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Getting very little baby to nap

(20 Posts)
Janubub Tue 21-Feb-17 16:57:48

My baby is coming up for 8 weeks now and is struggling to settle for naps in the day - happy to stay awake for hours being massively overtired!

I am absolutely out of my depth and quite tearful and overwhelmed as I've got days full of a crying, grumpy baby! I'm quite tearful myself about it and have no idea how to get baby to sleep during the day.

I've been trying to put in a routine (not based on timings!) of feed-activity-sleep. I try to put DC down for a nap when they show tired signs - yawning, rubbing face on my shoulder, but sometimes this is immediately after waking up and feeding?! Like today, woke up after an hour of sleep in the pram, fed one side (EBF), went to sleep, changed happy, fed from other side, still tired so after just a few minutes of chatting etc. I've tried to go straight to naptime. Should there be no awake time between naps sometimes????

Also I'm not really sure how to put baby down for a nap. At night there's no problems because we feed to sleep but in the day, I need to go from awake to naps and I literally have no idea how to do this!!

How much sleep does an 8 week old need??? Since 8:30am, we've only had about 2 hours awake time total, is this okay?

I know all these questions sound stupid but I really don't know anything about my baby. sad

JaxingJump Tue 21-Feb-17 17:04:59

This stuff is really hard OP, especially on a first baby. If they seem tired at that age, just put them down. Don't worry about routine. I would have often planned a nap shortly after a bottle or breastfeed in the early days but as I got more children I would just (because I was so busy with the others) put the baby down and run off to rescue another, barely tucking it in and do you know what! Sometimes theyd just sleep. Sometimes they'd cry blue murder for a minute but I was too busy to immediately respond and they'd be asleep seconds later as I ran back. Sometimes they'd just lie there staring at the lights.

It's so easy to be anxious about this stuff and their cry would make you vomit with stress but knowing now what I know from experience I'd just toddle around, not worry about schedules, regularly over a feed and plop baby into bed or bouncer for a snooze after an hr of wakefulness each time just to see.

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 17:06:02

16-20 hours sleep in 24 hours is not unreasonable for a baby under 3 months.

That does mean very limited awake time. It might be that baby wakes, is fed, has a nappy check and maybe 5 or 10 minutes floor time before becoming grumpy. Then straight back to sleep.

Limiting awake time to 20-40 minutes is perfectly reasonable at this age.

raindripsonruses Tue 21-Feb-17 17:08:32

I sang. A lot. Just stood, held her, swayed and sang. It mostly worked except when it didn't grin. Sang to a cd. Sang stuff my mum or dad sang when I was a kid that helped me relax.

Katkin14 Tue 21-Feb-17 17:08:52

I remember having lots of the same questions with my DS. I didn't know that babies don't just go to sleep when they're tired. I don't think there's any harm in letting them feed to sleep in the day as well as the night. 8 weeks is so young, I think you'd struggle to instigate a routine so young. It's also very common for babies so little to feed and sleep on repeat with no awake time for sections of the day, especially breast fed babies who tend to sleep in smaller chunks in my experience.

When my DS wouldn't nap in the day and seemed like he needed it, I'd take him out in the pram and that'd soon get him to sleep. Sometimes I'd even put him in the pram in the house and rock him off. He also tended to be more likely to sleep if I popped him in the sling, rather than put him down in the Moses basket. But at that age I think I mostly fed him to sleep. Good luck!

mrsBeverleygoldberg Tue 21-Feb-17 18:49:57

For the afternoon nap ds1 would need to be walked in the pushchair for about 30 minutes to fall asleep. Then I would walk for an hour for him to sleep. If I stopped he'd wake up.
At this stage I was stumbling around not sure what day it was. He fed every two hours day and night. I was exhausted and he just cried and cried. He drank a lot of milk and had tummy ache and colic.
The only piece of good advice was it feels like this stage lasts forever but it doesn't.
You are getting to know each other. It will get better.
Ds1 is 12 and is as big as me. We survived!

mrsBeverleygoldberg Tue 21-Feb-17 18:50:54

I didn't explain, 30 minutes of screaming his head off while I tried not to cry.

Artandco Tue 21-Feb-17 18:57:12

At 8 weeks mine would only be awake 60-90mins in between sleeps.

Try naps in sling, can just put in and carry on with what you want to do

Janubub Tue 21-Feb-17 22:02:29

Thanks for your help. Does the awake time suggestions include feeding time? We're pretty quick at feeding (10-15 minutes). Sleeping in the Moses basket in the day is a nightmare, usually I'm holding the baby or pushing the pram, both of which I enjoy but find it really hard to do all day long. I would like to be able to have a cup of tea...

