How to get my child to nap??(26 Posts)
My baby is 4 months has always been a bad day time sleeper. The only place he will nap is in the sling - then he can go for 2 hours straight in there) if i put him in the cot he becomes hysterical. He is hysterical if i hold him, shush or pat, sing, bounce, anything. He also hates the buggy, bouncer abd car seat. All he wants to do is suck and sleep with my nipple in his mouth. (That part is a new thing)
Im started to struggle to carry and hold him all day every nap now and its starting to get me down as i dont get a moment to just step away and breathe!
Has anyone experiemced this or know how to gently encourage him to sleep anywhere apart from on me.
No idea. My 4 month old will only nap in a moving pushchair. Would you consider trying to offer a dummy for comfort instead of your nipple?
"Hate" is a strong word, especially so for a tiny baby. It's not that baby hates the things you mention, they are just new and baby isn't used to them.
Babies need to learn good sleeping habits. They don't necessarily come naturally.
Basic things that help most babies sleep are:
■ full tummy
- The parent dependant option is nipple
- The independent sleeping option is dummy
■ secure feeling
- The parent dependant options are holding, sling, cosleeping
- The independent sleeping options are swaddle (tight round arms and shoulders), sleeppyhead
- These are all parent dependant but some are easier to wean off then others. Rocking in arms, pushchair, carseat, bouncing in bouncy chair, walking in sling
I have just posted about this in the 'bad habits' thread as i have just got my daughter into the cot for the first time and out of the sling, for the same reasons as you. She is slightly older at almost six months. I did allow her to whinge whilst I patted and shushed (which I hadn't done before) but would have stopped if she became hysterical or if the whinging had gone on for longer than I was comfortable with. I did put a piece of my clothing worn yesterday in with her, which might have helped prevent her from getting too upset, like in the past.
Last Friday she screamed when I put her near her cot, but my HV said I should keep trying periodically as what they don't do one week, they might do the next, iyswim.
Thank you user1474026214 that is reassuring to hear. I did try today, but he just got so angry and upset even though i was cuddling him non stop. In the end i gave up and put the lights on and went downstairs - he immediately stopped crying. He sleeps there in the night and goes to sleep himself and so i am hoping this will filter to naps but seems to be a totally different kettle of fish.
Heirhelp - he did used to have a dummy but we found that he just spat it out and woke up after 10-20 mins and then wouldnt go back to sleep so we have tried to stop using it and only use in public now. I would use one for nap times if i could be certain he wouldnt need it for night as i dont want to mess up him going off to sleep by himself (not that he stays asleep - we are still up 4/5 times) i was hoping he will suck his thumb but he seems to forget all about it when he is upset. Poor thing.
Its so hard to know what to do, to strike the balance of being there for them, but not creating 'bad habits', but making them feel secure, but not letting it be detremental to yourself.
I love being with him, i would just like to know that thinhs will get easier! :-)
It sounds really hard OP. You have my sympathies. DD would only sleep on me but at that age she would at least sleep in the bouncy chair sometimes if I bounced it with my foot. We used white noise a lot. She was a law unto her own and only ever used to nap 30mins at a time.... but I did eventually get her to nap in her cot around 6 months. She would feed to sleep and I'd put her down - judge that as you see fit. I'd say don't stress too much about bad habits because they are always changing and what they do this week they might not do the next. Feeding to sleep is common at this point. I think there's far too much pressure on mums to stop creating 'bad habits' rather than just going with the flow as a coping mechanism. Must be hard not to get a break though. Can you put him on a playmat or jumperoo for 20mins while you sit and do whatever you like? Do you have other DC?
No other children. Only just starting to be able to put him down as he had/has (managed) reflux so i spent the first 3 months holding him upright hence the sling. But i am trying. I dont have many friends with babes so i never know what's usual or not. I think that becuase he doesnt sleep well at night, and in the day i carry so cant rest, i am feeling burnt out. Thanks everyone!
I was just about to ask about reflux. Is the sling being close to you or being upright? If it's you then have you tried swaddling &/or lying baby on a tshirt you have just taken off so it smells of you?
Sorry just seen its a combo. Have you tried elevating one end of the cot as well?
Loud white noise and a dark room? Swaddling? Sleepyhead?
He is in sleepyhead (fills the whole thing now!), white noise on, sleeping bag - wanted him out of swaddle so he could find fingers. Cot is elevated. Havent tried the tshirt idea though! Mightve the magic answer! ;-)
My daughter would only nap on me until she was 13 months. Occasionally in the car or buggy but absolutely no way in her cot.
Suddenly, after 13 months, she started napping happily in her cot. No apparent reason why she's suddenly changed her mind.
I tried regularly to get her to nap in her cot but it never worked until then. I just thought "sod it" and let her nap on me as I felt that as long as she slept that was the main thing - I didn't really mind how she slept.
I just let my 5 month old fall asleep as/when /where. She doesn't have nap times and if she falls asleep on me and I need to go do something I just put her down. I'm not sure that forced nap times are the answer? She's slept through since 5 weeks.
