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How did you get your young baby to stop fighting naps?

(15 Posts)
ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Mon 21-Aug-17 09:10:45

Ds2 has been fighting naps since 3 weeks and now at 11 weeks I'm at my wits end. He will just fight and fight, arms flailing around and startling himself awake. You'll see him relax and then startle himself again.

He hates being swaddled and will fight against it, he won't keep a dummy in his mouth. He will tend to have a decent nap in a sling but only if we're somewhere noisy like the park, so I can only do that once a day. He will sleep in the buggy but wake as soon as it stops. Bouncy chair doesn't work. He would happily sleep on me, but I can't do too often that because of dc1.

At the moment I'm trying to get into the routine of putting him in his cot awake but tired, I put a lullaby machine on which definitely relaxes him, but after a few minutes the fighting starts. I'm spending hours of the day trying to settle him and I'm trying to set up a sleep association in the hope of him relaxing into it eventually. It's not working so far.

I've also tried just leaving him to fall asleep when he's tired without intervention. He lasted 9 hours.

He sleeps fairly well at night. Goes down at 7pm and then wakes for between 2-3 feeds, settling well afterwards in the main.

He has reflux so isn't comfortable on his back, which definitely isn't helping.

I can't go on like this. Ds1 is left to his own devices far too much, I almost never get to play with him. It's not fair on him.

All the advice I read to help naps is really geared towards dc1 - long walks with the buggy, letting them sleep on you, take naps in bed together. I did all them with dc1, I just can't this time. Does anyone have any advice if you found yourself in the same situation?

HT85 Mon 21-Aug-17 09:16:00

Have you tried quite loud white noise along with whatever assistance you give usually to get baby to sleep (rocking/feeding) - they grow out of the startle reflex which I'm sure you know already smile could you wear baby in a sling round the house etc? So I would suggest dark room with loud white noise. If you think baby will wake once you leave, transfer to sling once asleep and crack on. Not sure if it'll be that easy for you but that's something that has worked for me x

PineappleScrunchie Mon 21-Aug-17 09:16:23

Buggy naps. With dc2 and dc3 I couldn't spend hours trying to settle them in their cots or let them sleep on me. I'd just push it backwards and forwards in the hallway whilst supervising/playing with the older kids.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Mon 21-Aug-17 09:26:01

Thanks so much. I tried white noise but it didn't help - or it did for a while but it's almost as if once he associates something with sleep, he fights it. Same with buggy - my initial plan was for him to sleep in buggy in house, so I could rock him - this worked wonders for dc1. It was ok for a while but now he will just not fall asleep in it. Hence me trying the cot, but that's stopped working too.

He's been awake since 6.45am, I've been trying to get a nap since I saw his first yawn. I am about to go out so he'll fall asleep for 10 mins in car and then wake up, and the whole sorry nonsense will start again.

Do I just have to give up for a bit? This is miserable for everyone. No one is getting any quality time, I'm either trying to get dc2 to sleep, getting meals sorted for dc1, or feeding/winding/changing dc2. No time to play or enjoy either of them.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Mon 21-Aug-17 09:27:28

Sorry and also - he won't sleep in sling in house. It's like he needs the fresh air/loud background noise of a park or similar. He also won't transfer to/from sling, or anywhere else for that matter.

I know I'm saying no to all these suggestions which is really annoying, but this is honestly why I'm finding it so impossible. I don't know what to do.

HT85 Mon 21-Aug-17 09:30:10

Oh bless you no it isn't annoying. I wish there was an easy answer, I know some people who literally put their baby down wide awake in a buggy and they instantly drop off! Mine wouldn't have it! Sorry I wasn't very helpful hopefully someone can offer some more advice. I guess my worries stopped a little when my mum and nana told me to stop fretting about the sleep so much as they didn't and things seemed to just happen naturally. But then again that might not be the best advice!

Newmum26 Mon 21-Aug-17 09:44:47

I feel your pain!
My little one is 15 Weeks Old and sleeps well at night always has done, he goes down in his crib wide awake and doesn't moan, winge, or cry he just drops off to sleep after having a little chat with Ewan the dream sheep 😂
Daytime is a different story, he fights naps I can tell he's tired as he rubs his eyes, and gets cranky and goes way past the 2/3 hours awake time they say babies this age should be having.
I have tried to it him down in his crib like I do at night and as soon as he is in it he cries and even if he does drop off he lasts no longer than 30 minutes before waking up and crying. He just doesn't do this at night, so I find it so frustrating how it can be so different in the daytime!
Like you, I find myself spending hours of my day trying to get him to nap, and then but the time that's finished it's time to start the whole feed sleep cycle again and I'm not getting any okay or fun time.
If I'm out in the car he will sleep all day but I can't be out every day 😂🙈
Will be watching this post for any advice too!

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Mon 21-Aug-17 09:53:04

Thanks for sympathy HT flowers. To be honest I think just trying my best to go with the flow is the best answer for the moment. Perhaps just giving up and concentrating on playing with both will at least mean I feel I'm spending quality time with them.