Artandco Tue 21-Feb-17 22:14:25

Yes wake time includes feeding. 90mins awake fornus was something like:

8am wake
8-8.15 clean nappy and play on bed
8.15-8.30 feed
8.30-9am baby on floor mat whilst we eat/shower
9-9.15 dress baby
9.15am baby tired again and either put in sling, or on our lap, or sheepskin rug on floor to nap.
Asleep again by 9.30am. Prob sleep 30-45mins. Then start again

At 8weeks even things like feeding, changing and bathing tire them out.

Artandco Tue 21-Feb-17 22:15:58

Is the moses basket comfy? I would add sheepskin inside and swaddle baby with large muslin blanket. Just a hard flat sheet is very different from being held, so sheepskin is a half way point

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 22:21:50

Does the awake time suggestions include feeding time?


It also includes the time it takes you to get baby to sleep.

So if it takes you 15 minutes to feed baby and 15 minutes from deciding baby needs to go to sleep to baby actually being asleep - that is leaving very little awake time for much else.

shazkiwi Tue 21-Feb-17 22:45:44

I found in the early days the pattern was more like feed, sleep, wake up & play (otherwise known as lie there & be happy), feed when the moaning started again. You could try putting baby down for a nap just to see if they're ready for one - quite often my dc slipped to sleep that way without the need for physical cues. I think by the time they rubbed their eyes or moaned the optimal time to put them down for a nap had passed & then there was lots of grumpiness before they got themselves off to sleep. Babies in general do need loads of sleep - even at 6 months mine were still getting 14-16 hours in every 24 hours.

Semaphorically Tue 21-Feb-17 22:51:43

DD2 is 11 weeks and I have a similar problem! I'm not bothering with a routine yet but her sleep seems really random. I'm worried she doesn't get enough, so watching with interest. Sorry I can't help, but I sympathise!

mrsBeverleygoldberg Wed 22-Feb-17 09:58:15

We tipped the mattress in the Moses basket slightly using fold d blankets. The midwife suggested it. It did help a bit.

Janubub Tue 28-Feb-17 16:48:21

Thanks for the advice. No problems with Moses basket sleeping at night (it's warm, tilted etc.) and sleeping decent periods overnight between feeds (typically 3 hours, but up to 5 on occasion now).

Daytime is a whole different matter! Baby will not nap anywhere other than my arms currently - occasionally in a moving pram but god forbid it stops moving for a microsecond...

Sling is a failure, increases the screaming.

The only place I can find for a nap where I'm not physically holding baby is in the bouncy chair but I'm not sure how I feel about baby napping there. Is it safe?? I mean, it's on the floor, stable, no pets or other children around but I can't help but feel the Moses basket or pram carrycot would be better. It's not flat, either.

Pastabest Tue 28-Feb-17 17:37:25

My 4 week old is happiest napping on a comfy blanket on the floor. If I try putting her in her rocker or nest or carrycot she screams.

After saying I wouldn't use a dummy I now use one to help DD fall asleep. Works wonders, but she is a very sucky baby.

How long is winding taking? DD (EBF) also usually feeds for 10 - 15 minutes but can take double that time to wind afterwards due to fast letdown and enthusiastic sucking. Infacol has made a big difference to reducing that time.

FATEdestiny Tue 28-Feb-17 18:38:43

The only place I can find for a nap where I'm not physically holding baby is in the bouncy chair but I'm not sure how I feel about baby napping there. Is it safe?

Bouncy chairs are awesome for daytime napping.

Baby shouldn't be left unsupervised in there, so don't plan to nap yourself of leave baby in a different room while sleeping. Aside from that, napping in a bouncer is amazing in my opinion.

I think the upper age limit is 6 months, or when baby is sitting up. I would also use the reclined position, if your bouncer has one.

I used the bouncer for all daytime naps until the nap length started naturally extending at about 5 months old. Once naps were over an hour, I moved them into the cot.

teaandbiscuitsforme Tue 28-Feb-17 19:14:04

I wouldn't write off the sling yet - what type have you got? It might be one that isn't quite comfortable for newborns but better when they're a few months old.

You say you feed to sleep at night - could you not do that during the day? I've got 7 week old DS and toddler DD so I put DD down for her nap at lunchtime and then take DS into our bed to feed to sleep for a nap. It's not quite a cup of tea but it's nice to lie down and close my eyes!

SnowWhite26 Tue 28-Feb-17 21:21:02

What really helped me was to not think about it to much. When u feel like your stressing and the baby is crying give them a dummy ( i was really funny about dummies but my lo loved them and it comforted her) and put baby im pram and go for a walk. Get air and the bavy willl hopefully calm down.If the baby feels you are getting anxious so will the baby. Sleep breeds sleep. Dont worry about routine just get through it!! That is what the first few months are friend once said to me if you are all fed and alive you are doing a good job.just do what works! I no everyone says it but i gets easier xxxx

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