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Angry baby won't nap past 30 mins and won't self soothe - help

(9 Posts)
user1480952686 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:57:21

Hi guys. Hoping some Mega-mum will be able to help me!
My baby girl is 18 weeks old. She has had so many bugs since being born that unfortunately we have gotten into a few bad habits/accidental parenting which we need to break! And i need help!!!
She will play on her own in the day and we have no problem putting on her play mat/bouncer etc to entertain her.
At night she sleeps fine, goes down 7.30/8pm after a bottle and wakes every 3 hours for feeds. wakes around 6-6.30AM - Id love her to sleep through but ill take this! haha.
we did recently start swaddling her at night - once she discovered her hands as she kept pulling her dummy out and screaming for it every few minutes - nightmare! also she does still startle herself and wake herself up!
our problem is NAPS!!!!! She will only nap for 30 minutes at a time! - pretty much to the minute!!!! questions:
a) we don't swaddle at nap time as don't want her to get confused with day/night - do you think we should do?
b) how can we get her to nap longer - help her transition through to deep sleep
c) how do we get her to self soothe to sleep so we can stop the frantic rocking, bum patio and shh-ing
d) do we get her to extend her naps first ((tackle problem 1) and THEN tackle the self soothing - or vise vera??
we know she isbn getting enough sleep as she currently has 30 minutes (max) about 3-4 times a day, and she wakes up still tired but too awake to go back to sleep
sorry for all the questions, i hope someone can give me some helpful tips.....

FATEdestiny Thu 05-Jan-17 18:52:27

Short (30-45 min) naps are usual at this age. The key is to make them frequent by limiting awake time between naps. I'd suggest about 40-60 minutes between waking from one nap and being back asleep for the next nsp at 18 weeks old.

No reason not to swaddle, if baby like it.

If you want baby to be able to go to sleep independantly you need to give her comforting mechanism she can learn to do herself. A dummy for example.

I would keep the movement going until you have managed to lengthen naps. I used a bouncy chair but s pushchair works just as well. You then have a method to try and extend the nap (dummy reinsert and bounce) when first stirring awake.

MyBreadIsEggy Thu 05-Jan-17 18:58:46

30-40 min naps are perfectly normal at this age smile
My DD had 4, sometimes 5, 30min naps, and then as she dropped naps as she got older, they got longer.
She dropped down to 3, 1 hour naps at around 6/7 months. Then down to two 1.5 hr naps at 9/10 months, then dropped to one 1.5-2hr nap at 14 months which she still has now at 20 months.

user1480952686 Thu 05-Jan-17 20:29:39

@fatedestiny thank you. everything I'm reading is saying an hour+ is a good nap and anything under that is not restorative for them - which makes sense with how grumpy she is after she's been awake again about 20 mins. she normally naps every 1.5-2 hours which i think is quite frequent, makes it very hard to do anything lol.
She already has a dummy. when she's not in a deep sleep and it falls out though she screams for it back. if she's in a deep sleep this isn't a problem. and as her hands are in the swaddle she can't put it back in, although she can't quite do that anyway, otherwise i would leave her arms out.
she has a bouncy chair but that no longer works even on vibrate! :/
As for the buggy she NORMALLY sleeps in it (sometimes not, she's a big fighter of the sandman!) but still wakes after 30mins, even if the moment is still going :/

xx

user1480952686 Thu 05-Jan-17 20:30:58

@mybreadiseggy tank you for that. she doesn't have enough really as she is very grumpy. on the very odd occasion when he has slept for an hour or longer she has been a whole different baby, so i do feel that she needs longer :/ xx

FATEdestiny Thu 05-Jan-17 21:22:57

everything I'm reading...

Sounds like you're reading stuff in relation to older babies. Formula fed newborn also behave very differently in terms of sleep to breastfed newborns.

She's grumpy because naps aren't as frequent as they need to be for your baby. They are all different but any grumpiness, upset, clingy - these are her taking you she needs more sleep.

Yes, try to extend naps every time by resetting. Dummy reindeer and gentle movement. But realistic expectations are needed, it may not work because she's still young. The way to tackle over tiredness is to make naps more frequent than they are.

I noticed your bit about baby's hands being in the swaddle in rwkation to putting the dummy in. Babies don't have the manual dexterity to find, pick up, turn around and reinsert their own dummy for a long time yet - about 8-10 months. So might be worth adjusting your expectations on in that too.

user1480952686 Sun 08-Jan-17 11:34:30

Fatedestiny Thank you for your input. Over the last 2 days we have tried to make her nap more frequently. it looks like pretty much 1 hour awake and then 30 mins nap works for her - this is perfectly doable when we're at home, however on days when we are at groups/swimming etc i'm not sure how this is going to work as will rely on her napping in the car, which is hit and miss whether she does and for how long...so will have to see.
She actually is very good at getting her dummy back in her mouth, just not always the right part.... and also she tends to not let go and so pull it straight back out! haha. she has started sucking her thumb - due to teething i think - if only she would take her thumb instead of the dummy that would be ideal!
I realise that things will change as she gets older, and i assure you I am not expecting her to do things a 6-8 month old will do. However i am just looking for advice on how i can help her to be getting the best of what she needs sleep wise. smile
Thank you again for your advice x

FATEdestiny Sun 08-Jan-17 13:46:26

That sounds like great progress! 1h/30m awake/asleep sounds like a decent nap cycle - all good!

I've got four children and fully understand the complexities of fitting baby's naps in and around school runs and out of school activities.

In terms of practicality, we changed any changeable activities (like swimming, where we can choose different sessions for our older 3) to times when DH could do the activity and I'd stay home with baby. But lots of groups my children do are not movable like that so we have to work around them. If possible thought, DH does all of the activities with older ones once he's home from work and for the first 12 months, I stayed with baby.

Other practical things you can do is slightly manipulate baby's natural routine to fit with the family routine. For example i have an 8.30-8.50 school run. So I would always make sure baby was asleep for 7.45-8am so that I knew I could wake from the nap in time for the scho run.

Likewise swimming, stretch or shrink awake times in the run up to swimmming so that's works right for when you have to go.

The joys of parenting big families, ey? I manage by being quite anally organised about stuff.

user1480952686 Sun 08-Jan-17 14:06:01

It sounds like you have got it down to a T! smile
I always thought i was quite organised but becoming a mummy for the first time has definitely shown me that i am NOT - AT ALL!! haha.
It would be better if her awake time wasn't so short as it means if she wakes from nap, drive to activity and do activity (normally about 1 hr long) then an hour just isn't long enough and she gets super cranky or has a super short nap in the car and wakes cranky.... will just have to work with it and see i suppose!! :D
FYI she did a 75 minute nap this morning after a quick 'reset' - i had to check her pulse!!! grin x

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