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4.5 month old won't nap during the day

(13 Posts)
KittyWindbag Sun 08-Oct-17 14:17:26

Hello. I'd love some advice. My son was a wonderful sleeper going 8-8 every night. Then he got an infection and had to spend a few nights in hospital. Since then sleep has changed and I wonder if it's related to hospital stay, 4 month regression or something else.

He will not nap during the day despite him being obviously tired. I observed his cues and start nap routine when I see the early signs of tiredness (staring off into distance, yawning).

I put him in his sleep sack. Bring him to the darkened bedroom. Put on jos white noise and rock and shush him. I've tried a dummy. He just won't. He screams and screams. He went six hours without a nap today. When he finally napped it was 1.5 hours but still not enough.

I started putting him to bed at six as I read earlier bedtime might help. He now wakes at 3am every morning which he never used to do. He's generally up for the day at 7. He napped once today at 12.30.

I'm worried this isn't good for his health and I'm finding it hard to get on and do anything else I need to do as he's always awake! Please help.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sun 08-Oct-17 14:35:11

Neither of my children were willing nappers so I rocked them to sleep in my arms...very annoying I know, but marginally less annoying than a baby who won’t nap! Could you maybe try that for a few days to get him back on track then revert back to whatever routine you had before?

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sun 08-Oct-17 14:37:32

Just to clarify - they stayed in my arms too, if I put them down they woke. Are you trying a nap no more than 2 hours after he wakes? It could be as little as 1.5 hours...just wondering if you’re missing his initial tired cues and he’s getting overtired. A baby who refuses to sleep is usually overtired...maybe he’s getting more tired since being ill, so getting overtired quicker?

FATEdestiny Sun 08-Oct-17 15:21:37

While he is over tired I would abandon the cot naps and move them to naps in something that moves. I would recommend a bouncy chair.

This means baby is still going to sleep where he stays asleep (better than being rocked to sleep and put down already asleep) and also means baby is still sleeping independantly rather than being held.

At night, not unusual for calorific need to significantly increase around 4 months. If you cannot keep up by bigger or more frequent daytime feeds, you will get a reappearance of night feeds.

Therefore whilst offering bigger feeds closer together in the day, I also expect that 3am wake is the need for a feed. I quick feed and resettle will get everyone more sleep.

At 4 months old he needs no more than 2h awake between naps. I'd actually go to more like 90 minutes awake time in your situation. By 12.30 baby must be completely and totally exhausted. I would start getting baby to sleep (in bouncer) 1h after waking up first thing and kerp kept the relentless bouncing going until asleep. The hope being baby is asleep after being awake for 90m.

Then when baby wakes, again have him back to in the bouncer after 1h awake with the aim to be asleep within 30 minutes of relentless rhythmic bouncing.

LadyMonicaBaddingham Sun 08-Oct-17 15:26:33

DS1 (now 13) never slept in the daytime after about 3 months old unless we were in the car. No help, but I know what you are going through. brewcakeflowers

KittyWindbag Sun 08-Oct-17 18:55:21

I see him looking tired at about 1.75 hours wakefulness, so do you think I should start preparing the nap routine earlier than that? It did occur to me that maybe the cues I'm noticing are too late.

He will fall asleep in the car or push chair but you know what it's like. I don't always want to go out, there's stuff that needs doing at home.

We have a vibrating bouncy chair so today I will try using that for the nap. I've only seen him fall asleep in it a handful of times but I'll try using it in a dark room. He does look very tired by the time he falls asleep and I feel sorry for him.

I will try to up his daytime feeds too and see if that helps. Thanks everyone.

FATEdestiny Sun 08-Oct-17 20:21:17

When baby is outwardly showing the very first outward signs of being tired, he was actually tired at least half an hour earlier. It could be much earlier than that if you are misinterpretting early tired signs. For example any cry, at all, is my first tired sign. Any demand to be picked up and being unhappy to kick around on floor, that's a tired sign.

Also remember to include the time it takes you to settle to sleep I'm awake time, not asleep time. So if you are seeing tired signs after 1h45m, baby probably needed to be asleep about 1h15m. If it takes you 15m to get baby to sleep, that means starting the settling to sleep process about 1h after waking.

Just-got-tired is the ideal time to get baby to sleep. At this point there will be no outward tired signs. So it becomes a case of anticipating and predicting when that will be.

I've only seen him fall asleep in it a handful of times

That makes it sound like a very passive process. You don't just put baby in the bouncer and hope. It's likely to need a load of relentless effort to get baby to sleep. Especially of over tired. So it's not a case of putting baby in bouncer and waiting.

I would suggest at very first grumble from baby, put baby in bouncer and bouncer at your feet by the sofa. I would switch off vibrate, it's not useful and hard to wean off. Instead foot bounce as you sit on the sofa watching tv. Be cometely and utterly relentless about it. Rhythmic and non stop, just keep going until asleep.

A dummy makes all this a million times easier and will tons less crying.

KittyWindbag Sun 08-Oct-17 22:45:22

Thank you Fate, I will try that today. I usually use the bouncer as a play station and not for sleeping ( didn't have a sleep problem before). I'll try the footbouncing from 1:15 or earlier.

KittyWindbag Mon 09-Oct-17 00:51:54

Well, he woke at 6. I put him in the bouncer at 7:15. It's now ten to 9. He looks knackered but he's not even close to falling asleep. Alternates between gummy grins and moany wails. We've missed his nap time good and proper. I will try again.

FATEdestiny Mon 09-Oct-17 09:18:57

You must be in a different time zone.

Are you continually bouncing the bouncer with your foot? Try a dummy if you still cant get baby to sleep. If still not going to slerp I would suggest offering a full feed (doesn't matter if he's not due one, he may well be hungry) and wind well then try again.

KittyWindbag Mon 09-Oct-17 12:52:34

Yes I live in Asia.

I do try dummies but he most often spits them out. Very occasionally he will fall asleep with one in. I've been encouraging the dummy a lot today. Today was a nightmare! His whole sleeping pattern was strange. He woke at 6 then napped only thirty minutes at 9 and another 30 at 12. Then he had a long sleep from 3.30 - 5 which I know I shouldn't allow as it goes past the last napping time but I was so relieved he was getting some sleep. He also refused to eat much today. He doesn't seem Unwell just tired!

A bit of formula does help him drift off sometimes. I did so the constant bouncing. I removed all the toys that clip on to the bouncer to avoid the distraction. But it took hours and in the end it wasn't the bouncing it was just sheer exhaustion that put him to sleep.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Babykoala1 Tue 10-Oct-17 08:17:34

My daughter was very bad with naps during the day, slept through the night very early on but rarely would be able to get to sleep during the day by herself. (She's 10 months now and nap times are a lot easier!) I found the buggy really helped though, rocking it side to side quite vigorously usually did the trick if we were indoors smile

FortheloveofJames Wed 11-Oct-17 20:34:36

If you see the signs of tiredness at 1.75 then baby needed to be asleep by then.

My DS can currently handle approx 2 hours awake time and he's the same age. But he needs to be asleep by this time, not just starting the routine then. So even if I think he's not showing signs I always do our nap routine- which is very similar to yours but I just place him in cot and he self settles with 5-10 mins of on off fussing on a bad day.

before I got clued up on awake times he was just like this! Then I realised it was because he was overtired. When I got on top of it it helped so much, to the point he learned to self settle because he was ready for sleep. Before this he was also a cat napper, but now even when he wakes in between cycles he can resettle himself back to sleep

He still has night feeds however I know these are actual hunger because he can settle himself in his cot. As already suggested 4 months is prime development period aswell and repression period so might be some of this going on.

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