4 months is a tough time with the four month sleep regression and a big developmental leap. My DS is the same, not a fan of the car seat/buggy much prefers the sling or to sleep on me.
DS1 was exactly the same though so I'm trying not to stress about it. I'm sure it was about six months when he started napping in his cot/buggy etc so I'm hoping for the same this time. They are much happier once they can sit/roll/crawl etc as well. This part is the hardest bit I think for feeling touched out when they need to be constantly attached.
Thanks 5minutestobed at least i know other people are in the same bost so its not so lonely! X
Sounds like my little boy a month ago! He would never nap even if I tried shushing, patting, lullabies - everything like this seemed to wind him up more. He would also never nap out and about and I started to pull my hair out and get really stressed (with a grumpy baby!)
In the end I stopped worrying about it and thought I'd go with the flow more! This seemed to calm us all down and I started to pick up cues a lot easier. I also preserved with the cot and found that I just could read a book, sing twinkle twinkle, kiss him on the forehead and say sleep tight and then left the room. Anything else would just overstimulate him further. He did cry a bit but soon settled (if not I'd go in every 10 mins and give him a kiss). I think my little one is just very easily over simulated.
This helped him go to sleep but our days were still very erratic (with sort naps and long naps and these being different every day) which is why I started to introduce a rough routine during the day as to feeding times and nap times. The times were set in stone but would fall half hour between ideal times. This has worked wonders for him, I think as he knows what will happen when and therefore eats better and sleeps better. I just think I have a baby that needs a routine, a bit like his mother!
My baby is 10weeks old and will not nap for longer than 20-30minutes unless I hold her and then I have to rock and jiggle her every 20mins (I assume between sleep cycles). She used to sleep for a few hours at s time in her Moses basket or car seat/pushchair. She now screams incessantly in her car seat. If she does fall asleep in the car or pushchair again it's only for 20mins and then the screaming starts. At home she cries in the bouncer. if we rock her, then put her down after 20/30 mins (swaddled, white noise, funny if she takes it), she'll still wake up after 10mins of being put down. She is fine for about 5mins of waking, smiley and playful, then the screaming commences as she's still tired. I used to nanny twins and I've babysat for many young babies. I'd stupidly told myself that I was prepared for anything motherhood would throw at me, but I'm sad to say my dd is the crankiness baby I have ever known. I love her beyond words and I know if she slept longer she'd be so much happier because on the occasional day where I've literally held her and stopped her from waking my jiggling, she's so much happier. Other days jiggling does not work. She sleeps ok at night. Down by 8.30-9, and wakes twice for feeds. She is Ebf. Any advice?
Sounds totally normal hopeful. I would just carry on holding her for naps for now. It won't be forever, its more important that they get enough sleep, you can work on independent naps when she gets bigger, 10 weeks is still tiny.
DS is 19 weeks and currently asleep on my chest. DS1 slept on me until he was six months.
Have you tried a sling? Ds will stay asleep in the sling so I can at least get things done sometimes! Most of the time I just sit and enjoy the baby snuggles though!
Do you mean like a moby wrap? I haven't but I'm willing to try. Is that the type you use? I have a Tula with infant insert but she hates it. Again screams the entire time I wear her in it.
Sympathies...mine was the same, could stay awake for ten hours straight no bother. At 6 months she suddenly napped for 20 minutes in the cot, it was a revelation.
Sympathies indeed. If it's any comfort my twins napping was HORRENDOUS at 4 months, and they do need a lot of sleep, so it meant they were constantly overtired to boot. I remember a few days where I spent literally the whole day trying to get one or other of them off to sleep. But they are 7 months now and much, much better.
The Sleepyhead was an absolute life saver - I know it's extortionately priced, but you can pick them up secondhand. They settled and slept so much better in them.
Night time sleep is still a bit rubbish mind, but that's another story...
I have a connecta and a woven wrap Hopeful a Moby would work or she might prefer the Tula without the insert?
Its good to know that things may improve with time!
Heloise1982 - how did you get them to nap better?
I have tried everything with my boy. He just cries and cries unless put in sling sucking fingers or if nipple is in his mouth for the entire nap! Ha!
Well like I say the Sleepyhead was a massive help (we didn't get it til they were 4 months old but they are tiny, so fitted fine, and still do.) I also put black out blinds made out of silver foil over the windows which helped to, but in all honesty, I don't think it was anything I did. They just sort of figured it out for themselves slowly (no big turning point, just sort of gradually got better, and we still get the odd bad day, but not too often.) I've found 4 months a horrible time for naps with all of mine - they've outgrown the newborn ability to sleep anywhere, but not yet figured how to settle themselves properly in their cots. Miserable when you're stuck in it I know; my twins' overtired wailing whilst simultaneously refusing to sleep for daaaays on end nearly broke me! But it will get better, honestly.
Join the discussion
Please login first.