Sorry you're going through the same new Mum. It's infuriating! I had to take myself into a different room and have a silent scream this morning sad. Hope things get better for you soon, and brilliant he is good at night.

RiseToday Mon 21-Aug-17 10:11:50

Mine was exactly the same, would only ever sleep on me. Even the pushchair didn't work hmm

It's really shit but won't last forever

FATEdestiny Mon 21-Aug-17 10:13:44

Do I just have to give up for a bit?

Well I'd certainly stop worrying about it to the extent you are, for a bit.

DS2 needs sleep, DS1 also needs your attention. These don't need to be mutually exclusive.

DS2 might not sleep brilliantly without your focused attention (although you may be suprised), DS1 also might not get 121 time if you are simultaneously dealing with both. But it is better than dealing with one or the other.

Your frame of mind seems to be still that of a mum of one. With your first you could ficuscsll if your attention on child a needs. Now you nedd to learn to multitask. That means getting baby sleeping in such a way that you can also parent DS1 at the same time.

So I would put DS2 in an environment where he could sleep in a place where you can interact with both, then split your attention between playing with DC1 while helping DC2 go to sleep.

Some examples of this:
- put DS2 in bouncer, sit on floor. With one hand bounce bouncer and reinsert dumny dummy as needed. With other hand play with DS1. If baby sleeps, great. If not, at least not crying (has dummy) and you are helping sleep come.
- As above but you on sofa foot bouncing. DS1 can then cuddle up with you on sofa while you relentlessly bounce and dummy reinsert.
- Baby in doing, you go about your time playing with DS1. Don't stress baby sleeping or not. You have offered the environment where baby could sleep and are ensuring baby doesn't cry (dummy, cuddles, well fed).
- Baby in pram with dummy, parked in kitchen, rocked back and fourth as you chat with DS1 or watch him colour in, or whatever.

The mindset change to not focusing entirely on baby, in my experience, is what makes subsequent children easier. You have to split your focus now. It may well help both children in developing their independence.

Grace1980 Mon 21-Aug-17 10:50:31

I really feel your pain! I have a 20 week old and she is a nightmare at the moment!! She's my third and you'd think I have it sussed, but no sad she fights naps terribly. And wants to wake for the day at 3/4am. Awful. I'm feeding her to sleep whenever pos as it's just easiest, but even that isn't working at the moment. It's so hard because I understand your need to get baby to sleep. Mine would just scream hysterically if I left her to not nap. I think destiny has it right. If nap time fails in cot, put baby in buggy in the house and just push back and forth. We usually go out at least once a day, sonap inthr car can happen. It will get better!! That's what I'm telling myself anyway! I'm taking one day at a time and not panicking about weeks / months ahead xx

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Mon 21-Aug-17 12:20:38

Thanks fate a lot of what you says makes sense. I will try this. It will keep me more relaxed if nothing else.

Sorry you're also going through this grace. I know what you mean - I thought I'd have some idea of what I was doing this time!

abigailgabble Mon 21-Aug-17 13:15:27

9/10 my DS will only nap in the daytime on me. luckily he is literally the only thing I have to do, i don't know how I would manage otherwise! no. 2 is going to have to wait until he starts school!!! it's lucky these days that such a lot can be done via ipad otherwise i would be in huge disarray !

slings are brilliant things and you know how babies are, before long they'll be on to the next challenge 🙂

Nurse15 Mon 21-Aug-17 13:19:38

My dd was the same. Tight swaddle and holding her dummy in she eventually got the hang of it and fell asleep - usually for a few hours! Persevere with the swaddle, babies don't know what they like / don't like!!

FATEdestiny Mon 21-Aug-17 14:20:32

It will keep me more relaxed if nothing else.


All you really need do with baby is not have him crying. So if he needs feeding for example, then DS1 has to know that baby needs your attention at that time. If baby is happily kicking on thr floor, I would use that as 121 time with DS1 (in the room with DS2 obviously)

If baby's crying isn't hungry, then just get baby into an environment whereby they can go to sleep and calm the crying there. Given you have a toddler too, this needs to be in the same room. As to how/what that is - it's up to you. Bouncer, pram in the house, sling, Moses basket or cot in living room. But you don't realistically have many other options when you have baby and toddler who need you simultaneously - you need to be able to do both at the same time.

So take the pressure off sleep and focus instead on not crying. In an environment where sleep is encouraged, if baby isnt crying (or hungry) sleep will eventually come.

Take my mornings. When DD was 12 weeks I had a 5yo, 9yo and 10yo. Baby woke and fed in bed before we all got up. But was then usually ready for a nap 8am - right when I'm sorting 3 children for school. So baby would go in bouncer and I'd carry the bouncer from kitchen to living room with me, bouncing here and there. The focus was baby not getting distressed. Sleep often came as a by-product of this.

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