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10mo sitting up at nap time

(9 Posts)
MaverickSnoopy Sun 21-May-17 09:20:09

After nap battles for most of her life it finally clicked about 2 months ago. Hurrah! But. Now she just wants to sit up at nap time.

She's been sitting unsupported since 6 months and has been sitting herself up from lying for at least 2 months but she's just realised that she doesn't have to nap, she can just sit herself up instead. It's been going on for about 3/4 days and one day I just kept laying her down for an hour and a half! In the end I got her up and tried again later which worked, but by this point she'd been up for 5 hours! She usually has a nap after 3 hours. Yesterday she had her morning nap and woke at 12. Then we tried her afternoon nap at 3 and she just wouldn't go to sleep and kept sitting up. Gave up at 430 and put her to bed at 630 instead of 7.

Is this just a phase....or do I need a plan?! If it has any bearing she is massively independent and is on the brink of cruising furniture so perhaps a developmental leap?

FATEdestiny Sun 21-May-17 10:22:19

Pulling to standing will result in exactly the same thing happening. (As does being able to roll, when younger).

Have you tried the firm hand?

You are right to keep lying her down every time she sits, and straight away. This teaches her that "sleep time means lying down, nothing else is acceptable in the cot".

Committ to stay standing by the cot until she is asleep. Every time she goes to sleep until she's through this phase.

Once you lie her down, place your hand across her chest/back to reiterate the need for her to lie down. Leave your hand there until she stops squirming. If she keeps squirming, re-lie her down and start again with the firm hand. Keep hand there until (eventually) calm and still.

Over time she should fight it less and learn what your hand means: lie down and settle now. Settle her with the firm hand. Then lift your hand and wait by the cot until asleep. Hand back if any squirming, removed when calm.

Then once she's learnt that she needs to lie still to sleep, you can start going back to settle in the cot at bedtime and then leave the room.

MaverickSnoopy Sun 21-May-17 13:58:19

Thanks fate that's really helpful. Sometimes they just snap out of phases on their own but I just have a feeling about this.

I've just tried this approach with no success. How firm is firm? I put my hand on her back (she refuses to sleep on her back) firm but with no real pressure, so just placing it there but with confidence/conviction. I didn't press or stop her from moving as such.

It started out ok but after 10 mins she started getting distressed doing a cry I have never heard her do before. I persisted but after a while she was crying so much her breathing became quite frantic so I stopped. She wouldn't let me hold her at all and I had to put her down. She seemed really distressed. Eventually she let me pick her back up and she then clung to me and wouldn't let go. I had to sit with her on my lap, sort of laid a bit on my tummy but mostly sat up and eventually she went to sleep. After several days of bad sleep I just want to get sleep into her! She's now in her cot asleep.

She does have a cold at the moment so maybe I should wait to tackle it or maybe I'm not doing it quite tight? She's also a very sensitive baby, total opposite to my first.

FATEdestiny Sun 21-May-17 14:19:36

It's not a form of physical restrain.

It's meant to be kind, caring, loving. Firm as in she can feel the weight of your hand. So not just lightly laying your hand there, but not pressing down in any way. The idea is that when she closes her eyes, she can still feel your presence and know you're there without needing to open her eyes to check.

It started out ok but after 10 mins she started getting distressed doing a cry I have never heard her do before

Does she normally cry at bedtime? Because just wouldn't tolerate any crying and wouldn't have baby crying in the cot - so I would stop immediately at any cry and tried to figure out what was wrong.

But if your dd does cry at bedtime, or you feel she's only going to learn to go to sleep in the cot by crying, then your tolerance levels will neen to be different to mine.

It's difficult to say without knowing what the cry was. It might be that the cold meant she couldn't breath through her nose?

How did you get her sleeping better before? Could you repeat the method?

MaverickSnoopy Sun 21-May-17 16:06:42

Ok good so I was probably wasn't being too firm. I think the cry was her way of telling me she didn't want to lie down and then because I was persisting it got worse and worse, which is why I stopped.

She has self settled at bed time since about 9 weeks and has slept reliably in her cot for naps and self settling for about 2 months. Before that she would only go in the sling. To get her napping in the cot I gave her a dummy and put singing glowing doll on and put her on her tummy, I also increased awake periods from 2 to 3 hours, meaning that she went from 3 to 2 naps. It was literally the only thing that worked having tried everything. At first she was having short naps but over about 2 weeks they increased to a 1.5 - 2hr nap and a 45m - 1hr nap. She's been napping reliably since then, I sing a song, put her in cot, put doll on and go and within 5 mins she's asleep. But now she's just fighting it.

