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Sleeps well at night...won't nap in day?!

(12 Posts)
SkyLucy Thu 27-Apr-17 14:57:29

I have a nine- week old EBF daughter. She has slept really well at night for the past month - she now does 8/9 hours with one feed most nights.

Now, I know I'm lucky to have a good sleeper and I do count my blessings...but I really struggle in the daytime! I can get her to doze off on me with some persuasion - I cuddle her and dance around the kitchen to Spotify or trot around town with her in the sling, singing/chatting in her ear! She has never, ever fallen asleep in the pram/car seat/bouncer, and if I try to lay her down in her moses basket she lasts about 5 minutes. I even try to recreate the nighttime environment, and she still refuses. I'm perplexed!

And I'm struggling mentally. I never, ever have 5 minutes to myself. I barely get dressed, and have yet to have a meal or shower without someone else to look after her. I feel dirty, hungry and wretched. Am I hoping for too much, that she'll have even a little nap without me in the day??

ANY advice gratefully received!! X

Heirhelp Thu 27-Apr-17 15:01:34

I have no idea my nearly 1 year old ff DD has only just started sleeping through the night. It is only the last few months that I can get her to do day time naps not either on me or in a constantly moving pram?

Can you get up half an hour before your baby to shower or do it when they go to bed?

How are you trying to get her to sleep during the day? When are you doing it? I would be trying to get her asleep at a max 90 mins, but preferably earlier, after she has woken up.

FATEdestiny Thu 27-Apr-17 15:13:14

9 weeks old is still a newborn. There's a thing called the fourth trimester, as a new baby gets used to being alive. It lasts until about 3 or 4 months old - then everything changes.

Not wanting to be moved from where she falls asleep - All normal. The trick is not yo move sleeping baby, get her to sleep where she can stay asleep.

If that's in the sling or your arms, sit down and rest. If you want a lie down, try feeding her lying down and them the two of you stay there. You can do this on the floor of the living room if you don't feel like going to bed.

If you want a baby who's 'put down' to sleep, it ususlky requires a fair amount of external assistance to recreate the "breastfed to sleep closeness". The tools of independant sleep are:

- Dummy. Amazing thing. Vital for independant sleeping without crying imo. Babies are naturally soothed by sucking.

- swaddle. Useful for minicing the tight secure feeling of being held, which in turn mimics the feeling of being in the womb.

- relentless, rhythmic movement.

- knowing you're there. Eye contact, physical contact, touch etc.

- limited awake time and not over stimulation. Newborns may only be awake for 20-40 minutes st a time. It might raise to an hour towards 12 weeks. But really it's just a case of feed, wind cuddle, nappy check, a little 10 minute floor time until grumpy, try another feed, back to sleep.

SkyLucy Thu 27-Apr-17 17:48:32

Hi both, thanks so much for your responses. I think the key here is overtiredness...she has never slept well in the day and I can see her getting increasingly tired and angry as the day wears on. She may sleep well at night but it takes many attempts to get her down - she's obviously stressed, and eventually simply passes out from exhaustion! Today has been a prime example...she woke up at 9.30am, and I only managed to get her to sleep (beyond a five minute doze) at 4pm. She was in the sling and I was constantly moving...unfortunately I stopped to quickly write something down 30 mins later and she woke up - and I haven't managed to get her back to sleep! I've read and witnessed how much newborns normally sleep, but my beautiful daughter never, ever has.

Thanks for the tips - it sounds like I may need to toughen up and persevere! She won't take a dummy and detests swaddling. She likes to drift off to movement but at the moment only on me (she hates the car seat and pram), so I'm debating whether to splash out on a fancy swing.

FATEdestiny Thu 27-Apr-17 18:39:16

IME you dont need an expensive swing. Just a cheap z-frame bouncer (like the Fisher price one). Sit on the sofa with a brew, foot on the frame of the bouncer and be relentless about the foot bouncing.

I doubt you'll get her to sleep like this without crying if not using a dummy.

Dummy is key to no-crying independant sleep. I'd persevere with it.

