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Daytime nap routine

(3 Posts)
letthefunbegin Wed 26-Oct-16 20:05:23

Dd is 7 and a bit weeks old. Up until now she has been a great sleeper. She has tended to sleep pretty much anywhere in the day - pram, car, on someone - while we are out and about and sleep for most of the day on and off. At night she goes down in her moses basket downstairs about 7.30 after a bath, bottle, story and leg massage. She has a dream feed at 10 and wakes once in the night for feeding and settles straight back off after. I'm the last few days daytime sleep has gone to pot although night time is still OK - for now. I'm trying to create a routine for day time sleep and failing miserably. Today she went down for a sleep at 9.30 and went off quite easily. She woke 10 minutesr later crying, managed to rock her off a couple of times but not for long and it ended in screaming. By then it was time for a bottle and we were going out so she had about 40 minutes - in the car and a little after we arrived. She also slept in the car on the way back and did manage a 30 minute sleep later in the afternoon. In between.times it feels as though all she has done is cry because she is overtired. I need to sort out daytime sleep. So me about nap routines - when, how long for, how do I get her to settle and stay asleep? Please help, the crying is stuck in my head and I'm losing the will to live

FATEdestiny Wed 26-Oct-16 21:51:02

Firstly - sleep development isn't linear. It is not the case that as time passes baby sleeps better. Lots of changes will come in the first year that will change the way she sleeps.

So don't worry that she was sleeping well and now usnt. That's just the way it is with many babies. You just have to adapt and learn new sleep techniques for the new way of things.

An easy and baby-lead way to develop a routine is to monitor and limit awake time. This is the time between waking from one nap and falling asleep for the next nap.

Up to about 12 weeks old you could go with awake time of 20-40 minutes only. The more exact awake time will depend on the preferring nap length. If it was a long nap, go for 40m awake time. If it was an especially short nap (compared to normal) then awake time might be only 20m. And so on.

So your day becomes a set of repeated cycles:

Wake - note time
Nappy check
Quick cuddle/play/activity - limit time according to time awake
Settle to sleep

... back to the beginning and repeat.

What you could do with us a sure-fire way to get baby to sleep quickly and easily. Have you tried napping in a bouncy chair (foot bouncing it from the sofa gives the movement babies find soothing)? Aldo a dummy. The most effective way to encourage baby to settle to sleep independantly.

letthefunbegin Thu 27-Oct-16 22:10:08

Really good advice - thank you. I was much better at spotting early tired cues and limiting awake time today and avoided over tiredness until 5pm. Today was infinitely better. Tomorrow .... I have high hopes but I know today could have been luck and anything could happen tomorrow

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