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12 week old breastfed baby won't nap

(9 Posts)
Carta60 Thu 13-Oct-16 19:51:06

Hi my 12 week old DD is finding it hard to nap in the day unless she is in the car or being pushed on the pram. I recognise When she's tired and she may drop off at the breast for 5 mins but if I put her down she wakes up. Is this something that will improve with age or is it normal with ebf babies to struggle to nap in the day? TIA x

Heirhelp Thu 13-Oct-16 19:54:10

My 5 month is now on ff and she will only nap if being pushed in the pram. I think it is because the world is too exciting and she would rather be awake even if she is very tired.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 13-Oct-16 20:01:27

So from what you're saying, she will actually nap, but she just doesn't want to be put down to do it? Perfectly normal for a tiny baby. She needs to be on you for security. Just get yourself comfortable when she's due a sleep and let her nap on you. She'll be much better rested and happier during her awake times. Or get a good sling and let her nap there so you can do stuff.

Quodlibet Fri 14-Oct-16 02:11:43

^^ what Elphaba said. My little boy is 12 weeks too and not a cat in hell's chance of him napping in cot yet - like yours he wakes up. He will sleep for 3 hours in the sling, or today in the car seat. It's normal for them to need contact/movement for sleep at this age.

MoreGilmoreGirls Fri 14-Oct-16 02:36:47

My 12 wk old is the same will happily nap on me or in the pram or car. Just have a nap with her smile

sycamore54321 Fri 14-Oct-16 03:15:11

The easiest nap to get control over is the first one of the day - and at her age it will be earlier than you might think, as soon as 60-90 minutes after she wakes for the day. If you want to encourage cot/basket naps, this is the one you should target first, with putting her down at first really very drowsy and encouraging her in whatever way you need, pats, swaddled, music or white noise, soother if you use one, etc, to drop off. Then once she gets used to that first nap in the crib, you can work on the other ones.

I know the curent trend for advice is generally just go with it or let her drop off wherever she happens to be but there are big benefits for both of you to a regular nap safely in her crib. Sleep while in motion in the pram or car is not as restful or restorative. If encouraging crib naps is what you want (and it's what I have and will want for mine, regardless of the permanent-contact trend in current parenting advice), then go for it, 12 weeks is a good age to start to move to a more predictable daily pattern.

I also notice you say she sometimes feeds to sleep and wakes when you put her down 5 minutes later. I recall reading something about the first ten minutes or so being really important for establishing the sleep phase and so if you are doing anything to encourage sleep when they drop off like holding or singing, you should keep that up for at least ten minutes before trying to put the baby down. It can feel like a very long ten minutes especially as the baby gets older and heavier but maybe bear this idea in mind. This is also why aiming to get her to fall asleep in the crib is a good idea as then there is no transition needed.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 14-Oct-16 06:45:52

Sleep while in motion in the pram or car is not as restful or restorative.

Sorry, but that is complete bollocks. If you want to try and encourage cot naps, then that's fine, but you do it because that's what you want, don't base your reasoning on incorrect information.

If encouraging crib naps is what you want (and it's what I have and will want for mine, regardless of the permanent-contact trend in current parenting advice)

The 'current permanent contact trend' is actually thousands upon thousands upon millions of years old. Babies - like all mammals - are designed to sleep on or with their mothers. Sleeping in a cot is the modern 'trend', only dating back a few hundred years, and only in some western societies.

The more we can normalise a baby's need to remain in contact with a mother/primary care giver - and get over this idea that a 'good' or 'desirable' baby is one that likes being put down or sleep alone - the easier this parenting thing gets!

MoreGilmoreGirls Fri 14-Oct-16 07:59:26

^this with bells on^ grin

Heloise1982 Fri 14-Oct-16 08:44:03

In my experience, around 3-4 months is an absolutely horrible age for napping - all 3 of mine have been dreadful at this stage (at least, in terms of napping in the cot - better on the move.) It's a total pain I know, especially when you are desperate for a break, but hang on in there and it will get better! I would just try every few days to put mine down for a nap in the cot. Usually it didn't work, in which case I got them up again, but occasionally it did. As they got older, it worked more frequently. I didn't change anything, they just seemed to grow into it. All of them were napping pretty well by 6 months. Sorry, no practical advice, but sometimes I think it does help a bit to know there's not a great deal to be done other than wait it out and trust it will resolve itself in time!

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