to be about the ideal timing.

ftmsoon Tue 16-Aug-16 21:31:16

DD has had the sum total of 1 nap in her cot so far and she is 2.3! We generally fed or walked to sleep to start with so she slept on someone, now she sleeps in the push chair or the car seat. Even nursery gave up trying the cot and let her sleep in their push chair or in the quiet space.
Not a lot of help, but you're not alone. I couldn't deal with the screaming.

minipie Tue 16-Aug-16 21:57:23

Hmm I think I would focus on trying to get him to self settle more at bedtime, so he practises doing that more iyswim, and then maybe do a mini bedtime routine at naptime and see if it helps?

Mind you DD1 still naps best in the buggy... age 3.9...

manateeandcake Wed 17-Aug-16 08:55:36

Thanks both for your replies. I'm actually feeling really chuffed this morning! Didn't get to try anything with his second nap yesterday as he promptly put himself to sleep during his pre-nap feed -- I think he does this when he suspects I'm going to try to put him in his cot awake.

I didn't hold out much hope this morning, but I managed to settle him in his cot just with my hands on him rocking him gently. Took less than 10 mins with no proper crying. I think it helped that I made a point of doing a 10 minute wind down beforehand; in theory we have been doing this, but in practice it's been getting cut short in the general morning chaos and as we rush to get him down before he's overtired.

MaverickSnoopy Wed 17-Aug-16 13:59:28

Well done, it's such a relief when you have success. It's also quite demoralising when a few days later it suddenly stops working. Not that it will but if it does my advice would be to try the gentle/gradual retreat. We tried this with dd1 and it worked very well. I just sat next to her reading my book and ignoring her, if she cried I'd pick her up until she settled (no talking or shushing though) and then I'd put her back down again. Every three nights I'd move the chair a bit further away until eventually I was out of the room, it took about 3 hours and gradually it got less until I could put her down and just leave.

It was a total game changer for us. Keep up the good work though, fingers crossed he keeps playing ball!

minipie Wed 17-Aug-16 14:44:38

That's great! Morning nap is generally the best one to practice self settling as it's easier to be sure the timing is right. Well done, fingers crossed.

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