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Desperate - 4 month old will not nap!!

(13 Posts)
AnxietyStrikes Tue 07-Nov-17 19:28:00


My dd has all ways had problems sleeping and never wants to nap. Right from birth she has had to be put to sleep or she will stay awake getting more and more overtired.

To get her to sleep during the day I have tried all sorts but at the moment the only thing that works in bouncing on a gym ball with her for about 30 mins (often more like an hour). I know she is prone to overtiredness so I watch her carefully and get her to sleep when needed.

The problem is she can't be put down or she will wake up immediatley. So I have to sit with her on the gym ball while she sleeps - fine but I do need to get on with some things occasionally. I let her sleep on me at the moment just to make sure she does sleep!

It also causes issues in that if we have visitors or go out anywhere putting her to sleep is a nighmare if not impossible. I also get constant comments from family that I'm spoiling her and making issues for myself.

Weirdly at night time I can put her down once asleep and she stays asleep most of the time.

I really need some help to get her to nap! I've tried it all and I'm at my wits end!!

Does anyone else have a non-napper?

xhannahx Tue 07-Nov-17 19:31:56

This was soooo me...DD would only nap on my chest and it used to drive me insane. I got a sling and everything became easier. Even if you still need to bounce her whilst wearing the sling at least you will be able to get up once she has dropped off.

I thought it would never get better but at around 6 months due to me having a cold I put her in her cot and she actually slept!

It does get better, you just have to ride it out. At 9 months DD still shows very few tired signs, but I just closely monitor her awake time which is now around 3 hours and she goes down for her nap easily (most days!)

crazycatlady5 Tue 07-Nov-17 20:57:49

Sounds like you have a velcro baby like me! First off, try to stop worrying so much about it. That was an important step for me. If you’re out and about baby will sleep later. Secondly, get a sling to carry baby in while you’re out and in the house to do bits and bobs. Getting baby to sleep with parental help is normal, so don’t feel like you’re doing anything wrong. I’d let baby sleep on you or in sling when you need to do things.

My 9 month old now feeds to sleep and I leave her to it. They do get there.

IWouldLikeToKnow Tue 07-Nov-17 21:10:33

I had one of those babies! The baby carrier was great...I had a Beco Gemini. At least i had hands free to do things when he slept. I was often found on the gym ball-patting and shushing him to sleep. He also couldn’t be put down. Things just improved after about 7.5 months.

riddles26 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:34:10

My daughter was also a nap refuser (and you will find a very similar thread from me about 8 months ago). As well as refusing to be put down, she also refused to nap on me (or anywhere else for that matter). I went through a phase where she napped in the pram (and I would walk for 2+ hours each day just to get a 30 minute nap), she napped when I bounced on the ball at one stage (but I had to keep bouncing to keep her asleep) and she would doze for 10-15 minutes at a time on the breast.

Unfortunately, I didn't find a solution and ended up sleep training using PUPD at 5.5 months because she was permanently overtired. If I were in your situation, I would put baby in sling, bounce on ball to get them to sleep then get up and do bits and pieces if baby stays asleep in sling. I wouldn't worry about getting them to sleep down in the cot at this stage - its something you can work on when a little bit older and napping for a bit longer.

Ignore comments from family - things change so much in these first few months that you are not spoiling her at all - she goes down and stays down at night which is absolutely fantastic. When I look back over the first year at the number of things I was told by well meaning family which turned out to be absolutely nothing to worry about and resolved itself

AnxietyStrikes Wed 08-Nov-17 11:42:30

I bought a sling after reading about how many people Love them for getting babies to sleep...she hates it confused she struggles and writhes around. I think she doesnt like to be too confined or strapped in because she does the same thing in her car seat making every journey out of the house a nightmare. But thats a separate problem to be solved at another time. Just trying to crack one thing at a time before I am declared insane.

AnxietyStrikes Wed 08-Nov-17 11:44:25

Im currently sat on the gym ball in her nursery watching orange is the new black on the iPad. She's asleep in my arms after a TWO HOUR battle with an overtired screaming baby with a cold to top it off. I am very drained, thirsty and hungry lol

Gannetseatfish Wed 08-Nov-17 12:03:08

Have you tried the buggy? We have laminate flooring so I use it around the house for naps. Also don’t listen to other people about spoiling etc only you know what you dealing with. I had all that chat with my now 2 year old and only now are people realising how hard it is to get him to sleep!

riddles26 Wed 08-Nov-17 13:49:36

She sounds exactly like my daughter! I used to fight for 2-3 hours with an overtired baby daily.

When I first put her in the sling, she wasn’t a fan either but taking her for walks outside in it everyday got her used to it - have you tried that? When we were just in the house, she got frustrated she couldn’t fidget but when I was walking, the rhythm of me walking calmed her down and she got used to it (unfortunately failed to get her to sleep though but at least she was happy in it).

Pram for us only worked outside as the smooth floor of the house wasn’t bumpy enough to get her to sleep - and even then, I had to walk for 1+ hour to get her to fall asleep and keep walking to keep her asleep, she knew the second I stopped whether it was in or outside.

I had the same car seat issues too so I have every sympathy for you, it’s really tough.

You are in the best place to judge what your child needs. My daughter was a permanent overtired mess so we used a sleep consultant and sleep trained at 5.5 months. Yes she cried, but nowhere near as much as she did when she was constantly overtired and I was always with her so she knew her Mum was near. From the moment she was sleeping properly, life became so much better for both of us.

AnxietyStrikes Wed 08-Nov-17 14:49:19

I have looked at sleep consultants...are they worth the money? Can they sort out naps aswell as bedtimes?

I'd be willing to pay of it really did the job! I'm willing to try anything.

I think that dd is chronically overtired because she is miserable all of the time sad

crazycatlady5 Wed 08-Nov-17 16:08:16

Have you heard of sling libraries? I had a fabric wrap and my baby hated it. I then got an ergobaby 360 and I’ve used it everyday for 4 months. Best purchase ever, next to the sleepyhead 😊

xhannahx Wed 08-Nov-17 16:20:09

I would try to persevere with the sling. My dd hated it at first, so o went to a sling library and tried a few different types. Eventually we found the close caboo and she finally settled in it.

Don't give up the sling idea for now, find your local sling library as it will be a real life saver.

riddles26 Wed 08-Nov-17 16:45:04

Sleep consultant was the solution for my situation. I filled out a pre-questionnaire with lots of details of our current routine (or lack of!), sleeping and feeding habits plus my parenting style. On the first consultation, we agreed on a settling method that I would use. She then gave us a structured routine to follow (which was similar to the 7am-7pm one in most parenting books) and told us how to start implementing it. I filled out daily logs of every feed and sleep, exactly what I did, how long for etc etc and we discussed in the evenings. When things didn’t go to plan, she explained how to tweak it to make it work or where I was going wrong in implementing it. It took 10 days of clearing our diary and dedicating everything to her sleep but it worked. Once sleep associations were firmly established, we did move times around to suit us but we were a lot more confident with things and I knew so much more about science of baby sleep by then.

Some posters will say their child has slept perfectly ever since using a consultant/sleep training. That hasn’t been the case for us - we have still experienced every regression plus teething pain but these have all meant more help and comfort from me in getting her to sleep, not back to no naps at all.

If you have a sling library, give that a try first as it’s certainly a cheaper option but if no luck, it’s good to know a consultant is something that will help. Send me a pm if you want more details and I can explain more and give you details of the person I used.

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