I don't want to leave her to cry but I wanted to try the method properly, thinking that her crying was her way of being cross but that it would get less as she realised I meant business. Obviously not. The trouble is, when I put her down she has turned herself into a ball, so the second she hits the cot she springs straight up. I can't unfurl her legs because she's so strong and I don't want to hurt her. A couple of times she let me put my hand on her back but mostly she's just sitting.

All I've got into her today is 45 mins and 30 mins. I'm in the process of trying a third nap now because she's been up for some long but I can only try for another half hour or it'll be too close to bedtime - but she's been up since 215, with a cold, surviving on very little sleep!

MaverickSnoopy Sun 21-May-17 16:07:42

Sorry I meant to say THANK YOU. It's so much easier when there is someone to help with ideas!

And no she doesn't usually cry at nap or bedtime.

FATEdestiny Sun 21-May-17 19:50:00

Constantly lying her back down and patting, like you used to, is fine too. Just be consistant. She sits up, you lie her back down, she gets up, lie her down, up down up down up down. It can be exhausting.

Assuming she's not crying through any of this, I'd keep going for up to an hour. If she started crying, I'd give it up as a bad job and try again later. It might be ten minutes, it might be an hour. But when I did try again, complete consistency again to keep lying her down repeatedly.

Regarding curling into a ball, this needn't be a problem. You could just part her on her side. She doesn't need to sleep on her back or front, many people sleep curled into the foetal position.

She will develop an angry/cross cry, no doubt. As she realises she has the will to do what she wants, even if it's not what you will allow. My personal parenting style is to distract out of that, rather than having a battle of wills with a winner and a loser. I remember I used to insist on a battle of wills with my eldest when she was a baby though, feeling that it was very important she understood I was in charge. I've mellowed as I've had more children.

MaverickSnoopy Mon 22-May-17 08:12:26

Ok we'll see what today brings. She's looking incredibly grotty and is full of cold, but after very little sleep yesterday I'm not surprised.

She's not wanting to sleep curled into a ball, she's curling into a ball in order to be able to spring straight up. As soon as I start lowering her into the cot her legs are curled in preparation for attack lol. So I can can never really get her lying down in her cot in the first place iyswim. The only reason I put her on her tummy is because this is the only way she has ever reliably slept in her cot. She refuses to sleep any other way for naps. Before she could roll herself she slept in a sling and at night she would hardly sleep at all. Sleeping on her tummy was a game changer for her sleep. At the moment she is just physically refusing to be horizontal in her cot -apart from at night when she is now totally exhausted!

I will do the "try again later" thing. I did this on Friday and it worked well, it's just that if it's her last nap of the day it's not possible. By the time we get back from school it's about 330 and so I don't really get started on nap until 345 and so if she's not asleep by 4 then it's starts impacting on bedtime.

The battle of wills thing worked really well on my first, but then it wasn't really a battle of wills, I was telling her what to do and she would listen. DD2 is totally different (of course) and I have adapted my style because of this, but sometimes when you're clueless on the right thing to do, it can be hard to know how to help them. So having a clear marker in my head that I give up after an hour is excellent. I never know when to give up. When people say consistent to me I think, ok I can do that but it means I don't give up, when actually it's not getting me anywhere.

I'm wondering if she's resisting this much as a combination of development and also the cold. She's had a really good breakfast today (the best in weeks) so I've got my fingers crossed that she's stocking up on energy to get better and might sleep better today....pahahaha (kidding myself).

Will keep smiling and will keep being persistent but will stop after an hour and will try again. Thank you for your guidance it's so helpful to discuss the pitfalls and have someone else share their wisdom!

MaverickSnoopy Wed 24-May-17 08:07:44

A bit of an update. Monday she had two good naps, although there was some lying her back down involved but not as much as before. Second nap she also fell asleep sat up. I popped out to see DD and when I came back she was sat up asleep. Yesterday a good morning nap and then nothing in the afternoon. Tried at 330 and gave up at 430. Was then too close to bedtime to try again so she went to bed a bit early.

I'm hoping for a better day today!

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