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Taking all afternoon to get baby to take an afternoon nap!! Help!

(84 Posts)
Rugby01 Wed 05-Apr-17 14:44:21

Hi! I have a 4.5 month baby who i can't get to take an afternoon nap. I will spend three hours trying to make it happen and then give up and then I'm frustrated as I feel I could have been doing something better with him, and he's over tired, and then we end up putting him to bed at 5.30 - 6pm as he's so tired! He naps ok in the morning and is good at night, going from 6pm -3am ish. But the afternoons are driving me mad! I worry he'll get a flat head lying in the cot for two-three hours as I try to get him to sleep (unsuccessfully). He is definitely tired in the afternoons and will fall asleep in my shoulder or whilst feeding, but two mins after I put him down in the cot he wakes up again. He ONLY does this in the afternoon. I tried a mobile above him but it just stimulates him rather than soothing him to sleep. Please help me! I'm going mad! It's such a waste of three -four hours every day and I get so frustrated as I am sure I should be doing other things with him like reading, playing etc. Thanks!

FacelikeaBagofHammers Wed 05-Apr-17 14:51:09

Why don't you just take him out for a long walk, or a spin in the car? It's pointless wasting an entire afternoon to get him to nap tbh, life is too short (and believe me, I've fallen into the same trap)

Also at 4.5 months, he's probably going through a massive leap, there are a lot of changes happening around this time so it may be tricker than usual.

Best of luck

DubiousCredentials Wed 05-Apr-17 14:51:49

Would he fall asleep in the pram if you went for a walk? Or in the car? Have you tried not letting him fall asleep feeding or on your shoulder?

My dd was a nightmare napper. I spent many hours snoozing in lay-bys because she'd only sleep in the car with the engine running shock

TeaBelle Wed 05-Apr-17 14:53:02

Dd is 2,5 and has only ever napped.on me, in the pram or in the car. I just accepted it as normal and stopped fighting her. She's asleep in the car ATM while I waste time online!

JumpSturdy Wed 05-Apr-17 14:54:17

When does he wake up from his morning nap? It may be that he's already getting overtired by the time you're putting him down in the afternoon. It depends on when he wakes up in the morning and how long history first nap is, but I think they can only cope with 1.5-2 hours awake at that age. We're still on three naps a day at almost 7 months, although DD tends towards short naps. Have you tried: pram, sling, or bouncer to get him off?

Rugby01 Wed 05-Apr-17 14:54:58

Yes I tried leaving him to self soothe (i.e. Not on me) and he won't do it in the afternoon- I try and tell myself 'leave it 20 mins' etc but that turns into 30 then 40 and so on. I read that napping in a car or buggy is bad as they won't sleep any other way - so I'm trying not to.... but maybe that's the answer. Thanks both for your ideas and sympathy!!

JumpSturdy Wed 05-Apr-17 14:55:30

*his first nap
Fucking autocorrect

JumpSturdy Wed 05-Apr-17 14:59:04

If he's not napping anyway what do you have to lose? The rod-for-your-own-back argument only makes sense if the battle you have to fight to get them to nap the 'good' way is definitely going to be easier than the hypothetical future battle to retrain out of the 'bad' habit. Just get him sleeping well, then worry about shifting towards 'ideal' napping.

GuinessPunch Wed 05-Apr-17 15:01:09

3 hours trying to get to sleep wow. My ds would probably be the same. I put him in a sling and hes asleep within 5 mins. But not ideal either.

rainbowstardrops Wed 05-Apr-17 15:02:25

My DS would rarely sleep for longer than half an hour during the day unless I was holding him or he was out in his pram.
DD could have napped for England!
One day when I was at my mum and dad's, I was cuddling DS to sleep as we were only sitting there chatting and watching TV and my dad said that I was making a rod for my own back.
I pointed out to my dad that I honestly didn't think I'd still have to be doing it for the next eighteen years! (DS slept well at night btw).
Lo and behold, DS is now seventeen and could sleep for England ....... all without any help from me grin

Lovelilies Wed 05-Apr-17 15:02:53

I'm currently sat in the car outside my house with 3 yo and 9m old asleep grin
Do what you gotta do. Pop him in a sling and get on with whatever you need to do? Mine always sleep in the sling.

MommaGee Wed 05-Apr-17 15:03:16

Honestly I'd just let him nap on me
Get comfy, remote control and watch some telly

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Wed 05-Apr-17 15:08:38

Is he only having the two naps a day? If so he could be over tired. My dd is 6 months and sleeps for 40-60 minutes with 1.5hr wake times in between.
I would try getting him to sleep after an hour and a half and see if you get in any better.

