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Why won't my baby nap for longer than 30 mins?

(12 Posts)
PontypandyPioneer Mon 30-Jan-17 13:35:58

29 week old DS2, can't settle himself and won't nap for longer than 30 mins. The only way he will nap is being pushed in the pram, outside quicker than inside but he will go eventually in the house. But 30 mins later he's wide awake, no matter how much pushing the pram I do - and I've tried for up to half an hour.

He won't sleep on me, in a bouncer, in a sling, in his cot (have to rock him to sleep at night but this doesn't work during the day, he just laughs), he will go in the car but with 2 year old DS1, I can't keep going for a drive.

DS1 did exactly the same except he had to be pushed while walking outside, and he did the 30 min nap thing as well and never grew out of it.

Help! I get so down because he wakes up happy for half an hour then gets grumpy again an hour later then it takes another 20 mins to settle him. I seem to spend my whole day pushing the pram back and forth. It must be something I'm doing wrong because it's happened with both of my children.

I've just let him cry for 5 mins - I can't let him cry any longer - then pushed for 2 mins and he's asleep. He'll be awake again in 20 mins.

What can I do?

CottonSock Mon 30-Jan-17 13:37:39

My two the same, did get better with age first time

RNBrie Mon 30-Jan-17 13:46:05

It's their sleep cycle length, usually around 45 mins at this age but sometimes a bit less. It's very common for the short nap thing to happen, it's nothing that you've done.

What you can do... Is either just roll with it, because they will grow out of it.

Or try and do some sleep training. Being able to self settle will help and then help him learn to link two sleep cycles together But sleep training will involve some crying regardless of how gentle a method you use.

Given that it only takes 2 mins of pushing after a 5 min cry then I'd go for that option. Plan three or four 20-30 naps into your day. It will only be for another 6 months or so and then you should start getting longer naps naturally.

PontypandyPioneer Mon 30-Jan-17 14:23:15

The nap lasted 20 mins, he woke up crying hysterically so no chance of going back to sleep sad

I'm so tired because he's sleeping badly at night as well. I just want some time to have some lunch and a cup of tea while toddler watches some tv for his downtime.

FATEdestiny Mon 30-Jan-17 15:05:31

Have you tried a dummy?

Andwereoff Mon 30-Jan-17 15:27:24

Hi Pontypandypioneer
I really do feel your pain and know how this issue can get in on you. I had the very same thing with both my babies too. With the 1st one I was convinced it was something I'd done wrong and got some advise about sleep training him at 5 months and he started to nap longer and things got so much easier.
When I got pregnant with number 2 I swore I would do things differently and get this baby napping from the get go but at around 6 weeks naps started to end at 30 minutes and continued that way for what seemed like an eternity. I tried every trick in the book and nothing worked and I remember how hard it was to cope with no down time in the day.
We went on holidays when DS was 6 months old and while we were away she started napping for longer and the only thing I could put it down to was we were keeping her awake for longer while we were out at the beach etc. But maybe this was just a natural come of age thing but I think when they manage to stay awake longer without getting over tired then they start to nap for longer. I came back from that holiday determined to train her to nap in the cot. The day after we got home I prepared myself for a fight and gave myself a pep talk that it's for her own good and we can do this, I put her down in the cot.....there was no crying - she rolled over and went asleep and started napping for 90 mins twice a day...just like that!
Sorry for the long reply, I just really wanted to share my story and hopefully make you feel better. I totally understand and to be honest it would turn me off having another baby...I had post natal depression too so it was a very hard time.
But now I look at where we are, my baby is a toddler now...takes one long lunch time nap and things are getting so much easier.
I hope things settle down for you!

PontypandyPioneer Mon 30-Jan-17 16:07:41

He won't take a dummy, he's never had one.

We've been out to the park, he went to sleep while there, came home and the second I got in the house he's awake. I'm standing here pushing the pram in the hallway in tears because I know this is what it's going to be like for the next two years - DS1 never improved, in fact got worse.

DH is working late so it's just me for the evening and bedtime.

CottonSock Mon 30-Jan-17 16:17:48

I try the sling if she wakes up hysterical needing more sleep. Usually works and at least allows me to stop rocking

FATEdestiny Mon 30-Jan-17 16:29:23

He won't take a dummy, he's never had one.

You're probably too late to introduce one now even if you wanted too, but could you try? Movement and sucking and the two sure-fire ways to get babies to sleep.

Are you breastfeeding? Could you feed to sleep?

Scrumptiouscrumpets Mon 30-Jan-17 18:00:34

You poor thing, I really feel for you. Short naps are shit! I wouldn't expect him to go exactly the same way as your DS1 though, even siblings usually don't have the same sleep patterns. So do try to stay positive. Many, many babies go through a phase of short naps.
I would think about sleep training though, once he's old enough, if it gets you down so much. Your mental health is important and not all kinds of sleep training are cruel!

PontypandyPioneer Tue 31-Jan-17 12:31:23

I tried a dummy a few weeks ago but he wasn't interested. Also not breastfeeding, just bottle.

He had an ok night although ended up in our bed, and my lovely FIL and SIL have taken them both out this morning so I can have a break.

I've also come down with a horrible cold so that probably had something to do with my mood yesterday! DH has come home from work also ill - he's not taken a sick day since I've known him - that's 7 years!

I'll persevere and hope he grows out of it....quickly.

Thanks for all of your help, it's much appreciated.

Andwereoff Wed 01-Feb-17 14:27:51

I would defo consider sleep training when he's old enough. There are gentle forms that will teach him to nod off by himself and once he does that longer naps will follow. I got PND with my second and I put a bit of it down to the short naps and my feeling of helplessness mixed with extreme tiredness. I know how it can get you down and my heart goes out to you when you describe how you're feeling.
Take help where you can, sounds like you've got a bit of support there with your family so use that as much as you can to get breaks for yourself.

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