SkyLucy Thu 27-Apr-17 18:50:50

Thanks Fate. The HV suggested a dummy too, and DD sucks her fist all the time, so I've been surprised at jet refusal to take it. I'll persevere - I actually have a standard bouncer so can try the two in tandem.

teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 27-Apr-17 21:11:28

If she's EBF, have you tried lying down to feed in your bed? Then she can sleep there and you can doze or you can work up to moving away from her to have a quick shower, get dressed, do make up, etc.

FWIW, I find it easier to get things done when my DC have been awake. Trying to get them to nap and then do whatever it was always ended up being too stressful. So if I need a shower, I'll make sure 15 week DS has a good nap, then feed/nappy etc and put him in the bouncy chair in the bathroom whilst I shower.

SophieBear13 Thu 27-Apr-17 21:32:44

I know it's probably not any consolation but I was just about to post a thread about this very topic. My 10 week old DS is exactly the same. Used to be a rubbish night sleeper but is now much better but once he wakes between 5 and 6am that's it. He used to love falling asleep in the sling but he won't even do that now. What hurts the most is he won't even fall asleep on me now which I find so difficult because I feel like he doesn't find me comforting anymore.

I have friends whose babies sleep for 3 hour naps or who happily sleep on them and it's tough to watch and to hear about.

I have tried to recreate DS' night time environment, the pram, rocking etc and it doesn't work. He will sleep in his car seat but it's not feasible to drive around constantly not eating or getting on etc.

I am hoping this is a developmental stage but it's really hard isn't it and it's really effecting my ability to enjoy my days with him. I don't have any answers but you're not alone.

SkyLucy Thu 27-Apr-17 22:45:03

That's a good tip Tea, I'll try feeding her laying down.

Sorry to hear you're struggling too Sophie - I completely empathise with feeling you don't enjoy your time with your baby. I've been contemplating returning to work in the summer...6 months before I'd planned!! I just feel neither of us enjoy our time together and she'd be better off with childcare professionals sad. I know that's a massive overreaction for such a small problem, but I find managing a livewire (and increasingly overtired and cranky) baby on my own for 12 hours a day very difficult. Which makes me feel guilty - she's healthy, beautiful and (generally) happy - I'm incredibly privileged to be her mum. I hope things improve for you - there are lots of good tips on this thread flowers.

FATEdestiny Fri 28-Apr-17 09:26:54

You're only 9 weeks into parenting SkyLucy. It's a humongously steep learning curve for the first year with your first child. Don't beat yourself up that you feel overwhelmed, I think everyone does.

If it is making you feel very desperate and down, have you considered PND? That need not need medication, just acknowledgment is enough for some, or having someone to talk through how overwhelming it all feels and that you are normal to feel like that.

SkyLucy Fri 28-Apr-17 15:17:40

Hi Fate, sorry, only just seen this. Thanks for your kind words - I know in the broad scheme of things, 9 weeks isn't long at all. Yes, I do think I'm getting depressed...I've actually battled with clinical depression for 16 years so am hyper-aware of its return. Magically, I was super well during my pregnancy (hormones can be fabulous!), but the challenge of motherhood and a demanding baby have made me ill again I think. I'm so disappointed in myself!

Anyway, thanks again for the tips - if I can get even a tiny break it will do me and my lovely baby the world of good x

majorfwp Fri 28-Apr-17 16:17:31

I agree with the tips above. Definitely try feeding her to sleep on the bed and then you can have a nap too.

I also think the baby whisperer method of shush pat works. Google it. But you need to find the right moment. Dedicate a day to to just watching her and at the first yawn or when she goes into a daze and looks tired swaddle her (even if you think she hates it, just try again) and try shush pat to get her down. I also think the supernanny routine is quite good for giving you an idea of how much they should nap. It saved my sanity when I had my first.

DC4 is 11 weeks and has been napping in her cot the last couple of weeks thanks to this. Another thing that I think helped was I play white noise at night so when putting her down for naps I use it too. It's like a signal that it's time to sleep (and blocks out the noise from her siblings!!!).

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