It took me a long time to realise that dd needed more naps but she's like a different child since.

FurryElephant Wed 05-Apr-17 15:12:03

I agree with the sling suggestion! And for trying for naps after 1.5 hours of awake time. My 4 month old sometimes only wants 1 hour before another nap, as soon as she starts grumbling but is fed/changed etc she's pretty much ready to sleep again smile

JumpSturdy Wed 05-Apr-17 15:20:59

It took me a long time to realise that dd needed more naps but she's like a different child since.

Me too! This is the shit they need to tell you in antenatal class.

beargrass Wed 05-Apr-17 15:40:40

I agree with PP in respect of how long is the morning nap? If that is too long, then I think you will struggle in the afternoon. I think eventually (after 7-ish months? mine was a bit later than that) they drop either the morning or the afternoon nap.

Mine was / is a pretty regular napper BUT sometimes I did struggle at the time you are struggling. I did the car when really desperate, at something like 4pm or so, for half an hour before 5pm, and decided that was good enough to keep us both going for the rest of the day.

AppleMagic Wed 05-Apr-17 15:44:37

I insisted my dd only sleep in her cot etc etc. I spent hours trying to settle her. When ds came along I gave up and rocked him to sleep in the buggy for all his naps. He is still a MUCH better sleeper and can now slee anywhere (bed, car, buggy).

kingscrossnoodle Wed 05-Apr-17 16:08:01

I took mine out for a long walk after lunch every single day. They all napped on the pram. 3 out of 4 also slept in their cot at night without issue. Number 4 is the devil child when it comes to sleep, but it's not connected to her napping in a pram.

GuinessPunch Wed 05-Apr-17 17:23:34

My baby gets fed, changed, i play with him and he is ready to sleep again. Soon as he starts whining I put him in the sling. He needs so much sleep whereas my friends baby who is a few weeks older doesnt nap at all during the day but sleeps 11 -11 with 1 wake up at night.

shirleycartersaidso Wed 05-Apr-17 17:53:08

DTs didn't nap in the cot until they were 1. I had to walk, a lot.

PotteringAlong Wed 05-Apr-17 17:56:54

Honestly, just bung them in the pushchair. Realistically if you ever have another baby you're not spending 3 hours getting them to sleep, you're putting them wherever you need to be and getting on with your day. You might as well do that with the first one!

For what it's worth, other than at nursery none of mine have ever napped anywhere other than the buggy and I like ds3 to nap in there because I don't need to wake him for the school run etc. It's been fine.

Rugby01 Wed 05-Apr-17 21:51:29

Hi everyone- thanks for your advice and comments. I see your points about life being too short! I may try the sling and buggg more and just stop stressing about it .

Rugby01 Thu 06-Apr-17 18:05:35

The said baby went to bed at 6pm today! After being awake from 1.30pm!! Now I am worried I'm being a terrible parent not getting him to nap between 1.30 and 6pm... I did TRY! And try. And try. My new theory is that he wants to feed up all afternoon as that's one reason he won't sleep - he keeps wanting a feed. Then he poos and then we start all over again... anyway. Anyone else just giving up on getting an afternoon nap and instead doing an early bed time? Or am I doing it all wrong? He seems a happy baby and sleeps well at night...

PotteringAlong Thu 06-Apr-17 20:33:12

Why are you a terrible parent? Follow your babies cues. They're happy and healthy. Don't sweat it!

BettyOBarley Thu 06-Apr-17 20:45:05

You're not a terrible parent Op!
If it helps I almost posted my own thread on this today as my 6m DS has napped for a grand total of 20 mins today - from 7am to 7pm! shock he just would NOT sleep. He won't cuddle to sleep, won't ever sleep in the sling, tried his bed, swing. Wasn't having it. He has always been a poor napper - 3 x 30 mins which has recently gone down to 2 and today only 1! My only.saving grace is he sleeps 12hrs at night. He would nap in the car but tbh with a 3yr old in tow as well it's no use to me really, I need time to get stuff done or give DD some attention.
As a pp said it could be a development stage as I think this is happening with DS as he's desperate to sit up/move but can't and he grumbles constantly all day long whatever I try to engage him with...its a daily nightmare at the moment tbh.
Sorry bit of a ramble there but I do feel your pain and you are not a bad mum!

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